This was the ninth year we brought growers with us to the California Pack Trials through our California Dreamin’ contest sponsored by flower breeders Sakata Seed America and Suntory Corp. To date, about 35 growers have gone on this trip. Winners are selected during the treasure chest drawing at the Southeast Greenhouse Conference and Trade Show in Greenville, S.C.
Both pairs of winners were grower-retailers from North Carolina. One pair, Sharon and Gurnie Chriscoe, own Possum Run Garden Center in Robbins. The other, Ginger Johnson and Lisa Bloodworth, manage retail and production, respectively, at Wildwood Nursery & Garden Center in Henrico. Johnson’s brother, Mike Diakont won the trip, but was not able to attend.
This was the first time Dr. Paul Thomas of the University of Georgia tagged along with us. He brought the idea of this contest to us to add some excitement to the Southeast Greenhouse Conference in 1998. He got to see what it’s like to travel with the winners firsthand.
We thank Sakata and Suntory for their generous and unwavering support all these years.