The past two years have been a long, hard journey. I don’t need to explain why. Finally, at the start of 2022, it seems there’s finally some sunshine and optimism. For me, I finally got to return to my favorite kickstart to the year at the annual Tropical Plants International Expo, AKA TPIE. This year’s conference moved from its normal south Florida location to Tampa due to renovations at the original venue.
Green thumbs up for our new hosts, the location in Tampa Convention Center was convenient and walkable. The impressive displays, especially the thoughtful education sessions the conference committee put together, were outstanding. The expo itself was impressive. I started at one end of the displays and never made it to the end – there was so much to see! The timing couldn’t have been better to give me a little shot of post-pandemic adrenaline to get excited about our business enriching peoples’ lives with plants.
The enthusiasm of all the participants, exhibitors, and lecturers was catching in all the right ways.
Plant shortages are easing – container shortages are not
Good news: the plant shortages of 2020 and 2021 are easing back. Growers across the U.S. have more inventory and choices for our clients. When the coronavirus pandemic caused us to lockdown, people began buying more plants to keep them company in 2020. The shortage wasn’t quite as dire as toilet paper, but even with our connections, Good Earth Plant Company sometimes we had to get creative with plant choices.
BUT – decorative containers are in short supply. Many are manufactured in Italy, most in Southeast Asia, and shipping is still a challenge. We’re getting supplies, but it takes several weeks longer. And more expensive.
It’s forcing us to get creative. We saw many creative plant groupings with a wild mix of containers. It’s almost like a mosaic. Sometimes the different colors, shapes, patterns, and sizes don’t seem like they’d mix together well, but they do. In your own home, you can give it a try. Don’t worry about all your container being too matchy matchy, and enjoy some new energy to your surroundings.
Containers with patterns and or wooden stands are trendy. We saw a lot of texture and styles. If you usually choose plain clay pots or one solid color, add something dimensional in multiple colors.
Welcome to the jungle
If your friends have so many plants, their Instagram feeds look like the Amazon rain forest, they’re right on-trend. Creating an ‘indoor jungle’ by piling on plants is a popular look in homes and businesses. We learned during the pandemic how indoor plants can bring us comfort, improve our mood, and enhance our productivity. Having lots of plants is one of the few “more is more” design trends that works – as long as you can still take care of them!
Businesses are adding plants to nursing rooms, quiet rooms, stairwells and elevator bays, office kitchens and lunchrooms, collaborative spaces, and “overhead moments.” This is part of the resimercial design movement. Two years into the pandemic, bringing the best of our comfortable, collaborative spaces to the way we look at the traditional office makes sense. The big transition is underway.
Plants help drive the workplace transformation
As employees finally return to the office, plants will play an essential role in transforming office spaces by creating enjoyable places to gather, emphasizing overall health and wellbeing. After four decades in business, we know plants improve employee health, increase productivity, help increase workforce retention, and raise your biophilic surroundings.
One of the most fun things we saw was our colleague Edward O’Donnell from Botanical Designs in Seattle (and a Silverado Roundtable member) sharing the design scheme for the Dunder Mifflin offices – the fictitious Scranton. Pennsylvania company in the show “The Office.” It was hilarious and clever. My business colleagues are such smart, creative people!
This year, the pandemic has forced everything to think about what we want the future to look like. COVID-19 has taken away a lot, but people and plants have this in common: we are resilient. Thanks to a week of new ideas and in-person conversations. I’m completely re-energized. I feel fortunate to say this after 44 years in business.
Our clients are award winners!
The icing on the cake: We brought home three 2022 Plantscaping Awards for our clients and our team for our work. All three were Platinum level, the highest achievement:
- Living Wall Category for our Ares Management Living Wall project
- Design Category for our Residential 3-D Custom Printed Set of Living Walls
- Design Category for our Plantscaping project at American Assets Trust
We don’t say it often enough: thank you to our clients for putting their trust in us and pushing our incredibly creative design and installation team to make their vision come to life!
Is this the year you get in touch with us? Let us help you find ways to take workplace wellbeing to a new level by integrating nature and plants into your environment in 2022. Give us a call at 858-576-9300 or email me at email@example.com. We can’t wait to hear from you and enrich your life too.