Feature Stories:


Botanical Interests continues commitment to being GMO-free

BROOMFIELD, CO – Gardeners are generally a calm, even contemplative, group of people. Their passions are ignited by a sweetly scented flower or a great-tasting tomato variety. But one recent issue has turned their passion into vitriol and turned the calm of the garden into a brewing storm of controversy. That issue is GMOs – or, more precisely, genetically engineered (GE) seeds.

The term GMO, or genetically modified organism, is a broad term that includes GE seed, the ones causing all the controversy. They have their DNA manipulated in a laboratory, in ways that nature could not likely reproduce, and are often a mix of two incompatible species that couldn’t breed naturally. The effects and consequences of these genetic changes are not fully understood. Judy Seaborn, co-founder of Botanical Interests seeds stated, “We have always believed that informed and educated people make decisions they feel good about and with GMOs the jury is still out, so we steer clear of them.”

Judy Seaborn and Curtis Jones built Botanical Interests on foundations vital for any business: customer service, ethical business practices, and great products. And, because Seaborn and Jones have spent their lives in the green industry, from university to garden center and from shopper to salesperson, they know that people appreciate having all the information they need to make good choices.

It was this belief that led them to create the most informative seed packet in the industry and to continuously provide a selection of the best home gardening varieties available. It also led them away from GMOs. “The GMO issue is highly charged and the available information seems incomplete, confusing, or misleading. It’s hard for people to fully understand everything involved,” said co-founder Curtis Jones.

“We want our customers to have all the information they need to make the best choices for their gardens, their families, and the environment,” said Judy Seaborn. Providing seeds that have unknown or unintended consequences contradicts the core principles of Botanical Interests. These same principles guided them to join the Safe Seed Program and sign the Safe Seed Pledge from the Council for Responsible Genetics, which states, in part, “We pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants.” Jones and Seaborn take the pledge one step further and state that they do whatever it takes to be sure they don’t EVER buy or sell genetically engineered seeds.

According to Seaborn and Jones, “The choice to steer clear of GMOs was more than a business decision, it was a personal one. We are a company of gardeners. We all try to do what is sustainable, natural, and environmentally responsible. GMOs don’t fit with the way we want to live and our customers have told us they agree. So, we are committed to being GMO free.”

For more information visit www.botanicalinterests.com.



Plants grown in biodegradable pots eliminate transplant shock

MADISON, OH – It’s one small step for plants, and—just maybe—a giant leap for Planet Earth.

Bluestone Perennials, a top mailorder and web source for garden plants (www.bluestoneperennials.com), is the first perennial nursery to com­pletely banish the use of plastic growing pots. Think of it as a green industry leader that has gone green.

Bluestone Perennials now offers its entire line of plants all grown in coco pots—100% biodegradable containers made from coconut husk fibers (coir). The new coco pots measure 3.5 inches square and 4 inches high, and are 2.5 times larger than the small plastic pots that Bluestone had previously been using.

“The coco pot’s exceptional permeability to water and air allows plants to quickly grow a robust root system,” said William Boonstra, President of Bluestone Perennials. “In traditional plastic pots, plants tend to become root-bound with a tightly interwoven root mass at the bottom of the container. When grown in a coco pot, the same plant grows healthy roots throughout the entire pot. The roots spread out in all directions and air prune as they exit the pot. A plant with healthy roots grows bigger and faster, and that means lots of healthy, vibrant foliage and ear­lier flower production.”

Because coco pots are 100% natural and 100% biodegradable, the pots can be planted directly into the ground. As a result, plants suffer minimal to no transplant shock. Rather than spending precious time recovering from shock, coco pot-grown plants can immediately focus on establishing themselves in the garden—and outpacing plants grown in plastic pots.

The ecofriendly coco pots are a renew­able resource that require little energy to make, and they naturally break down to become part of the soil structure.  Plus, there are no leftover pots to recycle or throw away.

“The new coco pots also enabled us to improve our packaging, which en­sures that our plants arrive at the peak of health,” said Boonstra. “The new packag­ing even lets us banish those annoying and messy packing peanuts. The new shipping containers, combined with 100% biode­gradable pots that can be planted directly into the ground, make unpacking and plant­ing a breeze. Our plants are ready to grow right out of the box.”

All of the plants sold by Bluestone Perennials are backed by a full one year 100% guarantee. If a Bluestone plant does not thrive, the company will replace it free or refund the purchase price. To receive a free Bluestone Perennial catalog call (800) 852-5243. To view the catalog and purchase online, visit www.bluestoneperennials.com.



Protect electrical cord connections from water and weather

ORLAND PARK, IL – For as long as there have been extension cords, people have been plugging the cords together and trying to figure out ways to keep those exposed connections protected from water and weather. Now they can forget about wrapping those extension cord plug connections in duct tape or plastic bags.

“I finally got tired of seeing my wife duct-taping our holiday light cord connections together, which always failed to keep the lights on,” said Bryan Nooner, inventor of a new product called Twist and Seal. “Leaving extension cords exposed to the elements isn’t safe and taping them just does not work, so it was time someone solved that problem.”

Nooner is a self-proclaimed “science guy” who was a high school biology teacher in the 1980s. Since then he became a successful businessman who owns several construction-related companies. He started doing sketches of a product that would snap over the junction of two electrical cords. The sketches became product prototypes, then CAD renderings, and then manufactured product samples.

The product’s name—Twist and Seal—was derived from the way the device works. The foam on the inside of the unit is slightly larger than the plastic housing on the outside. As you push the shell together around two joined extension cord plugs and twist it, the foam compresses down to create a radial compression around the cord.

Even though Nooner had never brought a product to market before, he learned that the National Hardware Show, an industry trade show held every May in Las Vegas, was the place to introduce the product. He loaded up his Chevy Suburban with product samples and drove from Chicago to Las Vegas, not knowing what to expect.

The reaction to Twist and Seal was swift and extremely positive. Twist and Seal won the Silver Award for the Most Innovative Product of 2012. The inventor was soon talking to product buyers from Home Depot, Do It Best, Ace Hardware and many other top retailers.

Why was Twist and Seal the hit of the National Hardware Show? Twist and Seal provides outdoor weather protection for electrical cord connections all year long. It’s perfect for keeping cord connections safe and dry in any outdoor setting, including near pool pumps, ponds and water fountains. Using a Twist and Seal keeps electrical connections dry during the holiday lighting season. At construction sites and in any remote power situation, using a Twist and Seal will keep extension cord connections safe and dry.

The heavy-duty, weather-proof Twist and Seal sells for $8.95 at participating Walmart, Do It Best, Ace Hardware and other fine stores, or order online at www.twistandseal.com. For more information, call (888) 945-4545.