June 18, 2009

Medal Of Excellence: Visionary Varieties

Our Medal of Excellence awards program has truly become a hall of fame in the varieties world, with many calling it the Oscars of our industry. We’ll be presenting five awards recognizing the visionaries behind programs that advance varieties, which are the lifeblood of our industry and the grower’s pipeline to create new markets. We celebrate Suntory’s contributions in the vegetative annuals revolution by presenting the Japanese flower breeder our Industry Achievement award. The company has reinvented genuses and created a market for new ones, like calibrachoa. The journey began 20 years ago with an amazing petunia named Surfinia. This is the first time we present our marketing award to a packaging company. We’re thrilled to honor The John Henry Co., which has devoted nearly a century to enhancing floral and garden retail. Suspense is building for our three breeding awards–Industry’s Choice, Editor’s Choice and Reader’s Choice. Nominations were chosen […]

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June 18, 2009

Medal Of Excellence Nominee: Euphorbia ‘Breathless Blush’ By Ball Horticultural Company

Ball FloraPlant introduced Breathless euphorbia in two colors. While Blush is the only dark-foliaged Euphorbia hypericifolia on the market with blush pink accents in the flowers, White has terrific branching and a dense flowering habit. Plants are heat tolerant and fill in fast, making stocky and mounded plants displaying a showy mass of self-cleaning flowers all summer across a wide range of conditions. Long-lasting and free flowering, Breathless is well suited to solo and mixed containers, in-ground plantings and holiday gift planters with low water needs and no deadheading. With the popularity of this type of euphorbia increasing tremendously, ‘Breathless Blush’ is a unique twist consumers will love. Cultural tips for growers include: – Stick cuttings immediately upon arrival. Euphorbia cuttings are prone to breakdown if stored an additional 12 hours. – Reduce mist as soon as possible. Once roots are visible, the media should be kept moist and never […]

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June 18, 2009

Medal Of Excellence: Saluting Suntory

The timing couldn’t be better to present Japanese flower breeder Suntory with our Medal of Excellence for Industry Achievement. This year marks the 20-year anniversary of its very first flower introduction in the Suntory collection–Surfinia, a vigorous vegetative petunia that swept the world like a tsunami by creating a whole new class of petunias, commanding a premium unheard of in seed counterparts. Up until then, Suntory, a $14 billion global company based in Osaka, Japan, was primarily focused on food, beverage and lifestyle industries. The Suntory family’s roots trace back to 1899. In addition to having its own products, Suntory represents leading brands in Japan, including Häagen Dazs ice cream, Subway and Pepsi. Today, Suntory’s flower varieties are licensed in 24 countries. Bear Creek Gardens/Jackson & Perkins has been the master licensee for North America. “Suntory was the original pioneer in the vegetative annuals breeding revolution,” says Brian Gold of […]

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June 18, 2009

Medal Of Excellence: Nominee Twinny Snapdragons By Hem Genetics

The Twinny series from Hem Genetics are a genetic breakthrough as the first dwarf snapdragon series with a double or butterfly flower form. ‘Twinny Peach’ is an All-America Selections bedding plant award winner for 2010. Flowers are peach, yellow or light orange, blending together for a novel presentation. Additional colors include White, Yellow Shades, Violet and Bronze Shades.

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June 18, 2009

Medal Of Excellence Winner: Geranium Caliente And Calliope By Syngenta Flowers

The ongoing development of Goldsmith’s interspecific geranium breeding is evident in the four new introductions for 2010. The Caliente and Calliope series of hybrid geraniums are the result of many years of refining ivy-zonal crosses to bring together the best features of each type and establish a new premium geranium class. Both series offer vivid flower colors and tremendous branching characteristics. When ‘Calliope Dark Red’ was introduced last year, it was greeted with record-setting sales numbers. The series adds Scarlet Fire to its color range. The Calliopes’ well-branched, vigorous and mounding habit make them ideal in baskets, large pots and landscape applications. The large semi-double flowers bloom in full sun to part shade conditions. Since its 2005 introduction, the Caliente series has been recognized in numerous North American trials as the most heat-tolerant species on the market. The three new 2010 colors are Hot Coral, Pink and Orange. Rich, dark […]

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June 18, 2009

Medal Of Excellence Nominee: Geranium Grandiosa By Dömmen

Dömmen’s interspecific geranium series offers the look of Regal geraniums with superior performance. Plants are a three-way cross between pelargoniums and two other types (pelargonium x domesticum x crispum). Plants root easily in four weeks, can grow under cooler temperatures and do not require pinching. Crops finish four to five weeks sooner than traditional Regals. Colors are Cherry, White Splash, Merlot and Salmon.

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June 18, 2009

Medal Of Excellence Nominee: Lobularia ‘Snow Princess’ By Kientzler For Proven Winners

‘Snow Princess,’ was the absolute belle of this year’s California Pack Trials. A breakthrough in the lobularia genus, ‘Snow Princess’ offers heat tolerance and extended season performance you won’t find in alyssum. Plants are vigorous and sterile. Because ‘Snow Princess’ puts no energy into setting seed, it has an incredibly long bloom time. In Florida trials, ‘Snow Princess’ displayed mounds of fragrant white blooms from January through July. Plants are versatile, creating great hanging baskets, window boxes either solo or as a combination filler. What are the best plants to pair with ‘Snow Princess?’ Due to its vigorous nature and short crop time, match ‘Snow Princess’ with fast-growing plants that prefer cool temperatures. Recommended Proven Winners companions are Superbena verbenas and Supertunia Vista petunias. ‘Snow Princess’ hang tags are available as part of the Proven Winners tag exchange program. Growers have the option of ordering individual stake tags or one hang […]

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June 17, 2009

GroLink’s Garden Mums For Show

GroLink has a slew of garden mum events growers might be interested in this fall. The entire collection of Belgian mums, High Flyers and all new 2010 introductions from GroLink can be seen at the following places: –Kube-Pak, Allentown, N.J., September 23 –Schenck Farms & Greenhouses, St. Catharines, Ontario, September 15  –C. Raker and Sons Trial, Litchfield, Mich., September 14- 25 –GroLink, Oxnard, Calif., September–Cornell University Mum Trials, Long Island, N.Y., September and October–Mississippi State University, Crystal Spring Truck Crops Station, October 16-17 For more information on these events, contact Bernard Chodyla at [email protected]

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June 17, 2009

Visit C. Raker & Sons This Summer

The Raker Trial Gardens will be open to the public from July 15 to August 28 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The trial gardens, which cover more than three acres, consist of a variety of annual and perennial flowers used primarily for horticulture comparison trials. There are three main trials this year: annual comparison, container and hanging basket. The annual comparison trials feature more than 700 varieties of argyranthemum, basil, fibrous begonias, vegetative coleus, diascia, delphinium, gaura, annual and perennial salvia and scented geraniums. The container trials feature a large selection of 2010 new introductions and mixed culture varieties in large, 20-inch patio containers. The hanging basket trial is a collection of more than 300 varieties of vegetative trailing petunias In addition to being one of seven stops on Michigan State University’s Michigan Garden Plant Tour, the Trial Garden is also an All-America Selections bedding plant and flower trial […]

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June 16, 2009

Flip Through Hort Couture’s Catalog

Hort Couture’s catalog of spring plants, or its Black Book, is viewable online in a cool, flipbook format. You can literally flip through it here. The 2010 Black Book is broken up into several sections, including Hort Couture’s Avant Garde annuals, its Culinary Couture collection, Runway Ready grasses, Sunny Succulents, Tres Chic tropicals and marketing accessories. New annuals to Hort Couture next year are: Calibrachoa ‘Catwalk’ Diascia ‘Diva’ Lantana ‘South Beach’ Nemesia ‘Parfum’ Petunia ‘Panache’ Scaevola ‘Paper Doll’ Verbena ‘Espadrille’

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June 16, 2009

Mounded Color Profusion

Danziger’s Noa varieties are well-established in the marketplace and are universally known to growers for legendary garden performance, dependable plant vigor, superior heat tolerance and improved disease resistance. Plants are entirely adorned with an abundance of attractive blossoms. Flower size is approximately 1.5 inch in diameter, packing irresistible product appeal and reliability. For more information on Danziger’s Noa varieties, click here.

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June 11, 2009

New Varieties Guide 2009: Goldsmith Seeds

Editor’s Note: The information below was included in the print version of the New Varieties Guide under the listing of Syngenta Flowers. Goldsmith Seeds 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 relaid the floor to open up the space. Displays were organized in seasonal vignettes, on which Goldsmith worked with the John Henry Co. for merchandising concepts. Rudbeckia ‘Tiger Eye,’ our Reader’s Choice winner from last year, is getting a big summer push at retail this summer with custom pots. Goldsmith’s big introductions on the seed side this year include a trailing version of Cora vinca, called Cora Cascade, in five colors. Big Kiss gazanias are a beefier version of the kisses in White Flame […]

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June 9, 2009

Draw Inspiration From Benary’s New Pansies

The new Inspire pansy line from Benary can be best described as a strong and dense plant, with plenty of blooms. This line boasts narrow flowering windows between colors, longer flowering under short days and a tight compact habit. Tested for overwintering and hardiness in the North and heat tolerance and stress conditions in the Deep South, the Inspire line offers 24 colors. For more information on Benary’s new Inspire pansy series, click here.

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June 9, 2009

Toronto Requiring Green Roofs

Toronto city council recently adopted a bylaw requiring all new developments over 21,500 square feet to commit roof space to green roofs. The larger the gross floor area of new buildings is, the larger the green roof space commitment Toronto’s city council expects from developers. The largest green roof coverage area the city council will require is 60 percent of roof space, but only for buildings that exceed 215,000 square feet. To learn more about Toronto’s green roof initiative, click here.

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June 4, 2009

Simply Beautiful Charity Event Draws Attention

Ball Horticultural Company recently partnered with two garden centers to host Simply Beautiful Container Contests to benefit local charities. The contest drew over 4,000 people to Tagawa Gardens (Centennial, CO) and thousands more to Dickman Farms Garden Center (Auburn, NY) the last week in May. Efforts in Denver supported the Ronald McDonald Houses and in Syracuse, a Cerebral Palsy Foundation. These initiatives were designed to not only provide a donation to these organizations, but also to build momentum and demand from gardeners. “We were pleased to see that so many new gardeners attended this event,” said Beth Zwinack from Tagawa Gardens. “All of the contestants had a great time–and it was great to see the younger folks ‘hold their own’ against some of the more seasoned pros!” The events attracted new and seasoned gardeners to each location. Each contestant was given a set time limit to finish their ‘creation’, which […]

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June 2, 2009

Michigan Garden Plant Tour Is In August

Greenhouse growers are invited to attend the sixth annual Michigan Garden Plant Tour from August 3-14 this year. This year, seven growers are participating with Michigan State University (MSU). They are: – C. Raker and Sons;–Duwayne’s Greenhouses;–Four Star Greenhouse;–Mast Young Plants;–Pell Greenhouses;–Walters Gardens; and–Zylstra Greenhouses. Each young plant producer showcases its plant specialties and product lines in outdoor gardens. It’s a great way to evaluate garden plant performance in a variety of outdoor settings and in containers. Growing operations are open Monday through Friday during normal business hours. Participants are asked to contact the operations in advance so they know you’re coming. There is no fee to visit the participating companies. The MSU Garden Plant Showcase educational program is also part of the Michigan Garden Plant Tour, and it will take place on Tuesday, August 4. The educational program fee is $35 per person and includes lunch. This year, the […]

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June 2, 2009

California Pack Trials 2009 New Varieties Guide

Miss a year and you’d miss a lot. People often ask me if it’s necessary to go to the California Pack Trials every year. If your job is to be at the forefront of all the new developments in annuals, perennials, marketing programs and global supply, then I would say yes. Fortunately for me, it is my job and we look forward to presenting you with comprehensive coverage each year and are always looking for new ways to do just that.  My traveling companions were our Contributing Editor Dr. Allan Armitage of the University of Georgia and our Group Publisher Bob West. We had a great time filming about 100 Flip videos we’re still sorting through and editing. Many are already posted on GGTV. We visited nearly 30 flower breeders and propagators from all over the world between San Jose and San Diego, March 28-April 4. In addition to American […]

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June 2, 2009

Goldsmith Taking Over Syngenta Seed Distribution

The sales, marketing and wholesale distribution of Syngenta Flowers’ seed products will now be handled out of Goldsmith Seeds in Gilroy, Calif. Syngenta Flowers’ vegetative business will continue to sell and market all proprietary vegetative products out of its base in Boulder, Colo. Now among Syngenta’s vegetative products are Goldfisch annuals and Yoder mums and asters. The decision to distribute seed products from Gilroy was based on Syngenta’s recent acquisition of Goldsmith. Wholesale brokers and distributors can order all seed products bred by Goldsmith Seeds and Syngenta Flowers directly from Goldsmith Seeds, effective June 15. Growers can continue to order these same seed products directly through the broker with whom they previously worked.. To learn more about seed products bred by Goldsmith Seeds and Syngenta Flowers, click here.

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June 2, 2009

Hort Couture Streamlines Supply

Fashion-forward plant brand Hort Couture has streamlined its supply network for spring 2010 by partnering with select breeders, brokers and propagators. Instead of supplying a national market through a network of finished plant growers, three brokers will be the exclusive channels–Eason Horticultural Resources, Fred C. Gloeckner & Co. and McHutchison. At the propagation level, Raker will produce Avant Garde Annuals and Culinary Couture Urban Vegetables and EuroAmerican Propagators will produce Sunny Succulents and Runway Ready Grasses. Agristarts will supply tissue cultured Tres Chic Tropicals. Cuttings will be produced by Floraplant in Mexico. “Before, we had accessibility issues with the program. Retailers have had a hard time sourcing the plants,” explains Hort Couture’s founder Jim Monroe. “Now that we’re selling through brokers, anyone can grow Hort Couture. We’ve been doing a lot of plant evaluation and will have our own genetics of vegetative annuals from A to Z. We will have […]

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May 29, 2009

New Varieties Guide 2009: Selecta First Class

Selecta First Class This is the last year we’d visit Selecta at Dramm & Echter in Encinitas because next year Selecta’s lines will be incorporated into Ball Horticultural Co.’s trials in Santa Paula. For 10 years, the German breeding company owned by the Klemm family has made great strides introducing innovative varieties to North America. A new distribution alliance with Ball is expected to lead to even greater market share. While unrooted cuttings will be ordered exclusively through Ball, growers can still purchase liners through a network of rooting stations and brokers. Selecta’s greatest success is the MiniFamous calibrachoas, including the MiniFamous Doubles, which received our Industry’s Choice award in 2006. The series continues to be refined and improved. New doubles are Magenta, Lemon, Amethyst and Orange. One of the most interesting introductions was the drought-tolerant groundcover petunia from Anthony Tesselaar, ‘Soleil Purple.’ The more you neglect it, the better […]

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