“Ah! Sweet Melissa! There was a fashion show!”

“It’s a new era in fashion – there are no rules. It’s all about the individual and personal style, wearing high-end, low-end, classic labels, and up-and-coming designers all together.”  — Alexander McQueen
 
National Green Center
“One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress.” Karl Lagerfeld

{Submitted by Kirk R. Brown for J.B. approval.  Kansas City, Kansas.  National Green Center.    http://www.nationalgreencentre.org/index.php }

John!  There was a fashion show.  It’s a natural!  I mean, it’s of nature.  Listen:  the models paraded down a runway with plants.  It was a fashion show of lights, color, and beautiful models–with attitude.  The beautiful people were carrying pots of beautiful new plants.  Why didn’t you ever think of this? 

National Green Center Kansas City KS
“Yes Dorothy, there is a real Miss Kansas!”
 

It was called “The Sweet Melissa Fashion Show” and it introduced 50–FIFTY–new plants to the trade.  That’s one quarter of all of the plants you introduced in your youth!

The experience was exhilarating.  The crowd was raucous.  The bars were open.  The lights were brilliant.  And the runway stretched a green mile.

John Bartram Kirk R. Brown
The runway was crowded with fashionista.

I was just part of the crowd.  I was making notes in the program just like everyone else as the latest hort-couture designs paraded past.  There was a continuous buzz throughout the room.  Exhibitors, attendees, press, and nursery hybridizers hovered around the corridor of bright lights.

National Green Center, Kansas City Kansas
It was a rainbow collection of new plant introductions. We spent a day in OZ!

Many of the introductions were represented by colorful broadsides illustrating the plant at height of bloom or seasonal color.  Backstage, the fashion collection was lined up waiting for the show to proceed.

National Green Center Kansas City Kansas
This fashion line up was waiting for the runway.

Both before and after the show, the runway became a focus of the trade show’s excitement.  People could meet and sit to discuss their business.  The carpet remained a colorful reminder of the show’s sparkle. 

National Green Center
Maria Zampini and Emily Bibens have plantitude on the runway.

I respectfully submit this news release for the pleasure it may provide and the knowledge of new plants it may tease you to investigate.  http://www.nationalgreencentre.org/2012_FashionShow.vp.html 

Kirk R. Brown

National Green Center
The author, Kirk R. Brown, doft a hat to stay tuned with the fashion harmonies.

A Green Industry Summit Council

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.”
Robert Louis Stevenson

“A plague [on all] your houses!”    with apologies to Mercutio from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Act 3, scene 1

My amanuensis has sent field notes back to me of a meeting of leaders in this botanical industry.  The gathering of minds had an intent to define a way through the shoals of troubled water in which we swim.  There were sharp minds at council tables. 

Two statements of purpose were attached to the gathering of horticultural tribes:

1.  Provide a venue for leaders of the industry’s organizations and associations to share insights regarding the future of the industry and the opportunities and challenges that are likely to emerge as they work to support their members and constituents.

2.  Initiate the first phase of an ongoing dialogue among these leaders to support their efforts to address and capitalize on these opportunities as they explore [what?] they may mean for the future of their organizations.

National Green Center Summit for Industry Leadership

The foolscap newsprint was a image from my youth. These elephant folio sized sheets were the same that Ben Franklin would have used in his print shop.

This was a very heady agenda.  A lot of work was initiated by the brief confederation of horticultural colonies.  It was the first trumpet call to become a United Nation of Green. 

Unlike the First and Second Continental Congresses, there were women present at the heart of this discussion.  Wisdom AND beauty.  Age and the enthusiasm of youth.  Brilliance of mind and those still dazed by the glare from the noonday sun.  And there were writers of well-turned phrases.

National Green Center

Sarah Woody Bibens was in a leadership capacity as Executive Director of the Western Landscape and Nursery Association

The reporter on site took special note of the ease with which the discussions were facilitated.  I greatly respect the scientific method and the processes in place to develop a group dynamic.  Dr. David Renz was the professor in charge.  His degree is recognized and promoted by the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, The Henry W. Bloch School of Management, University of Missouri, Kansas City.

National Green Center Industry Leadership Summit

The good Doctor was praised for his professional and efficient staging of the Association Summit.

In the world of my youth, we could have used such well-studied and eminently qualified professionals.  In my youth, I only had the wits with which I was born.  Now we can rest more easily on the taller shoulders of those who write better sentences…or possess more credentials…or speak with louder voices.

As in my day of Quaker Meetings, this group’s consensus was reached after strenuous exercise and posturing.  There was no argument.  There also was no vote.  The congressional leaders concurred to leave the observations in an unedited form.

Notes were taken, collected, and preserved.  I am told that those in attendance wanted to, “build on this session’s info and take it forward.”

The delegates to this congress were urged:  “DON’T WASTE THIS INPUT.”  In future, it might be brought out and viewed through a darkened lens.  But if it is not to be used immediately, how shall it not be wasted?

What proof can be drawn that this meeting occurred?  What sound does a falling tree make if unheard by a passerby?  When does a natural confederation cease to be a group of individuals and become an individual group?

This congress produced a set of Articles of Confederation.  Analysed in their pieces, they have a disparate and almost desperate need to grasp the roots and promote a horticultural revolution.  Again, Ben Franklin was there before us, “for if we don’t hang together, we shall–most assuredly–all hang separately…” 

Truer words were never spoken.  Or written.  We shall see if they are a call to action.

I Allow Others To Publish

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing”  Benjamin Franklin

I choose not to be original this week.  My amanuensis is engaged in a conference at some distance from me.  I would rather that he speaks for himself.  So, I have allowed him to post the following: 

{Submitted by Kirk R. Brown for J.B. approval.  Kansas City, Kansas.  National Green Center.}

GWA Dr. Michael Dirr John Bartram Kirk R. Brown

Dr. Dirr stirred the audience when he appeared at the National Green Center Conference and Trade Show

 

John, you must put this venue on your schedule.  It is imperative that you get to network with the “YOU” of this age.  Michael Dirr represents everything that you would subscribe to in the present world of digital communication.

He met with us at the Garden Writers’ breakfast.  His words were confrontational.  He has seen, and tried, and written, and been, and experienced everything that this industry holds in esteem.  He would be pragmatic and tell us there is no chance for success if he weren’t so passionate about his topic.

There were many of us at breakfast.  We talked a blue streak and impressed everyone with our credentials.  It was a moment of solitary elegy.  As individuals, we can shine in the roomful of self-defined authors.  I love this group!

GWA Breakfast National Green Center Kirk R. Brown

These writers gathered to be acknowledged for the wisdom they bring to the horticultural table. We had a wonderful breakfast.

 

Dr. Dirr has a horticultural glass which may be half empty, but it still brims with the sparkle of choice flowers.  His is a new world of COLOR.  It is loud and clear in his message.  He wants this world to be full of COLOR.

National Green Center Kansas City Kirk R. Brownj

Botticelli was passionate about color and light. This was every bit of his Venus and the Birth of Spring. But she said she didn't come with shells.

 

Dr. Dirr doesn’t believe that we can correct our mistakes or overcome our history of failed attempts.  He does not easily sign on to passing trends and fancies.  It was a day of revelation. 

This is the New Testament Gospel.  We need to recreate who we are.  We need to rewind the image of who we become when we dream.  And we need to change the direction of where we want to go.  He is tired of doing the same thing the same way.  His challenge is to live up to our colorful promise.

It will shortly be spring.  We need to see the light of this spring and take steps to make it different from those other springs of our youth.  The light is still there.  We just need to see it through different glasses.