NorCal Show in San Mateo


takao_norcal2014It’s always great to see our customers at the NorCal Show in San Mateo! And we were super excited to showcase some of next season’s plants, like Lavender allardi ‘Meerlo’, a variegated lavender.


And Lophomyrtus ‘Magic Dragon’!


Stay tuned for more!


Road Trip!

I’m back from my road trip to speak at the San Diego Flower & Plant Association’s Annual Growers Meeting. It was a great trip that ended up being a bit longer than I had planned on…

The meeting itself was great – buffet, drinks, raffle prizes, a brief tour of Thompson Rose where the meeting was being held – met new people, got to see some familiar faces…

Check out how they triple stack their plants! Talk about utilizing space! Wouldn’t it be great if we could grow liners that way too 🙂

Chris Hopkins of Orchard Supply also spoke – in a nutshell he basically told the audience that they needed to reinvent themselves and their products to entice stores like OSH to want to carry their product line. It seemed like a ‘no duh’, but later when I was filling in Darren on the night’s events he said something that made sense – that maybe some people don’t know that they need to change. He even listed his family’s nursery as an example, of how they didn’t think they needed to do anything differently, but now they’ve realized that times are changing and ‘the way things were’ may be just that – the way things were, but aren’t anymore. That doesn’t mean that the economy and sales won’t eventually pick up – it just means that things are evolving and shifting and transitioning and everyone has to realize that and adapt to it the best they can. I hope my presentation offered some insight and gave attendees something they could take away and apply to their businesses in terms of marketing and utilizing all the technology that is out there to promote their companies.

The following day we were lucky enough to be given the grand tour of Olive Hill Greenhouses – I know Denise through Ag Leadership (which I was never actually a part of, but she introduced me to the program years ago). Denise, the main man Tony and Denise’s husband Will, gave Darren and I a thorough walk through of their facilities – it was really interesting to see! Growing indoor plants was quite different from what we do as perennial propagators and even from what Darren’s family does as a grower. And I think we both left more educated than we arrived – complete with what elements are in newspaper ink! The 2.5 hour tour was the perfect way to top off our work trip! And all the beautiful plants we got to take with us (as many as the Mini could fit) didn’t hurt either!


So much loveliness!!!

Their awesome living wall in their office. I think I want one too now!

One last stop before the trek back to Fresno…a quick pop-in at McCall’s Meat and Fish in Los Feliz to visit Darren’s brother at his meat shop to take a little something back home for dinner. And funny enough, we ran into Tom Hawkins from Florasource there! With spicy lamb sausages and their house burger blend in our ice chest, we were finally off!

…then halfway through the grapevine, my tire began to shred…

Long story short…we had to stay the night in Gorman, because it was too late to get anything done. All of the local shops were not set up to change tires on a Mini and also did not carry any tires that would have fit anyways (Mini’s don’t come with a spare – they ride on run-flats, but run-flats only work if your tire isn’t on the verge of disintegrating).

We hauled all our stuff into our hotel room, plants included, and had pizza delivered to the room – which I found through the clever advertising they placed next to the tv channels sign (menu on back with Holiday Inn Express discount too, clever indeed!)

Unloading our goodies…I think our hotel room was the nicest one that night!


We woke up bright and early to be towed to the nearest BMW dealership in Bakersfield so that they could change out the tire – then walked to a chorizo breakfast – then 4 hours later we were finally on our way back home.

It was a great trip – minus the tire scare/hassle – but it’s good to be home and in a car that’s driveable 🙂

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