Trade Show Stories

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5:45 a.m. Myrtle Beach, SC.

The good stories come later, at the end of this blog post. Right now I’m waiting to catch sunrise with a splurge of room service breakfast.

I’m attending and presenting for the South Carolina Horticulture Industry Trade Show. I’ve already collected a few great plants, tools, and people’s stories.

But first, here’s a list of what I should be doing in the perennial gardens:

1. Seeding nasturtium, sugar snaps, and lettuce—yes all fit beautifully in perennial gardens.
2. Dividing tons of perennials, like Pineapple lily, daylily, cast iron plant, grasses and ferns.
3. Hacking down, with the machete I expect to find today, still standing perennials like Chrysanthemum, Arundo, Salvia and poor old cold tattered elephant ears.
4. Direct sticking cuttings of all of those same things and a few woodies, like roses, figs and muscadines.
5. Potting up little shrubs like Ilex vomitoria ‘Carolina Ruby’ and cutting the entire plant back to a nub—so it will spout out vigorously this spring and I can shear it into cones.
6. Planting potatoes.

Here’s some cool stuff from the show; Angelica pachycarpa, Elliott’s Love Grass and bright purple leaf form of Ardisia called ‘Beni Kajaku’. Lots of new organic fertilizers at this event and a great tool vendor carrying american made shovels called ‘King of Spades.‘

The best story of the day? A young guy started cutting grass for an older neighbor who had a small yard business.

Recently, this man, now 79, decided to turn the works over to his protégée. But not so fast young buck. You’ve gotta learn to do it the right way. So part of the deal was an intensive mentorship program — the older man laid out a course of study, complete with chapters and even required field trips like coming to this trade show.

This cool transfer of knowledge, and spark and wisdom might even include the original mobile shop—a beat up, red pontiac van outfitted for a gardening guy.

Meet Jenks Farmer

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