As we look ahead at our breeding objectives, one thing that remains a centerpiece of our focus is garden performance. We feel that breeding for garden performance must be a primary objective and not an afterthought in breeding. While color trends may change, scent and texture preferences may vary, one thing will always remain the same, end consumers must be successful in their own gardens if our industry and our products are to thrive.
Garden performance is equally important with the landscape trade but performance is only one of the factors in product selection. To meet their needs, we will expand our offerings in products like BIG begonias, where minimal maintenance and adaptability are important features. And we are constantly looking for products like Northern Lights pentas that can tolerate cooler conditions not typical of the species, so that the geographic range of a product’s use can be increased.
But performance alone will not expand our business. To achieve those objectives, we are working hard to bring new and innovative products to the market, products like ptilotus ‘Joey.’ In an industry where almost every conversation begins with, “What’s new?” we feel that really innovative products will be a driving force in the industry.
And we will continue to look for ways to reduce growers’ production costs through breeding. Programs like our FastraX perennials that yield the same high-quality perennials consumers demand but can reduce production times and costs for the grower will play a role in those developments.
Duane Sinning is Vice President of Sales & Marketing (North America) for Benary.