Dan Heims

There are times when I know I have the best job in the world.? Yesterday proved it. I ?had ?to go to t he International Horticultural Lawn and Garden Trade Show. This is where you get to rub shoulders with all the suppliers of all those gigantic machines you see on the road as well as nursery people, and anyone who sells anything in the garden business.

It?s full of guys wearing steel-toed boots, the landscapers.? There are more and more women each year, which cheers me endlessly I must say but it?s a very male world.? The highlight of the whole week was hearing Dan Heims speak.

Heims is one of the best plantsmen in North America, if not the world. He?s based in Oregon and if you?ve ever bought a cultivar of any heuchera, you?ve bought a Dan Heims? introduction.? His nursery, Terra Nova, supplies some of the finet nurseries in Canada.

What appalled me was that the hall which held about 500 seats (probably a lot more) was not jammed,? with people hanging from the rafters. Unbelievable. The very people, landscapers, who could use his knowledge and insights into plants and information about what?s coming up and? how good the new plants are, were singularly absent.

I think they are total dopes to let a resource like this pass them by.? The man is incredible. I?m going to tell you a few of the things he said and what plants he sees will serve us well over the next few days.? But a lot is lost without Dan?s wonderful personality.? On top of his staggering range of knowledge, ?he has a gentle warmth that just makes you enthusiastic about anything he loves. And he loves his plant.

There are way too many people in the hortindustry who don?t know anything about plants. They know their machines, they know their chemicals and they know how to get in and get out as quickly as possible. They are buying computer software to make designs.? But what they really need is Dan Heims.

Enough rant. Tomorrow I get to plants. I?m dealing with the flood outside, and with the temps lowering I?ve had a couple of sleepless nights worrying about my poor plants.? Many of them came from Dan Heims? nursery.? Terra Nova sends out batches of plants to people like me to trial. ??I guess on the theory that if I can grow them, anybody can. ?

I had some beauties going and they are under frigid water right now. If anything survives it will be one of those miracles of nature we pray for.