Issue #121 January 2020
2020 VISIONS
It seems like just a few weeks ago when This Space was about stuff being dropped or raised to mark that ultimate ephemerality, the moment the Old Year passes the torch to the New. But no, it wasn’t just a few weeks, it was 52 of them -- a full, indeed very full, year. You helped us fill ours, and we hope we’ve returned the favor. 
DOWN ON THE FARMS

 Florida

Our shipping warehouse is now climate-controlled – fully insulated and air-conditioned -- to give our starters a better start on the way to becoming your starters. Which doesn’t change one fact of life: When our boxes arrive, open ‘em -- the sooner, the better. Live plants really don’t appreciate chlorophyll claustrophobia. But we expect this upgrade to nudge the quality window open a bit farther. 
Pennsylvania
Just under the wire, we closed the gap on an important December production goal for Festuca ‘Elijah Blue’ . It’s a challenge to produce enough of this key crop; we expect it to sell out each year, and it rarely disappoints. In 2019 we actually had to turn away orders, which always puts us in a bad mood. It’s a lose-lose. So we’re taking no chances for 2020, and urging you to follow suit. Crunch your numbers and get your orders in, so we’re not both singing the Elijah blues again.
ON THE NEAR HORIZON
MANTS : The premier Eastern hort event, the M id A tlantic N ursery T rade S how, is almost here! You ARE coming to Baltimore Convention Center next week, right? Great! In Booth #710-712 you’ll find representatives of ECG HQ from Pensacola and our satellite PA range grippin’ and grinnin’ January 8-10. MANTS is always upbeat, with a fresh “new beginnings” vibe. C’mon down! Or up, or over, or whatever. Bring your colleagues. Your competitors already have their badges.
 
GSHE : Every year at this time I wonder: If I were born Arthur Outlaw, would I have my name legally changed? Or would I have the guts to keep it, figuring, “Someday, they’ll name a big public building after me?” We’ll never know. But we DO know that ECG will be in Booth #628-630 at the G ulf S tates H orticultural E xpo, rockin’ the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center in Mobile, AL, January 16-17. See you there!
A LITTLE FARTHER OFF
For the first time ever, the Perennial Plant Association’s National Symposium will convene in Lancaster, PA. Mark your calendar NOW! for five days of tours, educational sessions and more, August 3 – 7, 2020. We’ll have world-class speakers for three days of educational sessions wrapped around touring and dining at world-class gardens. Stop by the PPA booth (#2014) at MANTS for more information. Or check it out at perennialplant.org .
SCRAMBLED, PLEASE, WITH A SIDE OF ASSUAGE
A chagrined Puzzlemeistress Anna Graham reports a noticeable decline in responses to her occasional twisted word scrambles, so we’ll give those a rest for a while. But she had some tasty leftovers that we’d hate to see go bad in the fridge, so think of this as turkey-and-cranberry sandwiches for the mind. Send your unscramblings to anna.graham@ecgrowers.com . Go!
(Hint: 2 grasses, 3 perennials, 1 annual, all Latin binomials)
Use Crappy Syrup
Unite in Roman Steeple
Non Scenic Acid Sea
Holy Ilene Icon
Glorious Crafty Land Pond
I Save Steak Oils
Lewisia x cotyledon ‘Sunset Strain’ 
We’re having an out-of-catalog experience!
Surprise! You won’t find Lewisia x cotyledon ‘Sunset Strain’ , a cool native perennial, in our catalog. But you WILL find it in our Availability . This award-winning native features low, spreading, succulent foliage. Dainty, multi-petaled blooms rise 8 - 10” on sturdy stems in pure shades of red, pink, orange, yellow and occasionally white. First bloom comes May-June, with encores in late Summer-early Fall.
Lewisia is named for Captain Meriwether Lewis, whose Corp of Discovery (a.k.a. the Lewis & Clark expedition), commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson, first collected the genus, called “bitterroot” by indigenous people.
Hardy in Zones 5 – 8, it demands good drainage, making it a natural for the rock garden. But it’s completely house-broken: Throughout England and Europe, Lewisia is prized as a low-maintenance, long-flowering windowsill plant.
Think outside the catalog and pot up a piece of history. ‘Sunset Strain’ comes in easy-rooting, fast-finishing 72s from Emerald Coast Growers – the easy choice!
TRAY BON!
We’re hardy plant growers to the core, but we have a soft spot for a few tender things. Our favorite this year is Angel Wings, a soft, silver, silky/wooly beauty that goes with everything. It's getting around: While out and about, we've seen it at Chicago Botanic Garden, mixed with annual bedding and tropicals, and in Oregon spilling out of window boxes. Longwood Gardens used it prominently in their Christmas displays. (Serving suggestion: It's gorgeous with poinsettias). The broad, subtle silver foliage really can't clash with anything, but it's too pretty to call "neutral." And it's impressive all by itself.
Book some 72s now (fresh Availability in February!), and make your own angelic magic. Your customers will thank you. And, naturally, so will we. 
EPILOGUE
Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot? Oh, Heck No!
At midnight 12/31, stuff starts falling. In Times Square, they drop a big ball. Pennsylvania’s burgs drop coal, stuffed goats and giant perogies, and in Florida, it’s conch shells and drag queens.
We don’t go in for such shenanigans here at ECG, but we do wish you the very Happiest of New Years. And we thank you, profusely, profoundly and sincerely, for allowing us to be there to bolster your bottom line in 2019. Let’s do it again, and again, in 2020, shall we? We’ll be here for you. 
John Friel
Marketing Manager