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The More You Know

Jennifer Zurko
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If you grew up in the late ’80s like I did you may remember the public service announcements that used to air during Saturday morning cartoons.

“One to Grow On” spread cautionary messages on the perils of smoking and drugs. “Schoolhouse Rock” was a collection of three-minute animated shorts that took one specific classroom topic and set it to a catchy, memorable tune. (If you’re not humming, “I’m just a bill, sittin’ here on Capitol Hill” right now, well, I just feel sorry for you.)

Another one was “The More You Know” and it featured celebrities, media personalities and politicians doing quick 30-second spots on the importance of literacy and education. They still run these sometimes on a wide range of topics. And the recognizable shooting star and rainbow logo is now used in parodies and as a meme on social media when someone trolls another person’s misinformed opinion.     

A year ago I attended my first Farwest show. I’d never been to Portland, Oregon, and it offered an excellent chance to visit some local nurseries.

As you’ve probably heard me say, or if you subscribe to Matthew Chappell’s Nursery & Landscape Insider newsletter, you know his shrub and tree knowledge is all-encompassing. I can point to a random tree and ask, “What’s that?” and he rattles off the species AND genus, so it was invaluable to tag along with him on the nursery tours to Monrovia, Bailey and J. Frank Schmidt. I tried to soak in as much info as possible—I feel like the more I know about all segments of our industry, the more of a well-rounded hort journalist I could be. (Insert star and rainbow logo here.)  

Since this is the Nursery & Landscape Issue, I once again asked Matthew if he could reach out to his shrub and tree-breeding friends to see what’s new for Spring 2023 and beyond. He chose some highlights for the cover story starting and will include more in his bi-monthly newsletter. (If you don’t subscribe to it, go to to sign up.)

We’ve also included the second part of our coverage of the California Spring Trials. To match this month’s issue theme, it’s all the new perennials and shrubs we saw at the stops.

We have other well-timed information that will help with your production plans, too, like tips for overwintering perennials from our expert contributor Paul Pilon; avoiding poinsettia heat delay; finishing cabbage and kale for fall; and managing bark scale on crapemyrtle.

The more you know, the best chance you have for producing a great product and the better prepared you’ll be to face any challenges that may arise. And we always strive to produce a publication that will help you do that. As the late, great Notorious B.I.G. once said, “If you don’t know, now you know.” GT

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