It may seem a little odd to be talking about anything “fresh” when I’m looking out the window at nearly 12 inches of snow. There’s more on the way; in fact, the flurries haven’t stopped for more than 24 hours now, and I can’t think of a better way to begin a new year. For those of us silly enough to embrace winter as our favorite season (fall’s a close second), there’s nothing fresher than sparkling, pristine new snow. Not orange juice. Not daisies. Not even linens allowed to dry in the breeze.

It’s a fresh start for the new year, and this is a new year that promises fresh starts in many arenas. Close to home, it’s the beginning of American Nurseryman’s 110th year of publishing for the commercial horticulture industry in the U.S. Although the archives of our ancestor publication, National Nurseryman, go back to the late 1800s, we count 1904 as our “official” birth date. More than a century and still going strong.

In this issue, you’ll read about a fresh start for Warren Quinn, former vice president for operations at the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA). Warren has invented a simple but effective system for delivering trees, the goal of which is twofold: Deliver high-value plants in a relatively stress-free manner, and you’ll encourage increased sales of high-value plants.

You’ll also see that we’ve opened our Nursery Insight department to new voices, and there’s no better way to make a fresh start than to begin with Craig Regelbrugge’s analysis of what the coming year has in store. Craig is the senior vice president – industry advocacy and research for AmericanHort, the consolidation of the ANLA (for which Craig served as vice president of government relations and research) and OFA, the Association of Horticulture Professionals.

In Craig’s Nursery Insight, he addresses the topics that the fine folks in Washington – which includes Congress and the administration as well as agencies such as the EPA and the labor department – will address in the coming year. We hope.

Which brings us to AmericanHort, which debuted January 1. This new organization, as you well know, is the result of the marriage of two dynamic associations, and there’s no telling how far this industry can go with such powerful representation. Energized by the hard work, hard-won experience and earnest aspirations of hort professionals who belong to this impressive group, the crack staff is poised to launch us into a fresh start on a successful future. If you’re not a member, look into it. And be sure to check out the new site at

Lots of exciting things to look forward to – and to work toward – in 2014. For now, I wish all a happy, healthy, successful new year. May be it productive, may it be fruitful, and may be it be a fresh start on whatever exciting endeavors we choose to pursue.