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PEEK BEHIND THE SCENES

Anne K Moore
Photograph of Amethyst Falls Wisteria  Anne K Moore
Photograph of the ChevroletTerrain, courtesy of GMC

Garden writers strive to bring the best information to home gardeners. However, what drives companies who help garden writers? Monrovia Nurseries have been sharing plants and their growing expertise with professional garden writers for many years. General Motors Corporation became a Platinum Sponsor for the Garden Writer’s Symposium held this year in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Nicholas Staddon, Director of New Plant Introductions at Monrovia Nurseries, has this to say, “When I talk with garden writers about plants, the primary focus is always new plants. However, there is enormous value in plants that have been passed by, that is to say, plants that are in older gardens or botanical gardens that are waiting to be discovered and brought to market. Highly likely, these plants have been ‘hidden from view’ for years and years.”

We don’t need to use the same plants as our neighbors. Diversity fuels interest. Monrovia can offer diversity and interest. Since 1926, Monrovia  has expanded and now grows more than 2,500 varieties. 

Continues Staddon, “Bearing in mind the diversity of plant material growing in the United States is enormous, it remains a challenge or near impossible to know the fine points of every plant in production. So, the plant business remains a constant learning curve. We introduce plants to garden writers who in turn bring these new plants and old forgotten plants to the public.”

“I have always placed garden writers on a pedestal. Their ability to communicate in all the varying forms is of great importance to the gardening community. This fact alone puts them fairly and squarely into the camp of educators,” he said. Additionally, “I am a firm believer that people continue to read the printed word and fully realize there is undue pressure on books, magazines, and physical newspapers. I still see people carrying reading material. Garden writers tell gardeners and would-be gardeners what’s going on and the end product they can expect.”

Recently, Bountiful Blue Blueberry was named Best Edible Plant at the 2011 Farwest, the green industry's top tradeshow. Staddon was asked, “How long is this food trend going to continue?” His answer, “If we believe the food trend and the sustainability trend, because it really is part and parcel of the same, this so-called trend will be passed in the blink of an eye. We are part of a cultural shift, that is to say edibles and this passion for sustainability including this use of organics is here to stay. As a community, we must establish edibles as part of someone’s wellness program. Only this part of the wellness program lives in the garden, not in the gym.” For more information on Monrovia products: http://www.monrovia.com/

Someone else talking about protecting the earth is General Motors Corporation Communications Manager, Joseph LaMuraglia. GMC has brought to market two SUV Crossovers that fulfill several gardening needs - good-looking, fuel efficient, and able to haul garden stuff. “Gardeners need utility in their vehicles,” said LaMuraglia, “but appreciate the very stylish package and fuel efficiency of these new, lighter SUV’s.”

He continued, “Incidentally, the definition of a crossover is a SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) but built on a car frame, not a truck frame, so that they are lighter, more fuel efficient, and have a softer, more car-like ride. They will keep the driver- gardener and the $98 shrub in the back comfortable on the ride home. And, because of their lighter weight, they lessen the impact on the environment by using less fuel.”

LaMuraglia believes their new crossover vehicles, the Terrain and the Acadia, are perfect for gardeners. “We realize our customers have a myriad of interests. These new crossovers are stylish, efficient, and capable of hauling” what the gardener needs. Garden writers get that word to gardeners.

My husband and I are a Chevy family. Our Chevrolets sport USC on their tail bumpers, which here stand for the University of South Carolina, not that “other” team out West. My husband prefers our sporty Cobalt while I usually drive the SUV. What does all this have to do with gardening? I haul compost, topsoil, fertilizer, bales of straw, and plants to my garden. The sporty car my husband prefers just won’t do all the jobs I need accomplished. With these new GMC additions, we could feasibly become a one-car family.

I can vouch for the OnStar feature that comes standard on these two vehicles. It is great to talk with a live person when you are driving to an out of the way garden or garden center and need directions.

LaMuraglia said GMC realizes, “People who garden are really unique. They are active in their gardens. GMC knows that most gardeners prefer to do the work themselves.” These vehicles “Allow people to do what they love with fewer stops at the pump and less impact on the environment.”

These are not truck wannabes. They are stylish enough for the family ride to church and big enough to do the gardener’s hauling afterward, without feeling like a truck. This is the new generation of softer, sensible, stylish vehicles manly enough for even a burly gardener. 

Furthermore, there is plenty of room on the bumper for your team’s logo. For more information on GMC products: http://www.gmc.com/

Follow Anne K Moore and Linda Weiss as they blog at Diggin’ It at the Christian Science Monitor website.

All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

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