President's Message

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Greetings from Janet Draper, PPA President 

Greetings everyone!


Spring has finally sprung …and so begins the ‘perennial’ migration of awesome perennial plants from grower to retailer to new home destinations in landscapes around the globe! We literally make the world a more beautiful and healthy place to live, work and enjoy. Few industries can make that claim. How awesome is that? I know time is tight for all of us in the spring, but we need to hear from YOU regarding two very important items.


1. We need YOUR nominations for the Plant of the Year (PPOY®) 2020!

The Perennial Plant of the Year was started back in 1990 as a way to help promote and market our industry, and focus on one perennial that does well across a wide swath of North America. That is asking a lot of a single plant to be adapted to diverse climates – but many do just that. Additional perquisites for a perennial to be considered a PPOY are: low maintenance and ease of propagation, it should have no trademarks or patents and hopefully gorgeous interest over numerous seasons. 


How does PPOY nominations and voting work? PPA members nominate perennials that meet the prerequisites when voting for the previous year’s PPOY. Nominations are then tallied and the top four perennial plant nominees are then placed into a ballot and sent to you to vote for the PPOY. This fall, the announcement of the Plant of the Year for 2020 will be announced to members only. This allows for you, the PPA members, to get a jump on bulking up your stock of this plant so that you are ahead non-members when the public announcement is made at the National Conference the following summer.  


What about PPOY 2019? Stachys monneri ‘Hummelo’ is the Perennial Plant of the Year 2019, which was announced in the journal last fall. But shhhh!!! This is OUR secret—it will be publicly announced at the National Conference this summer in Raleigh, after which an official public announcement will be made…then you can tell anyone and everyone!


Speaking of the Perennial Plant of the Year, not only is Allium ‘Millenium’ popping up in garden centres and being planted everywhere in gardens, the 2018 PPOY Allium ‘Millenium’ logo is now found plastered on everything from T-shirts, to hats and mugs! Head over to the PPA Café Press site and peruse the offerings! You can order any number of items – no minimum order – how cool is that?


2. Perennial Plant Association Awards

In a recent survey sent to you by email, we invited you to make suggestions on horticulturists who deserve recognition. Every year, the PPA rolls out the red carpet for our version of the Oscars and presents awards from a young shining star member to stalwart leaders in our industry. The nominations for these awards come from members wanting to applaud those that are making a difference in our perennial world. Please take a moment to think about who you feel is deserving of any of these awards and nominate those you feel deserve to be recognized. You will be glad you did!


I hope each of you has a phenomenal and successful spring!


All the best –


Janet Draper, PPA President

Smithsonian Institution

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