Thursday, January 7, 2010

MANTS 2010 Mid-Atlantic Nurserymans Trade Show

I went to MANTS today and, like last year, the booths were all full but the aisles not so much. The economy, judged by the stock market and home sales, is slowly but steadily improving. When I talked with vendors, I got guarded optimism. The general consensus was that things were okay but no one made any claims of great success. I heard again and again that staffs had been cut and big purchases delayed and that sales were returning slowly. I expect thats the way a recovery begins. It would be great if some of the construction projects funded by Stimulus Money were ready to go when spring comes. Actual jobs for working people could only be a good thing.

While we were in Florida these past few weeks, the local cable company, Bright House, was sparring with the Fox Network. Their contract ran out at midnight New Year's Eve. On New Year's Day, Florida was scheduled to play in the Sugar Bowl. Florida football is big in Florida and their senior quarterback, Tim Tebow, may possibly be the greatest college quarterback of all time. Fox played hardball though eventually relenting to allowed Floridians to see their huge game. Some time in the future they will wring a certain amount of money from Bright House. The stock market will go up based on this bit of economic growth but all that money won't add one person to the ranks of the employed. No doubt a handful of executives will have their bonuses bumped and I don't grudge them that money, but what about all those people out of work?

On a more cheerful note, I had a bizarre experience at the end of the day. I was heading back to the USNA booth to rendezvous with my carpool-mates when I noticed the palms in the picture (from Tropic Traditions). I admired them and observed that they weren't really Maryland plant material. The booth owner contradicted me and he was right. I grow a few of them myself and friends grow other. After looking at the emblem on my jacket he laughed and told me that actually the 12 foot Windmill Palm was destined for the National Arboretum. That someone had purchased his whole booth and intended to donate the giant palm to the Arboretum. Wow.
Of course it was Elmer who has his own Arboretum in western Pennsylvania.I don't know how this will play out but we ought to have a Trachycarpus in the Asian Collections.

No comments: