May 21, 2008

Last Chance At Reader’s Choice Award Voting

For 20 years, Greenhouse Grower’s Medal of Excellence Awards has recognized talented individuals, visionary companies and exception breeding that have played significant roles in the growth of the global floriculture industry. Make your voice heard and cast your vote for the 2008 Reader’s Choice Award. The award will be presented during the annual Medal of Excellence Awards Ceremony, July 14, during the OFA Short Course in Columbus, Ohio. This year’s nominees include: Geranium ‘Calliope Dark Red’ Breeder: Goldsmith for Syngenta Flowers       Mandalay and Bellagio Begonias Breeder: Kientzler for Proven Winners       Ptilotus ‘Joey’ Breeder: Benary       Rudbeckia ‘Tiger Eye Gold’ Breeder: Goldsmith Seeds       To cast your ballot, click here. 1

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May 21, 2008

New To The Super Floral Show

A grower tour and an iron designer competition are among some new features to this year’s Super Floral Show, being held June 17-20 in Orlando, Fla. The grower tour will take place on the morning of June 17, before the show floor opens. It will include stops at Hermann Engelmann Greenhouses in Apopka and DeLeon’s Bromeliads growing facility in Mt. Dora, but space is limited to 80 registered buyers and exhibitors. Tourists will have breakfast at Hermann Engelmann, view its Exotic Angel Plants and more than 400 tropical foliage varieties and learn more about the greenhouse’s new eco-oriented growing techniques and marketing innovations. The Exotic Angel Plants program will receive Greenhouse Grower’s Medal of Excellence for Marketing this year. DeLeon’s greenhouse, meanwhile, was completed in 2006, and growers will see its state-of-the-art computerized growing system in action. The iron designer competition will take place the next morning, June 18, and […]

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May 14, 2008

Solving The Name Game

The International Association for Cultivated Plant Taxonomy (IACPT) was recently formed during the fifth International Symposium on the Taxonomy of Cultivated Plants to provide necessary leadership in the field of taxonomy and nomenclature of cultivated plants. Members of the IACPT include taxonomists, international cultivar registration authorities, representatives of plant breeders rights authorities, industry scientists and specialists and public garden professionals. The IACPT council for the United States includes John Wiersema, Michael Dosmann and Dennis Collins. To achieve its goals, the association will sponsor symposia, publish a journal dedicated to cultivated plant taxonomy, develop databases and online resources for improving stability in the nomenclature of cultivated plants and become a vehicle for discussion on the implementation of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP). For more information on the IACPT, go to www.iacpt.net.

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May 14, 2008

ASCFG Celebrates Its 20th Year

Allan Armitage and Judy Laushman formed the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG) at the University in 1988. Now, the organization provides production and marketing information to 600 growers across the United States and seven other countries. One of the most popular member services is the online bulletin board, which connects growers on topics as diverse as grass control in perennial cut flowers, the best fertilizer injectors for small growers or production methods for greenhouse ranunculus. All discussions are archived, providing years of valuable information. Another online project is the ASCFG Price Index, into which members enter their own retail, wholesale and farmers market prices so that other growers can compare prices in their markets. ASCFG provides networking opportunities to its members, too, through its annual national conference and trade show. This year, it will take place September 8-11 in Portland, Ore. For more information, go to www.ascfg.org.

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May 14, 2008

Ecke Pelargonium, Geranium Breeding Relocated

As part of a planned move to focus research and product development at its corporate headquarters, Ecke Geraniums, LLC has completed a relocation of its pelargonium and geranium breeding to its Encinitas, Calif., facilities. “Having all research and development in one facility allows us to capitalize on all of our resources–people, facility and processes,” notes Steve Rinehart, Chief Operating Officer of Ecke Geraniums, LLC. Rinehart continues “We have invested in facilities here in Encinitas devoted to clean breeding of pelargonium’s, allowing for the movement of gene pool and breeder trials.” “Centralizing all the breeding activities here in Encinitas allows me to utilize our resources more effectively, and provides me with faster feedback and assessment of trials, crosses, and breeding effects,” says Margaret Schaber, geranium breeder for Ecke Geraniums. “I look forward to accelerating and enhancing the level of breeding we are currently conducting.” As part of this planned, two year […]

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May 7, 2008

Proven Winners Dresses Up The Derby

Proven Winners brought beauty to Churchill Downs as an official sponsor of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks races over the weekend. Greenhouse Grower’s Editor Delilah Onofrey and garden celebrity P. Allen Smith got a behind-the-scenes VIP tour. Our hosts were Sharon Gravitt of EuroAmerican Propagators, one of the Proven Winners founders and partner growers, and John Backert (right), director of horticulture at Churchill Downs. Gravitt’s husband Jeff Warschauer of Nexus Greenhouses also joined us, but happened to be taking this picture. Backert already was a customer of Proven Winners, buying liners from EuroAmerican for Churchill Downs and years before, when he and his wife ran a small growing operation. For the spring kickoff, he grows 30,000 plants to decorate the grounds. A few years ago, he and Gravitt discussed taking EuroAmerican’s and Proven Winners’ participation to the next level as an event sponsor. This is the third year Proven […]

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April 30, 2008

Pack Trials Plants Benefit Good Cause

The annual Charity Garden Tour & Plant Sale that follows the California Pack Trials raised a record $30,000 earlier this month for Community Resource Center (CRC), which helps abused women and children, low-income families and the homeless. Evelyn Weidner, a CRC board member, started the annual garden tour seven years ago to expose the public to beautiful gardens in North County San Diego and to support CRC. She personally selects the residential gardens included on the tour, which included stops in Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas and Solana Beach this year. Paul Ecke III hosted the private plant sale at Ecke Ranch, and more than half of the event’s earnings this year were raised as a result of plants sold there. “[The tour] has developed quite a following thanks to Evelyn Weidner, Paul Ecke and so many other supporters in the community,” says Laurin Pause, executive director of CRC. “Evelyn and […]

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April 30, 2008

Fun Flower Facts For Mother’s Day

The product mix between Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day couldn’t be more different, but the sales dollars generated from each are just about the same according to Stan Pohmer, executive director of Flower Promotion Organization. Mother’s Day, which accounts for 25 percent of all floral holiday sales, results in $2.3 billion in floral sales. Here are some other fun facts Pohmer gathered: – Cut flowers represent 45 percent of Mother’s Day sales. Outdoor bedding and hanging baskets represent 38 percent, and flowering houseplants and foliage represent 17 percent of all sales. – Of all purchases, 64 percent are made by women while 36 percent are made by men. – According to a National Retail Federation/BIGresearch study of Mother’s Day in 2007, more than 72 percent of Mother’s Day purchasers bought some floral products at an average retail of $27.59. – Most Mother’s Day purchasers (62.5 percent) bought for a mother […]

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April 30, 2008

Tesselaar Ads On YouTube

Anthony Tesselaar Plants launched a multimedia advertising campaign in the United States this spring, and three of its ads that air on HGTV and the DIY Network can now be viewed on YouTube. The ads feature Flower Carpet roses as champs in a sports stadium, Tropicanna cannas dancing to a steamy South American beat and a bee delivering the buzz about Volcano Phlox. Tesselaar Plants is also running an interactive and Flash video campaign online at www.hgtv.com and www.diy.com.

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April 30, 2008

Rose Honors Oprah’s Legends

The evaluation and final selection of the ‘Legends’ rose, a new ruby red hybrid tea garden rose that was chosen to pay tribute to women honored during Oprah’s Legends Weekend, involved Oprah Winfrey herself. In the garden, ‘Legends’ is a full plant with enormous rich red flowers sitting atop long stems with proportionally large, reddish-green leaves. Tom Carruth of Weeks Roses hybridized ‘Legends.’ “‘Legends’ is a rose that every gardener will want to grow,” Carruth says. “It’s a rewarding plant because it brings such great satisfaction to the grower. It is attractive in the garden, where the unique coloration of the foliage contrasts elegantly with the deep red of the blooms. But at eight inches across, it’s the humongous flowers that will make every gardener a legend.” ‘Legends’ has already been mentioned on “Entertainment Tonight” and in the spring issue of O at Home magazine. It will be the cover […]

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April 23, 2008

‘Lemon Zest’ Petunia New To VIVA!

The latest addition to the VIVA! collection of flowers is ‘Lemon Zest’ petunia, which stands out with its soft yellow flowers and bright yellow pot. It’s available exclusively at Home Depot. “When you can make a strong block of color, consumers will stop, look, then buy,” says Gary Mangum, co-owner of Bell Nursery, which is a VIVA! supplier for Home Depot. “We saw significant sell-through numbers with this display.” ‘Lemon Zest’ petunia was bred by Dummen. It’s being marketed by Floragem. “I like the plant infrastructure,” says Ray French, product manager for Floragem. “Petunias tend to split apart or get bald in the center of the plant. ‘Lemon Zest’ grows in a nice, tight, mounded manner so the color stays on top of the plant and you avoid green spots.” For more information on ‘Lemon Zest’ or VIVA! plants, click here.

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April 23, 2008

Proven Winners Ads Hit The Airwaves

Proven Winners has extended its advertising to commercials on “Plant Talk with Fred Hower,” a radio show that’s aired across Ohio on Saturday mornings for the last 15 years. The 60-second commercials from Proven Winners will offer “The Gardener’s Idea Book” to listeners who call a toll free number. Ohio gardeners have requested “The Gardener’s Idea Book” more than any other state, Proven Winners says, and it targeted Hower’s radio show with that thought in mind. Proven Winners radio commercials will run each Saturday through the end of June. Proven Winners television commercials are also now airing on stations nationwide. Its two commercials–”Until You’ve Found Proven Winners” and “Elements“–can also be viewed online.

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April 16, 2008

Ontario Growers Support Flowers Canada

The Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission asked Ontario growers to vote for or against mandatory assessment from Flowers Canada and the fees they that fund the organization, and the majority of growers showed their support. According to the OFPMC, 78.4 percent of growers who participated in the mail-in vote are indeed in favor of Flowers Canada as their representative association for all greenhouse growers of cut flowers, potted plants, annual bedding plants and propagative plant materials. Growers also showed their support for annual licensing fees, which charge growers 2 cents per square foot of greenhouse area or a maximum of $13,000. The OFPMC uses its fees to stimulate, increase and improve the producing or marketing of greenhouse floriculture products in Ontario. “The commission needed to see a clear majority of growers supporting such a request before we could confidently proceed with a recommendation to the minister, and that is reflected […]

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April 16, 2008

Ball Web Site Has New Look

Ball Horticultural Company recently combined information from six formerly independent Web sites into one completely redesigned site of its own at www.ballhort.com. The new site is organized by audience, and it gives growers, retailers, landscapers and home gardeners one location to learn about the plants, products and programs available at Ball. “With an all-new look, streamlined navigation and content-rich pages, ballhort.com is now the easy landing point for anyone interested in horticulture to find information quickly,” says Diane Hund, director of marketing for Ball. “It’s one address that now serves all of our audiences.” New with the redesign are an add-your-business function that allows greenhouse growers to list their businesses in a searchable database, and sections on commonly-asked questions and sustainable solutions. “The launch is only the beginning,” Hund says. “We will continue to update the site to provide the best, most useful information to our customers and their customers. […]

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April 9, 2008

Gaura Looking Leggy!

Our California Dreamin’ winner Susan Brown, who grows perennials at Homewood Nursery, loves gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’ so much that she got a tattoo of this highly recognizable variety. We found the plant and had her pose and shared tattoo stories. It was fun. Paul thinks we should have our readers send us pictures of their tattoos, especially if they resemble flowers. Take a picture of yours and email it to me at [email protected] No private parts, please.

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April 9, 2008

Plant Select Recommendations Made For 2008

Plant Select, a program administered by Colorado State University, Denver Botanic Gardens and nursery and landscape professionals, has made its 2008 recommendations for growth in Colorado’s high plans and intermountain regions. Among this year’s recommendations are ‘Mongolian Bells’ clematis, Seven-Son Flower, ‘Blue Velvet’ pansy, ‘Little Trudy’ catnip, Red Birds in a Tree and ‘Northern Lights’ pansy. ‘Mongolian Bells’ clematis is a compact perennial available in pink, white, lavender and blue. It produces attractive seed heads in late summer and fall and reaches heights of 10 to 14 inches. It’s hardy in Zones 3 to 9. Seven-Son Flower is a lush large shrub or small tree that produces fragrant white flowers in late summer and cherry red sepals in fall. It grows to 12 to 20 feet tall and 8 to 15 feet wide, and is hardy in Zones 4 to 9. ‘Blue Velvet’ pansy is a navy blue annual that […]

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April 2, 2008

Wave Petunias Celebrate 10th Year With TV Ad

A new commercial promoting Wave petunias in pink packaging recently debuted and will air more than 700 times on 25 national cable channels in the United States and Canada through June 11. The commercial, themed “Accept the Gardener in You,” can be seen on HGTV, DIY, E!, Lifetime, A&E and Food Network, among others. “This commercial is designed to get attention and appeal to newer, younger gardeners with an edgy, fun style,” says Diane Hund, director of marketing at Ball. “This year’s entire Wave marketing campaign is unlike anything our industry has ever seen.” “With more than 12,000 Wave Fan Club members, we know consumers are passionate about this product,” Hund says. “This brand-building campaign capitalizes on that passion to generate buzz for Wave in new ways.” For more information about Wave petunias, go to www.wave-rave.com.

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April 2, 2008

Ball Finds Partner For Bio-Packaging Products

Ball Horticulture and Alliance 47, a French horticultural marketing firm, have partnered to develop and commercialize new bio-packaging products for the industry. The agreement gives Ball exclusive worldwide rights to technology that will apply to a wide range of packaging products like pots, tags and point-of-purchase materials. Ball Innovations will oversee research and product development work related to the partnership. “Our goal is for Ball to continue to lead the industry in providing practical, sustainable solutions for greenhouse growers,” says Bill Doeckel, general manager of Ball Innovations. “By working with Alliance 47 to greatly expand the range of sustainable packaging products, we hope to dramatically improve the sustainable options for our industry.” Three substrates are now available for possible use in a variety of packaging applications as a result of the partnership. Two reduce the use of petroleum-based plastic by at least 50 percent, while the third completely eliminates it. […]

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March 26, 2008

Gardeners Turn To Proven Winners

Proven Winners spent much of March advertising the “Gardener Idea Book” in major magazines, and it’s had thousands of requests for the book as a result. Among issues Proven Winners ads have appeared are the March issues of Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, Oprah and Southern Living, and the March and April issues of Midwest Living. Gardeners in Ohio, Illinois and Michigan have shown the most interest in the Gardener Idea Book, Proven Winners says, and more than 128,000 visitors ventured to Proven Winners’ Web site in February alone. Additionally, garden celebrity P. Allen Smith spent much of last week chatting about his new book, Living in the Garden Home, on a coast-to-coast radio and TV interview tour. Smith was scheduled for 18 national and local radio interviews, and he was even slated to appear on NBC’s Today Show and FOX News’ News Edge. Some of his media activities sponsored […]

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March 26, 2008

Fleuroselect Announces 2009 Gold Medal Winners

Fleuroselect recently chose three cultivars, Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina Red,’ Armeria pseudarmeria ‘Ballerina White’ and Prunella grandiflora ‘Freelander Blue,’ as its Gold Medal Winners for 2009. ‘Ballerina Red’ and ‘Ballerina White,’ which were both bred by Kieft Seeds Holland, were awarded for a few reasons. They’re both able to produce an abundance of beautiful ball-shaped flower heads on short, strong stems from June to September, and they have increased compactness and uniformity in their plant and flowering. The perennials are also heat tolerant. ‘Freelander Blue’ is compact, uniform and flowers early with its new, trendy color. It tends to bloom from May to October, and it follows ‘Freelander Mixture,’ which was awarded the 2006 Fleuroselect Gold Medal for being the first annually flowering Prunella grandiflora. This new cultivar was bred in France by Clause. For a complete list of Gold Medals awarded by Fleuroselect, an international organization that provides a unique […]

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