18 July 2018

Illinois Area Meeting Rocked!

IPPS ER held an Area meeting at Intrinsic Perennial Gardens on July 11th with just shy of 50 attendees! The group had fantastic weather to hold a short morning of talks from three speakers and an afternoon of tours.The day was a smashing success with attendee Kim Shearer summing up the day perfectly: “I really appreciated the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues in the nursery industry and meet new ones. We're all so busy, it's nice to take a moment and meet, exchange ideas, update each other on what's new, and just be tourists visiting nurseries together. Whenever I leave an IPPS meeting, I feel reinvigorated and satisfied that I have found my people.”

After a quick welcome from Liz Dunham, Ben French from Johnsons Nursery spoke about new native plants they are propagating at the nursery, emphasizing the need for smaller, more manageable prairie plants for small urban spaces.Bill McAdams demonstrated his vast knowledge of the pest and disease problems in production nurseries in his talk.He showed the need to be ever observant in the nursery landscape and to catch and manage problem pests early in the supply chain, before the plants are shipped across the country spreading problems to other nurseries. Marian French spoke with humor and passion about her adventures in propagating arid plants in the Milwaukee Domes from seed and cuttings and her travels to the Arizona desert where ‘everyone has a friend!’

After talks the group got a tour from Brent Horvath of Intrinsic Perennial Gardens, seeing his breeding ‘workshop’ where he has new introductions started.We also viewed the shade and sun perennials in propagation and production. After lunch, we loaded a bus and visited Grateful Grower with Nancy Tures where she has custom propagation and production of woody ornamentals. After cookies under some lovely shade trees and a cool breeze blowing off Lake Geneva, we headed to Klehm’s Song Sparrow Nursery and got a tour from Roy Klehm himself and his greenhouse and farm manager Jose Vasquez.Roy’s love of plants and his nursery were evident as he toured us through the hoop houses showing us his high-quality peonies, daylilies, magnolias and a vast array of other plants. We also got a short demo of the magnolia in propagation. We finished out the day with an inspiring talk/tour from Roy Diblik of Northwind Perennial Farm who always leaves us with something to think about as we travel home.Roy showed us his unique philosophy on perennials and plant communities and we toured his propagation area and picturesque gardens. A wonderful day of plant exploration for everyone!

Thank you to our tour hosts and to our generous event sponsors:Johnson’s Nursery, Kankakee Nursery, Intrinsic Perennials, Knight Hollow Nursery, Evergreen Nursery, BFG Supply, and W.&E. Radtke, Inc. Thanks to IPPS member organizers were Liz Dunham and Brent Horvath for their time and effort in planning the day.David Moulthrop, Plant Breeding Intern at the Morton Arboretum said “It was great to have the opportunity to visit four very different nurseries, all in close proximity to each other, on the same day. While each nursery was within the same general area of Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin, they seemed to vary quite a bit in their practices and scope. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people, seeing some familiar faces, and rubbing shoulders with growers and propagators from the Midwest. It was a long day, but it was an excellent ride. Thank you!”

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