August 15, 2014
A few surprises, hardcore management insight and some production basics top the program for the International Plant Propagators’ Society (IPPS) Eastern Region Conference in Niagara Falls, from Sept. 17 - 20. Its theme is Improve Your Ground Game.

Recognition in plants, how to do breeding crosses, optimizing profit improvement potential and lean management are a few of the talks included during the  event. Other subjects include root health, soils and growing media, intelligent spraying and plants for green building façades.

The four-day conference is the highlight of the IPPS year, offering educational sessions, tours to area production nurseries, greenhouses and botanical gardens, a poster session, a silent and live auction and time to socialize and connect with plant geeks and industry movers and shakers.  The mission of the IPPS Eastern Region is to provide a forum for education and information exchange among plant professionals.

The conference hotel is the Crowne Plaza Fallsview in Niagara Falls. To make reservations by Aug. 22 to get the IPPS conference room rate; call 800-519-9911.

The conference kicks off on Sept. 17 with a choice of full day pre-conference tours.  The Grower Pre-Tour will visit Blue Sky Nursery, J.C. Bakker & Sons Nurseries, Grimo Nut Nursery and Valleybrook Gardens.

The botanical pre-tour will visit the Royal Botanical Gardens, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre and the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens. The final stop for both tours will be the exciting White Water Walk. It’s an up-close and personal look at mighty Niagara Falls before heading back to the hotel for the welcome reception.

Thursday will feature a full day of talks accompanied by a silent auction with bidding opening bright and early, continuing throughout the day and concluding during a cocktail hour at the end of the speakers’ session. The auctions will feature gift cards for local businesses, horticultural supplies, rare horticultural books and other treasures.

There will be a full-day conference tour on Sept. 19, where you may get an insider look at key Ontario growing operations. Showing off their best techniques and latest innovations will be Westbrook Greenhouse Systems or Aldershot Greenhouses, Winkelmolen Nursery, Connon Nurseries CBV, and Verbinnen Nursery. The final stop of the day is at Connon Nurseries NVK, where attendees will have a tour followed by a wine event, barbecue dinner and live auction.

The live auction will include two vacation packages. The University of Guelph Arboretum package includes a private guided tour of the arboretum, a night at the Delta Hotel, breakfast for two and a $100 restaurant gift card for the hotel’s restaurant. The Niagara package includes a one-night stay in the Crowne Plaza Fallsview Hotel, breakfast for two overlooking Niagara Falls and a private, behind-the-scenes afternoon walking tour of the estate vineyards and winemaking facility at Legend Estates Winery on the Lake in Beamsville for yourself and nine guests and a $100 gift card for a dinner at Weinkeller Restaurant in Niagara Falls.

Complete conference details are available at