In a segment of less than one minute, you barely have enough time to say your name, let alone mention all the important issues I wanted to say related to the topic. Such was the case for me on Tuesday when I did a brief segment with Sam Champion on GMA. The point of the spot was to feature one simple thing we could all do to make a positive impact to conserve resources or protect the environment. In this case all they wanted me to offer was more drought tolerant type plants to replace thirsty ones.
Oh, the challenges a garden communicator… that segment could have been much longer and still not covered all the useful information a viewer might like to know about how to select less thirsty plants in the nursery and how to know just how much less water they actually need than their water loving replacements.
And just so you’ll know, the plants appearing on the GMA set that Earth Day morning traveled quite a distance to get there. Just a few days ahead of my appearance, we were notified they wanted live plants for the segment. We immediately went into overdrive to try to find the ones we had simply suggested on paper.
Initially we thought those plants would just be a mention or possibly backed up by pictures, never thinking they wanted the real thing on set. But with little time to spare, now we needed to produce live plants right away, even though it is still too early in the season to find these plants in the New York area.
After two days on the phone, calling everywhere from California to Florida, all it finally took was just one call to the right person. Mike Ferraro of Learn2Grow.com called in a favor and the next thing we knew, Lowes had located all the plants we needed near Charlotte, NC.
So now the challenge becomes how do you get large, live plants from there to the set of GMA in two days? GMA requested they be shipped overnight. But rather than take the chance that the plants would be damaged in transit or not arrive in time, Lowes had this relatively small group of VIPs (Very Important Plants) personally driven right to the GMA loading dock in NYC.
With strict restrictions regarding what I am allowed to say on air, I could not mention any names or companies. So special thanks are in order to Mike Ferraro for taking the time and making the right calls to see this through, Lowes for finding the plants and donating them, along with the time and means to get them there, and David Kiss for driving these plants the many miles and hours it took and to ensure they arrived safe and sound. It’s amazing how it all comes together, even in the face of seemingly impossible odds.
I would have loved to talk about ways you and I can tell how to identify drought tolerant plants by showing viewers the plant tag that Lowes is now using in their garden centers across the country. They’ve partnered with www.learn2grow.com to create tags that identify plants requiring less water to look their best. These special tags are placed into the pots of every plant that merits this recognition. It’s an easy way for consumers, already confused by the myriad of choices, to make a more informed, and environmentally responsible, purchase.
So now you know a little about how things come together on a live television segment and I’ve at least been able to say here what I wasn’t allowed to say then. After all communication comes in many forms.