Just flew in from St. Louis and boy are my arms tired! [Baadum – ch!]
I have very diverse responsibilities and interests, but all in one way or another relate to this thing called Gardening. I recently attended two very different conferences, both in St. Louis but thankfully scheduled back-to-back. The first was the Perennial Plant
Association (PPA): a colorful, enthusiastic, slightly eccentric group of growers, breeders, designers, and geeks of the highest order. Bus tours and talks centered on plants, glorious plants….of which we simply cannot get enough.
Hot plants!!! Paul Westervelt expresses his enthusiasm during the PPA tour of the fabulous Missouri Botanic Garden.
The second was the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) annual conference. Not so colorful. Lots of data…even presented some myself. But very necessary – especially in our realm (publish or perish). “Horticulture” is a ridiculously broad umbrella, under which falls food crops, ornamentals, biotechnology, econom cs, and some social sciences. There were speakers and posters on a mind-boggling array of topics – from horticulture curricula to stress physiology; tropical fruits to public horticulture. Some of this research and information is ready for “technology transfer”, that is, with a bit of tweaking,
the results are directly applicable, whether to a nursery grower or a consumer. Much of it is not; and will exist only in that “researcher to researcher” ether.
My point: there are many outlets for the information shared at PPA, i.e. hot new plants on the Terra Nova website, design articles by the various garden writers in attendance, the newest book from Timber Press, etc. For ASHS, not so much, unless you subscribe to HortScience and receive the 1000+ pages of abstracts from the meeting.
This is where we can help. Jeff Gillman has done a yeoman’s job at translating science to gardeners, and now all of us involved in this blog are going to chip in. Call it “insider
information” or the less-glamorous “stuff that’s technical/boring to read but with
hidden nuggets of usefulness”. The one thing we hope makes this useful to you is that we all consider ourselves gardeners, and though our day jobs certainly inform how we manage our own little piece of heaven, you’ll get a good dose of adventure, frustration, triumph, plant lust, and humor.
My next few blog contributions will be “things I learned in St. Louis”. Not least of which is the hoppy goodness of locally-brewed Schlafly Pale Ale.