When I first read John Friel’s article about changes in the plant taxonomy world, I was relieved to realize that I wasn’t the only one confused by new genera, different family assignations, and a totally new way of looking at classification. While I was editing Allan Armitage’s Herbaceous Perennial Plants, I was continually looking up plants, only to find them listed under entirely different names. John has done a masterful job (as usual) explaining this process, one that may still be confusing, but is at the same time intriguing to any true plantsperson.

Another “new” development, but one that really shouldn’t be, is the recent development to put flower fragrance “back into” flowers. The combination of alluring scent and visual beauty surely adds to flowers’ appeal to the human psyche, affirming the recent findings that flowers and plants really do have a positive influence on humans. This is the kind of information you must be sharing with your customers. Make sure they take home enough flowers to place in several rooms of their homes.

Erin Benzakein’s write-up of the results of her ASCFG Grower Grant is priceless. How Erin had time to conduct this research between growing and designing her flowers, appearing in magazines like Sunset and Mary Jane’s Farm, and raising two children, I’m not sure. But the information about the grasses she chose to trial is complete, unbiased and useful for all growers. I can’t wait to see the results of her grant about garden rose evaluation.

One of Erin’s comments caught my eye: She made $1,850 from a 60-ft. row of Panicum ‘Frosted Explosion’.  This reminded me of what Janet Foss said several years ago about another grass she had heard about one year at an ASCFG National Conference. She bought a packet of the seed for five dollars, and made enough money off that one planting to pay her way to the National Conference the next year. It’s stories like that which make you realize how serendipitous this business can be sometimes. One conversation with another grower can change the way you irrigate your fields, or set up your cooler. One speaker at a Regional Meeting can introduce you to a crop that no one else in your market is growing, and it becomes your primary profit market.

Don’t forget to take advantage of these possibilities. This year more than ever, you need to continue educating yourself, expand your market, and extend the circle of growers who can help you accomplish these.