Issue #97 January 2018
Welcome 2018
Another year fades in the rear-view mirror. Some will say, Good riddance! Turn the page! Others are standing on the brakes, protesting, Wait! I wasn’t finished with 2017!
So it goes, every year. Most of us would love to edit our lives retroactively, deleting or rewriting the bad, highlighting and underlining the good. Me, I’d love to go back to August and watch that total solar eclipse again. Alas, life happens in real time. 
Flor ida
Despite what our frostbitten Pennsylvanians think, Panhandle winters are the real deal. We don’t overindulge like those poor devils, but it does freeze here, occasionally and briefly. Sometimes we need our seat heaters, and most of us own sweaters.
As always, we’re focused on our role in your production. Perennials coming due in January: Oh, where to begin? How about with newcomers? Three new Coreopsis in the Permathread™ series , the early-flowering Salvia ‘April Night’ , and five new varieties of Chick Charms® Sempervivum all await your planting pleasure. In Grasses , check out the new infertile Pennisetum cultivars, Etouffee™ , Hush Puppy™ and Jambalaya™ . Their flower power and vigorous but controlled growth will win you over.
Baby, it’s c-c-c-cold outside! We’ve dipped into the low teens and even single digits here at ECG North. Our Floridians make sympathetic noises, but we know they’re laughing up their sleeves at us – or would be, if they were wearing any. We’re used to it.
Meanwhile, indoors, we’re busily producing the trays you’ll need before you know it. Perennials coming due in January: Four colors in the compact, vigorous Achillea Desert Eve series ; Three of Agastache Arizona series ; the classic Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ ; and the lovely and talented Polemonium ‘Heavenly Habit’ .
Grasses : OK, it’s not a true grass; it’s a sedge. By any name, don’t miss out on hot-selling native Carex pensylvanica ! A few trays are available right now, with more due at month’s end. Book ‘em!
North and South, we believe that f2f visits are great relationship-builders in this relationship-driven industry. If your travels in the new year take you near western FL or southeastern PA, consider adding us to your itinerary. Either way, be sure to sample the local cuisine: Whether it’s Panhandle seafood & grits, or Amish fried chicken and shoo-fly pie, you’ll find it a broadening experience.
And North and South, we’re fattening up TrayMates™ , our new line of split 72s. You’ll see them when you visit PA and/or FL. See Tray Bon! for more on this exciting new product line. 
January is named for Janus, Roman god of beginnings, endings and passages. His two faces allowed him to look both forward into the future and back into the past. Just the guy for the job of ringing out the old and ringing in the new: He could wear the diaper and the beard. Eww... that’s kind of a disturbing visual, isn’t it?
OUT & ABOUT: ECG on the Road
January 10-11-12 : Come see ECG in Booth #710-712 at MANTS in Baltimore, the MidAtlantic’s premier industry trade show and unofficial 2018 season kickoff.
January 14 : P.L.A.N.T. Conference , Columbus OH, where Yours Truly will orate, pontificate, ruminate and speculate on the subject of ornamental grasses.
January 18-19: Gulf States Horticultural Expo in Mobile, Alabama. Drop in to say hello at booth #'s 628 & 630
Gardening for nature, especially pollinators, is expected to remain a hot market in the foreseeable future, and indigenous plants are a big part of the movement. Go native with (to name just a few highlights) Asclepias tuberosa , 2017’s Perennial Plant of the Year; Aster ‘Purple Dome’ , ‘Woods’ Pink’ and ‘Woods’ Purple’ ; a long line of Echinacea , particularly single-flowered types like ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ , two PowWows and the Meadow Mama group; and of course gorgeous Gaillardia , lovely Leucanthemum , marvelous Monarda , sweet Stokesia ‘Divinity’ , and dainty, dancing, drought-tolerant Gaura
Need to expand your variety palette, but can’t increase your space? Meet TrayMates™, our new split 72 tray! Now you can order just 36 of a long list of top-selling perennials , succulents and grasses . Mix and match to your heart’s content and your customers’ delight.
Minimum order per variety: 36 cells. Minimum order: 72 total cells.
When a whole tray is too much of a good thing, try TrayMates™ from ECG. We’ll meet you halfway!
Yes, life happens in real time; and blessings, like certain perennials, are available only as a mix. Looking back, we hope your 2017 was memorable in mostly good ways – that your mix was more wonderful than awful, more boon than bane. Looking ahead, we hope and trust that your 2018 will be even better – and that you’ll always remember we’re here to help make it so.
Happy New Year to you and yours, from all of us at Emerald Coast Growers.
John Friel
Marketing Manager