October 21, 2008

2008 Field Trials: Putting Newcomers To The Test

Each year the country’s extension agents, university horticulture professors and botanic experts put varieties to the test with field trials. Sure that begonia performs perfectly in a grower’s greenhouse or for a few weeks on the bench. But how does it do in action? We asked for information about the location, such as the trial manager and location, planting dates and weather conditions during the trials. We also asked for the “Best In Show,” or what stood above and beyond the other varieties, as well as the trial manager’s Top Five. Here are the results. Scroll down for an Interactive Map of university bedding plant trials.  Penn State University University of Illinois Mass Hort Elm Society Ohio State University Dallas Arboretum Cornell University Colorado State University Michigan State University University of Florida Oklahoma State University Click on the blue tabs on the map for links to our coverage and trials […]

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October 21, 2008

Syngenta Acquires Goldsmith

Syngenta has signed an agreement to acquire breeder and seed producer Goldsmith Seeds, Inc. for $74 million on a cash and debt-free basis. “This acquisition is a perfect strategic fit with Syngenta Flowers and it significantly increases our proprietary flower seed portfolio,” says Robert Berendes, head of business development at Syngenta. “The Goldsmith family has built up a world-class breeding company with an outstanding reputation that is known for its consistent quality. This acquisition further strengthens our leadership position in the global flowers industry.” Syngenta will maintain the Goldsmith brand in the market under the Syngenta Flowers umbrella. “We are very excited about joining Syngenta. The agreement will secure a robust future for Goldsmith products and employees, as well as growth opportunities in a changing, consolidating environment,” says Joel Goldsmith, president of Goldsmith Seeds. “As you can imagine, this wasn’t an easy decision for our family to make, but we […]

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October 21, 2008

Ball Booth Scores High At Horti Fair

Ball Horticultural Company received high praise from the Permanent Judging Committee for its booth at Horti Fair, where it scored a 9.6 out of 10 in the Cut Flower Presentation category and a 9.25 in the Bedding Plant Presentation category on the event’s first day. Ball combined its cut flower and bedding plant presentations, which included a wide range of varieties from PanAmerican Seed Company.

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October 21, 2008

ECGC Honors Living Colors Nursery

Living Colors Nursery of Homestead, Fla., which specializes in bromeliads and orchids, is the recipient of the 2008 Award of Distinction from ECGC Distributors. The award recognizes the premier interior plant grower with the most distinctive product and service in 2008. The foliage buyers of all ECGC firms performed an evaluation on each preferred vendor. The evaluation contains objective criteria and a graduated scale that evaluates product and customer service. Living Colors Nursery received the highest score. “Receiving an award like this from a group as prestigious as ECGC, means so much to us and inspires us to make every effort for an even higher standard of quality and service,” says Mitch Rabin, president of Living Colors. Living Colors will officially be honored at an award ceremony January 16 at the TPIE trade show at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center. The Award of Distinction is the only national award recognizing […]

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October 21, 2008

Mum Madness!

  Want to make an impact with your mum sales? Make sure at least some of them are big! Gary Mangum of Bell Nursery shared pictures from a bumper crop of mega-sized mums headed for Home Depot. He says 17,000 were grown and shipped through mid-October.   Tim Brindley of Stacy’s Greenhouses in York, S.C., captured a customer driving her big mums home from a Home Depot in Memphis. “Our mums are passengers in cars,” he says. “Seat belts everyone! That woman actually bought three mums, drove the two you see home and came back for the other!”   Jennifer Kurtz of Kurtz Farms in Cheshire, Conn., sent us pictures of mums in her new Urban Gardener Pumpkin Pot. “I designed the patent-pending Urban Gardener Pumpkin Pots to attract the fall ‘decorators,'” she says. “We are growing 10,000 for Home Depot and independent garden centers throughout New England. Master Tag […]

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October 17, 2008

On Safari To South Africa

Just as everyone is coming home from Horti Fair, I will be flying to Amsterdam and then South Africa this weekend to join a group of U.S. and Canadian growers hosted by Dutch flower breeder Fides. The global company owned by Kirin has been producing cuttings down there for many years and is very pleased with the results. The crops Fides breeds and propagates include chrysanthemums, kalanchoe, geraniums, osteospermums, New Guinea impatiens, petunias, calibrachoas and dahlias. Fides also has farms in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Costa Rica. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m very excited to share the highlights of the trip with you on our new international blog. I’ll arrive in Johannesburg Sunday night. In addition to visiting the flower farms, a week full of cultural excursions are planned. I can’t wait!

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October 15, 2008

Meet Steve Flickinger

Steve Flickinger has joined the Ecke Ranch sales team as key account manager for the Western region. He will assume responsibility of the West Coast sales territory and be based in Littleton, Colo. Flickinger has worked in the industry for more than 30 years, and he has spent most of them in the Western U.S. He graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor of science in agriculture with emphasis in horticulture, agriculture economics and landscape architecture. He has more than 16 years experience in sales and managing large territories. Before joining Ecke, Flickinger was key accounts manager for Simple Pleasures Flowerbulbs & Perennials, a subsidiary of K. Van Bourgondien & Sons Inc. He also has 12 years experience in marketing, having worked with MasterTag and Norwood-Australia.

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October 15, 2008

Syngenta Signs Expanded Research Agreement

Syngenta has agreed to a multi-year agreement for biochemical profiling technology with Metabolon as a means to enhance the Syngenta technical tool kit for its seeds research programs. The agreement will support Syngenta researchers’ understanding of plant response to environmental conditions and decisions on crop traits earlier in the development cycle. Metabolon is a diagnostic products and services company that offers a biochemical profiling platform. Its platform provides a global analysis of complex biological samples for the discovery of markers and pathways associated with drug action and disease. This differentiated approach enables the identification of biomarkers useful for the development of a wide range of diagnostics, and it provides insight into complex biochemical processes such as drug action, toxicology and bioprocess optimization. “Biochemical profiling is becoming an important part of Syngenta’s focused program to apply the full range of cutting-edge science to supply solutions for growers,” says Roger Kemble, head […]

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October 15, 2008

Hort Couture’s Sophisticated Seed Packets

Hort Couture recently added a seed packet collection to its Culinary Couture program. The collection includes 50 fine heirloom and international varieties, and seed packets have a sophisticated look with black backgrounds and vivid photography. “We have seen extremely high demand for our new Culinary Couture vegetable and herb collection from retailers across America,” Jim Monroe says. “This program gives our brand visibility early in the retail store and provides more options for the consumer. Combining this with a finished plant program that will carry through spring and summer will position Culinary Couture so that a consumer can enjoy something fresh and different from Hort Couture all season.” For more information on Culinary Couture or Hort Couture, click here.

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October 15, 2008

Big-Time Begonia Promotion

The first Carpet of Flowers was originally created in 1971 in the Grand-Place in Brussels as a way to build interest in begonias. Craftspeople arrange the carpet by hand directly onto the square’s cobblestones and without any soil. This year’s carpet, featuring nearly a million begonias spanning 300 square meters, had a medieval design.

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October 14, 2008

Penn State University

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Trial Manager: Alan Michael, Penn State Extension, [email protected] Trial Location: Southeast Research and Extension Center (a.k.a. Landisville Trial), Penn State University Planting Dates: 6, 000 pots (1,328 entries) were planted on May 20, 21 and 22, 2008 into 5-gallon containers Weather Conditions: From third week of May (right after planting) through Mid-June we had unusually hot, bright sunny days, low humidity and below normal rainfall. Geraniums, begonias and impatiens suffered from the heat. Mid-June through July provided excellent grow more than 2.5 inches) in form of rain, fog and severe thunderstorms. Conditions allowed plants to make up any lost growth that occurred in June. August through Mid-September was dry with 2.5″ below normal of rainfall (normal is about 4 inches). Temperatures were in the normal range, with no excessively hot days. Geraniums were outstanding August. Best In Show: ‘BIG Red with Green Leaf’ begonia […]

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October 14, 2008

University of Illinois

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Trial Manager: C. Diane Anderson, Research and Education Specialist in Landscape Horticulture; [email protected] Trial Location: Miles C Hartley Selections Garden, University of Illinois Arboretum Planting Dates: Scaevola (planted June 3, 2008) Canna (planted June 6, 2008) Osteospermum (planted June 9, 2008) Lantana (planted June 23, 2008) Rudbeckia (planted May 30, 2008) Lantana (planted June 23, 2008) Cosmos (planted May 27, 2008) Juncus (planted June.06 2008) Capsicum (planted June 06, 2008) Weather Conditions: Excessively wet during May and June, 2008 Best In Show: Scaevola ‘Surdiva Light Blue’ from Suntory Top 5: 1. Canna ‘Tropicanna Gold’ from Anthony Tesselaar Plants 2. Osteospermum ‘Serenity Vanilla’ from Ball FloraPlant 3. Lantana ‘Landmark Sunrise Rose’ from Ball FloraPlant 4. Rudbeckia ‘Tiger Eye Gold’ from Goldsmith Seeds 5. Zinnia ‘Profusion Coral Pink’ from Sakata Seed

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October 14, 2008

Dallas Arboretum

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October 14, 2008

Mass Hort Elm Society

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Trial Manager: David Fiske, [email protected] Trial Location: Mass Hort Society Elm Bank Planting Dates: Frost-hardy plants May 19–23, 2008; the rest May 31- June 12, 2008 Weather Conditions: Spring–hot heave wave first week of June; summer–very wet, by September more than 11 inches of rain above normal. Best In Show: Salvia ‘Mystic Spires Blue’ from Ball FloraPlant Top 5 Overall: ‘Henna’ coleus from Ball FloraPlant ‘Zahara Scarlet’ zinnia from PanAmerican Seed ‘Artist Purple’ ageratum from Proven Winners ‘BIG Red with Green leaf’ begonia from Benary ‘Lania Lavender Star’ verbena from Syngenta Flowers

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October 10, 2008

Armitage Remembers Marc Cathey

Finding a hero today isn’t easy. Allan Armitage, a professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Georgia, had one in Marc Cathey. Armitage shared his thoughts with us on on his hero, who died Wednesday: It is hard to find a hero today. False ones abound in movies and computer games, but a person who has been there day in and day out making what you do better is simply few and far between. Heroes need not jump from tall buildings or save the world from bad guys. Real heroes are people who influence your life and make the world a better place. Such are my thoughts about Dr. Marc Cathy. As a young naïve scientist and later as my career developed, Dr. Cathey was always one of my heroes. I knew nothing, and he was conducting break-through research in the scientific arena. I cited his papers many times when doing my own research […]

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October 6, 2008

Meet ‘Tiger Eyes Sumac’

Bailey Nurseries recently introduced ‘Tiger Eyes’ cutleaf staghorn sumac as part of its First Editions plant line. ‘Tiger Eyes,’ which is completely sterile and grows to 6 feet high and wide, earned a Garden and Leisure Exhibition (GLEE) award last month. The plant’s new growth is a chartreuse, which quickly changes to a glowing yellow for the summer. Bailey says it is the only true yellow plant that doesn’t burn in the summer sun. Its leaf stems are a fuzzy purplish-pink. For fall, the colors change again to a combination of yellow, orange and scarlet.   ‘Tiger Eyes’ is tolerant to Zones 4 to 8 and prefers full to part sun. It can be drought tolerant once established. For more information, visit www.firsteditionsplants.com or www.BaileyNurseries.com.

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September 30, 2008

Dömmen Hires John Orendorff As GM

Dömmen USA has hired John Orendorff as its new general manager for domestic activities. Orendorff most recently served as general manager for GardenReady Solutions, a live goods logistics company in Texas that’s in its third year of operation. Orendorff also brings 15 years experience with Wal-Mart to Dömmen. His experience as a buyer for Wal-Mart sparked a desire to develop a model to streamline the supply chain in the live goods industry. GardenReady Solutions was his answer, and we profiled the company and Orendorff in our August 2008 BenchPress Profile. “In key management positions with Wal-Mart and recently logistics and distribution, John has developed a comprehensive understanding of the needs and challenges of modern growers,” says Perry Wismans, president of Dömmen. “His experience, coupled with a passion for the horticulture industry, makes John a perfect fit for Dömmen’s objective to be the easiest and most reliable young plant supplier with […]

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September 30, 2008

Hort Couture Introduces New Impatiens

Hort Couture had made room for an additional plant to its 2009 Avant Garde Annuals. Impatiens ‘Golden Congo Cockatoo’ joins the collection, and from the looks of it, offers a radically different look from the typical impatiens. ‘Golden Congo Cockatoo’ has lacquered-black stems that can grow up to 2 feet tall with waxy, candy corn flowers and variegated leaves. This impatiens has similar growth requirements to other impatiens, making it an ideal addition to containers and shady areas. For more information about ‘Golden Congo Cockatoo,’ click here.

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September 30, 2008

One Rose, Masses Of Blooms With Amber

Bred by German hybridizer Noack Rosen and the ninth color in the Flower Carpet family, Amber is an easy-to-care-for, high-performance rose. It is also a new addition to the Next Generation rose line, which features drought tolerance, disease resistance, vibrant colors and a greater range of adaptability in tricky climate conditions. Amber is an early bloomer that is bred for sustained, non-stop blooming. When planted in full sun, this rose can produce more than 2,000 lightly fragrant double flowers per season in clusters of up to 45 flowers each. Amber grows into a compact bush (roughly 3 feet by 3 feet), and is hardy in zones 5 to 11. Flower Carpet Amber will be made available throughout the United States, and it ranges in price from $12 to $29, depending on plant size. They are also available bare root by mail order. To learn more about this rose, click here.

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September 29, 2008

Share Your Thoughts On Horti Fair

Will you be attending Horti Fair in a couple of weeks? Let us know! E-mail us your thoughts on the coolest new products you see and the offsite tours and events you attend, and send us your photos from Holland. You can e-mail your thoughts and photos to Greenhouse Grower Editor Delilah Onofrey at [email protected] For more information on Horti Fair, taking place Oct. 14-17, click here.

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