National Green Centre Debuts Plant Fashion Show

July 28, 2010 - 05:35

The 2011 National Green Centre — formerly The WESTERN — will feature the Sweet Melissa Fashion Show, hosted by Dr. Michael Dirr. It will showcase the newest plants from the industry's top breeders and growers. Select plants will be presented on the runway (think lights, cameras and music) by professional models.

Already planning to hit the runway: Ball Horticultural Company’s 'Black Velvet' petunia and Bailey Nurseries’ new pink mophead Hydrangea arborescens 'Bella Anna', developed by Dr. Michael Dirr and Plant Introductions, Inc.

The fashion show will take place Sunday, Jan. 9, on the trade show floor. It will benefit Dirr’s charity of choice: the Sweet Melissa Fund at the University of North Carolina Hospital, which provides financial assistance to lung transplant recipients and their families.

Following the fashion show, breeders and growers will discuss their marketing strategies for the new plant introductions featured in the fashion show. We’ll discuss the rationale for branding and how to make it work, as well as breeding and securing licenses.

A limited number of plants will be featured in the fashion show. To nominate yours for consideration, contact Sarah at

For more information on the 2011 National Green Centre, which will take place Jan. 9 and 10 at the America's Center in St. Louis, visit You can also sign up there for the show's weekly e-newsletter, or connect with the Western Nursery and Landscape Association on Twitter at @NatlGreenCentre, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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