Why cut flowers and the people behind them are source of pride

Why cut flowers and the people behind them are source of pride

Many years ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a horticultural industry rolling along on the coattails of avid gardeners, new home construction, and bedding plant sales. Plants were sold in garden centers and new crops were mostly hyped in the local newspaper. Lots has changed since those simpler times, but probably the two most profound changes in our industry is the business of marketing and the ability to communicate with each other. To illustrate these points, allow me to highlight one group in our business that personifies these two things. A group that I am willing to wager many who read this column have never even heard of. Yet, this year, the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG) celebrates its 35th anniversary, and shows no signs of slowing. This anniversary brings both good news and sad news. Let’s start with the good.

Informing Growers

One of the best marketing tools of any plant group is to help its members share problems, solutions, and information with each other. Not only with national meetings, but with dozens of local gatherings, an in-depth journal every quarter, and even an online listserv where members can find answers to thorny problems. ASCFG members have all these things at their fingertips, and so much more.

Every year, based on grower comments, ASCFG publishes its list of Cut Flowers of the Year. Things have certainly changed. In 2000, when first published, only one fresh (Rudbeckia ‘Indian Summer’) and one dried flower (Globe thistle) were highlighted. Today, the list includes the very best cultivars of fresh, woodies, bulbs, and foliage for success. In 2023, the best cultivar of Lisianthus (fresh), Hydrangea (woody), Tulip (bulb) and Eucalyptus (foliage) were shared with its members. I knew this was a progressive group when a Hellebore was selected as the Fresh Cut Flower of the Year in 2021. A hellebore as a cut flower? Why not!

Continue reading.

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash



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