January 2, 2008

New Wave Campaign For ’08

Ball Horticultural Co. is rolling out its multimedia blitz promoting Wave petunias for the coming spring. One of the messages is, “Accept the accept the gardener in you.” An new Wave television commercial will run on leading lifestyle channels and more networks than ever before to reach a broader audience. Print advertising will continue in trade and consumer publications, as well as online advertising on popular consumer sites. There also will be a viral marketing campaign to build word-of-mouth buzz for Wave, leveraging social media like blogs, YouTube and MySpace to grow the Wave Consumer community. Public relations efforts will promote Wave in consumer magazines, radio and TV shows. Growers will be kept in the loop with post cards before and after Pack Trials and at trade shows and events. Growers will also receive the Wave Fan Club email communications and can take advantage of online support for the campaign […]

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December 26, 2007

McGregor Offers Elsner PAC Geraniums

McGregor Plant Sales has partnered with geranium breeder Elsner to ship unrooted cuttings from Israel to North American growers. Now in its fourth generation, Elsner’s heritage dates back to 1889, when Wilhelm Elsner I grew potatoes, roses and vegetables in Dresden, Germany. Elsner began its own breeding program in 1923 and opened its first laboratory for virus testing of ornamentals in 1956. Grandson Wilhelm Elsner III later received the award of excellence from the International Geranium Conference in Odense, Denmark. “We are thrilled to offer this range of genetics,” says Chris Berg, program manager for McGregor Plant Sales. “This lineup of genetics offers our customers a full range of geraniums, including zonals, ivies, regals and several unique specialty types, like the viola flowering Angel Eyes series.” The wide and diverse product line will allow growers to make selections based on their growing needs and what is popular in their markets […]

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December 26, 2007

New International Perennial Conference

The Dutch-based International Hardy Plant Union and Bildungsstatte Gartenbau in Germany will host the first International Perennial Plant Conference in Grunberg, Germany from Feb. 15-17. The purpose of the conference is to promote international contacts in the perennial plant industry and provide an opportunity to exchange knowledge and expertise in an inspiring atmosphere. All segments of the perennials industry are invited to participate. Seminars will be presented in English. Experts on the program hail from Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands and Belgium. Registration fee is 120 Euro. For more information, email [email protected] or [email protected] or visit www.bildungsstaette-gartenbau.de

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December 19, 2007

Primula & Cyclamen Trials

January will be a month for blooming potted plant trials. While Sakata is hosting primula trials in Denmark, Hortus Group will host its cyclamen trials in California. Now through January 25, Sakata will present a full-comparison primula trial, including the species of Primula vulgaris (acaulis), Primula veris (polyanthus) and Primula malacoides. Key Sakata varieties are Danova, Rosanna, SuperNova and Prima. This trial provides the opportunity to evaluate each series with regard to earliness, plant uniformity and overall plant habit. For more information and to attend the trial, contact your local Sakata representative of email [email protected] You may also contact Carsten Jorgensen at +45 4010 4853. In Cyclamen, Hans Gerritsen of Hortus Group will host its annual open house from January 14-25 in Castroville, Calif. In cooperation with the world’s key F1 cyclamen breeders, he will display more than 250 varieties for evaluation. This is North America’s largest cyclamen trial. For […]

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December 19, 2007

“Flower Confidential” Author Speaks At TPIE

Amy Stewart, who wrote the controversial expose on the floriculture industry–”Flower Confidential: The Good, The Bad And The Beautiful In The Business Of Flowers”–will be the lead off speaker at the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) on Jan. 17. Her topic is “What It Means To Go Green!” Based in Eureka, Calif., Stewart has traveled across the country talking to a wide range of people who purchase cut flowers and plants. She’ll share what she has learned from consumers related to flower and plant purchases and what it means to “go green” for those who sell floral and plant products. For instance, did you know more than two thirds of the audiences she met with want to buy organic or are in tune with the term “sustainable?” Find out how your business fits into the whole green puzzle. Tagged as “a passionate and inquisitive writer” by the Boston Globe, her […]

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December 12, 2007

Fischer Becomes Syngenta Flowers

Syngenta has renamed its breeding and brokerage divisions to reflect their new roles. The full-service brokerage division, S&G Flowers, will be renamed Syngenta Horticultural Services. Its focus will be services and supply efficiency for growers. Fischer USA is taking on all brand and supply chain management for Syngenta in seed and vegetative product lines. Its new name is Syngenta Flowers. Current seasonal activities between S&G Flowers, Fischer USA and their respective customers will remain unchanged through March 29, 2008. The official change will go into effect during the California Pack Trials. But the new names become effective Jan. 1. During Pack Trials, vegetative lines will be showcased at Goldsmith Seeds and seed lines will be shown at the former S&G Flowers facility, both in Gilroy. Vegetative perennials will be shown at both.

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December 5, 2007

‘Tis The Season For Poinsettia Trials

There’s still time to check out poinsettia trials in Ohio and North Carolina. OFA has partnered with The Ohio State University to host poinsettia trials at four growing locations in four parts of the state: Today from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at Berns Greenhouse in Middletown Monday, Dec. 10, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at Bostdorff Greenhouse Acres in Bowling Green Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at Dill’s Greenhouse in Groveport Friday, Dec. 14 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at Barco and Sons, Inc. in Medina No reservations are needed. For more information, contact OFA’s Technical Education Manager Steve Carver at 614-487-1117 or [email protected]  Tomorrow, North Carolina State University will host its poinsettia open house from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the horticulture field lab next to the J.C. Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh. On Sunday, the trials will be held at the Ruby C. McSwain Center […]

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December 5, 2007

Selecta’s Catalog Goes Green

Would you be surprised that wind power was involved in printing Selecta First Class’s 2008 poinsettia catalog? Marketing Manager Sabina Reiner explored more sustainable alternatives to producing the new catalog. In addition to using recycled paper and soy-based ink, production costs were 10 percent less by not using high gloss paper or UV coating. “But this was not the end of our environmental protection. Our catalog was printed with wind power,” Reiner says. “It is the first time we printed in California. Our printing company is supporting Green-e certified wind facilities located nationwide.” Launched in 1997, the Green-e Renewable Energy Certification Program is the leading voluntary certification and verification program that sets standards for renewable electricity-based products in three markets for renewable energy: restructured, regulated and tradeable renewable certificates, she explains. “Our printing company is purchasing 1,200 Megawatt-hours of renewable certificates each year to offset 100 percent of the electricity […]

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December 5, 2007

Hort Couture Announces Grower Network

Since July, Hort Couture has been building a network of more than 30 growers to produce its line of plants for independent garden centers. WEST Valleybrook Gardens in British Columbia Blooming Nursery in Oregon Monterey Bay Nursery in California Clearwater Nursery in California SD Growers in California Center Greenhouse in Colorado MIDWEST Malmborgs in Minnesota Zylstra Greenhouses in Michigan Simpson Greenhouses in Michigan Shreve Greenhouse in Ohio SOUTHWEST Ellisons Greenhouses in Texas NORTHEAST Valleybrook Gardens in Ontario Quansett Nurseries in Massachusetts Matterhorn Nursery in New York Centerton Nursery in New Jersey Trail Nurseries in Pennsylvania Greenstreet Growers in Maryland Bob’s Market in West Virginia SOUTHEAST Aarons Creek Farms in Virginia Riverbend Nursery in Virginia and Georgia A&A Plants in North Carolina Kings Greenhouses in North Carolina Barton’s Greenhouse & Nursery in Alabama Batsons Foliage Group in Florida Morning Dew Tropicals in Florida Sun Fire Nurseries in Florida Excelsa Gardens in […]

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November 28, 2007

Tesselaar Growers Volunteer On Skid Row

Just before Thanksgiving, the licensed growers of Anthony Tesselaar USA took time off from meetings in Los Angeles to volunteer at the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row. They helped prepare meals that would feed homeless men, women and children during the upcoming holiday. These dishes were served by a crew of Hollywood Celebrities, including Kirk Douglas, Harrison Ford, Calista Flockhart and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “It really was a great way to spend an evening,” says Skeeter McCorkle of McCorkle Nurseries in Georgia. “It certainly was in keeping with the timing of the season. I’m sure none of us had ever experienced fruit cocktail on such a vast scale before. And I think we’ll all smile at the memory of us ladling it out wearing those funny hairnets and aprons.” Kay Phelps of Clinton Nursery in Havana, Fla., says, “It was a really cool thing to do. It […]

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November 21, 2007

Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas The day before the Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo on Nov. 5, I drove to Kalamazoo to visit Larry Boven, his daughters, and the new owners of Boven’s Quality Plants, Kris and Stacy Van de Streek. They purchased the original Boven location in August. The newer Van Boven’s location six miles away was purchased by Nirmal Shah. Both are young growers who just turned 30. Nirmal came to Boven’s from Penn State and Kris has worked for Boven since he was in high school, raising money to take a trip to Spain over spring break The last time I visited Boven’s was 14 years ago, when I was an editorial assistant and attending the Western Michigan conference in Kalamazoo. It was my first grower visit and I even got to go up in a helicopter with Larry to see the entire Kalamazoo Valley. We […]

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November 21, 2007

Terra Nova Turns 15

Perennial breeder Terra Nova Nurseries recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. What began as a part-time endeavor for cofounders Dan Heims and Ken Brown in Oregon turned into a passion for perennials with global appeal. Since then, Terra Nova has grown from a backyard breeding project to more than 15 acres of trial beds, greenhouses and a recently completed laboratory for research and production of millions of new plants. Two acres of beautifully maintained display gardens welcome visitors to Terra Nova and showcase its varieties. Segments featuring the nursery have been aired on HGTV, BBC and even Swedish Television. To date, Terra Nova has introduced more than 500 plants to horticulture. Its lab team has “cracked the code” for numerous genera in tissue culture. For more information, visit www.terranovanurseries.com.

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November 21, 2007

Town Rallies Around Knockout Rose

The city of Madison, Ala., has made ‘Knockout Coral Red’ rose its signature plant, as part of its 150th birthday celebration. This news was shared with us by Susan Parker, director of lawn and garden for the Alabama Farmers Coop. The Madison Beautification/Tree Board recently planted the roses around a gazebo to kick off the project during the Madison Street Festival. “We felt that an initial planting on the Village Greens, just prior to the event, would provide residents the opportunity to see Madison’s signature plant up close, while enjoying the festival,” board president Shrail Heinrich told The Huntsville Times. “We are excited about the number of calls and emails received from residents after learning that Madison adopted a signature plant. The comments and questions range from ‘where can the rose be purchased locally?’ to ‘Will the board consider planting roses in my neighborhood park?'” Numerous plantings are planned for […]

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November 21, 2007

Fischer Names Brand Managers

Fischer USA has hired Natalia Hamill as brand manager for seed and perennials and promoted Mark Seguin to brand manager for the vegetative lines. Starting with the 2008-09 season, Fischer will be managing the product development of all S&G proprietary genetics. Hamill comes to Fischer from Skagit Gardens and brings experience in product development and retail management. Seguin joined Fischer in 2005 as director of product development and worked closely with breeders and production teams in coordinating the introduction of new varieties and Fischer’s presence at university trials. Prior to coming to Fischer, he had 20 years experience in retail, wholesale and young plant greenhouse production.

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November 14, 2007

Proven Winners Adds Marketing Coordinator

Proven Winners North America LLC has hired Tabatha Gainey to a newly created position of marketing coordinator. Gainey was most recently a marketing coordinator managing key accounts for the John Henry Co. in Lansing, Mich. Her key responsiblities are managing and implementing all Proven Winners point of purchase programs, as well as to manage key brand development projects, such as Proven Winners professional fertilizers, Proven Winners Water Wise container watering kits and branded container selling programs. She also will act as the lead coordinator for Proven Winners brand partners and licensees. “This continues to be an exciting time for Proven Winners,” Gainey says. “There are so many opportunities that need to be explored and managed, and I’m very happy to step into these key projects and be part of building a great consumer brand.” The opportunity with Proven Winners also has given Gainey the chance to remain in the industry […]

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November 14, 2007

Jelitto In Japan

Perennial flower seed breeder Jelitto has opened a new branch in Japan as part of its golden anniversary. Sakiko Fujii opened the branch after spending several years working for Jelitto at its headquarters in Germany. She is looking forward to assisting Japanese gardeners and with their inquiries and orders while promoting Jelitto’s extensive range of seeds in Japan. In addition to perennials, varieties include wild flowers, grasses, medicinal herbs, alpines and patio plants. Jelitto also has branches in North America and England. 

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November 7, 2007

Ball Buys Darwin Plants

Ball Horticultural Co. has acquired the innovative Dutch perennials company Darwin Plants. The agreement combines Darwin’s expertise in perennials with Ball’s extensive capabilities in research, production, sales, marketing and customer service, giving perennial growers around the world more access to the comprehensive, creative range of perennials and shrubs for which Darwin Plants is known. “One of our goals is for Ball to be known as a perennial company,” says Anna Ball, President & CEO of Ball Horticultural Company. “Adding Darwin Plants to our offering means our customers benefit from specialized expertise and even more innovative products. We’re looking forward to an exciting future of providing growers with the best perennials and shrubs on the market.” Darwin Plants co-presidents Gary Vanburen and Hans Witteman see the acquisition as a very positive move forward for the industry. “This combines the strengths of both companies and allows Darwin Plants to focus on what […]

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November 7, 2007

Ellison’s & Valleybrook Join Hort Couture

Ellison’s Greenhouses in Brenham, Texas, and Valleybrook Gardens in Canada have joined the Hort Couture grower network to promote premium plants as high fashion. Although Ellison’s may be best known for poinsettias, especially at this time of year, the operation is always alive to new crops and opportunities. “I am extremely excited and enthusiastic about Hort Couture,” says CEO PJ Ellison-Kalil, who was our Grower of the Year in 2002. “I believe it is a fabulous positioning vehicle that can revitalize, rejuvenate and take our industry to the next level. The possibilities will just escalate as people of passion and integrity join together in the pursuit of excellence and making a positive difference. I for one think the sky is the limits and can’t wait to make possibilities into realities.” Valleybrook Gardens operates two nurseries in Canada, one in British Columbia and the other near Niagara Falls, Ontario. The company […]

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November 7, 2007

Goldsmith Markets Kieft’s Color Grass Line

Capitalizing on growing demand and interest in ornamental grasses from seed, Goldsmith Seeds will be marketing Kieft’s ColorGrass line in North America. ColorGrass is a collection of 14 highligh decorative ornamental grasses that are cost-effective inputs from seed. All the grasses are easy to grow and germinate as Kieft’s exclusive TunedSeeds. “It’s very exciting to represent the ColorGrass collection in North America,” says Ron Garofalo, Goldsmith’s director of sales and marketing. “We’re looking forward to offering our customers marketing ideas and technical expertise on a collection of grasses that perfectly compliments Goldsmith’s wide range of genetics.” Kieft is based in Holland and represented by Jeff McGrew in the United States. “Goldsmith was looking to expand their product offering and Kieft was interested in expanding our exposure in NOrth America,” McGrew says. “This partnership makes a lot of sense for both of us and we’re looking forward to a long and […]

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October 31, 2007

Roses For Your Favorite Vampira

Who says Halloween isn’t a floral holiday? Dutch cut rose breeder Schreurs has had fun marketing its Vampire! rose through Dracula Roses in The Netherlands. This month Dracula Roses Transylvania has been producing 100,000 stems per week and will produce 250,000 stems per week next year. The elegant, creamy-colored roses look as if they could have been dipped in blood. They are being sold through the main acutions in The Netherlands along with the German auction, Landgard-Herongen. They can also be ordered online at www.versvandekweker.nl. Check out the fun cartoon video created for the campaign. A spurned Dracula uses roses to woo his women. www.dracularoses.com

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