Saturday, January 9, 2016

MANTS 2016 Rings in the New Year

Baltimore welcomed people from 44 states and 9 countries to attend MANTS-"The Masterpiece of Trade Shows" in its own convention center near the Inner Harbor earlier this week. MANTS is an acronym for the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show. Started in 1970, MANTS was brought to Baltimore by the state nursery associations of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
The post-holiday schedule allows garden centers, growers, and other suppliers a chance to catch up on the past season and compare notes on expectations for our collective strongest season, spring.

Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder tours the trade show.
Ornamental Horticulture is a huge part of Maryland's thriving agriculture economy.
New plants are introduced from plant breeders to growers and nurseries. Nurseries and greenhouses share information with garden centers, and we in turn share with our customers.

Maureen Murphy of Murphy Johns Greenhouses

Over 10,000 people attend this show, open only to those in the industry. 1,000 vendors line aisle after aisle exhibiting trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, herbs, landscape machinery, signage and tagging software, all sorts of gardening supplies and so much more. Take a look at just some of the products displayed.

Displays delight and inspire

You will see small pots of carnivorous plants in our greenhouse

Tillandsias were a big hit at the show

January and February are generally slower times for our companies, but everyone hits the ground running after the show to get geared up for April and May, traditionally our busiest months. A dozen of us from Valley View Farms attend the 3-day show to try and spot trends, look for cool, new items and to network with others in the business. We also get a chance to connect with people who write and talk about plants and gardening including this group of garden communicators known as the GWA.

Garden Communicators had a chance to gather during MANTS

We're glad to have this show as a transition from our Christmas season to our spring set-up at Valley View Farms. We'll take a deep breath, and, before you know it, spring will have sprung.