When I was living in Brooklyn, N.Y. one summer about 10 years ago, Bluetooth headsets for phones were just becoming popular. People walked or drove around with an earpiece in one ear, and you couldn’t always see it if you were on the other side of them. Watching people walk down the street or drive a car and seemingly talk to themselves was an incredibly strange sight. I thought I’d never get used to it.

But now scenes like these are a normal part of everyday life and there’s nothing strange about them.

I was, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, reminded of those Bluetooth-headset wearing New Yorkers while attending the Perennial Plant Association Symposium this past August in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. I sat in on conference sessions, chatted with passionate plantspeople, toured greenhouses, hoophouses and a landscape arboretum and got a more in-depth look at what makes perennials great. But what does that have to do with Bluetooth headsets?

During one of the conference sessions, Shannon Currey, who you may know from her marketing work at Hoffmann Nursery, talked about the need for landscapes to have a “purpose beyond the visual” and support the surrounding ecosystem, health and well-being of the people who interact with them. Perhaps these landscapes aren’t considered as aesthetically “beautiful” (at least in a traditional sense) as more standard designs, but they fulfill a greater purpose. Currey said that while landscapes like “urban meadows” may not be as common now, people will become accustomed to them as time goes on. Turn to page 12 to read more takeaways from the PPA Symposium.

We’re also debuting our Manual for Success series this month, a special section that provides strategies and information about different aspects of a production topic. This month’s focus is lighting. Greenhouse experts like columnist John Bartok and researchers from Michigan State University, Iowa State University and North Carolina State University weigh in on seven different areas of interest. While growers have been experimenting with electrical lighting since the 1800s, its popularity has surged in recent years with advances in technology. One could say that it’s becoming more commonplace in horticultural settings.

What advances in technology or trends have you adopted that you never thought you would? Drop me a line and let me know at kvarga@gie.net

Cheers,

Karen E. Varga, Editor

kvarga@gie.net

216-393-0290 | Twitter: @Karen_GIE