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Trade Show Time!

January 9, 2009
oh, the catalogs!

oh, the catalogs!

I made the trek to Baltimore this week for the annual landscape trade show. It’s a great opportunity for me to touch base with my growers and wholesalers, update my catalogs (see the above photo!) and availability lists, and see what new products are on the market. The show was totally worth the drive, and here are a few highlights:

  • Rain barrels- I met the inventor of the Aquabarrel and had the opportunity to really investigate his product.
    Aquabarrel Rain Collector

    Aquabarrel Rain Collector

    There’s a lot to love, beginning with the fact that it’s got a bigger capacity (80 gallons) than most rain barrels on the market. What really got me excited, though, is the transition from the downspout pipe to the barrel itself. It’s essentially a really big diverter valve, so if there’s a time when you won’t need to harvest rainwater a twist of a knob diverts the flow to the overflow pipe. It’s also simpler to install. I’ll have photos and pricing up on my main website next week; in the meantime, feel free to contact me for information.

  • Rain Barrels part deux– I also came across a collapsible rain barrel. The idea is that in the winter time, you can simply remove the barrel, fold it up, and store it. It’s a good idea, especially since it’s a pretty inexpensive way to get rain barrels for your home.
  • Turnkey compost bins– My mom, who lives in RI, has an ABS plastic compost bin that she bought from the landfill (progressive!). It’s fine, if a little small, but I wasn’t thrilled with a few details- it wasn’t incredibly sturdy, and it was pretty hard to open and close. Let’s face it, if something is hard to use, we’re not going to use it. I found one at the show that’s night and day different. It’s very sturdy, simple to assemble, and the lids open and close with no trouble at all. Again, pricing and more info will be on my main site sometime next week.k7671

I also found some new plant vendors, and touched base with growers I’ve worked with for several years. Another exciting trend was that there were many more nurseries specializing in native plants than I’ve seen before. I’m certainly not in the “only natives are good” camp- I like a mix of natives and exotics- but there are certain times that a native is the best choice. A native plant will often be more tolerant of drought and poor soils; many are also pretty deer-resistant, which is a huge plus around here. In the past it’s been a bit of a struggle to source native plants. Apparently the demand has been felt, and that’s changing.

Best of all, a show like this helps re-energize me. It’s winter, it’s cold and blah and spring feels so far away. Spending a day surrounded by plants and plant people gets me all excited for spring!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. shwankie permalink
    January 9, 2009 6:12 pm

    I am jealous–sounds like UC and I’d have had a lot of fun looking at rain barrels! I can’t wait to hear more about the show, and hopefully grab a look at the plants for this coming year’s garden!

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