The new way of a presenting the trials was a big hit at Ball Horticultural Co. in Santa Paula was a big hit. The Shoppes On Main concept was developed by Jennifer Neujahr, who is product marketing manager for key brands like Wave petunias. Each shop had a distinctive look: Fantastic Foliage and Flowers as Pottery Barn, PanAmerican Seed as Nordstrom, Wave petunias as a groovy surf shop, Burpee Home Gardens as a farmers market, and Ball FloraPlant and Ball Seed as upscale clothing stores. Visitors could window shop, go inside each store to see more, or go even further back to learn about production information.
This was a big year for Wave petunias with exciting introductions and mixes. Three new Easy Waves are, Burgundy Star, Violet, Plum Vein and an improved White. New mixes with these colors are Starfish Mix and Plum Pudding. Denim is a new Shockwave, with colors that fade and become stonewashed, just like your favorite bluejeans.
More exciting petunias include the Sophistica and Debonaire petunias in designer colors mixing rose and lime. While the Sophisticas match the Dreams grandiflora series, Debonaires match the Madness multiflora series. New vegetative petunias from Ball FloraPlant include a new Sun Spun series that are compact and pot tight and would compete against Dummen’s Potunias and Danziger’s Rays. Four new Suncatchers are Red, Yellow, Purple Rose and Burgundy.
The biggest vegetative introduction is Breathless euphorbia in two colors, White and blush. While White is comparable to Proven Winners’ ‘Diamond Frost,’ bulsh offers dark foliage and subtle pink striping in its flowers. Another one that caught a lot of attention is ‘Voltage Yellow,’ an osteospermum that’s two weeks earlier but lasts longer through the summer.