Flower Trials FNGLA

Immersed in Color

The Florida Flower Trials were a beautiful learning experience. On Wednesday, May 15th, we started at the Orange County Cooperative Extension office in Orlando.

Surrounding the bedding plant trials were many other gardens;

Guest speakers continued to inspire and educate landscapers, growers and retailers;

FNGLA trade shows

Tropical Plant Industry Exhibit 2019

Once a year, for three days in January, people from around the nation visit Fort Lauderdale, Florida to see the natural beauty produced by local greenhouse and nursery growers. Over 200 vendors display their best under one roof for a tropical extravaganza.

Fish Branch Tree Farm Florida palms FNGLA

Trees on the Go

November 29, 2018

Fish Branch Tree Farms in Zolfo Springs hosted the Trees on the Go educational seminar in partnership with FNGLA, Roots Plus Growers and ASLA Florida. Their nursery is a model tree farm emphasizing quality and consistency. 

Speakers: Dr. Ed Gilman (U.F. Professor Emeritus) on the state of the urban forest and early tree root training, John Conroy, owner of Fish Branch, about Grades and Standards, Lloyd Morgan about ideal handling and shipping of large trees, Joe Samnik, about legal issues regarding contracts/specifications (how not to get sued for negligence), Russell Adams about mass planting palms in difficult situations (Orlando highway sides), Mike Marshall, Marshall Tree Farms demonstrating grading trees and discussing the future of tree supply/demand.

Here is a link to the Florida Grades and Standards:

FNGLA trade shows

The Landscape Show, Orlando

I am a sucker for variegated plants. Long ago, when a gardener or plant breeder found a plant with white streaks or spots in it’s leaves, it was discarded as weak and inferior to it’s green-leafed parent. But, color sells and anything-but-green leaves turn heads. Also, a plant with less chlorophyll in it’s leaves tends to grow slower, driving up it’s price and demand.

Here are a few of the variegated leafed plants that stood out at this years Landscape Show held by the Florida Nursery Grower Landscape Association (FNGLA) in Orlando.



FNGLA Annual Convention, 2018

Today wrapped up the Florida Nursery Grower Landscape Association’s annual convention. Awards were presented, speeches were given, donations were made, and the new Board of Directors are now voted in.
President Ed Bravo selected the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort in Bonita Springs as the host hotel and the surroundings were beautiful.

Flower Trials Uncategorized

Florida Flower Trails 2018 Talks

Inspire and educate. Our first day was spent visiting four locations. Our second day was spend in various classrooms learning about pest control, soils, water conservation, the consumer, business practices and design ideas. The weather was perfect: First day partly cloudy, second day rainy.

FNGLA trade shows

The Landscape Show Redux.

As a vendor/exhibitor, we were very happy with the attendance at the 2017 Landscape Show in Orlando last week. Originally scheduled for September, the show was blown off course by hurricane Irma. Many vendors were not able to reschedule their participation but, despite fewer booths, there were plenty of attendees.

florida gardening flowers FNGLA

Florida Flower Trials 2017

What sort of person goes to Epcot, only takes pictures of plants, then leaves with a smile on his face? Any attendee at the Florida Flower Trials last month in Orlando, Florida.
This annual gardening exhibit is sponsored by the Florida Nursery Grower Landscape Association (FNGLA) Floriculture Division. The purpose is to encourage plant breeders and growers to bring to the table some of their new introductions for us in the horticulture business to admire and evaluate.
There were three locations in Orlando where these various plants were grown: Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Walt Disney World’s nursery, and Harry P. Leu Gardens. Here are some of the outstanding sights and plants, by location.

For more on this festival:

FNGLA Royal Palm Chapter

Awesome Award

Thank you to FNGLA for this incredible honor.

Bob Wendell Butler
Theresa Riley giving Bob Cook the Wendell E. Butler Award. (On stage with Kevin Riley and the President of the Florida Nursery Grower Landscape Association, Billy Butterfield.)

The Wendell E. Butler Award is recognized as FNGLA’s most prestigious prize. This award recognizes an individual who serves the association and the industry by providing leadership, service, contributions and has shown a sincere interest in the advancement of the association and the industry.

Here is a video they made for the presentation at the annual meeting of 2016.

And my acceptance speech:

First, I thank God for making me a gardener and giving me the passion for plants. I am closest to my Creator when I am on my knees in the dirt.

I thank my wife Cheryl. She tolerates my passion for plants and the trail of compost through the house. She is my encouragement, the woman of my dreams, the answer to my prayers.

We are grateful for our son John. He is often in the trenches with me, learning skilled labor. I don’t expect him to follow in my fertile footsteps but pray that he also finds a career that he loves with people he admires.

My parents get full credit for doing their best by steering me in the right direction. Mom was wise to send me outside to play. My father taught me the benefits of hard work.

Thanks to my previous employers who gave me opportunities, training, and priceless experiences.

I am grateful for my current employer, J.C. Diem of Southern Ag. who took a chance on hiring me 10 years ago. We share the same values of faith, family and service.

I thank the members of the Royal Palm chapter of FNGLA for even considering me as a nominee me for this highest honor.

Speaking of FNGLA, I have read the textbook for the Certified Horticulture Professional at least twenty times from cover to cover over the years. And there is one word that appears only once: Love.

“Knowledge of the product comes with love of the job, study, observation and seasoned experience.”

In another book, first Corinthians it says “If I speak the eloquence of men, but have no love, I become no more than a crashing cymbal…I achieve precisely nothing.”

My desire is not to be famous, to make followers or accumulate friends. When you visit my website and blogs you won’t find a bunch of selfies, but a lot of vivid color photos of beautiful plants.

I hope that my delight in plants is contagious.”



Stephen Brown, Show Us Your Palms

Thanks Stephen Brown, Lee County Extension Agent, for your talk on palm problems. This was at the monthly meeting of the Royal Palm Chapter, FNGLA, hosted by Steel Trucks.

Stephen Brown teaching about palm aphids that look like scale insects.
Stephen Brown teaching about palm aphids that look like scale insects.