Ball Horticultural Co.
A new way of presenting the trials was a big hit at Ball Horticultural Co. in Santa Paula. The “Shoppes On Main” concept was developed by Jennifer Neujahr, who is product marketing manager for key brands like Wave petunias. Each stop had a distinctive look: Fantastic Foliage and Flowers as Pottery Barn, PanAmerican Seed as Nordstrom, Wave petunias as a groovy surf shop, Burpee Home Gardens as a farmers market, and Ball FloraPlant and Ball Seed as upscale clothing stores. Visitors could window shop, go inside each store to see more or go even further back to learn about production information.
Exciting new petunias include the Sophistica and Debonair collections in designer colors mixing rose and lime. While the Sophisticas match the Dreams grandiflora series, Debonairs match the Madness multiflora series. New vegetative petunias from Ball FloraPlant include Sun Spun, which are compact and pot tight, and four new Suncatchers.
This was a big year for Wave petunias with exciting introductions and mixes. Three new Easy Waves are Burgundy Star, Violet and Plum Vein. New mixes with these colors are Starfish Mix and Plum Pudding. Denim is a new Shockwave, with colors that fade and become stonewashed, just like your favorite blue jeans.
The biggest vegetative introduction is Breathless euphorbia in White and Blush. While White is comparable to Proven Winners’ ‘Diamond Frost,’ Blush offers dark foliage and subtle pink striping in the flowers. Another one that caught a lot of attention is osteospermum ‘Voltage Yellow,’ which is two weeks earlier than others but lasts longer through the summer.
Other key seed introductions include the Versa coleus series in six colors, which can be planted in sun or shade, and two All-America Selections winners–zinnia ‘Zahara Starlight Rose’ and ‘Mesa Yellow,’ the first F1 hybrid gaillardia from seed.
–Breathless euphorbias–Blush and White
–Candy Flowers Regal geraniums
–Chrysocephalum ‘Silver Fox’
–Coleuses–’Red Head,’ ‘Trusty Rusty’ and Versas
–Crassulas ‘Shark’s Tooth’ and ‘Spike’
–Debonair Collection petunias
–Delphiniums ‘Dasante Blue’ and ‘Diamonds Blue’
–Easy Wave petunias–Burgundy Star, Violet and Plum Vein
–Gaillardia ‘Mesa Yellow’
–Ornamental millet ‘Jade Princess’
–Osteospermum ‘Voltage Yellow’
–Petunia ‘Shock Wave Denim’
–Plectranthus ‘Silver Crest’
–Scaevola ‘Blue Print’
–Sophistica Collection petunias
–Sun Spun petunias
–Sunflower ‘Miss Sunshine’
–Taishan African marigolds
–Zahara zinnias–two colors.
Plus 25 Darwin perennials.