Travels Through a Green Nation

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  Confucius

“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance;  one cannot fly into flying.”  Friedrich Nietzsche

My amanuensis, Kirk R. Brown, has scheduled some days apart from me in this winter season.  He is attending to his personal business on many fronts relating to the greening of America.  These days and in this particular season they have gatherings of our clans of fellow gardeners across this vast country of ours.  He loves what he does.  His connections are numerous and his ease on meeting strangers makes good friends of potential enemies.  He plays the fool well but does not easily suffer them.

Kansas City National Green Center

This is a trade show rebranded from the original Western Nursery and Landscape Association

These clannish troupings of our tribal green color bring together all manner of possible combinations:  product endorsements, improvements, plants, equipment (a very mannish, clannish thing indeed!), educational opportunities, recognitions, reconnections, and escape from our everyday existence in an office or nursery or garden.  Kirk was farther afield last week than was in my awareness of time and space.

National Green Center Kansas City

Ball Horticultural put out a colorful display of their new selections

He went to Kansas:  a place over the rainbow and a left turn at the North Star.  Great, green fields awaited his arrival.  Fertile oases of alluvial ground watered by a great river in the center of our continent.  In life’s travels we pass many streams but once.  You must make special note of passing a great watershed.  Kirk retells his experience in Kansas last week as the passing of a great watershed.

Western Landscape and Nursery Association

A trade show floor is full of the products from the world of nature. Evergreen!

This clan was rebranded within a twelve-month period.  It was an ancient root out of the west.  Its lands and nurseries were abundant and strong throughout it 125 plus year history.  As with many old things, changes come sometimes planned, sometimes by choice, and most times by need.  Take my own ancient life as an example!  They needed to view life in a new way.

Western Nursery and Landscape Association

The latest in equipment for garden illumination. How I wish it had been available in my youth!

The new clan is known as “The National Green Center!”  Isn’t that wonderful?  What a unique concept.  They believe themselves to be the center of this country’s green movement.  Isn’t that brazen?  My Darby Meeting would hardly approve, but then we know what they felt about my outrageousness.

Western Nursery and Landscape Association

Color abounded in Kansas City

But this group of wise and far-sighted leaders wished to fly into a new dawn.  Realizing that they had need for wings, they first thought to dance.  The analogy fits like a clogger’s shoe.  It is hard and dynamic–dramatic almost–in its use.  They decided to first refashion the style of production:

They renamed.  They refit.  They colorized.  They developed a sense of Fashion!  They thought to enlist the help of other clans.  They recognized strangers and invited fellow travelers.  They opened the doors in preparedness for the day when the feathers would be dry and flight could be achieved.

Western Nursery and Landscape Association

Networking opportunities were abundant. Michael Dirr confers with Reps from Bailey Nurseries and Ball Horticultural.

I heartily applaud the steps they’ve taken to ensure all of our collective and natural futures.  I congratulate them on their need to be sustainable:  in organization, in fiscal responsibility, and in connection.  With this green botanical nature that courses through all of us, we need to hold close and respect deeply those who choose to do battle with the angry gods of commerce and industry. 

“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.

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.