On Sunday, March 17, 2013, the Atlanta flower show at the Cobb Galleria Centre brought down the house with its final speaker during the three-day horticultural event. That man, Robert "Buddy" Lee, the inventor of the Encore Azalea, is credited with giving flower lovers what they want: a bloom that just keeps on blooming. And of course native azaleas don't do that, the Daily Press pointed out.
Buddy Lee's Encore Azalea does, however, and it was still garnering a fair amount of the attention this year based on the comments from his flower show audience, as who doesn't want a flower that blooms three times a year?
Lee is the director of plant innovations at PDSI, in addition to being the inventor of Encore Azalea, and he was on hand to close out the event with a lecture about the new introductions from the Southern Living Plant Collection, as well as the debut of four new Encore Azaleas: Autumn Ivory, Autumn Jewel, Autumn Lily and Autumn Sunburst.
People are always looking for that new innovative product and that's kind of where the Southern Living Plant Collection comes in," he said.
In fact, the Southern Living Plant Collection was promoting 12 new products through Robert "Buddy" Lee's Sunday slideshow presentation. And Lee talked about the benefits they offered the southern gardener, like standing up better to the weather conditions for this zone range. The four debuting azaleas also boast increased cold-hardiness, making them even more attractive as a result.
Using genetic engineering to modify ornamental plants to withstand drought and cold weather better has resulted in more flower options for the southern gardener and others. But genetic engineering of ornamental plants and foods is a growing concern for some, according to the Post-Star. But not to Encore Azaela fans, who love getting to see blooms in the spring, summer and fall.
And Southern Living Plant Collection fans are also glad that genetic engineering by plant breeders such as Buddy Lee exists. Lee and other breeder's efforts with GMO makes it possible for them to finally enjoy plants that bloom more often and that survive in their southern garden like they never did before.
Even the founder of the anti-GM food movement came out recently about how he was wrong to think genetically modified organisms were a bad thing, according to Macleans.ca.
Unfortunately, it's too late to catch the lecture speakers that dominated the Atlanta flower show this year, like Mr. Lee and Georgia gardening and landscape design celebrities like Vince Dooley, Allan M. Armitage, James Farmer, and Mary Palmer Dargan.
Ditto for the nationally known gardening lifestyle and wedding experts like P. Allen Smith and Tara Guerard, as well as historians of note, like Peter J. Hatch, who lectured and presented on Thomas Jefferson's Monticello gardens during the three-day horticultural extravaganza.
But you can still see the flowers from the Southeastern Horticultural Society's show by using the slideshow above, even if you can't still hear the guest lecturers.