WE ARE RESILIENT because we are forced to be adaptable- The gardener, the grower, and the independent garden center.  

Most people don’t grow up saying to themselves, “I want to own a garden center someday” or “I’m going to be a landscaper.” That kind of life is very unpredictable simply because the workplace environment never stops changing. Caring for a diversity of plants that are stuck in pots or the ground throughout the year requires workers to service every plant’s environmental needs, all the while working under the more powerful whim of mother nature. Green industry workers are always on their toes and find themselves ultimately more adaptable when faced with change forced upon them. Green industry professionals are resilient, and for this reason, practice being highly adaptable by becoming a green industry practitioner. Invest in, care for, and maintain more plants at your home.  There are useful life lessons to be gained by doing so for all ages.

So welcome the green industry! We are a community of people who have mostly found ourselves here, rather than directly charting this course.   Usually, in adult life, we discover the intense passion buried deep within our DNA for plants and the opportunities they provide to work outside or in a sunny greenhouse surrounded by plant life. Our community is innovative and resourceful using the tools and equipment we have, along with a strong desire to do the work ourselves and problem solve all challenges.  Our community is tireless and will endlessly strive to make whatever situation we face better. If you subscribe to this newsletter and have read this far, you are a part of this community.

The Plant Select program is one outcome of the green industry’s trademark characteristics, which tackled the challenges of introducing appropriate and successful plants for the North American steppe region. For more than twenty years, Plant Select continues to be the leading plant introduction program that promotes unique, underutilized, drought-tolerant, habitat friendly plants that are adaptable under extreme conditions. Plant Select now promotes 160 ornamental plants that have been through three-year trials. They are selected and grown by professional green industry members to offer successful, environmentally appropriate plants that thrive in variable environmental conditions for all gardeners, designers, and landscapers to enjoy. These plants welcome everyone to immerse themselves in the green industry community. 

Under the COVID-19 restrictions of sheltering in place, we have all gotten the opportunity to live the life of a plant rooted in the ground facing a forced adaptation in a drastically evolving environment. Sheltering in place has forced us to focus on our immediate surroundings, both inside and out. Yet, this COVID crisis has also created the best opportunities to step outside to enjoy the excitement of perennials emerging from their slumber below ground and witness the leaves and flowers breaking bud daily on woody plants. This spring, plants and humans alike have been able to enjoy much cleaner air, the subtler sounds of birds in the absence of automobile traffic, and a sky almost free of airplane condensation trails. We should be very appreciative of the plants this spring and remember our lessons of forced adaptation. Each year commit to investing in growing and maintaining more plants at home. It will make us all more resilient and deeply rooted ready for the evolving environmental conditions to come.  

Grow, be safe, and happy gardening.