April 27, 2009

Sakata Strengthens Trans-Atlantic Ornamentals Team

Sakata recently added new positions to its sales and marketing team in the Trans-Atlantic ornamentals market of Europe and the U.S. Marc Englert joins Sakata as senior flower sales and marketing manager. Based in the California office, Englert will lead Sakata’s North American ornamentals sales and marketing team, including Australia and New Zealand. Natalia Hamill has been appointed to the newly created retail category manager (Ornamentals) role. Hamill will work with Sakata’s distribution partners, growers and retailers to develop marketing programs. Natalia brings broad experience in horticultural marketing, including brand management and marketing strategy development, for other global horticultural companies. Oscar Rietkerk has been appointed trans-Atlantic product manager for cut flowers and is based in The Netherlands. Rietkerk adds to the Sakata team his solid experience in the global cut flower business, including the key markets of Europe and Africa. Tracy Lee joins the Sakata ornamentals team as the North […]

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April 27, 2009

New Rooting Stations For TrixiLiner

Fessler Nursery, Gro ‘n Sell and Hardy Starts by Welby Gardens will all serve as root-and-sell stations for Selecta’s TrixiLiner for Spring 2010. Fessler Nursery is located in Woodburn, Ore., Gro ‘n Sell is in Chalfont, Pa., and Hardy Starts by Welby Gardens is located in Denver, Colo. TrixiLiner cuttings are grown and shipped in 72-cell trays. For next spring, Selecta has added six recipes, discontinued one and improved three to increase its portfolio of recipes to 15. For more information on Selecta TrixiLiner, click here.

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April 27, 2009

VIVA! Lands ‘Tiger Eye’ Rudbeckia

Goldsmith Seeds introduced ‘Tiger Eye’ rudbeckia last year. This year, it has a home at The Home Depot through the VIVA! line for Floragem. “We looked at trials in the heat of Florida all the way to a cold and rainy trial in Montreal and ‘Tiger Eye,’ from the breeding of Goldsmith, was amazing with a full head of flowers.” says Ray French, product manager of the VIVA! line for Floragem. “Not only will ‘Tiger Eye’ give loads of flowers, but the plant appears to be very resistant to mildew and has good garden vigor. I was really surprised to see the cool weather show it put on in Canada.” ‘Tiger Eye’ produces large golden yellow flowers with a dark brown center on a plant that will get 24 inches tall in the garden. It grows best in full sun and will work both in patio pots or in the […]

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April 17, 2009

Benary Buys Bodger Seed Lines

California-based Bodger Seeds has sold its bedding plant seed lines to German flower breeder Benary. These include well-established series, like Disco marigolds, Tempo impatiens and Wonderland alyssum (pictured), that have been on the market for decades. The seed line acquisition spans a dozen key bedding plant crops, instantly filling out and complimenting Benary’s offerings. While Benary is primarily known for breeding in the United States, the company also is involved in distribution in Europe. Through this acquisition, Benary improves its position as a major independent player in ornamentals, says Matthias Redlefson, Benary’s managing commercial director. “This product portfolio is made to measure for Benary,” he says. “This will strengthen our business not only in established markets, but also in growing regions.” Redlefson says Benary will exhibit at Bodger’s Lompoc facility during next year’s Pack Trials. Starting May 1, Benary will take over the inventory, production and breeding programs in these […]

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April 17, 2009

New From Skagit Gardens

Here’s the scoop on two new annuals introductions from Skagit Gardens. Snapdragon ‘Eternal’ Clusters of large pink flowers appear on ‘Eternal’ with a touch of orange in the center. Those colors are prominent against its green and white foliage. The plant’s distinctively bushy habit sets it apart from other snapdragons. Reaching a height of 12 to 18 inches, ‘Eternal’ thrives in full sun with well drained but moist soil. It is frost tolerant and probably hardy to 0°F. ‘Eternal’ will bloom all summer, and it works well for borders, beds and containers. Cuphea Border Series Two cupheas, ‘Magenta Border’ and ‘Southern Border’ make up Skagit’s Border Series. ‘Magenta Border’ has bright magenta flowers, reaches a height of 6 inches and a spread of 15 inches. ‘Southern Border’ develops light violet blooms, reaches 8 inches in height and spreads 18 inches. Both cupheas prefer well drained soil in full sun to […]

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April 16, 2009

Calling All Grower-Retailers Of MiniFamous

If you’re a grower-retailer of Selecta’s MiniFamous calibrachoas, be sure to visit MiniFamousClub.com and input your retail location information so potential customers can find you. The MiniFamous Club website will soon list MiniFamous retailers for free on a Find A Retailer section designed to be the customer’s main resource for finding the popular calibrachoa. “This is the retailer’s chance to get nationwide attention and free publicity courtesy of MiniFamous,” says Nils Klemm, chief executive officer of Selecta. When you visit MiniFamousClub.com, click Add Your Business in the upper-right corner. Complete the form, click submit and you’re done.

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April 14, 2009

SunPatiens Expand With Three New Colors

The VIVA! line is once again expanding with the addition of three new colors to the SunPatiens series. ‘Compact Magenta,’ ‘Variegated White’ and ‘Compact Rose’ are new at The Home Depot for 2009. “Gardeners and landscapers are looking for low-maintenance annuals,” says Ray French, product manager at Floragem. “SunPatiens offer color in hot all-day sun with minimal care other than watering. Feedback from university trial gardens, landscapers and gardeners all over the country has been overwhelming.” According to French, growers at the Dallas Arboretum were so impressed after planting a few in their test gardens last year that they planted more than 10,000 in the display gardens this year for summer color. For more information on the VIVA! collection, visit VivaGarden.com.

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April 14, 2009

Proven Winners Launches Online Training

Proven Winners has revamped its Certified Garden Center program into a new online training initiative called iGarden Certification. The new program provides garden center managers and employees with important information on plant selling, merchandising and customer service techniques. It’s available online or via hard copy video and is free to independent garden centers. Once the video training modules have been viewed, garden center employees and managers must take and pass an online test to achieve certified status. In addition to receiving the training, certification also includes the following benefits: – A free listing on Proven Winners’ online retail locator, viewed by more than 600,000 people annually looking for a Proven Winners retailer. – A Proven Winners iGarden certificate and plaque to display. – Monthly e-mail updates on new products and opportunities. – Free access to thousands of print-ready images from the Proven Winners photo library.  – New releases announcing iGarden Certification status to local newspapers. […]

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April 14, 2009

Burpee Plants A Garden For Charity

Ball Horticultural Company, through its new Burpee Home Gardens brand, honored National Child Abuse Prevention Month and National Garden Month by planting a community garden in Fort Worth, Texas. Ball planted the community garden with All Church Home for Children (ACH) in a special event last Saturday. More than 200 people helped plant the vegetable and herb garden that will provide healthy, homegrown foods for children at ACH’s Wedgwood Campus. “We’re grateful for this wonderful addition to our Wedgwood Campus,” says Wayne Carson, CEO of ACH. “The community garden will help the children at All Church Home live healthy, nutritional lives while providing them with the opportunity to learn about vegetable gardening.” Burpee Home Gardens is a new program of vegetable and herb plants available in more than 400 stores in 2009. This program, available from Ball, is being nationally introduced for 2010.

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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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