Winners announced for Cool Product Awards at The Landscape Show 2017

Winners announced for Cool Product Awards at The Landscape Show 2017

Garden retailers and landscape professionals attending the trade event selected the top products.

November 7, 2017
Press Release
Association News Industry News Retail News Supplier News Trade Show & Event Coverage

Orlando, Fla., 2017 – Cool Product Awards at The Landscape Show 2017 were presented to 12 firms, representing 14 award-winning products. The Garden Center Group’s Danny Summers led the product search and presented the awards on the Trends Stage on the show floor. Products were selected by garden retailers and landscape professionals in search of the best new products, both live goods and hard goods, for their business. The following is a list of firms and their products receiving recognition, listed by company in alphabetical order. Photos of the winning products are in the slideshow below.

Sustainable Garden

Agri-Carts/Sustainable Gardens Steve Daugherty - Mascotte, Fla. - Tel: 352-429-4740 -

A self-contained hydroponic system for home or restaurant. Sustainable Gardens are available with or without LED lighting with wholesale pricing for retailers.

Aechmea x 'America' and Aechmea tayoensis

Bullis Bromeliads - Thomas Guice - Princeton, Fla. - Tel: 305-258-8932 -

Aechmea x 'America' is an elegant hybrid with green foliage, cream-colored variegation and a cobalt blue and hot pink bloom. At first glance, America looks like fireworks! Aechmea 'tayoensis' is a native bromeliad from Ecuador, but at first glance doesn't look like a bromeliad with it's softer foliage that does great in semi-shade and features a red-pink flower.

Driftwood Furniture & Art

By Mark Arnette - Mark Arnette - Homosassa, Fla. - Tel: 352-220-2651 -

Creations of furniture and art from natural driftwood is the passion of Mark Arnette. Whether positioning is a garden as art or as a unique focal piece of furniture, Mark Arnette is collecting wood, seeing a vision for each piece.

Alpinia purpurata 'Tomi Pink' Ginger & Cordyline 'Candy Cane'

Excelsa Gardens, Inc. - Colin Friedrich - Loxahatchee, Fla. - Tel: 561-790-3789 - -

Alpinia purpurata 'Tomi Pink' Ginger: This year, Excelsa introduced us to 'Tomi Pink' Ginger, a brand new ginger wiht soft pink flower bracts, but on the very tip it's white. Colin told us 'Tomi' is being grown in Hawaii for cut flowers. It grows like all other purpurata gingers. Height of 6 to 10 feet, full to partial sun.

Cordyline fruticosa 'Candy Cane': This native to Guinea and Southeast Asia features bright pure white leaf with red candy cane stripes, along with Sporadic clusters of tiny, purple, star-like flowers. Perfect for holiday color! Height can reach to 7 feet in partial sun to shade.

Gutter Guppy & Weed Recede Mulch Bags
Fresh Mulch Company - Bob Hawkinson - Jacksonville, Fla. - Tel: 904-699-0046 - -

Gutter Guppy: Bob Hawkinson introduced us to several new ideas that he has developed. First is Gutter Guppy, a no-clog rain gutter downspout replacement that creates an attractive way to move rainwater into a drybed. Used with Guppy Tails, Gutter Guppy allows for easy extension into the landscape design. 

Weed Recede Mulch Bags: Another creation of Bob Hawkinson is Weed Recede, designed to easily open the bag and lay the bag out and spread the mulch inside to cover the bag. Special instructions shows how to open out the proprietary bag, specially-designed to match the color of the mulch, and it’s biodegradable, all the while working as a weed block.

Creative Ornamental Topiaries
Harrell’s Nursery, Inc.
Winfred Harrell - Plant City, Fla. - Tel: 813-752-0931 - -

Seeing topiaries in the northwest is expected, but to see them created in evergreens for more southern landscapes is not. That’s what Harrell’s has done and they gave us examples of the options and creative skills their artists are producing. Contact Harrell’s for a full list of varieties being produced in spirals, pom poms, and other statuary designs, all in living form, designed for warmer zones.

Eugenia brasiliensis Grumichama
Hopkins Tropical Fruit Nursery - Billy Hopkins - Immokalee, Fla. - Tel: 239-658-0370 - -
 Hopkins Tropical Fruit Nursery has received previous awards for their selection of tropical fruit trees for retailers. This year, they have introduced us to Grumuchama, botanical name Eugenia brasiliensis, commonly known as Brazilian cherry or Grumichama. Grumichama is a medium-sized tree native to Brazil which bears small fruits that are purple to black in color that have a sweet cherry/plum flavor. Billy Hopkins has shared another interesting description for Grumichama dealing with the blooms. He says the blooms smell like Hickory-Smoked Bacon. What an interesting combination! Hardiness Zones are reported to be 9b-10, Uses: Fruit; specimen shrub or for hedging, Height: 15-20 ft (4.5-6 m), Spread: 10-12 ft (3-3.6 m), and Plant habit: Shrub or small tree; upright, compact growth habit.


NEW- The Landscapers Buddy
J. West, LLC - Joel Westrate - Grandville, Mich. - Tel: 574-606-6548 - -

The Landscapers Buddy has received a Group award before but Joel West has continued to improve on their original great design. The new Landscapers Buddy has additional features such as a new Tub Basin and shelf that becomes the ultimate bulk load mover. The new Landscapers Buddy features makes it an indispensable piece of equipment for landscapers and retailers, allowing heavy plants or products to be handled by fewer people, even one person.

Muhlenbergia capillaris 'White Cloud'
J&R Nursery LLC - Gregory Shiver - Dover, Fla. - Tel: 813-754-0065 - 
‘White Cloud’ is a cultivar of the native grass Muhlenbergia capillaris. White Cloud Muhly Grass produces beautiful, moonlight white, billowing seed heads and fine-textured, blue-green foliage. It has a more upright shape, grows a bit taller, and blooms shortly after Pink Muhly Grass.


Polyalthia longifolia 'Pendula' Mast Tree
MB Palms - Michael Smukall - Winter Park, Fla. - Tel: 407-256-4540 - -

 MB Palms introduced us to The Mast Tree. A native of India and Sri Lanka, the Mast tree derived its unusual name because its tall straight trunk made it an ideal tree for use as a ships mast. The Mast tree is an excellent tropical substitute for the Italian Cypress and fills a niche for a tall narrow upright screening tree that thrives in Florida's warm humid climate. As an evergreen with very little leaf drop the Mast trees graceful pendulous leaves provide year round screening for zero lot line and very tight planting locations. Past availability has been limited, but a group of growers that includes MB Palms, Palmco, and Botanics Wholesale, are working on bringing new production of this green wall alternative to market. The Mast trees are currently available in heights up to 12 feet with a majority of current inventory in the 8 to 10 foot range. It is a moderately fast grower and their goal is to maintain production numbers to reach inventories in the 14 to 16 foot range in the next few years. This Mast tree production were obtained from seed that handled cold in the mid to low 20's with little or no damage. The Mast trees are moderately salt tolerant and though they thrive in bright locations they also tolerate partial shade very well. Zone: 10a-11. Typical Dimensions: 30 to 40 feet high by 4 feet wide.

Clay Robot Planters
The Pottery Patch, International Inc. - Scott Lucas - W Palm Beach, Fla. - Tel: 561-697-9377 - -

The Pottery Patch is introducing four clay planters created as friendly robots. All four are varying in size, from 11 to 23 inches tall. They have given each a name: Billie, Nellie, Gaby, and Lucy. They feature a matte finish and have drain holes.


VOLT ShadowMaster LED Path & Area Light
Volt Lighting - Steve Parrott - Lutz, Fla. - Tel: 813-978-3700 - -

 Volt has shown us a new look in landscape lighting, where the light casts a wonderful light pattern on the deck or patio. They have several designs. The one shown is 34.5 inches tall, 100 lumens and 2700 kelvin producing warm, inviting light (see photo).

A special thank you to all retailers participating in the Cool Product Awards selection process. The awards, at The Landscape Show 2017, were a joint presentation by Florida Nursery Growers & Landscape Association and The Garden Center Group.

The Garden Center Group focuses on business solutions designed to help garden centers increase sales, improve operations and retain more profit. With a support team of leading industry professionals offering business management, financial, marketing, HR services and more. The Group offers retailers innovative resources to maximize their potential to succeed.

For more information about The Garden Center Group and the services they provide, visit or call 678.909.7770.

For more information about Florida Nursery Growers & Landscape Association or The Landscape Show visit or call 407.295.7994.