COVID-19 has and is taking an unprecedented great toll on our landscape and grower businesses. The Ball management team, our sales organization, and our suppliers are all deeply concerned for all of you and your families.
As Anna Ball said to our teams on the first day of the stay-at-home orders in our state of Illinois, “We are shipping seed, talking orders, being flexible, and getting the job done!” She noted that as a company we run to the hard stuff. “We are taking care of our employees, our suppliers and customers.”
Anna shared four points with the Ball employees and I'd like to share them with you:
- Follow the rules. Social distancing, washing our hands, and being careful of crowds. Health officials know this is the path to the fastest return to a robust economy.
- Be proactively positive! Share it with others. Fear destroys self-confidence.
- Look for opportunities. This is a chance to "change things up" – for yourself and your business.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. This is particularly important when we are all working remotely.
Of course the platforms we use to communicate our varieties to you and your customers have changed. We are all on our individual paths to "Zoom" proficiency, myself included! Our annual California Spring Trials were held virtually instead of in-person. You can watch SimulCAST20 on-demand here.
This is exactly what Anna was getting at: As a result of broadcasting CAST, more of you can see all the new products Ball will be rolling out for the 2021 season!
As a complement to SimulCAST20, we’ve launched an update to our CAST | Mobile app and the CAST Highlights booklet. Be sure to download both.
As the official University and Public Gardens Manager at Ball, I'd like to put a shout-out to our hard-working university and public gardens staff and trial managers. Their show is definitely ON! We have sent all 25 trial sites we support the new annual and perennial selections for 2020-2021. Seeing our varieties in your home region is a particularly important resource for you. See the listing of them here.
Along these lines, Take a moment to visit the National Garden Bureau and All-America Selections websites. The National Garden Bureau is THE communication function to national garden writers and AAS ( 88 years young!) is our national evaluator of annuals and perennials in the United States. Click here to see a list of annual and perennial winners for 2020.
As is often said these days, we will get through this as a nation, and as a landscape community. Stay strong, stay healthy, and stay positive!