Spring 2015


Dorotheanthus ‘Mezoo Trailing Red’

DOR Mezoo Red 05
Button-sized red flower of Dorotheanthus ‘Mezoo Trailing Red’

Although it resembles a standard variegated succulent, we find Dorotheanthus ‘Mezoo Trailing Red’ more versatile and less fussy. In the south it is used as a variegated green groundcover, whereas in the north it’s considered a houseplant to take outside in the summer and bring back inside during the winter. In Cincinnati we are in the middle, so we can take advantage of ‘Mezoo’ in landscapes, combos, and as a display specimen. A key feature is its easy-going nature.


Annuals for Pollinators

 Zoos Best
Diefenbacher Greenhouses works with the Cincinnati Zoo for Zoo’s Best Annuals

If you are serious about pollinator support it’s essential to deploy annuals as part of your working strategy. This is true whether you are designing a butterfly bench at a garden center, building a bee support garden at a park or institution, or simply doing your part as a pollinator-conscious landscaper.

Annuals bring important capabilities to bear:

  • Speed: Annuals grow fast, so they set out pollen and nectar quickly.
  • Duration: As a general rule, annuals have very long blooming seasons, providing food over broad windows of time.
  • Volume: For many annuals there is no tomorrow—success hinges on generating high volumes of pollen and nectar.
  • Diversity: Annuals have adapted their genetics to fit the many types of mouthparts, lifestyles, habits, and needs that exist among the pollinator community. 
  • Price: Annuals are reasonable; if you need to create large nectar factories by mass planting for pollinators, you can cover more ground with the same budget.

The Romance of Illuminations

BEG Illumination 11
Illuminations establish the romance at this Begonia wedding

One of the jobs annuals do is an emotional performance. They use their forms and colors to turn a house into a home or a landscape into a vista in much the same way that we decorate a space with photos, furniture, draperies, and other emotional knick-knacks of our lives. Think of a lamp—it performs a function, but it also states who we are and the style we like.

For some annuals, the thrill of the moment is their job. They deliver the emotional punch in places where high-impact has high value. We call them Impact Tools, and a good example is the Illumination Begonia. Let’s take a look at its strength in showmanship, its accompanying restrictions, and some innovative ways to use it.


Spring Rush 2019

BEG Illumination Apricot
Your inventory defines your garden center for neighborhood customers  

Spring has arrived and it will be in town for the next 10 days. You couldn’t tell that to the folks to the west and north of us, but the weather has been beautiful around here. We checked the long range forecast and it looks like Spring is here to stay. That’s a forecast so take it with a grain of salt, but consumers do react when the soil and the weekends warm up at last.

Of course, this also means it is time to get the garden centers ready with fun and colorful material for the influx of customers browsing for ideas. Let’s take a quick walkthrough to point out a few of the interesting items we have on hand, but keep in mind—this is only the tip of the crop. We pride ourselves on selection and diversity, so we have over 450 different cultivars to help our customers compete with interesting, unique, and desirable material.


National Collegiate Landscape Competition

01 The Announcement
Cincinnati State beat Michigan State and Colorado State 

Alumni among our readers will enjoy a shout-out to the Horticulture Club over at Cincinnati State, who competed at the National Collegiate Landscaping Competition. The event began in 1977 between the professors of Mississippi State, Michigan State, and Ohio State to see whose students were the most talented. Today, it has grown into an industry event with more than 64 schools, 844 competitors, and major sponsorships from big names. This year, Cincinnati State posted their best ranking in over two decades, fourth place, beating out powerhouses like Colorado State and Michigan State. “It felt pretty good,” said Nathan McCain, a Cincinnati student.

Cincinnati bested a number of big schools but this is more than simply a grip-and-grin story with a hearty slap-on-the-back for a job well done. Instead, we want to focus on why these students chose horticulture, how local companies assisted in their success, and how the full event—the training and competition—reaffirmed their career decisions.