July 21, 2009

Suntory Now Available Through Multiple Licensees

Jackson & Perkins is no longer the exclusive master licensee of Suntory Flowers annuals in North America. Suntory annuals, as well as varieties in the Suntory Collection, are now available in North America directly through several licensees. Jackson & Perkins is still one of those licensees. For the past few years, some new Suntory Collection varieties like Sun Parasol and Senetti have been introduced through several licensees who specialize in certain categories. The majority of the annual part of the Suntory Collection has, however, been available through Jackson & Perkins. For more information on Suntory Flowers or Jackson & Perkins, click the respective link.

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July 21, 2009

Dutch Lilies Coming To America

The International Flower Bulb Centre (IFBC) and Anthos (the Royal Dutch Trade Association for Flower Bulbs and Nursery Stock) are teaming with Longwood Gardens, a display garden in Kennett Square, Pa., to showcase the latest varieties of lilies Dutch hybridizers developed. Longwood Gardens spans more than 1,000 acres and features 20 indoor gardens and 20 outdoor gardens. Now, more than 10,000 cut lily stems will be on display May 21-31, 2010 at Lilytopia in innovative and fragrant designs European trends inspired. “Longwood has a very long history with the Dutch bulb industry,” says Paul Redman, facility director. “Last year, we had almost 300,000 spring bulbs on display in the conservatory and across more than 250 acres of formal gardens. We have a full-time horticulturist, Juergen Steininger, who focuses on bulbs. Because of Juergen and our history, we had been having conversations with Anthos and [the IFBC].” A one-day professional symposium […]

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July 21, 2009

Medal Of Excellence Winners!

The winners of this year’s Medal of Excellence award winners were unveiled at our Evening of Excellence ceremony at OFA Short Course. The winners are as follows: Industry Achievement Award: Suntory Marketing Award: John Henry Co. Editor’s Choice Award: Lobularia ‘Snow Princess’ from Proven Winners Industry’s Choice Award: Lobularia ‘Snow Princess’ from Proven Winners Reader’s Choice Award: Caliente and Calliope geranium series expansion from Syngenta Flowers Congratulations to all the winners and this year’s nominees! We also announced our 2009 Grower of the Year at the Evening of Excellence ceremony. George Lucas of Lucas Greenhouses in Monroeville, N.J., earned the honor this year. The other nominees were Hank Bukowski of Kube-Pak, Abe and Art Van Wingerden of Metrolina Greenhouses and the Pinkus family from Nortex Wholesale Nursery.

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July 21, 2009

Floranova Relocates North American Office

Floranova will relocate its North American sales office July 27 from Granger, Ind., to the current breeding facility in Lompoc, Ca. “The relocation of the sales office to Lompoc is key to our success in the North American market,” says Dominic Lacey, Floranova managing director. “The centralization of functions will provide a critical mass, aid communication and enable a broader and larger seed inventory to be held in the United States–essential to respond quickly to the demands of our customers.’ The new office contact details are: Floranova 222 North A Street Lompoc, CA 93436 Phone: 805-737-1962 Fax: 805-737-1963 E-mail: [email protected] Joining the new California team are Gwyn Mickelson and Shannon Trowbridge. Mickelson, who previously worked for Ball and Waller in customer service roles, takes on the position of customer service manager. She will be responsible for all North American customer service. Trowbridge, an account manager, will operate from Indiana providing enhanced sales […]

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July 7, 2009

Monrovia Technical Manager Tragically Killed

Marty Langmaid, who served Monrovia as a technical manager at Wight Nurseries, a nursery in Cairo, Ga., was tragically killed July 1 when a vehicle struck him as he was riding his bike. Langmaid was 53. Langmaid earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from the University of Georgia in 1978, and he worked at Wight Nurseries for an astounding 30 years. He is survived by his wife, Rosa, his son Neil who is an inside sales representative with Monrovia, and his daughter-in-law Lara. Guests can sign an online register for Langmaid at ClarkFuneral.com.

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July 1, 2009

AAS Names Another Variety A Winner

Viola ‘Endurio Sky Blue Martien’ joins gaillardia ‘Mesa Yellow,’ snapdragon ‘Twinny Peach and zinnia ‘Zahara Starlight Rose’ as 2010 All-America Selections (AAS) Winners. ‘Endurio Sky Blue Martien’ is AAS’s 2010 Cool Season award winner. ‘Endurio Sky Blue’ greets gardeners with a burst of clear blue. This unique spreading/mounding viola looks delicate, but it delivers tough-as-nails performance in the garden. In mild southern regions, it flowers throughout the winter, laughing off wind, rain, cold temperatures and passing snowfalls. In northern temperate climates, it dazzles gardeners with two-season color–flowering well after first frost when planted in autumn and once again in spring after snow has melted and soil has warmed. ‘Endurio Sky Blue’ can also be planted in early spring, covering planters and landscapes with sky blue blooms well into summer. Delicate 0.75-inch flowers cover plants in beautiful sky blue. Spreading/mounding plants grow to 6 inches tall and 10-12 inches wide, creating […]

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July 1, 2009

Oglesby Plants Names Sales & Marketing Director

Oglesby Plant International has added Dave Dagen to its team as director of marketing and sales. “I’m thrilled to integrate Dave into the Oglesby team,” says Gary Hennen, president of Oglesby Plants International. “The wealth of expertise and experience he brings to the table will serve us well as we move down the path of continued growth and industry leadership.” In his new role, Dagen will direct and develop marketing and sales strategies to help Oglesby Plants International maintain its current position in the tropical plant industry, as well as help the company move into new product areas. Dagen’s responsibilities include overseeing all sales and marketing activities and coordinating activities of remote sales people. Most recently, Dagen served as general manager for Emerald Coast Growers, with locations in Florida and Pennsylvania. He began his career in horticulture as a grower/manager of carnations and poinsettias in the 1970s, and then moved […]

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July 1, 2009

Monrovia’s Georgia Nursery Makes History

Monrovia is the first nursery outside the West Coast to be accepted into the U.S. Nursery Certification Program (USNCP), a program launched four years ago by the USDA that standardizes pest management practices and allows nursery stock to be shipped outside the U.S. without an export inspection.   The Cairo, Ga., nursery is Monrovia’s fourth facility to earn such designation. Its Dayton, Ore., nursery was among the first accepted when the program began pilot testing, and its Visalia and Venice Hills, Calif., facilities were accepted in 2007. “While a majority of plant material shipped to Canada comes from our Oregon nursery, there is still a demand for tropical varieties and a wide range of plants we grow here in Georgia,” says Marty Langmaid, a Monrovia technical services manager.   Monrovia has established a system of policies and processes that have been approved by the USDA, and as part of the […]

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June 30, 2009

Athens Select Debuts Four Varieties

Athens Select has introduced two new varieties to the ‘Prince’ family of pennisetums, along with two new gaillardias for 2009. “Each of these plants is sure to wow, with the amazing colors and heat tolerance Athens Select plants are known for,” says Dr. Allan Armitage, founder of Athens Select. Gaillardia ‘Georgia Sunset’ This gaillardia is a new plant whose brilliant gold and orange bicolor blossoms light up the landscape. Each flower measures almost 2 inches across. Plants are compact, free breaking and grow approximately 18 inches tall. They are heat and humidity tolerant. Flowering time is from late spring to fall. ‘Georgia Sunset’ takes full sun, and is hardy to Zone 7b. Gaillardia ‘Georgia Yellow’ From the same breeding program as ‘Georgia Sunset,’ this plant features solid butter-yellow flowers that are about 2 inches across on a compact plant with strong stems. Plants are heat and humidity tolerant. Flowering time […]

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June 30, 2009

New Varieties Showcasing At Farwest Show

Growers and others attending the Farwest Show at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland later this year can evaluate some of the newest varieties at the New Varieties Showcase, a special display garden featuring an assortment of breeds. The Farwest Show New Varieties Showcase selection committee only approved into the showcase 60 percent of the varieties submitted for review. The committee, made up of garden designers, retailers, wholesale growers, and garden media, evaluated submissions based on the uniqueness of the plants, value at retail and in growing environments, and desirability in the landscape and containers. As a result of the evaluation, Farwest Show attendees will see an interesting array of plants displayed in a professionally designed display garden. “No other show that we’re aware of makes this type of investment in a new plant display, either in terms of valuable show floor or publication space or staff time” says John […]

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June 30, 2009

Target Center In Minneapolis Gets Green Roof

Workers began unrolling 80-pound strips of plants atop a thin layer of soil last weekend to begin a $5.3 million, 2 ½-acre green roof on the Target Center in Minneapolis. The Target Center is home to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and it hosts concerts and other events. It’s one of three green roofs being installed by the Minneapolis city government, along with City Hall and the downtown Central Library, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “It’s really depressing to see the sheer amount of tarred rooftops,” City Council member Lisa Goodman told a Star Tribune reporter, talking about the city’s view from above. “This is an opportunity.” To read more about the project, click here.

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June 25, 2009

Meet Suntory’s Breeders

Dr. Yasuyuki Murakami, breeder of Million Bells You could consider Yasuyuki Murakami the father of the entire calibrachoa genus for global commercial flower production. “I still can’t forget the first impression of Million Bells (calibrachoas), when I discovered them for the first time,” he says. Their ability to produce endless blooms attracted me to this plant and my desire was to make this a better plant for garden use, which consumers would love. That was the time the company started a new project which included flowers. We were short of staff but I started to study Million Bells as one of the new projects and my goal was to make it into a commercial product.” He was encouraged by Suntory’s success with Surfinia petunias bred by Shinzo Tuda. “Originally, the calibrachoa was late flowering with the flowers closing easily and a high susceptibility to disease,” Murakami says. “Calibrachoa species has […]

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June 23, 2009

AAS Summer Meeting Hits Denver

The All-America Selections (AAS) Summer Meeting from August 5-7 is approaching fast. Registration is encouraged by June 30, as all registrants after that date will be charged an additional $100. The American Garden Award competition will be viewed at the Denver Botanic Garden. AAS Trials will be studied and evaluated at Welby Gardens and Colorado State University. Containers are big this year with over 800 at Welby Gardens in WestWoods and Syngenta Flowers in Boulder. This meeting will be executive director Nona Koivula’s last. Koivula will serve as a Master of Ceremony for the banquet along with Al Gerace. She has oftened threatened to retire from AAS, but this time she is serious. The program this year will focus on people who made the event a success over the last 25 years. For more information on the event, click here.

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June 23, 2009

Breakthrough In Colocasia Breeding

Dr. Jon Cho of the University of Hawaii has achieved a significant breakthrough in colocasia breeding. One of the beneficial attributes of Cho’s breeding of the Royal Hawaiian colocasias, which earned our Editor’s Choice award last year, is either very short stolons or lack of above- or below-ground stolons or runners. The runner attribute is a characteristic of wild-type taros that is useful for survival in the tropics and spreading the species. Runners are not, however, very useful in the landscape. Colocasias introduced in the United Stated with the stolon attribute, and subsequent escape into the natural environment, have become a problem in certain subtropical areas. As a result, colocasias have gained the status of an invasive plant. All of Cho’s ornamental hybrids that have been released have very short or no stolons. The rationale for release of only those with short or no stolons is to avoid introducing invasive […]

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June 23, 2009

Fides Flower Festival Adds A Fun Twist

The Fides Flower Festival had an added twist this year with a fun campaign called Three Dazzling Days, which offered Fides customers unique offers, prizes and discounts. One of the prizes awarded was a 7 percent discount on 1 million cuttings. Fides customers from all over the world had a chance to profit from unique offers and product discounts during their visit. A wheel of fortune spun six times a day to surprise customers with prizes, such as full exclusivity to a new cut flower or pot plant variety for an entire year or an all-inclusive trip to the country where cuttings are produced. Fides introduced its vigorous geranium series Master Idols at the flower trials. Geraniums have an excellent branching habit, meaning one plant will easily fill out a larger pot size. New colors in the Margarita osteospermum series were judged, and the Fortunia petunia serried introduced new Picotee […]

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June 22, 2009

Pretty ‘N’ Potted

Dömmen USA New to the Red Fox line for 2010 is the ‘Red Baron’ garden begonia. ‘Red Baron’ is a true red double-flowering begonia that offers an earlier flowering time and can be chosen as an alternative to traditional reds. Grandiosa interspecific geranium is a new interspecific crossed geranium series of pelargonium x domesticum x crispum. Grandiosa includes easy traditional geranium rooting in four weeks and the benefit of no pinching and no deep cooling period for blooming. The series offers continuous flowering, good for outdoor or indoor use.   Ball Ornamentals ‘Southern Star’ ruellia is the first dwarf ruellia from seed, which makes this heat-loving nursery item more readily available and affordable to grow. ‘Southern Star’ is very adaptable and low maintenance. This variety is tolerant to wet and dry conditions, making it a great option for very hot conditions like Texas and Florida. It’s available in white, blue […]

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June 22, 2009

Get To The Point(settias)

Paul Ecke Ranch The newest poinsettia from Ecke is ‘Polar Bear.’ Boasting dark foliage, it finishes earlier than other whites and features a longer post-production durability. For every cutting purchased, Ecke will make a donation to Polar Bears International. Marketing material (Potcha! grower pots, tags, posters and bench cards) is also available.  ‘Ice Punch’ is an eye-catching cultivar that commands higher price points for growers and retailers. Framed by dark green leaves, this poinsettia has highly stable patterned bracts that contrast rich cranberry with frosty white centers. ‘Ice Punch’ adapts to a range of product forms and pot sizes.   ‘Winter Blush’ delivers a white and pink color contrast which creates higher visual appeal than other marbled varieties, with large, showy bracts and strong cyathia clusters that add to the impact. This poinsettia has an upright branch position, which allows for higher density production.   Syngenta Flowers ‘Carousel Dark Red’ […]

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June 18, 2009

Medal Of Excellence Nominee: Osteospermum ‘Voltage Yellow’ By Ball Horticultural Company

Ball FloraPlant’s new osteospermum, ‘Voltage Yellow,’ boasts bright color, earliness and landscape performance. It’s proclaimed to be the first osteo in bloom and last out of bloom. When shoppers are craving color in early spring, this clear yellow variety will stop traffic The plant features flexible stems that sleeve, ship and show well, making it ideal for large baskets and containers. The low, spreading habit fills in landscapes. ‘Voltage Yellow’ is in trials across the United States and will be available to growers this summer. ‘Voltage Yellow’ is a great choice for growers with low-energy input needs and excellent branching, so fewer plant growth regulators are needed to produce naturally full and compact plants. Rick Ouding, owner of Kalamazoo Specialty Plants says, “It flowered two weeks earlier than all the other varieties. The fact that it will go longer into the season clinches the sale.” Cultural tips for growers include: […]

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June 18, 2009

Medal Of Excellence Nominee: Petunia ‘Soleil Purple’ By Selecta

‘Soleil Purple’ is a drought-tolerant petunia from Tesselaar offered through Selecta. It performs like a groundcover and is great for landscapes and consumer neglect. It loves sun and tolerates heat. Plants produce more flowers under dry conditions. It grows when watered and flowers when stressed by drought. Not only does it require less water, it recovers after days without watering–the perfect plant to leave behind on vacation.

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