Last week and this week are what I call "planes, trains and automobiles" weeks.
On Wednesday I flew down to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., for the 2013 TPIE Show. I spent two days at the Broward County Convention Center checking out the latest products and trends in tropicals and foliage plants. The weather in southern Florida was beautiful (mid to upper 70s and sunny), but more importantly, the trade show aisles were buzzing with activity and attendees as TPIE was celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
Then on Friday, I had a chance to drive down to Miami and visit the trial gardens at Costa Farms . This is the fourth year Costa has been showcasing its trial gardens and they continue to get larger every year. This year more than 500 new introductions were being evaluated, as well as 170 varieties of both seed and vegetative verbena and 110 mixed container combinations. Costa also added new retail diplays this year that were very impressive.
If you are ever in the Miami area, a stop at these trial gardens would be well worth your time. But if you can't make it, I've posted some photos of Costa's trial gardens on the GPN Facebook page . You can learn more about the garden on Costa's website http://rd.costafarms.com .
After a snowy/sleety/rainy weekend in Chicagoland, I'm in the office for a couple of days. But later this week, Pete Mihalek and I are heading down to Nashville to attend the first-ever Next Level event  — the first joint event of OFA - the Association of Horticulture Professionals and the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA). The conference is designed to help attendees identify, plan for and achieve the next level of their success. If you are looking to move your business to the Next Level you can still register to attend the event by clicking here .
40 Under 40 Deadline
Don't forget, the deadline to nominate someone for GPN's 40 Under is this Thursday, Jan. 31. Click here  for details on how you can nominate someone.