April 12, 2010

Allan’s Top Picks at Suntory

Calibrachoa ‘Million Bells Bouquet Brilliant Pink’ – Plants had a nice compact habit, relatively large flowers and one of the best pinks I have seen.  Nierembergia ‘Light Blue’ – The market for Nirembergia has yet to be claimed, but Suntory’s large flowered, yet subtle light blue flowers will certainly stand out at the retail level.  While they may look wimpy in a liner, be patient, they look beautiful in a 4″ or larger container.   Mandevilla Sun Parasol series – The work on Mandevillas is simply outstanding, and with choice of climbers, baskets, pink, red , bicolor and now white, there appears to be a mandevilla foer every use.  I was quite taken by the diversity of Pretty Pink, shown as both a climber and a basket, as well as the new Original White.

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April 12, 2010

Allan’s Top Picks At Proven Winners

Calibrachoa  ‘Superbells Blackberry Punch’, ‘Superbells Coralberry Punch’ – I am not sure if Calibrachoas has not become the next coleus–there must be a hundred new cultivars in the last three years alone!  So, when I see a callibrachoa that catches my attention, I shut my eyes and try to walk by.  But in the case of these two bicolors, I kept returning  and was soon snapping photos like everyone else.  I can’t wait to try them in the gardens. Shasta daisy ‘Daisy May’ (Leucanthemum) – Here is a terrific floriferous clean white shasta that will be a welcome addition to any line of perennials.   I Have seen excellent outdoor performance in the Southeast and I expect it would be just as good wherever shastas are popular.  Heliotrope ‘Simply Sensational’ – This hybrid heliotrope combines some of the best characteristics of our native Heliotropium amplexicaule with the popular Heliotrpium arborescens. The habit and the […]

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April 11, 2010

Allan’s Picks At Ecke Ranch

Allan’s top three picks at Ecke Ranch are: Geranium ‘Fusion Flame’ –  I was immediately drawn to this plant by the color, not red,  not scarlet. but sort of an indescribable rosy redish.  Then the second reason I was pleased to see this plant was because of the hybrid parentage, between zonal and ivy.  I have seen highly succesful genetics combining these species in Calientes and Calliopes from Syngernta breeding, and am excited to trial these in the gardens this year.  Habit looks good, color is literally indescribable, so if the third leg of the tripod, performance, works, Ecke has a winner. New colors in Crescendo osteospermums (Yellow and Light Purple) –   Osteos always look good in California but have had problems maintaining the hype once they are planted in the wild outdoors.  Crescendo has been a good performer in many areas of the country so I am not worried in […]

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April 11, 2010

Poinsettias For Polar Bears

Proceeds from ‘Polar Bear’ poinsettias support Polar Bear International. Torben Fisker Olsen of Dan Blummen in Denmark looks forward to promoting ‘Polar Bear’ in Europe. Instead of buying promotional items to distribute during Spring Trials, Ecke Ranch is making a $5,000 contribution to Polar Bear International and holding daily raffles with name badges to make “adopt a polar bear” gift contributions in attendee’s names. In addition to being a great white variety that’s easy to grow, there is an opportunity for growers and retailers to differentiate and connect with consumers in new ways. Supporting an environmental and conservation message, the packaging designed by the John Henry Co. is from sustainable materials. The recycled paper pot covers will hold water. Inks are soy based and the printing was supported through wind-generated power. For the next five years, polar bears are expected to be the animal to promote and protect at zoos […]

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April 11, 2010

Ecke Promotes Sustainable Objectives

The name, Eck-O cleverly incorporates the Ecke and Oglevee identitites. Plants that require reduced use of plant growth regulators and synthetic chemicals include: Colorburst Pro calibrachoas, Coleus, Lights fuchsia series, gazanias, Fusion and Sonata geraniums, helichrysums and violas. Fast programmable crops with reduced bench time, space and inputs include: snapdragons, coleus, Fusion and Sonata geraniums, Ultra New Guinea impatiens, osteospermums, petunias, SunPatiens impatiens and violas. Water wise crops include: agastache, angelonia, bidens, gaura, gazania, geranium, lamium, lantana, lavender, salvia and scaevola. Energy efficient crops that thrive in cooler temperatures include: snapdragon, argyranthemum, bacopa, diascia, gaura, gazania, Regal geranium, lavender, nemesia, osteospermum, petunia, scaevola, verbena, viola.

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April 6, 2010

Download: Spring Expectations Survey White Paper

You’ve read the highlights and analysis, but there’s much more information available from the 2010 Greenhouse Grower Spring Expectations survey. Click here to download our 10-page white paper and find out in their own words what growers think are their opportunities and challenges for spring 2010.  

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April 5, 2010

California Spring Trials 2010: Phormium To Sutera

‘Jubilee’ phormium by Plant Haven This phormium has striking cherry red foliagae margins on its fresh green foliage. It grows best in USDA Zone 8. ‘Boogie Woogie’ Rose by Greenheart Farms ‘Boogie Woogie’ reaches 16 inches in height and in width. It has a well-rounded, compact habit, is mildly fragrant, and features bright reddish-orange blooms with yellow on the underside. ‘Classic Cinnabar’ Rose by Greenheart Farms ‘Classic Cinnabar’ reaches 36 inches tall and wide, has an upright growth habit, is mildly fragrant and feataures deep red blooms. Forty to 45 petals will appear and stretch 3.5 inches in diameter when fully open. ‘Come Hither’ Rose by Greenheart Farms ‘Come Hither’ grows 18 x 18 inches, has a nice bushy habit and clear pink blooms. Thirty-five to 40 petals will appear and stretch 2.5 inches in diameter when fully open. ‘PatrÏŒn’ Rose by Greenheart Farms ‘PatrÏŒn’ grows 24 x 24 inches, […]

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April 5, 2010

California Pack Trials 2010: Verbena To Viola

‘Aztec Blue Velvet’ verbena by Ball FloraPlant ‘Aztec Blue Velvet’ verbena is a mounded and trailing, dark green-leafed plant. It boasts excellent powdery mildew tolerance and is easier to finish with reduced chemical applications. ‘Aztec Blue Velvet’ is distinguished by its fine, serrated foliage and strong, non-fading flower colors. It stays lush and healthy spring through autumn. Corina violas by Hem Genetics ‘Violet with yellow face’ and ‘Marina’ are now to the Corina series, which is now up to seven colors. These violas have uniform plant habits and can be used for different types of packs and pot sizes. Plants are strong branching and fill pots fast. They have a mounding habit and are covered with multiple flowers.

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April 5, 2010

Welcome To California Spring Trials 2010!

California Spring Trials is right around the corner, and you can find all Greenhouse Grower’s coverage right here. Tune in during the trials from April 11-17 for Delilah Onofrey, Kevin Yanik and Allan Armitage from the West Coast, but right now you can check out our Spring Trials Map, a sneak peek at more than 80 of the new series, varieties and colors that will be introduced this year, and Delilah and Kevin’s Twitter feeds. 

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April 3, 2010

California Spring Trials 2010: Petunias

Black Velvet’ petunia by Ball FloraPlant The world’s only black petunia, ‘Black Velvet’ and the other varieties in the Pinstripe and Phantom series are easy to grow with no special culture needed. Their unique, innovative color is stunning in the garden and makes high-margin premium baskets and containers. Habit is upright and mounded with tightly branched plants. Petunia ‘Limbo Burgundy’ by Hem Genetics Burgundy is the 13th color in this non-stretching petunia series. ‘Limbo Burgundy’ is a naturally dwarf petunia that features large flowers. Plant growth regulators are not needed in production. Petunia Opera Supreme: Light Blue, Raspberry Ice by American Takii Varieties in the Opera Supreme series are extremely floriferous with a low, spreading habit. Plants flower consistently from the center to the tips, and they spread 10 to 15 square feet in the landscape. Ten colors in all are in the series, including the following existing colors: Blue, […]

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March 30, 2010

Spring Trials Slideshow: Sneak Preview

[imageviewer] Here’s a sneak peek at some of the new varieties that will be on display at California Spring Trials 2010. Stay tuned for video and live coverage from the trials.  Click here for a detailed map and contact information for each breeder and location.  To stay up to date during the event, be sure to sign up for our newsletter, Benchrunner. During Spring Trials, we’ll give you a day-by-day look at the event, including photo slideshows of what editors Delilah Onofrey and Kevin Yanik see on the road, and a daily video entry.  

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March 30, 2010

California Spring Trials 2010: Helleborus To Impatiens

  Helleborus ‘Cinnamon Snow’ by Skagit Gardens ‘Cinnamon Snow’ grows 15 to 18 inches tall and spreads over 24 inches. It features large, creamy white flowers blended with rose and cinnamon. This helleborus has cinnamon red accents on pink buds and on the underside of petals. Helleborus ‘Pink Frost’ by Skagit Gardens ‘Pink Frost’ has burgundy and white buds that open to soft pink shades. Flowers mature to deep burgundy. Hydrangea ‘Bombshell’ by Ball Ornamentals With a dwarf, incredibly branched growth habit, ‘Bombshell’ offers a large number of flowers for a Hydrangea paniculata. Iberis ‘Masterpiece’ by Agrexco ‘Masterpiece’ offers great season performance with high-color impact. It is an evergreen shrubby perennial that’s covered with masses of large, showy, flat clusters of flowers in spring and early summer. ‘Masterpiece is drought tolerant, deer resistant, thrives in poor soil and attracts butterflies. Double Impatiens ‘Musica Fine Purple’ by Danziger/Oro Farms Musica, a […]

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