Logee’s – What’s in a Name?
By Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin
One of our fragrant
A geranium with a swirl of color
Epiphylum 'Vista Sun'-
The Desert Rose, Adenium
Logee’s was founded in 1892 as mainly a cut flower business. In the 1930's, Byron’s mother, Joy Logee Martin, published a catalogue and specialized in begonias, gesneriads, geraniums, and passion flowers. At this stage, we were known as Logee’s Greenhouses. This name served its purpose but as our business expanded across the country into mail-order, people who didn’t know us thought we sold greenhouses. Over time, Logee’s focused on tropical plants with a certain criteria. First, the plant had to perform well in a pot, which was somewhat self serving since we are northern growers and we couldn’t grow plants outside year-round. Logee’s also wanted anyone, in any living space to have access to plants.
Second, beautiful flowers was a must.
Third, fragrant flowers became desirable. This was enough to call for a name change. In 2004, we became Logee’s – Growers since 1892 with a bi-line of Tropical Container Plants for Home and Garden. Our first book, Logee’s Spectacular Container Plants reflected our name and gave beginning gardeners the secrets to growing our tropical beauties.
For the next seven years, we remained consistent with a small tweaking and became, Logee’s Tropical Plants with a bi-line of Tropical Container Plants for Home and Garden. We wrote another book about Growing Tropical Fruit in Containers called “Growing Tasty Tropicals in any home, anywhere.” This book is chock full of information about how to grow fruiting varieties in pots, such as dwarf bananas, kumquats, lemons, limes, coffee, chocolate, etc.
At Logee’s we have repotted hundreds of thousands of plants and never once have we had a plant that didn’t grow into its new soil. We NEVER cut or fray the roots. We simply, move the plant up by one or two sizes with the least disturbance to the roots possible.
Currently, in potted horticulture, young plants are grown in what is called a plug or cell, which neatly contains the roots of the young propagation. This method allows our growers the ability to move the young plant into a larger pot without disturbing the roots. We are able to cut the growing time in half and finish a plant quickly because we have not disturbed the root system. In days past, plants were rooted or seeds were sown in flats and then they were uprooted and repotted with a great deal of root disturbance. A re-establishing time was needed and even a certain amount of mortality was expected in certain varieties. Today our plants never know they are being moved into bigger pots and they continue to flourish without a disruption to their root system. So remember, with a little knowledge about roots, you will reap the rewards of growing healthy and vigorous plants.
However, the demand for our plants was increasing beyond the scope of purely tropical plants. The past several issues of catalogues we even had a category for Hardy Garden Plants. We can’t compete with the big growers nor want to but we could stay true to our criterion, which is growing plants that do well in pots and if they aren’t in pots, like our hardy garden plants line, then the plant had a new criterion to meet. A Logee plant now has to be unusual, rare or have a really great story and serve our gardening customers.
So as of, Our Fall Issue 2011, we have another tweaking and name change. We are now officially “Logee’s- Plants for Home and Garden, Specializing in Rare and Unusual Plants.” And on the front cover we are highlighting an intoxicating fragrant White Champaca (Michelia alba). Our new name is a mouthful, but the overall gist is that we’ve been growing plants since 1892 and we are pretty darn good at it.
We also don’t want to limit ourselves to just tropicals but definitely want to offer the unique, rare and unusual.
We hope you like the new name change and will continue to enjoy the wonderful world of plants. Here is a sampling of what is in bloom today in the greenhouses.