Exchange award winner shares tales of US travel

Lance Russell, assistant technical and sales manager at the Farplants group's Fleurie Nursery, has reported back from his International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) exchange to the southern region of the USA that he was awarded in October last year when he was a "six packer" for the European conference in Exeter, Devon.

Russell: called US exchange an incredible opportunity
Russell: called US exchange an incredible opportunity

Russell, formerly at Golden Acres and Sparsholt College, said the US exchange was "an absolutely incredible opportunity for me and a great career enhancement that has enabled me to broaden my knowledge and network with others in our industry from all around the globe".

He added: "It exceeded all my expectations and I have been able to seek and share plant production knowledge, new ideas, new products and technical innovations with other keen professionals in the industry. Going on this trip has shown me what America has to offer to the world of horticulture".

In the first week he visited 16 wholesale nurseries covering hardy nursery stock, ornamentals, annual and edibles production that were mostly growing crops for landscape customers as well as some garden centres and box stores. He also visited public and botanical gardens, research stations, garden centres and arboretums. The tour included the Mountain Research Lab with Thomas Ranney, looking at new nursery crops with a greater commercial potential and adaptability, including new tomato varieties.

"We travelled all the way from the coast to the mountains in North Carolina," said Russell. "I have seen some of the largest nurseries in the USA. One was a colossal 600 acres and it was fascinating to learn how a nursery of that sort of scale is managed. I was also very interested to learn that some nurseries have adapted to the Toyota Innovation Strategy for operations such as potting lines and I was lucky enough to see this in full operation.

"I was very surprised to see a motorbike attached to a side cart of a hedge trimmer used to trim the crops. It was also extremely exciting to see that there are so many other young and keen horticulturists working out in the States in high-level nursery management positions who are very keen to progress on up the ladder.

"In the second week I attended the IPPS southern region conference in Virginia Beach. This included presentations on LEDs in commercial production, breeding programmes, propagation schedules and new hybrids. It also involved more tours to nurseries including Lancaster Farms, Bennet's Creek Nurseries and Whites Nursery & Garden Centre.

"Being involved with IPPS is like having the horticultural bible in your hands as it allows you to tap into people from all different backgrounds and expertise with vast amounts of knowledge and be able to share knowledge and tips with them. I would strongly encourage every young horticultural professional to get involved in the IPPS and apply to be a six packer at next year's conference."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next



Masses of colourful tubular flowers can give these plants a substantial presence in the border, says Miranda Kimberley.

Tomorrow's tractors

Tomorrow's tractors

These machines have advanced rapidly over recent years but what does the future hold? Sally Drury looks ahead.

Climbing roses

Climbing roses

Walls, trellises, pergolas and even trees can all be brightened up by these beautiful blooms, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Welcome to this bumper 72-page July edition of Horticulture Week magazine, packed with exclusive analysis, insight and expert advice on the biggest issues impacting all sectors of the UK horticulture industry right now.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles