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 was a lot of work, but it was fun, adn it’s the kind of thing you feel really good about afterwards.”

Anthony Tesselaar, president of Anthony Tesselaar International, says, “I was interesting to see these competent professionals quickly organize themselves into efficient production lines. There was real comaraderie between our impromptu assembly groups.”

Based in Melbourne, Australia, Tesselaar is an international marketer of high-quality plants selected for performance, easier-care attributes, big color and long bloom seasons. Leading brands include: Flower Carpet roses, Tropicanna cannas, ‘Bonfire’ begonia, ‘Storm’ agapanthus, Volcano phlox, ‘ColorFlash’ astilbe and ‘Festival Grass’ cordyline.

About 16 North American growers are in the network. Also during the grower meeting, they got to meet Reinhard Noack, the breeder of Flower Carpet roses. He is president of Noack Rosen in Germany. His speech focused on the marketing fo Flower Carpet roses in Europe and strategies for color releases in each market.

The new ‘Flower Carpet Amber’ became the third most popular color within one year of its release. Amber is part of the Next Generation Flower Carpets, representing entirely new breeding first seen in the United States with the release of Scarlet. Pink Supreme will be introduced in 2008, followed by Amber in 2009.

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