A Smartphone Education — Lesson 1: Applications

Forget the days of rotary phones and post cards from your garden center because 2011 is the year of new marketing crazes. With current market trends leading to 50% of Americans using smartphones by Christmas of 2011, its no wonder many businesses have taken the leap towards mobile marketing.

For those who are unsure of what a smartphone is lets clear the air. No it is not a phone with a college degree, but rather one capable of surfing the web, hosting applications and using GPS, all while still making phone calls and texting.

SmartphoneOnce you own a smartphone it doesn’t take long to discover the wide world of applications. These are simply programs you can download onto your phone to assist you with what seems like any of life’s conundrums.  Whether it’s a BlackBerry, iPhone or Android operating system, there is a gardening application to assist you.

On the iPhone, the Folia Garden Tracker by Nic & Nath application allows you to look up information on more than 80,000 plants from their database, as well as compare and share your experiences with plants you’ve grown. It also keeps track of when flowers bloomed, when you transplanted them and keep track of your “seed stash” so you can see your seed inventory at a glance.

Blackberry users may find more assistance with a reference application such as Landscaper’s Companion by Stevenson Software, LLC. This application allows landscapers to reference perennials, trees, shrubs and annuals all while working on a job site. With more than 6,000 images and information about each plant, this is a great way to learn more about which plants are right for you.

The Android offers some great applications as well. One of the most popular is HortChat. This application allows you to get information on garden and plant tips or ask questions about what’s going on with your garden. This application also offers a website, HortChat.com, to add supplemental material.

What does this mean for a landscape company or greenhouse looking to get into smart phone marketing? While making an application may not be right for everyone at this moment in time, it is something to consider. There are many applications out there that offer the ability to showcase your product catalog. This could come in handy when showing off new plants in the greenhouse.

For the landscaper, it may be simply creating an app to allow homeowners to go in and pick plants they like then creating a landscape idea for their home. It can also serve as reference guides for on the go workers who don’t want to carry multiple books to the job site. Imagine the simplicity of showing off a new landscape or plant to a customer at their home with out having to carry pictures or even a computer.

There are a number of application developers available on the web for those who are not familiar with computer programming and while you may not think it fits into your budget, there are a number that offer low cost assistance for small businesses. It would be nearly impossible to put a complete up to date list of developers in this article, so the best advice is to go online, look around and do research before making any decisions.

Marketing in the new decade is going to be a fast paced endeavor for any company. With new trends popping up everyday its hard to decide which strategy is right for you. It all comes down to a few simple items: know your audience, know your product and do some research.

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Books, Birds, Chains and Videos – A Look at Social Media with the PPA

If you were to look up “Social Media” in a Webster’s dictionary 10 years ago, it
never would have been found. But in today’s society, you can’t go anywhere without
seeing a Facebook or Twitter logo. Everyone from sports teams to Fortune 500
companies, are using these social media outlets to get more “fans,” including the
Perennial Plant Association.

Many people wonder “What’s the point?” and some even ask, “What is it?” Each
social media page has it’s own function. According to Facebook.com, Facebook’s
mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and
connected. What started as a source to connect college students on campus, has
turned into a whirlwind of people participating, ranging from President Obama to
the little kids down the street. Facebook has also become a watchdog for businesses
and employers to view the competition or future employees.

Tweeting, tweets and tweeps; words that many of us would associate with birds,
but now are connected to the popular social media outlet Twitter. While similar to
Facebook in that you can update your status, Twitter does not directly host photo
albums, fan pages or groups but does offer trending topics and the ability to tag
key words in a post. For example, if you were to search for Perennial, it would pull
up all tweets (posts) including that word. Twitter.com describes itself as a real-
time information network that connects you to the latest information you find

If professionalism in social media is what you are looking for, LinkedIn may be your
answer. LinkedIn was created to serve as a means to create safe business contacts
that give you an advantage in your career. Their mission is to connect the world’s
professionals to make them more productive and successful. The groups you find
on LinkedIn will lead to discussions and possible connections to the interest area
of your choice. This form of social media also allows you to upload a resumè to
build your profile as well as receiving referrals from colleagues, classmates and

A leading social media site, which may seem unprofessional, is YouTube. While it
may seem that most people tune in to watch the top clip from Saturday Night Live or
to watch a talking dog, this site is again, also home to many Fortune 500 companies.
YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across
the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and
advertisers large and small, according to YouTube.com. One of the many advantages
of YouTube is the ability to create your own Channel. Much like the creation of
a television channel, you can add control, add and promote videos specific to an

interest area.

So what does this mean for the Perennial Plant Association? The PPA can be found
on all of these social media sites. The association strives to connect professionals,
provide education, and promote perennial plants. Social media is a new way of
doing just that. As a new decade is nearing, companies and associations must
explore all options to promoting their industries. While the PPA may be somewhat
new to these media facets, continue to look for new post from the PPA about
perennial happenings, discussions on improving the industry and information about
upcoming events, especially the 2011 Perennial Plant Association Symposium in
Atlanta, GA.

There are hundreds of different social media sites out on the web. Before joining
one or starting a page, do some research and see what will benefit your needs
the best. Most of these sites were created to serve as a means to spread news and
information. For those who are weary of getting started in social media there are
many books and websites that offer assistance to beginners.

Perennial Plant Association Social Media Listings

Facebook – Perennial Plant Association Fan Page

Twitter – twitter.com/ppanews

Linked In – Perennial Plant Association

YouTube – youtube.com/perennialplant

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Engagement Photos — Erin and Aaron

These photos were taken in mid summer when the wheat was a perfect golden color. My best friends Aaron and Erin will be getting married in May of 2011. They asked me to do some “farm scene” shots for them. Here is what came of it, they were my very first couples shoot!


This is the couple with the first tractor that Aaron had restored.

These photos speak for themselves. It was easy to photograph them because their love and playfulness is so natural.

If you are interested in having an engagement session done, please comment or contact me!

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Families are like fudge – mostly sweet with a few nuts.

Today I will share with you some photos I took of my Father and Sister Abby. I am a firm believer in the importance of family  and that they really are the foundation of my life. These photographs have even made it into frames in my new apartment!


My Papa!


A working woman.

The sun never sets on a bad a...

Everything looks better with a little deere in it

These photographs were taken around the family farm. Agriculture is and always will be a very important part of the Wensink history. I loved taking pictures of my family and would love to take some of yours too! If you would like family portraits done, please comment on this post. I can also be reached by e-mail!

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Lions, Tigers and Bears…Oh My!

Ok so there isn’t any photographs of lions, tigers or bears but there are of a few different animals. In our lives, animals serve many purposes. They can be our best friend, our source of income, our food and even our clothes. But the picture of these animals are to capture their innocence and loyalty to their human counterparts.
I hope you enjoy these photographs of some of my furry friends.


The connection of a mother and baby, the cow and calf.
As his job to protect the family sheep herd, Wyatt still loves to play and relax
Simply said…this is mans best friend.
A different kind of man/animal connection. A lamb who will lead a glamorous show life.
A lone calf lays in the pasture. One of my favorite photos…minus the poo!

We all have had different experiences with animals in our life and its hard to imagine what this world would be like without them.

If you would like to capture you animal life in natural settings I would love to take photographs for you. Please comment on the post if you are interested.

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Photo Shoot with Janelle

For those of you who I am close with you will know that these photos are also on Facebook. For anyone thats passing through, I took these photos for an independent study course while at The Ohio State University.

These photos were the start of my portrait sittings. Enjoy! If you need someone to take photos for you, let me know! I would love to do more sittings and events!

Posing in the Gazebo in a downtown park


One of my favorite close ups of the shoot!
I just love the peacefulness of this photo.
This shot was courtesy of a stone road and a hill. A random photo by a power station.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at these photos. I will be posting more in the coming days! If you would like portraits taken, please comment or send me a message and we will talk. Have a wonderful day!

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A New Beginning

A few weeks ago I accepted a job with the Perennial Plant Association. Since then I have relocated in the Columbus area once again, although I will say its a little weird to be back and not on campus!

At an attempt to share my photos, designs and cast off boredom I will once again be trying to blog! Ha! Last time I tried it last about a week. But what better way to show off some of my work, right?

So as I start to actually blog and write on here I will be posting photos and sharing my thoughts on everything from perennial happenings, cool photos I have taken and of course my thoughts on things! So be prepared…you can’t say I didn’t warn you!

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