March 10, 2009

Easy Does It: 2010 AARS Winner

This rose was hybridized by Harkness New Roses of England and introduced by Weeks Roses of Wasco, Calif. The Harkness rose family also bred 1996 AARS Winner Livin’ Easy. “Easy Does It is a great rose that is as beautiful as it is disease resistant,” says AARS Board President Tom Carruth. “The goal of AARS is to identify the best new roses of the year, and this year Easy Does It stood out unsurpassed.” The rose’s coloring of mango orange, peach pink and ripe apricot make up each double ruffled bloom and seem to bounce off the Floribunda’s mirrored, glossy green foliage. The shades show up in fragrant, large clusters atop a rounded bushy plant. Not just a beautiful rose, Easy Does It is disease resistant and vigorous in its growth. To be chosen as an AARS winner, this rose thrived during two years of comprehensive testing in 23 gardens […]

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March 10, 2009

New Early, Hardy Daylily

Centerton Nursery will introduce the first red-hot early-blooming hardy daylily in 2010. The EarlyBird Daylily Collection starts blooming in May and continues to rebloom for nearly 100 days through Zone 6, and for 85 days in Zone 5. Bred by world-renown daylily hybridizer Dr. Darrel Apps, famous for the popular ‘Happy Returns’ daylilies, EarlyBird is an easy-to-care-for, sun-loving perennial. They are rust, pest and drought resistant–the trifecta of the plant world–making them an excellent choice for busy homeowners who want low maintenance, repeat blooming plants. The first introduction in the series, EarlyBird ‘Cardinal,’ will be available to retailers in Spring 2010, but will be available to growers this spring. It’s 4-inch blooms are fire-engine red with a yellow to green throat. Flowers are held on 21-inch-tall stems with a greater height and stature than other early blooming daylilies. Plus, the thick foliage holds its soothing green color throughout the season. […]

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March 10, 2009

Perennial Plant Symposium Dates

The Perennial Plant Symposium and Trade Show will run July 19-24 at the Marriott in Union Station, St. Louis, Mo. this summer. The weeklong educational program includes lectures, workshops, tours and a trade show. The tours will include visits to the Missouri Botanic Garden, Forest Park ( a nearly 1,300 acre city park) and Bowood Farms, the April Today’s Garden Center cover story, among other stops. Lecture topics include: –Successful Plastic Recycling Programs –Plant Driven Design –Perennial Bulbs for the Landscape Border –Container Combinations To Enhance Retail Sales –High Impact, Low Care Garden Plants –Perennial Selections for Rain Gardens –Sustainable Landscapes–Greening The Business –Creating The Effective Retail Perennial Display –Greenhouse Energy Conservation & Efficiency –High Impact Seasonal Color And those are just some of the lectures planned for the six-day symposium and trade show. The event is dedicated to education and networking for the perennial industry. Attendees are growers, retailers, […]

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March 5, 2009

Another Grower For Green Roofs

Summit Valley Turf Farms in Waterloo, Mont., recently joined the network of growers for LifeRoof, the company that developed the invisible modular system for green roofs. A Summit Valley spokesperson says it will be Montana’s only green roof provider. LiveRoof is still looking for grower distributors in Alberta, Alaska, Arizona, South Florida, Louisiana, Quebec and Utah. LiveRoof plants are grown to maturity by local growers so that each module arrives to the job site with full-grown plants inside containers. Modules are only sold as finished product through LiveRoof’s own network of growers. For more information, visit www.liveroof.com.

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March 4, 2009

New Monrovia Introductions

Monrovia has announced a new plant collection for early summer 2009, stemming from its recent partnership with renowned plant explorer, Dan Hinkley. The collection, beginning with seven exclusive and semi-exclusive varieties, features a frost-hardy abutilon, four stunning fuchsias, a winter-hardy disporopsis and a red-leafed mukdenia. Dan Hinkley is well known throughout the horticulture industry for his ability to identify plants that perform admirably in climates across North America. He travels the world seeking unusual and exotic plants and then trials them as a hands-on gardener to evaluate their performance. He also likes to ensure the introductions do not possess the potential for bio-invasiveness. For details about the plants in the Dan Hinkley Collection, click here.

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March 3, 2009

Floragem High On ‘BIG RED’

Geranium ‘BIG RED’ is one of several new items in the VIVA! collection available at The Home Depot this year. It grows to about 15 inches and takes full to part sun. Ray French, product manager of the VIVA! line for Floragem, says ‘BIG RED’ is a cross between a hanging basket geranium and an upright zonal type. “Look at the leaf shape and you will see a leaf that has the basket geranium shape, but with a texture and color of a zonal upright. This is a huge breakthrough, as ‘BIG RED’ will do well in either a basket situation or in your garden.” “From a design standpoint, Lisa Heredia, program manager of the VIVA! line, says ‘BIG RED’ offers not only a true red color, but the dark leaves are a great contrast. “At a recent industry event, people lined up four deep to look at this plant. […]

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March 2, 2009

All-American Winners

All-America Selections has announced its 2010 Flower Award winner and Bedding Plant Award winners. Flower Award Winner: ‘Mesa Yellow’ gaillardia (blanket flower). ‘Mesa Yellow’ quickly fills in containers, making it adaptable to 4-inch and larger containers. It offers a branching, mounding habit with horizontal vigor and continuous blooming. It is naturally drought tolerant, and the flowers can be cut and used for summer bouquets. If left on the plant, they attract butterflies. It is hardy to Zone 5. Bedding Plant Award Winners: ‘Twinny Peach’ dwarf snapdragon and ‘Zahara Starlight Rose’ zinnia. ‘Twinny Peach’ is a unique dwarf snapdragon with a double or butterfly flower form. The name ‘Twinny’ refers to twins or doubles, a reminder of the double flower form. Flowers are peach, yellow or light orange, blending together for a novel presentation. Gardeners can expect spikes of pastel colors throughout the growing season. ‘Zahara Starlight Rose’ is the first […]

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February 27, 2009

Fides Names North American Manager

Mark Schermer has been appointed as manager for the Santa Paula facility of Fides North America as of March 1st, 2009. Together with Commercial Manager Reinoud Hagen, Schermer will lead Fides North America, responsible for the operations in Santa Paula and all marketing activities. Schermer has extensive experience in the horticultural sector, including his function as manager marketing and communications manager with Fides in The Netherlands. “My ambition is to make Fides North America ready for the future,” he says. “A smiling customer has to be our every day reward. The main focus is to develop and market genetics that suit their needs in a reliable way.”

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February 24, 2009

Selecta’s New 2009 Poinsettia Varieties

Selecta First Class is introducing new varieties for 2009. Christmas Feelings Merlot and Christmas Feelings Marble evol. are new additions to the Christmas Feelings series. Christmas Feelings Merlot has a dark red color with orange cyathias and Christmas Feelings evol. was improved and now fits the series. Pink Sparkle and Wintersun are companions to Christmas Eve. They are early season varieties with a response time of 7.5 weeks. Like Christmas Eve, they are energy- and space-efficient, uniform and easy to grow. Christmas Angel Pink and Christmas Angel White are additions to the red Christmas Angel. They are early season varieties with a response time of 7.5 weeks. Christmas Carol White evol. is the new, improved white variety in the Christmas Carol series. SK 62 is a completely new energy- and space-efficient variety that finishes mid-season with a V-shaped growth. With medium-sized bracts and low vigor, it should be planted earlier […]

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February 24, 2009

An Echinacea To Envy

A rare sight in horticulture, echinacea ‘Green Envy’ features green flowers and strong stems that bear a large number of blooms mid-July through Autumn. ‘Green Envy’ can withstand heavy winds and rain, and does well in a variety of soil conditions, including drought conditions once established. In the later stages of maturity, the petals gradually elongate, taking on a magenta veining near the cone. The cut flowers from this plant last more than 10 days. ‘Green Envy’ was developed by hobbyist gardener Mark Veeder in Sullivan County, N.Y. Hardy to Zones 4-9, it spreads 18 to 24 inches and grows 30 to 36 inches tall. Needs full sun to partial shade. Go to GetGreenEnvy.com to find a list of growers an d more information about the plant.

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February 23, 2009

A Reference On Roses

Rose breeder David Austin developed more than 150 unique varieties called English Roses over the years, and he’s telling the stories of 40 recently developed varieties and 40 of his all-time favorites in a new book titled “The English Roses: Classic Favorites & New Selections.” English Roses differ from contemporary roses in flower shape and growth habit. They combine the full cup shape, fragrance and general character of old roses and the wide range of color and repeat flowering of modern hybrid varieties. Austin’s book has more than 160 color photographs of superb rose gardens and retails at $35. It also features valuable cultivation tips, Austin’s favorite garden designs and tips for cutting and arranging roses. For more information on “The English Roses,” visit www.fireflybooks.com.

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February 20, 2009

Cool New Caladiums

Hort Couture has announced a new line of caladiums: Taste Of Thailand. The program features 18 varieties selected from an extensive trialing program of durability, sun tolerance and unique aesthetics. “Many Thai varieties are not commercially feasible varieties,” says Hort Couture owner Jim Monroe. “We have looked for leaf thickness, vigor and sun tolerance to find the best varieties. We will be moving forward to have a proprietary program over the next two years. It has been really fun. These are special plants.” To see all the varieties in the Taste Of Thailand collection, click here.

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February 17, 2009

View: A Guide To Foreign Floriculture Awaits At Essen

Bart Hayes, annual trials manager at The Ohio State University, says you need to attend the world’s largest floriculture trade show in Essen, Germany. He knows times are tough, money is short and you think your operation is not big enough to worry about what happens overseas. But the reasons for attending are endless, Hayes says, and he shared a few of the trip’s benefits with us. Commitment To Promotion Just walking the trade show floor is an education. The booths are elaborate and customer friendly. The social aspect of sales is not overlooked at IPM Essen and is, in fact, central to the booth construction. Less space is spent on racks for publications and information and more space for tables, chairs and amenities. Food and drinks are served during business talks. It is a different experience than I was used to. Some of the companies have employees just to […]

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February 17, 2009

A Few Rocky Mountain Keepers

Plant Select, a plant introduction and recommendation program for the Rocky Mountain region that’s introduced or recommended 87 plants to date, has named its 2009 winners. Among the winners are: Korean feather reed grass, an elegant clump-forming grass that offers a beautiful alternative to the stiffer, more architectural Karl Forester grass. This graceful grass grows 24 to 40 inches tall and 15 to 18 inches wide, preferring locations with sun to partial shade, and moderately moist to dry soil. The attractive feathery flowers persist from summer through fall and into winter, offering year round interest to a variety of situations. ‘Lavender Ice’ offers a new color in hardy ice plants with its iridescent lavender flowers and dark eyes, blooming nearly all summer long. It prefers full sun to partial shade and moderate to dry soil, and grows to about 2 to 3 inches tall and 12 to 24 inches wide. […]

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February 17, 2009

View: Trends From Essen

Bart Hayes, annual trials manager at The Ohio State University, returned from IPM Essen in Germany earlier this month and shared his thoughts on trends he saw in plants, promotions and industry movements. He also wrote an essay on why U.S. growers should consider attending the show. Introduction IPM Essen is a massive trade show for everything horticultural in the world. Companies and visitors from all across the planet come to Essen, Germany to see what’s new and what’s available for the upcoming year. I was fortunate enough to represent The Ohio State University Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens at the trade show this year. Following are some of the ideas I gleaned from the four days of trading stories, sharing ideas and speaking with folks in our industry from around the world. Signage & Presentation What struck me most of all is the way signage and plant presentation is […]

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February 13, 2009

Online Only: Proven Winners Taking Action Against Illegal Propagators

Occasionally, you’ll read about growers who’ve been caught propagating cuttings illegally. But in many cases, those growers may get away with a slap on the wrist. Proven Winners North America takes a different approach. In the most recent year alone, Proven Winners, through Royalty Administration International (RAI), caught 137 growers illegally propagating its plants. And it is taking even more aggressive steps in the coming year to protect its breeders and the integrity of the industry. Since 2000, Proven Winners has levied assessments of more than $1 million against illegal propagators. To discourage illegal propagation, Proven Winners recently increased its illegal propagation fine from $1 to $2 per cutting. And RAI, an organization providing patent and royalty enforcement support to Proven Winners North America, flower breeders and other plant marketers, will be increasing the number of grower visits it makes with better territorial management and the hiring of additional field […]

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February 13, 2009

Online Only: Stepables Tough Ten

No one in our industry arguably has more fun marketing plants than Stepables founder Fran Hopkins, who came up with yet another creative way to highlight the brand this year. “We spent some serious time really thinking about how we could impact that split-second consumer impression and turn it into a sale,” Hopkins says. “We knew our message needed to be simple, focused and fun. Stepables are extremely resilient. The word ‘tough,’ however, seemed easier to digest.” Now, Stepables is taking its “Tough Ten” to the market. The “Tough Ten” are particularly favored by Stepables growers, and they’re consistently among the brand’s best sellers. All 10 varieties will be featured in marketing and point of purchase materials throughout 2009 featuring the muscular “happy guy.” Here’s a look at the varieties that made the cut: Sagina subulata Irish Moss With dense tufts of slender stems that grow tightly together, Sagina Irish […]

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February 13, 2009

Online Only: RAI Breeders

copy here.

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February 11, 2009

The Wind Keeps Shifting — So Must Our Sails

I never like to talk politics in a public forum, but given the leadership in Washington, hope still springs eternal. Regardless of your party affiliation and regardless of how awful the economy is, optimism is always more comforting than pessimism, but between the two is realism. My mother was the eternal optimist, and she used to quote William Arthur Ward, an American writer and speaker: “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” Of course, neither my mother nor I had any idea who Mr. Ward was, but even I thought his logic made sense. We are certainly in the grip of some strong headwinds. I am optimistic the economy will turn around, not without pain and not without loss, but times will get better. This economy, however, has painfully pointed out that horticulture is not recession-proof. People will spend money […]

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February 10, 2009

Proven Winners Event Filling Up Fast

Proven Winners will host two events for upcoming events for consumers called the Outdoor Living Extravaganza, which is designed to bring out the exterior design qualities in all gardeners. The two events are being held in Chicago on March 14 and in Boston on April 25. The Chicago event just sold out, but there are about seats remaining for the Boston event. If grower-retailers are interest in promoting the event to their customers, they can download PDFs of a poster and flyer at the event webpage here. The Outdoor Living Extravaganza will start at 9 a.m. with breakfast and conclude at 4 p.m. Five speakers will present, and the cost to attend is $45. In addition to these events, Proven Winners is teaming up with Bauman Farms in Gervais, Oreg., to give away a free ‘Flirtation Pink’ diascia (a new Proven Winners variety) at the Yard, Garden and Patio show […]

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