“It’s your day!,” Ball Seed promised, as a mix of growers, landscapers and retailers arrived to attend the company’s annual field and landscape day, held July 25 at the Ball Horticultural Co. headquarters in West Chicago, Ill. Starting off with a line of greeters at the door, Ball Seed made every effort to make the day one its customers would remember for some time to come.
Attendees roamed through eight acres of annual and perennial trial gardens, touring the seed labs and attending the many presentations scheduled throughout the day. They also had the opportunity to receive some inspiration from Dr. Allan Armitage while enjoying their lunch.
Here are some of the day’s highlights:
Plants, Plants And More Plants. Visitors had more than 150,000 plants to look at during the day, to see firsthand how some of the latest varieties like Easy Wave Velour petunias, Endurascape verbenas and Kabloom calibrachoas are performing. Suppliers like Dümmen, Benary, Sakata, Syngenta and Takii were on-hand, to answer questions and meet with customers.
App Showcase. Ball Seed’s Gro Getter mobile app made its premier at the event. Gro Getter features product and growing information all in one place, instantly accessible with a smartphone or tablet. Look for the app in the next few months as it moves out of the beta phase.
Additionally, visitors watched demonstrations of the Ball WebTrack software, a program for managing online inventory and orders.
The GrowIt! mobile app demonstration was also a popular stop for visitors. The app is the gardener’s version of Twitter and Pinterest, offering a way to connect socially by sharing plant pictures and exchanging information like plant identification, garden locations and growing tips.
Containers For Every Occasion. Joan Mazat, Ball Seed’s production manager and a member of Ball’s mixed container committee, offered several ideas for mixed containers that help increase profitability on the sales side and ensure success on the consumer side. Visit the container gallery on Ball’s website to see some of the container solutions trialed by the committee.
Inspiration, Armitage Style. Dr. Armitage’s keynote address, among other optimistic and inspiring messages, encouraged attendees to spend their money on quality plants that offer consumer success. He discussed annual and perennial plants that are tried-and-true performers.
Landscape and Retail Idea Swaps. Attendees networked and brainstormed in meetings designed to generate and exchange winning ideas.