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Plant-O-Rama Celebrates 25th Anniversary Online with Star-Studded Garden Experts: Learn New Ways & Natural Solutions for a More Resilient Future

If there is any silver lining to this pandemic, it is that you, you, You, lucky plant lover, can attend one of the premier horticulture events of the year.
From the warm comfort of your screen.
Plant- O-Rama
While those of us in the profession rally to attend the annual symposium at this time on the calendar because it’s kinda’ ~ supposed to be a slower time of the year for us garden designers and horticulture pros.

We so look forward to Plant-O-Rama because we get to learn from some of the most outstanding experts, thought-leaders, and visionaries.

There is also the not-so-subtle joy that comes from being a part of this incredible plant community. The rarified bonhomie is like a breath of fresh air as in a normal world, we’d be gathering from all points, walking into Brooklyn Botanic Garden ~ delighted to witness the Japanese Hill and Pond Garden sporting its seasonal winter wardrobe glamour;

Farther along the path, we pause at the top of the steps to take in the majesty of the Magnolia garden – glistening with their winter jackets…

Then it would be up the grand staircase to register. Hugs, kisses. Coffee and tea and breakfast treats.
Lots of hearty hellos and getting down to business.

“Are you going to the morning lectures or the afternoon?”
Can’t wait to hear …
“I’ll meet you for lunch.”
See, one would choose to attend a morning or afternoon series of talks and the rest of the time to visit the vendors in the former glasshouse, now the Palm House and in the visitor’s center area where there are/were break-out sessions too.

While you will miss the walks in the gardens and all that one-on-one, look on the bright side. Bob Hyland, Plant O Rama’s founding father, will still preside.

(From the information supplied by Metro Hort:) 

PLANT-O-RAMA is Metro Hort’s annual, 1-day Symposium, Trade Show & Jobs Fair for Horticulture Professionals, Enthusiasts, and…

VIRTUAL PLANT-O-RAMA – due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 25th ANNIVERSARY event is online; anyone can attend from outside the NYC-tri-state region. Event times are Eastern Standard.

It is the largest program of the year attracting gardeners, designers, arborists, and educators working in public parks, botanical gardens, and private Edens in the New York City Tri-State region.

SAVE THE DATE: Tuesday, January 26, 2021, for the first VIRTUAL PLANT-O-RAMA

$30 for EVERYONE: Metro Hort Group Members, NYC public gardens, NYC Parks & Recreation, Nonprofit horticultural groups and conservancies, etc.

NOTE: FREE ADMISSION for Full-Time Students in academic degree programs in horticulture, design, and environmental sciences.

Have a schedule conflict with Virtual Plant-O-Rama next Tuesday? You can still see most of it! Paid ticket holders can view recordings of all 6 speakers AND visit the 36 Trade Show booths after the event. (You won’t get live interaction with the Exhibitors after Tuesday, but you can visit their informative booths for a long time after the event.)


VIRTUAL PLANT-O-RAMA 2021 Tickets, Tue, Jan 26, 2021 at 7:30 AM

Plant-O-Rama Schedule

Charles Yurgelevich, president, Metro Hort welcomes all and outlines the day’s events and speakers.

Adrian Benepe, 9:00am – 9:45am; Gardens and Parks in the Age of Climate Change & Pandemic: Challenges, Refuges, and Natural Solutions

Newly appointed President and CEO of Brooklyn Botanic Garden and former Commissioner of NYC Parks and Recreation (2002-2012), Adrian Benepe welcomes the 25th anniversary PLANT-O-RAMA. Brooklyn Botanic Garden has been our on-site host and Plant-O-Rama partner all these years (even now virtually). The pandemic has underscored the intrinsic human value of and need for public gardens, parks, and lands, but also laid bare many social and cultural injustices. The challenges are many as we search for solutions and move forward.

Signe Nielsen, 9:45am -10:30am; Little Island: A Refuge in the Storm

Signe Nielsen offers a sneak peek at the emerging landscape at Little Island (formerly called Pier 55), a new public pier park arising in the Hudson River. The pier’s unusual form, topography, and landscape are deeply influenced by climate-positive initiatives including raising the pier well above future sea level and storm surge, minimizing shade on marine life/aquatic species, using locally sourced materials, fabricators and labor, planting appropriately for climate change and high value to pollinators and birds. The new public park will be a refuge for New Yorkers to get exercise, be mentally restorative, and accommodate physical distancing while socializing outdoors.

Jennifer Jewell, 10:30am -11:15am; The Earth in Her Hands: Growing a More Resilient Future

Jennifer Jewell is creator and host of the award-winning public radio gardening program and podcast CULTIVATING PLACE: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden. Based on her recent book The Earth in Her Hands: 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants, Jennifer talks to us about the profoundly positive impact women and their work have on the future of our world – aesthetically, environmentally, culturally, and economically – making them joyful, encouraging, and powerful role models, leaders, and inspirations for us all. Three of the women profiled in Jennifer’s book speak to us this year at Plant-O-Rama.

Leah Penniman, 1:00pm -1:45pm; Black Land Matters: Ending Racism & Injustice in our Food System & Gardens

Some of our most cherished sustainable farming practices – from organic agriculture to the farm cooperative and the CSA – have roots in African wisdom. Yet, discrimination and violence against African-American farmers has led to our decline from 14 percent of all growers in 1920 to less than 2 percent today, with a corresponding loss of over 14 million acres of land. Black communities suffer disproportionately from illnesses related to lack of access to fresh food and healthy natural ecosystems. Soul Fire Farm, cofounded by author, activist, and farmer Leah Penniman, is committed to ending racism and injustice in our food system.

Midori Shintani, 1:45pm – 2:15pm; Tokachi Millennium Forest: Gardening with Wild Nature

Tokachi Millennium Forest was originally established to offset carbon footprints by Tokachi News Paper Co. in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. Later on, the idea developed to share and preserve the remarkable natural environment for future generations. Midori Shintani introduces the story of this unique modern garden movement in Japan and shares how she and her garden team take care of the native forests and the cultivated garden areas. She discusses how her gardening methods root in the accumulated wisdom of ancient Japanese belief.

Margaret Roach, 2:15pm – 3:00pm; New Ways to Garden: Changing Practices for Professionals & Home Gardeners

Trends in plants and planting design have changed. Margaret Roach, creator of, former editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Living, and 2020 New York Times garden columnist, discusses the most dramatic and important shifts in “best practices” for managing landscapes, residential gardens, and urban spaces. How do we better educate and sell services to clients? Here are 10 lessons Margaret has gleaned from interviewing experts in the field, from timing our garden cleanups to taking another look at patented cultivars. 

(As a side note, I have to add, I love this woman!  She’s been so good to the plant community; so generous in terms of providing plant counsel and experiences. Thank you…) 


Outstanding Exhibitors, each with a Virtual booth; 9am-3pm

Atlantic Nurseries, Inc. – distinctive plants & products for 50 years

Bartlett Tree Experts – comprehensive tree care & planting

Barton Nursery Enterprises Inc. – quality landscape plants and products

Bayard Cutting Arboretum – Long Island, NY, public garden

Beds & Borders, Inc. – out-of the-ordinary annuals & perennials

Blondie’s Treehouse Inc. – design/build, green walls, interior plants

BIPOC Hort – professional support, educational advocacy group

Cape Lily – floral Design & garden travel

Capital Garden Products Ltd. – fiberglass garden pots & water features

Cavano’s Perennials, Inc. – fine container-grown perennials, grasses, ferns

Colorblends Wholesale Flowerbulbs – quality tulips, daffodils & specialty bulbs

Elevations Urban Landscape Design – artful fusion of horticulture & architecture

Garden and Structures Solutions, LLC – consulting for the green industry

Glover Perennials – specialty groundcovers & perennials

Hardscrabble Farms Inc. – trees & quality plants for landscapes

Issima – specialty nursery, under-cultivated, garden worthy plants

JC Ralston Arboretum – acclaimed landscape plant collections at NCSU

Janet Mavec Jewelry – exquisite jewelry inspired by nature

Kind Earth Growers – native perennials for ecological restoration

Madison Square Park Conservancy – urban park in NYC’s Flatiron and NoMad districts

Metro Hort Group – association of hort professionals in NYC tri-state region

New York Botanical Garden – premier 250-acre public garden in Bronx

New Growth Designs – exquisite lifelike flowers & greenery

New Moon Nursery – plugs & liners of North American native perennials/grasses

North Creek Nurseries – quality plugs & liners with focus on eastern U.S. natives

Organic Mechanics Soil Company – quality organic potting soil & amendments

PlantShed – premium flowers, indoor plants, botanical products

Pennoyer Newman – distinctive lightweight garden pots cast from estate originals

Rebecca Cole GROWS – garden, landscape, interior & floral design

Rooftop Drops – premier irrigation & landscape lighting for rooftops & balconies

Seibert & Rice – fine Italian terra cotta pots from Impruneta, Italy

The Trust for Governors Island – park, historic buildings, climate initiatives

Tintori Castings – custom structural & architectural planters

Town & Gardens Ltd – comprehensive garden design, build & maintenance

Wave Hill – Bronx public garden and cultural center on the Hudson River

Womanswork – garden and work gloves designed for women

“Zee” you at the Plant-O-Rama 2021 ~ the 25th Anniversary of this hallowed event celebrating all things botanical …


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    Tree Company Team

  • Great blog! Very informative one! If you don’t have time or you do not have enough equipment to remove your tree, you may want to consider hiring a professional tree care company to handle these tasks on your behalf.


  • Create a collection of plants with the same foliage or flower colour for greater impact. Theming an area of your garden by clever use of colour is an easy trick to use. Stand back and take a look at the colours in your garden now. Could you move them around for better effect?

    For example, putting a punnet of four or six of the same coloured flower in a container for mass planting has a greater effect than just adding one flower.

  • Go for a drive around your neighbourhood and take notice of the gardens that catch your eye or next time you visit a friend’s garden, be observant and tune in to what you love about it. No doubt they will be applying some design principles and elements that apply whether they are used in art, graphics, building, interior or garden design.

  • Use a granular fertilizer when you plant your container gardens to give them a healthy start. Then, be sure to water your containers with liquid fertilizer weekly throughout the growing season.

  • The trunk flare is where the trunk expands at the base of the tree. Ensure trunk flare is partially visible after the tree is planted. Remove excess soil prior to planting if flare is not visible.


  • Dormant seasons, the fall after leaf drop and early spring before bud break, are ideal times to plant new trees. Be sure the weather conditions are cool and allow time for new plants to establish roots in the new location before spring rains and summer heat stimulate new top growth. Healthy bailed and burlapped or container trees can be planted throughout the growing season. In areas where trees grow year round, tropical and subtropical climates, any time is a good time to plant a new tree as long as sufficient water is available.

    – Jimmy
    Johnson City Walls & Patios

  • Trees give off oxygen that we need to breathe. Trees reduce the amount of storm water runoff, which reduces erosion and pollution in our waterways and may reduce the effects of flooding. Many species of wildlife depend on trees for habitat. Trees provide food, protection, and homes for many birds and mammals. -Dale from

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"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

Join me to celebrate a romantic, garden-infused, entertaining lifestyle filled with artful design, sparkling dinner parties, peerless martinis, and copious magnums of champagne!





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