April 13, 2009

Hines Announces New Name & Management Team

Hines Horticulture is now Hines Nurseries, following Black Diamond Capital Management’s purchase of it earlier this year. A new management team is also in place. It includes: – Bob Sands, president and chief executive officer–John Krajanowski, chief operating officer and chief production officer–Claudia Pieropan, senior vice president and chief financial officer –Mike Trebing, senior vice president of sales and marketing All four have extensive experience in the industry. Sands most recently served Bordier’s Nursery, another growing operation that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy late last year, as president and CEO. He also served Powell Plant Farms in the same roles. Trebing, who previously worked at Hines for more than 25 years in various sales and marketing capacities, now returns to the operation. Krajanowski and Pieropan are existing Hines employees. “As a company we are returning to our core values and business philosophies which the company has been built upon over […]

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April 8, 2009

Expanding Niche Offerings

When you come to visit Pacific Plug & Liner in Watsonville, you also get to see a whole new world of floriculture with the Agrexco alliance of companies in Israel. These range from Jaldety’s varieties of niche annuals and perennials and plants with foliage and texture, to Cohen’s mainstream vegetative annuals, Hishtil’s herbs and vegetables and Schwartz geraniums  bred by Endisch. New this year was Isaacson Flowers with gorgeous, double-flowered mandevillas and large flowered blue thunbergias. Hishtil presented innovative packaging for tomatoes and herbs, which protects plants in a cage but also provides a picture, information and a carrying handle. Pictured is Potomato. Pacific Plug & Liner (PP&L) is the young plants division of Smith Gardens in Bellingham, Wash. The company is always pursuing licensing agreements with the most innovative genetics, including a striking new salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish,’ licensed through PlantHaven. Each year PP&L conducts independent comparison trials of two […]

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April 8, 2009

Showcasing Succulents & Organics

If you want to visit a neutral company that works with just about all the flower breeders, Plug Connection in Vista, Calif., is the place. In addition to facilitating a comprehensive comparison trial in new varieties against others on the market, the company selects vegetative crop categories to trial. This year it was petunias ranging from the small-flowered petunias to large ones in all color classes. Pack Trials continue to be a great opportunity for Plug Connection to showcase its own collections of offerings, which are expanding every year. New this year is the Mosaics collection of succulents, which were presented in a giant living wall, in combination plantings, pots, liner trays and even whimsical topiaries. There is now question this category is capturing more attention. Consumers are intrigued by their sculptural qualities and love the fact they are low maintenance and require less water. In regions with watering restrictions, […]

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April 7, 2009

Ball’s Coleus ‘Henna’ Now In VIVA! Line

Coleus ‘Henna’ is available nationally this spring in the VIVA! collection at The Home Depot. ‘Henna’ has beautiful and different foliage that is chartreuse with copper patterning on top of the leaves and a dark burgundy underside. It will get about 18 to 24 inches tall in the garden with a spread of about 16 inches. ‘Henna’ is a Ball FloraPlant product. “The last few years, there have been quite a few new coleus that have come to market,” says Ray French, product manager of the VIVA! line for Floragem. “In design, we look for bronze- and copper-toned contrasts, and the fact that ‘Henna’ will do well in shade or in sun will allow widespread use of this great new plant.” For more information on ‘Henna,’ visit www.vivagarden.com.

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April 3, 2009

Winners From Westhoff

German breeder Westhoff continues to bring innovative varieties propagated by many licensees, including Dummen, Cohen and Plant Source International. Its best known series include Hot lobelias, Celebration calibrachoas and On Top scaevolas. This was the second year the company exhibited with Dummen at Greenheart Farms.

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April 3, 2009

More Innovations From Dummen

Dummen continues to be the market leader in making combination plantings easy for growers. For several years, growers have been experiencing the benefits of the Confetti Garden liner program, with three different cuttings rooted in one Ellepot. In addition to enhancing quality and consistency, growers save labor and no longer have to worry if the various cuttings will arrive together to assemble combos. Dummen has taken this concept to the next level by allowing growers to buy the Confetti Garden combinations as unrooted cuttings. Growers receive the cuttings to assemble 400 combination planters at once in a box. Two new eyecatching Confetti Garden combinations are Patriot in red, white and blue, and Lavender Spring in beautiful pastels. This was also a big year for new variety introductions and new genuses for Dummen. These include: Phloxy Lady phlox in four colors, Aretes fuchsias, Bahia bacopas and Swing trailing osteospermums. Hot new […]

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April 2, 2009

Syngenta Introduces Kwik Kombos Liners

Astounded by market response to rooted combo liners, like Dummen and Selecta have been offering, Syngenta has trialed its extensive genetics to see which ones will work best as Kwik Kombos liners. “We didn’t realize the box store growers would embrace this, but there has been tremendous response,” says Syngenta Flowers’ Harvey Lang. “They want to simplify combo plantings. Problems occur when cuttings don’t arrive together for sticking crews. Growers are willing to pay more up front for the input because it will pay off later.” Syngenta also is positioning its new geraniums that are ivy-zonal crosses as hybrid geraniums to consumers and the trade. The goal is to position them as a whole new class. Last year’s big hit was ‘Calliope Red,’ which looks and behaves more like a zonal and is a red unmatched in zonal geraniums. Home Depot is calling it ‘Big Red’ this spring and Walmart […]

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April 2, 2009

Goldsmith’s New Look

You could say the trials underwent an extreme makeover at Goldsmith Seeds this year. To make room for displays from new parent company Syngenta Flowers, Goldsmith took out all the benches that had been there for decades, cut them in half and relayed the floor to open up the space. The tables for dining were moved to the center of the greenhouses, with Goldsmith Seeds’ displays at the entrance and Syngenta Flowers’ on the other side. Both were organized in seasonal vignettes. Goldsmith worked with The John Henry Co. on merchandising concepts, including: – Make It Simple to help consumers with combination plantings by indicating which plants are focal, filler and cascading. (thriller, filler, spiller) – Zeroing on just a few colors at a time in a display to create new looks. – Celebrating women, having fun with friends and flowers. – Spring, the gift everyone is guaranteed to love. We also saw two […]

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March 31, 2009

All The International Scoop At Speedling

The stop at Speedling shared new varieties from around the world, with exhibitors Sunny from Denmark, Greenex from Denmark, GGG-International from Germany, Schoneveld Twello from The Netherlands, Thompson & Morgan from England, Hem Genetics from The Netherlands and Northern Innovators from Canada. The new introductions at this stop included the ‘Superstar’ heat-tolerant lobelia (pictured) from Westhoff, a breeder from Germany. The American contingency at Speedling included Plant Source International and MasterTag, which presented new marketing concepts for Halloween sales, Urban Gardeners and Kitchen Gardeners. Speedling also showed off its Pull and Pack Program that helps growers save on freight. Click here for more photos and details from the stop at Speedling.

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March 30, 2009

Danziger’s Dazzling Debuts

It’s another banner year for new introductions, with Danziger showing 45 of 65 new varieties at the trials from angelonia to verbena.

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March 30, 2009

Breeding Synergies At Kieft

At Kieft’s trials, we learned more about Florensis–the Dutch breeding, production and distribution company that has an ownership stake in Kieft–and how the two companies are working together on breeding. While Florensis is more focused on vegetative crops, the breeders are working together on seed and vegetative, combining resources and capabilities. Vegetative lines on display include the Glow petunias, which have been very well received by growers for uniformity and daylength neutrality, Vegas verbena, and a dark new sedum, ‘Black Beauty.’ In seed perennials, the big introduction was the green-leaved heuchera ‘Malachite’ as a companion to last year’s burgundy colored ‘Melting Fire.’ Seed alternatives to popular vegetative perennials have been a strong direction for Kieft. Scabiosa ‘Blue Note,’ a very compact alternative to ‘Butterfly Blue’ is expected to be a strong introduction, but is still in the experimental stage. Salvia is another genus Kieft is working on. In seed annuals, […]

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March 24, 2009

Ball & Suntory Host Master Gardeners At Pack Trials

Two busloads of avid gardeners will converge on the southern tier of the California Pack Trials on Saturday, when Ball Horticultural Co. and Jackson & Perkins/Suntory host the Fresno Master Gardeners in Santa Paula and Somis, Calif. “This is a group of passionate gardeners who really know very little of how our industry works,” says Danny Takao of Takao Nursery in Fresno, who helped organize the trip. “Lou Aguirre of Jackson & Perkins and Pete Kruger of Ball Horticulture will be taking the 90-plus Master Gardeners behind the scenes and introducing them to Pack Trials.” The two Master Gardeners coordinating the tour are Rita Evans and Gail Cole. The group will spend the first day at the trials and then spend the next day in Pasadena, visiting Vescanso Gardens, Huntington Botanical Gardens and Armstrong Garden Center. The group plans a tour each year as part of its educational component, alternating […]

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March 23, 2009

Debut Darlings

Ball Horticultural Company Taishan marigolds come in Gold, Orange, Yellow and a mixture. Taishan delivers season-long landscape performance with high-impact color, less breakage in shipping and beautiful blooms at retail. This marigold can reach 12 inches in height and was a top performer in the humid, summer heat in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games. The Can-Can calibrachoa series comes in four colors: Apricot, Mocha, Orange and Strawberry. Well-branched and free-flowering plants have a uniform, mounded and trailing habit. Strong, vigorous plants offer season-long garden performance. Can-Can is ideal for outdoor production and is very pH tolerant, assuring foliage stays consistently dark green even at higher pH levels. In Dusty Rose and Lime Green, the Debonair petunia collection is versatile for pots, baskets and combination containers in never-seen-before colors. Both colors change with the environment. The Dusty Rose color will become lighter, more yellow in higher light and warmer conditions. […]

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March 20, 2009

Pack Trials Preview: Schoneveld Twello B.V.

Da Vinci has a round plant structure, thick, strong flower stems and long-lasting abundant flowering. It is available in six colors. Picasso is a silver-leafed cyclamen with the same genetic characteristics of ‘Mini Winter.’ With an open plant structure, it does well in more humid conditions, including outdoor use. It has received positive feedback in outdoor trials over the last few years. ‘Picasso’ is available in seven colors. Allure features medium-sized flowers and a compact plant structure. It combines faster flowering (seven to 10 days earlier than ‘Macro’) with thick flower stems and uniform, rich flowering. Available in nine colors. Visit the Schoneveld Twello B.V. website for more varieties information.

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March 20, 2009

Ecke Ranch Restructures Pricing

For the first time, Ecke will publish grower list pricing for all unrooted, callused and prefinished products for both Ecke Geraniums and The Flower Fields. Changes will be effective for shipments beginning late this year. “In recent times, grower pricing has become muddied,” says Tom Hennessey, national sales director. “Often, it was not clear what the final price to a grower might be for a given product.” The published grower list price will be a “landed” cost, including cutting, intellectual property fee and freight for all unrooted and callused cuttings. Cutting and intellectual property fee will be bundled for all prefinished products. In addition, all remaining non-published rooted products will have bundled price points that include the cutting and intellectual property fee. For tiered quoted and volume discount customers, Ecke will be presenting the “landed” and bundled price models in this category as well, providing for cost estimation efficiency while […]

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March 18, 2009

Sneak Peek: Pack Trials Preview

Check out some of the new varieties that will be on display at the 2009 California Pack Trials, March 28 through April 5. Click the links below for new varieties from the following breeders: Ball Taishan marigold Can-Can calibrachoa Breathless euphorbia Debonair petunia Goldsmith Seeds ‘Cora Cascade’ vinca ‘Mammoth XL’ pansy ‘Big Kiss’ gazania ‘Aromas’ snapdragon Picobella mini petunia Greenex Kalanchoe Queen Wildflowers Orange, Frozen White and Funky Red Greenheart Farms Sunny Cities Hibiscus Pico HEM Genetics Snappy snapdragon Jardina cyclamen Corina viola Plant Haven ‘Ascot Rainbow’ euphorbia Schoneveld Twello B.V. Da Vinci cyclamen Picasso cyclamen Allure cyclamen Selecta First Class LaVela Pink Spanish lavender Trumpet Red gaillardia

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March 18, 2009

Niagara Pack Trial Cancelled

The Canadian Ornamental Plant Foundation (COPF) and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre have made the decision that due to the current difficult economic climate, the 2009 Niagara Pack Trial and Marketing Innovation Symposium will be canceled. The Niagara Pack Trial and Marketing Innovation Symposium directly aligned with both Vineland Research and Innovation Centre’s and the COPF’s missions to strengthen relations between growers and breeders for the benefit of the horticulture industry. While there was initially enthusiastic feedback to the concept by contributors, it became apparent that market conditions overshadowed their ability to participate. “With the majority of companies in the industry looking to cut costs, we felt this wasn’t the right time to ask exhibitors or attendees to take part in a new event,” says Darlene Brown, director of public relations and communications, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. “This is the time to support the industry by offering new marketing […]

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March 17, 2009

Proven Winners Taking Message Out To The Ballgame

Proven Winners is partnering with WGN radio in Chicago to sponsor a three-game series between the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers over Mother’s Day weekend. In addition to on-air endorsements beginning two days before the three-game series, Proven Winners’ exclusive sponsorship will also be recognized during both the top and bottom half of each inning of every game. On Mother’s Day, Proven Winners will reward one lucky Mom with a garden valued at $5,000, as well as a party for 14 in WGN’s skybox at Wrigley Field for a 2009 Cubs game.

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March 17, 2009

Sorting Out The Home & Garden Shows

You may have read recently The New York Times story pointing out the decline in flower shows around the country due in large part to the economy. A bright spot appeared, however, in Minneapolis. The 75th Home & Garden Show there drew about 75,000 people over a five-day period at the beginning of March. That’s a double-digit percentage increase from the year before, according to a story on MSNBC.com. “I think more people who weren’t do-it-yourselfers are becoming do-it-yourselfers because of the economy,” organizer Bruce Evans says in the story. “They are staying home, so they’re going to improve their home.” Evans also told a local TV station many of the themes of the show focused on do-it-yourself projects on a smaller scale than previously showcased. Once at the show, people were talking about large-scale projects and planning major landscape changes. Read more on the Minneapolis show here. Read The […]

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March 13, 2009

Big Begonia’s Online Home

BIG begonia has a new website at www.Big-Begonia.com. In-depth information and answers to your frequently asked questions are stored on specific pages for growers, retailers, landscapers, homeowners and garden writers The website is offered in three languages–English, German and French–and it lists many of BIG begonia’s benefits.

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