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COVER STORY Vertical Growth By Kelli Rodda I n the throes of a recession, business partners Anthony Caggiano and Melissa Daniels knew they needed to diversify. As owners of Plant Connection Inc., they’d been brokering and growing nursery stock for the last decade. During that time, they provided green roof plants for several projects in New York City for local landscape firms. A serendipitous opportunity was presented in 2007 when Plant Connection Inc. (PCI) was hired to grow an 11,000-square-foot pre- grown green roof module for the New York Mets’ new Citi Field. It was the pair’s light bulb moment. “Seeing an opportunity for an expanding market and significant interest in liv- ing architecture in the North American marketplace, PCI developed relationships with several green roof and green wall companies to help them with their plant sourcing and growing,” Daniels said. And by 2009, the pair was part of growing the largest exterior living wall (at that time) in North America for PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh, Pa. PNC was looking for innovative ways to make its new headquarters more energy 20 | Nursery Management JUNE 2013 | NurseryManagementOnline.com TOP LEFT, BOTTOM RIGHT: CHRISTOPHER APPOLDT Plant Connection swapped its traditional nursery stock for living wall plants and installation.