The War on Bugs…

I’ve spent a lot of time promoting Little Prince’s powerful branding, featuring our ultra-adorable, informative tags which bear the symbol of the crowned frog. They stand our as a beacon to garden shoppers, who have come to associate them with healthy plants that exceed expectations in their gardens. There is another benefit to buying Little Prince plants that is unseen by consumers, yet greatly contributes to the success of the plant in the garden and ultimately to the success of their entire landscape. Lurking in the soil and foliage of our plants are dozens…hundreds…THOUSANDS…MILLIONS of miniscule beneficial critters whose sole purpose in life is to devour pests that might try to harm the plant.

Traditionally, nurseries used harsh chemicals to control insect and fungal pests. These chemicals have a cumulative effect in the garden, and over time can build up to levels that can cause health issues for people. The Little Prince way is better! It’s better for the plants, it’s better for you and your customers, and it’s better for the world. Here’s how it works.

Think of our Head Grower, Mike Hicks as a General, or better yet in Game of Thrones terms, Lord Commander of the Knight’s Watch. He commands a vast army of predators whose only goal is to seek and destroy the enemy, in this case any insect of fungus that might try to gain a foothold here at Little Prince. The Lord Commander’s strategy is simple. Place his vast army of nematodes, Rove beetles, Aphidius wasps, and Strat mites in our propagation houses, where they multiply. As plants move out of the prop houses, battalions too numerous to count are deployed within the plants to every greenhouse on the property, where they continue to fight the good fight, crushing the enemy. Ultimately, when YOU place an order, garrisons of fighters travel with the plants, and set up a perimeter in your garden center. They finally end up in customers yards, where they continue to wage war against spider mites, aphids, whiteflies, and other pests.

We feel that this pest management strategy is far better than one that relies on chemicals to control insects and disease. The Lord Commander does occasionally still order a chemical intervention, but it is targeted and applied in a manner that is safe for beneficial’s and pollinators. Using beneficial organisms may cost slightly more to maintain high standards of cleanliness, but we absolutely feel it’s worth it for the peace of mind that it’s better for the environment, and that it adds yet another value to the garden centers that buy from us. Beyond the clever branding, beyond the amazing customer service, is the fact that the plants themselves, whether in the garden center or planted in a garden are a fortress that harbors an unseen defense force. Priceless, right?

Finally, I want to tell you about a great event happening at The Oregon Garden. Next Saturday, April 27th the Garden is hosting a Garden Gala! It will be an evening of horticulture networking, garden tours, a silent auction and speaker Richie Steffen, of Great Plants Picks will be presenting a program highlighting the remarkable biodiversity that thrives in our northwest climate. The event starts with Garden tours at 4 pm and includes wine and dinner. The Garden Gala is produced by the Oregon Garden Foundation and proceeds from this event will help enhance the Garden’s plant collection, fund capital projects and support our educational programs at The Oregon Garden. For tickets, click here.

 

Have a wonderful week! Stop in and say hi if you plan to go to Hortlandia this weekend…I’ll be there.

Cheers,

Mark

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