This May Be The Year Of …

Cascading Patchwork Cosmic Orange

It’s early April as I write this. There’s hardly any winter anywhere, and I’m already seeing the look of anticipation on the faces of growers, retailers and consumers. Unemployment is down and hope is up, so I look forward to hearing good news as spring progresses.

In my travels here, there and around the California Spring Trials, I could not help but notice a number of trends, plant groups or ideas that resurface time and again. These may be nothing more than passing fads, but here goes:

… Cascading Plants
I hear it all the time: What can I put in containers and window boxes that cascade? There have been many choices, but I keep seeing the breeders working their magic. From cascading pansies (Cool Wave), vinca (Cascading Cora) and impatiens (Patchwork, Tumbler series) to begonias (Crackling Fire,  Sunset), fruit (‘Toscana’ strawberries), veggies (‘Bellina’ sweet pepper) and hanging osteos (Osticade series) – and many more.

Are cascaders a trend or a fad? To me, these are a trend.

… Veggies
There’s no doubt veggies have always been popular, and ornamental vegetables have been around for many years. With the advent of the Vegetalis lines, in which edibles are also ornamental, veggies are moving into the mixed container and onto the patio.

This is a great thing because it is an avenue to allow the vegetable gardener (man) to actually talk to the flower gardener (woman), and have something in common. Such breakthroughs may even save some marriages.

We are seeing more work this year in patio-type veggies such as ‘Cayennetta’ sweet pepper, Tumbler and ‘Topsy Tom’ tomatoes. However, with the efforts Syngenta is putting into “real vegetables for real people in a real garden,” and Burpee’s efforts to bring all vegetables to growers and consumers, I have no doubt we will all be much healthier.

Grafted veggies such as Mighty Matos and heirloom tomatoes on vigorous rootstalks are also in vogue. This is good for healthy living, as well. A few English and Australian guys sitting around the lunch table with me one afternoon were making snide comments about American portion sizes in restaurants (as if anyone actually cleans their plates!), and that nobody eats greens (have they seen how people love their collard greens?). Now, with all these companies putting their skills to work, we shall have no choice but to be healthy.

A trend or a fad? To me, this is a five-year fad.

… QR Codes
Everyone is doing QR codes, and the information scanned is as diverse as the United Nations. MasterTag must have shown 50 different squiggles, and nearly all companies were displaying them.

Of course, to actually have anyone scan a QR code more than once will require some creativity. Why scan a tag to get information already on the label? Or to come to a complicated website that can hardly be read on a smartphone anyway?

We can do much better, and must, for QR codes to remain a viable marketing tool. I may never scan one but my grandkids sure will.

A trend or a fad? To me, QR codes are a 3-year fad.

… Roses
The ascendency of roses up the food chain of ornamentals has been nothing short of spectacular. The introduction of Knockout and other excellent foliar-cleaning roses have resulted in huge increases in woody nurseries. But the breeding of shorter material like Drift and Oso Easy, along with newer entries like My Bouquet and Table To Garden from Greenheart Farms, are putting rose genetics into the hands of the greenhouse trade.

And now, with the advent of series like Sunrosa (Suntory Flowers), Kolorscape (Greenheart’s exclusive series for Ball) and Sunblaze (Greenheart), roses are everywhere. Given the fact that I am now trialing Knockouts, Drifts, Floral Carpets, David Austins and Carefrees at the University of Georgia, my only question is: Where will I put them all?

A trend or a fad? To me, roses are a trend.

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...

May 23, 2017

USDA-APHIS Bulletin on Unauthorized Distribution of Genetically Engineered Petunias

On May 2, 2017, USDA-APHIS was informed that an orange petunia variety was potentially genetically engineered and had been imported and moved interstate without required authorization by APHIS. This led to testing of numerous petunia varieties, which confirmed this particular variety and several others are genetically engineered, and meet the regulatory definition of a regulated article under APHIS regulations. APHIS continues to work with the industry to ensure unauthorized GE petunias are not distributed in the United States.

Read More
Petunia F1 African Sunset from American Takii

May 22, 2017

Genetically Modified Petunia Update: Question and Answer with AmericanHort’s Craig Regelbrugge

AmericanHort’s key role interfacing with the USDA on the recall of genetically modified petunias has helped the horticulture industry rapidly address the problem. Senior Vice President Craig Regelbrugge talks about recent updates, the impact on the industry, and where it goes from here.

Read More
Eason 2017 spring trials report

May 16, 2017

New California Spring Trials Report Now Available From Eason Horticultural Resources

The report features genetics from 21 different breeding companies and information gathered from the 15 different stops on this year’s tour.

Read More
Latest Stories

May 23, 2017

USDA-APHIS Bulletin on Unauthorized Distribution of Gen…

On May 2, 2017, USDA-APHIS was informed that an orange petunia variety was potentially genetically engineered and had been imported and moved interstate without required authorization by APHIS. This led to testing of numerous petunia varieties, which confirmed this particular variety and several others are genetically engineered, and meet the regulatory definition of a regulated article under APHIS regulations. APHIS continues to work with the industry to ensure unauthorized GE petunias are not distributed in the United States.

Read More
Petunia F1 African Sunset from American Takii

May 22, 2017

Genetically Modified Petunia Update: Question and Answe…

AmericanHort’s key role interfacing with the USDA on the recall of genetically modified petunias has helped the horticulture industry rapidly address the problem. Senior Vice President Craig Regelbrugge talks about recent updates, the impact on the industry, and where it goes from here.

Read More
Eason 2017 spring trials report

May 16, 2017

New California Spring Trials Report Now Available From …

The report features genetics from 21 different breeding companies and information gathered from the 15 different stops on this year’s tour.

Read More
Schizachyrium scoparium The Blues

May 13, 2017

How Ornamental Grasses and Sedges Can Play a Role in Po…

Grasses and sedges provide food, shelter, and support for pollinators and the birds and mammals that keep insect populations in balance.

Read More
Asclepias with a bumblebee

May 8, 2017

How to Choose the Best Native Plants for Pollinator Gar…

The popularity of native plants is rising as gardeners become conscious of the need to plant more pollinator gardens. The challenge is to select the right plants to put in them.

Read More
Allan Armitage Of Naked Ladies and Forget Me Nots

May 2, 2017

Allan Armitage: How Growers Can Be Creative to Take Gar…

Our industry does a good job of making things convenient for our customers. It’s time to take it a step further.

Read More
Asclepias tuberosa

April 29, 2017

Greenhouse Growing Tips for Asclepias tuberosa

Madeline Maynor, Growing Operations Manager for Landenberg, PA-based North Creek Nurseries, shares greenhouse growing tips for Asclepias tuberosa, the 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year.

Read More
Andropogon gerardii Blackhawks (Intrinsic Perennial Gardens)

April 25, 2017

Kelly Norris: Diversity is the Key to Growing the Ornam…

Offering a selection of ornamental grasses that cater to customer needs will keep sales from stagnating.

Read More

April 25, 2017

41 New Vegetative Petunias From California Spring Trial…

With the abundance of new introductions for the 2018 retail season, we’ve made it easier for you to sift through them by separating out the vegetative petunias from the Northern sites, which includes selections from Westhoff Flowers, Sakata Ornamentals, Danziger, Proven Winners, and Syngenta flowers.

Read More
Begonia Spectre Silver Terra Nova Nurseries

April 20, 2017

Terra Nova Nurseries Releases Two New, Attractive Begon…

Stardust is the latest addition to Terra Nova Nurseries’ existing T Rex Begonia series, and Silver is the first introduction to the company’s new Spectre Begonia series.

Read More

April 18, 2017

Cool Combos From CAST 2017 – Editor’s Choic…

With container gardening becoming more of a lifestyle among consumers than a trend, and breeders continuing to put more effort in container mixes and components, I feel I would be remiss if I didn't share some of the special combinations that not only caught my eye at California Spring Trials, but absolutely took my breath away and made me want to immediately get started gardening.

Read More
Danziger New Hires

April 16, 2017

Danziger Invests in Continued North American Business G…

As part of a new business structure for its North American market, Mike Fernandez has been appointed Market Manager North America for Bedding Plants and Perennials, and Kate Zvara was named as Key Account Manager and Retail Specialist.

Read More
Florida Flower Trials

April 12, 2017

Looking for Info on New Varieties for Hot Climates? Che…

The Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association’s Florida Flower Trials, which are focused on new and improved varieties able to thrive in the extremes of Florida’s climate, are a great opportunity to connect with national breeders.

Read More
Lupinus Staircase Series (Green Fuse Botanicals)

April 11, 2017

Begonias, Celosias Among Dr. Allan Armitage’s Favorites…

Check out some of Allan’s top picks from his final day at CAST 2017, which included visits to Green Fuse Botanicals and Floranova.

Read More
Rex Begonia container mix at Green Fuse Botanicals

April 11, 2017

Green Fuse Botanicals’ Rex Begonias and First Looks; Fl…

Here are the highlights from Green Fuse Botanicals and Floranova on the last day of CAST 2017.

Read More

April 7, 2017

Hort Couture Wows With Farm to Table; Florist Holland R…

On the last day for GroLink and the second to last for the Greenhouse Grower team, the wealth of genetics, marketing programs, and announcements were pleasing to our eyes, ears, and hearts.

Read More

April 7, 2017

California Spring Trials Day Five: Notable New Plant Va…

See some of the new varieties for 2018 displayed at Ball Horticultural and GroLink Plant Company on day five of California Spring Trials 2017.

Read More

April 7, 2017

PanAmerican Promotes Pentas, Plug-and-Play, and Veggies…

On Day 5 of the California Spring Trials, the Greenhouse Grower team hit the Southern California Trials and saw a multitude of new introductions and exciting programs.

Read More