In This Issue
Great Green Infrastructure Projects
Philadelphia is Greening
Green Stormwater Infrastructure ToolsThe city has developed a 25-year plan called Green City, Clean Waters that is changing the way Philadelphia looks and functions for the better. They're leveraging plants and green infrastructure to create a new urban utility program and enhance quality of life for city residents.

Philadelphia's program is an opportunity for the green industry, especially those growing plants for green infrastructure. Projects run the gamut from large public structures to private retrofits, to residential rain gardens. To learn more about the kinds of features that are being installed, check out their Green Stormwater Infrastructure Tools.

City Encouraging More Projects
Another facet of the plan is to encourage the use of green infrastructure on private property. Recently, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) wrote a report on Phildelphia's Green Acre Retrofit program, which provides incentives for using green infrastructure. Much of the report focuses on policy aspects of the program, but it also gives an interesting look into program successes and touches on what other cities are doing. See the full report.

Stormwater planter for Yorktown neighborhoodFor a look at a specific project, check out this recent story on a Green Streets project in Phildelaphia's Yorktown neighborhood. The project includes 25 specially designed stormwater planters that will manage rainfall from the surrounding streets. The planters are lined with a permeable fabric, filled with gravel or stone, and topped off with soil and plants. 

Expanding Opportunities
We've written before about Philadelphia's use of green infrastructure to protect and manage their watersheds. Last summer, an official from Philadelphia's Water Commission told a North Carolina audience that the city's choice was to spend $8-10 billion on traditional infrastructure or $2 billion on green infrastructure. The choice was clear, especially because they couldn't afford the $8 billion price tag. 

Our hope is the palette of plants available for green infrastructure projects like these expands. We're trialing new selections of native sedges, and we're installing stormwater features at the nursery. We hope to evaluate plant performance over time and offer new selections based on ours and others' experiences.
Grasses, Sedges, and Landscape Architects
Landscape Planning Short Course
Our Marketing Director, Shannon Currey, spent a couple of days earlier this month with landscape architects at the University of Georgia's Landscape Planning Short Course. The course is sponsored by the University's College of Environment + Design, and landscape architects from all over the Southeast attended.

Shannon was part of the two-day program. She discussed ways grasses and sedges minimize resource use and provide solutions to site challenges. The course program addressed a wide range of topics, including woody plant introductions from Dr. Mike Dirr and two ambitious green infrastructure projects in Houston, Texas.

Read more about the program and see highlights from Shannon's visit in this post.

Local Projects Chosen for CSI Award
The Landscape Architecture Foundation has designated three local projects and design teams for a Case Study Investigation (CSI) Award. This prestigious award matches up student-faculty research teams with professional practitioners to document the benefits of exemplary projects. Each team develops ways to quantify the benefits of the projects and prepares project briefs. 

Hoffman Nursery knows the three sites and their design teams well: The Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden at Sarah P. Duke Gardens, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and the North Carolina Botanical Garden. Our grasses grace all three sites, and we're thrilled to have them included.

Dr. Andrew Fox from NC State University's Landscape Architecture program has been named Research Fellow on this project, and will be joined by Jesse Turner of Jesse Turner Landscape Architecture, Walt Havener of Surface 678, and David Swanson of Swanson and Associates. We've worked with all of these guys, and can't wait to see what comes out of this award. 

For more info, go to this informative write-up on Duke Gardens' website.
The Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden at Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham, North Carolina is one of the sites for a Case Study Investigation Award.

ASLA Award Winner Features a Favorite
We love seeing the fabulous landscapes that are honored each year by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). The 2014 winners were exciting and innovative, and many employed green infrastructure features. 

Photo via American Society of Landscape Architects and Scott Lewis Landscape Architecture. Photo Credit: Matthew Millman Photography.
One project caught our eye for its showy and functional use of a favorite grass. Scott Lewis Landscape Architecture replaced a water-hogging front lawn with a planting of Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition'. Located in Napa Valley, the residential garden includes a meadow with nine different native grass species, and other grasses used throughout the plantings. 

It's a beautiful landscape that reflects the architecture and ecology of its surroundings. See gorgeous photos and read more about this award-winning project on the ASLA Awards webpage
PLANET Student Career Days
Welcome to North Carolina!
Annual and perennial identification
Hoffman Nursery will once again sponsor the Annual & Perennial Identification competition.
It's almost here. PLANET's Student Career Days (SCD) are just a few weeks away, and we are thrilled. Horticultural students from colleges and universities across the country will convene in Raleigh, North Carolina to participate in competitive events, meet potential employers, and learn more about the industry.

This year's activities are hosted by North Carolina State University. Local organizers have been hard at work getting it all together for this huge event. With multiple competititions, a career fair, and workshops, this is a logistical challenge.

Hoffman Nursery has been involved with PLANET SCD for several years. We co-sponsored last year's Annual & Perennial Identification, and we'll be doing the same this year. Raleigh is less than an hour from the nursery, so we'll have team members attending and helping out with the competition. 
PLANET Student Career Days

Student Career Days are just one way to support and nuture the next generation of horticultural professionals. We encourage everyone in our industry to do what they can to bring more young people into our field. Mentor students, provide internships, support local horticulture programs, and offer assistance to horticultural faculty and staff.
In the News
Armitage on Grasses
When Allan Armitage speaks, the industry listens. In a recent article in Greenhouse Grower, Dr. A notes the continued push by consumers for low-maintenance plants. He sees this as a driving force behind the rise in popularity of ornamental grasses, particularly native genera like Panicum and Schizachyrium. Here's a snippet about the latter:

With excellent compact forms, good weather tolerance and new breeding, I expect to see Little Bluestem appear far more on landscape drawings in the future. 

Ornamental grasses are functional, beautiful, and part of easy-case landscapes. They've got a bright future. Read more about Armitage's take on ornamental grasses.
Sporobolus wrightii
Sporobolus wrightii named 2015 Grass of the Year by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum
Do You Know This Grass of the Year?
It's the Sporobolus you may not know, but this one is worth knowing. The Nebraska Statewide Arboretum named Sporobolus wrightii its Grass of the Year for 2015. It's part of the Great Plants for the Great Plains program, which recognizes superior ornamental plants that meet the challenging growing conditions of the Great Plains. 

Giant Sacaton, as it's commonly called, deserves the attention. Its arching plumes and statuesque habit make a big statement in the landscape. It works equally well as a screen or focal point, and it's an excellent native substitute for Miscanthus.

It combines good looks with drought tolerance and adaptability to a wide range of soils. This combo makes it an outstanding plant for challenging conditions and a real player in ecologically sound landscapes. 

Plant info and pictures are not yet up on the Great Plants website. However, you can see photos and read about this special plant via our plant profile.
Pat and David
Pat FitzGerald shows David Hoffman around FitzGerald Nurseries in Ireland. Photo courtesy of Pat FitzGerald.
An EverColor� Visit
David Hoffman, son of owners Jill  and John Hoffman, was in Europe this past month to attend IPM Essen and visit nurseries. One of his last stops was at FitzGerald Nurseries in Kilkenny, Ireland. 

He spent a day with Pat FitzGerald, who developed the EverColor� series of sedges. We've told you before how much we love these fabulous sedges. David got a look at the nursery and had time to tour the local sights.

See a slice of their whirlwind adventure on our Facebook post.
Deadline Approaches for Internship Applications
Hoffman Nursery internship
You may remember from our last newsletter that Hoffman Nursery is offering a 10-week internship program this summer. It runs from late May through the end of June. We welcome students and recent graduates interested in working with plants and learning about the nursery industry.

The application deadline is March 1.

If you're interested or know someone who might be, please go to our Internships page. You can get more details and download an application.
Download Combined Availability & Order Form
Join Us!