July 25, 2007

Novalis Adds Annuals

One of the big news announcements at OFA’s Short Course last week was Novalis adding an annual plant program for 2008. Up until now, the grower consortium had been more focused on perennials and shrubs. The new program, Plants That Work by Color will bring more than 150 varieties of annuals to independent garden centers next spring. Novalis is incorporating select color growers with a common goal of providing proprietary breeding, diverse product selections and controlled liner production and distribution that will be exclusive to independent garden centers. Plantsmen Josh Schneider and Garry Grueber have been working with Novalis to coordinate this new line. Fifteen years ago, Grueber was instrumental in working with John Rader of EuroAmerican Propagators to organize Proven Winners. Novalis just won Greenhouse Grower’s Medal of Excellence for Marketing. For more on Novalis, visit: http://www.novalis.com.

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July 18, 2007

Michigan Growers Tour

This is the fourth year leading young plant growers in Michigan are teaming up with Michigan State University (MSU) to host a two-week tour of floricultural trials and displays, July 30 to Aug. 10. The educational field day at MSU will be Aug. 7. For more information, visit: http://www.hrt.msu.edu/planttour

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July 18, 2007

Athens Select Adds Hilltop Greenhouse

The Athens Select Marketing Association, founded by our own Dr. Allan Armitage at the University of Georgia, has added Hilltop Greenhouse & Farm of Ellendale, Minn., to its group of licensed propagators. Plants in the Athens Select program are chosen for heat and humidity tolerance. Three new varieties include iochroma ‘Purple Queen’ (pictured), abutilon ‘Fairy Coral Red’ and hibiscus ‘Panama Bronze.’ For more details, visit: http://www.athensselect.com.

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July 18, 2007

Medal Of Excellence Awards

On Monday, Greenhouse Grower presented its Medal of Excellence Awards during the OFA Short Course. The awards program, which has become “the Oscars of the industry,” recognizes dedication and innovation in advancing varieties and new markets for growers. Nearly 300 movers and shakers attended the awards ceremony. For details, visit: http://www.greenhousegrower.com/medal/index.html

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July 18, 2007

Graphical Tracking Software

A new and expanded version of the popular UNH FloraTrack software for graphically tracking poinsettias is now available from Plant Docs. The program, developed by Paul Fisher while he was at the University of New Hampshire, helps poinsettia growers compare actual and target plant heights and guide crop decisions. Discounts are available to customers of Fischer USA and Quality Analytical Laboratories. For more information, visit http://www.plantdocs.biz

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July 11, 2007

GG’s Medal Of Excellence Awards Ceremony

Monday will be the big day when we present our Medal of Excellence Awards at the OFA Short Course in Columbus, Ohio. Perennial Plant Association will receive our industry achievement award for 25 years of dedication to elevating perennials and the growers who produce them. Novalis will receive our marketing award for is successful Plants That Work program and other branding initiatives. Our three breeding awards will be a surprise until that evening. Special thanks to Landmark Plastic for sponsoring the reception. For details, visit http://www.greenhousegrower.com/medal/

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July 11, 2007

EuroAmerican Offers Mixed Trays

EuroAmerican Propagators in Bonsall, Calif., is helping growers test drive its new varieties by offering mixed trays in succulents and begonias. These trays are being marketed as Mixers. For details, visit: http://www.pweuro.com.

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July 5, 2007

Reader’s Choice Sweepstakes Winner

Tom Mowbray, corporate sales manager of Floral Plant Growers in Wisconsin, will be getting the VIP treatment at the OFA Short Course next weekend as the winner of our Reader’s Choice Sweepstakes. In addition to a full registration compliments of OFA, he will receive a $100 gift card and the VIP treatment at our Medal of Excellence awards reception on Monday, July 16, where the three breeding awards will be announced—Industry’s Choice, Editor’s Choice and Reader’s Choice. For more details on our Medal of Excellence program, visit: http://www.greenhousegrower.com/medal/index.html

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June 27, 2007

Ball Certified For Organic Seed

Ball has become the first large wholesale horticultural distributor certified to process and distribute organic seed by the Organic Crop Improvment Association under the National Organic Program regulations from USDA. Growers can choose from more than 60 varieties of vegetables and herbs. For more information, visit: http://www.ballhort.com/News_Event.aspx?newsID=58

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June 13, 2007

Texas Hosts Field Day

More than 800 varieties will be sizzling in field and container trails at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station in Overton, Texas this summer. The Overton Horticultural Field Day will be June 28, beginning at the Texas A&M University Systems’s Agricultural and Research Center’s North Farm site and then to Overton. For more information, visit: http://overton.tamu.edu/flowers/fielddday.htm

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June 6, 2007

Ball Launches Nursery Line

Ball Horticultural Co. announced late last week it will be breaking into the nursery game, launching a new line of trees, shrubs and perennials specifically for the nursery industry called Ball Ornamentals. Previously, Ball has exclusively provided annuals and perennials to the horticulture industry. For more, visit: http://www.todaysgardencenter.com/blog/page.php?page=news#ballornamentals

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May 23, 2007

Vote For Reader’s Choice

The polls are open for the Reader’s Choice Award–a new addition to Greenhouse Grower’s Medal of Excellence awards program. Voters will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a free Short Course registration compliments of OFA and a special invitation to the Medal of Excellence Awards Ceremony, July 16. Cast your vote at: http://www.greenhousegrower.com/medal/readers_choice.html

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May 16, 2007

GG Announces Medal of Excellence Nominees

The votes are in from our seven panelists for this year’s Medal of Excellence Awards. The three breeding awards include Industry’s Choice (chosen by the panel), Editor’s Choice and a new Reader’s Choice. The nominees are: Asti osteospermums from Goldsmith Seeds Blutopia and Snowtopia bacopas from PanAmerican Seed Cora vincas from Goldsmith Seeds Shock Wave petunias from PanAmerican Seed Supercal petunias from Sakata Surdiva scaevolas from Suntory/Bonza Voting will open May 21 at http://www.greenhousegrower.com for the Reader’s Choice. Choose one from this slate of nominees or a write-in candidate of your choice. There will also be a sweepstakes to win a registration to Short Course, compliments of OFA, along with other VIP perks.

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May 16, 2007

Florexpo To Produce Suntory Cuttings

Florexpo and McGregor Plant Sales just signed an agreement to produce and distribute unrooted cuttings for Suntory in North America. The deal was signed with master licensor Jackson & Perkins Wholesale. This line will include items specific to licensees and there will be a range of items which will be available to flowering-only growers in the United States and Canada. Based in Costa Rica, Florexpo is one of the largest and fastest growing cuttings producers. McGregor is a broker based in Carlsbad, Calif. For more information and availability, visit: http://www.mcgregorplantsales.com

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May 16, 2007

Grower Tool: Goldfisch Combinations Online

If you missed all the great combination plantings Fischer USA put together at Pack Trials, they are just a click away. The combinations are now available online. Get the recipes and download high resolution images at: http://www.fischerusa.com/default.aspx?tabid=63&HtmlId=92

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May 9, 2007

Proven Winners At Kentucky Derby

Churchill DownsThis is the second year Proven Winners varieties were planted to color the grounds of Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby on May 5. Pictured is ‘Supertunia Vista Bubblegum,’ which was planted along with ‘Supertunias Raspberry Blast’ and Royal Velvet and ageratum ‘Artist Blue.’ Two-by-two-foot signs promoted the varieties, which will be at Churchill Downs all summer long. Thousands of consumers also saw Proven Winners in the Kentucky Derby program and in Churchill Downs’ e-newsletter. For details, visit: http://www.provenwinners.com/informationcenter/kentuckyderby/

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May 9, 2007

Organic Bouquets For Mother’s Day

San Francisco-based OrganicBouquet.com is expecting a surge in business for Mother’s Day. Sales of organic and eco-friendly flowers are expected to exceed $100 million in the next five years, according to OrganicBouquet.com’s CEO Gerald Prolman. “We are now accelerating towards an inevitable tipping point with increasing supplies of organic flowers in the pipeline and consumer interest in the environment at the high point in history,” he says. More than 500 million certified stems will be grown in 2007, according to Veriflora, a new ecocertification program for the cut flower trade. OrganicBouquet.com currently works with more than 15 growers in five countries, including the United States, Ecuador and Colombia. For more details, visit: http://www.organicbouquet.com

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May 2, 2007

New Breeder Agency

Pride of Place Plants and HortisHolland have contracted with Cassy Bright to form HortisUSA LLC, a full-service breeder representation company based in California. Bright had been with North American Royalty Administration for many years. Breeder services include global representation, promotion, trials, breeders’ rights and tradmark issues. Propagators and growers will find a comprehensive product listing ranging from perennials and shrubs to potted plants and cut flowers. For more information, visit http://www.hortisusa.com

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April 25, 2007

ForemostCo And Raker Form Alliance

ForemostCo, a Miami-based young plant supplier, and C. Raker & Sons, a Michigan-based plug and liner producer, have forged a new working relationship that will broaden both companies’ product offerings. One of the goals is to streamline communications and support among growers and suppliers. For more information on these companies, visit: http://www.foremostco.com and http://www.raker.com

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April 25, 2007

Miller Honored At Southeast

Ball Horticultural Co.’s Market Research Manager Marvin Miller will receive the Southeast Greenhouse Conference’s 2007 Horticulture Initiative Award in June. Dedicated to the industry, Miller is the current president of the America In Bloom board and serves on OFA’s board of directors and the Seeley Conference board at Cornell University. Key committee assignments include Purdue University College of Agriculture Dean’s Advisory Committee and the Society of American Florists’ government relations committee and floriculture statistics task force with USDA. For more details on the upcoming Southeast Greenhouse Conference, visit: http://www.sgcts.org 

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