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The Landscape Show was in Full Bloom this Year
by Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association
October 19, 2008

The Landscape Show showcased thousands of colorful flowers and plants from throughout Florida and the Southeastern U.S. last week as buyers and sellers of nursery and landscape products met for three days, September 25-27, at the Orange County Convention Center. Following a flat summer in sales based on economic conditions and tropical weather concerns, the industry welcomed the business vitality seen at this gathering of more than 8,600 industry members.

“I am very pleased with the success of The Landscape Show this year and the direction the show is moving in. The energy and enthusiasm at the show is evidence that our industry is optimistic about the economy and the future of Florida. This is a promising sign as The Landscape Show represents members of many of Florida’s largest industries including the nursery industry, the construction and home building industry, real estate development, hotels, theme parks, resorts and retail,” said The Landscape Show chairman, Michel Sallin of Cherry Lake Tree Farm. "What I am most pleased about is the evolution of The Landscape Show from a grower-dominated trade show to a truly vertically integrated show that represents a wide variety of products and services at all levels of the landscape development and construction process."

EXHIBITORS AND SPEAKERS

With 600 exhibiting companies, The Landscape Show highlighted the diverse products available from Florida’s nursery and landscape industry. From towering trees, flowering plants, tropical foliage and drought-tolerant grasses to stone, pavers, ponds and pottery, all aspects of landscape elements were on display in this 250,000-square-foot marketplace.

The Landscape Show hosted renowned speakers on economics and business management to inform attendees how to get through difficult financial situations. Dr. Henry Fishkind, Ph.D., of Fishkind and Associates in Orlando, provided an outlook on Florida and the U.S. economy and how the nursery and landscape industry can weather changing economic times. Dr. David Kohl of AgriVision, LLC, in Blacksburg, Virginia provided ten golden rules for business owners ranging from bottom-line economics, time management, transition management and investment management for agricultural businesses.

EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

In addition to the diverse products on the trade show floor, educational programs were also available at this event. A tour of Harry P. Leu Gardens gave a behind-the-scenes look at their 50 acres of Southern-style gardens. Special tracks of classes were offered for landscape managers, landscape designers, growers and retailers, as well as general sessions offering management skills for all. Special how-to demonstrations were offered throughout each day of the show.

"Our team always looks forward to The Landscape Show and Short Course, and as always, we were not disappointed,” said Mark Russell, Director of Horticulture at Discovery Cove and Aquatica in Orlando. “The overall quality of the trade show was fantastic and the selection of classes was so diverse that there were plenty opportunities for folks in every facet of horticulture!”

115 golfers participated in the annual golf tournament held at the Grand Cypress Golf Resort. Simpson Nurseries’ players Rusty Hamrick, Brian Searcy, Thad Beshears and Chip Culbreth won first place. Since 1994, FNGLA’s Allied Division, which promotes and represents Allied members’ business interests within Florida’s environmental horticulture industry, has raised over $139,000 for education and research through the University of Florida’s Special Help For Agricultural Research & Education program (SHARE).

AWARDS AND DISPLAYS

Several awards were presented to exhibitors for their outstanding booth displays. Receiving the Best of Show Award this year was Amplex of Clearwater, Florida. Photos of all the booth award winners are available at www.thelandscapeshow.org .

Special displays attracted the attention of show attendees, including the parade of topiary towers. Sea World’s team of horticulturalists won the contest with their depiction of dolphins circling the earth. A massive topiary scene of The Lion King, courtesy of the horticulture professionals at Walt Disney World, greeted attendees at registration.

“Once again, The Landscape Show exhibitors raised the bar with regards to the quality and creativity of the displays. The Landscape Show is unquestionably the most visually dramatic and awe-inspiring shows you will ever see,” said Sallin. “Both halls are transformed into virtual rainforests for the week, filled to the brim with towering trees and palms, unique and unusual plant specimens and bursting with color from flowering shrubs and foliage.”

The Favorite New Plant voted on by attendees was Hamelia patens ‘Calusa’ TM, shown by All Native. The Favorite New Product chosen by attendees was Garden Metal Mushrooms & Bird Sculpturesoffered by Gedong Arta

New at The Landscape Show was The Green Zone which featured organizations providing green resources as well as an environmentally friendly office showcasing various products and processes to make your office “greener.” The Sustainable Solutions Showcase within the Green Zone featured products and services which are both sustainable and environmentally friendly.

UPCOMING

Plans for an even larger 2009 The Landscape Show are already in the works. The trade show returns October 1-3, 2009, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

The Landscape Show is produced by the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association (FNGLA). FNGLA represents Florida's environmental horticulture industry, with an estimated $15.2 billion in industry-wide sales. For more information contact FNGLA at 1533 Park Center Dr., Orlando, FL, 32835, info@fngla.org , (800) 375-3642, or www.fngla.org .

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