May 27, 2011

Green Leaf Open House In June

If the plant geek in you can’t wait to check out the newest perennials and potted plants, then make plans now to attend the annual open house at Green Leaf Plants. It’s being held on Wednesday, June 15 at the company’s facility in Lancaster, Pa. You’ll see the latest products from Green Leaf Plants and Keepsake Plants, including perennials, potted azaleas, tropical hibiscus, Sun Parasol mandevilla, exacum, potted roses and more.  Two new stars on the perennial runway come from Blooms of Bressingham: the fall blooming anemone Pretty Lady Series, with a compact habit and a very floriferous nature; and coreopsis ‘Sweet Marmalade’ a floriferous, light orange sport of ‘Crème Brulee.’ Green Leaf Plants is also introducing six new dianthus cultivars from Whetman Pinks and a new series of alcea called Spring Celebrities, with a compact habit, large flowers and a long bloom time.  There are 10 new TradeWinds tropical […]

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May 27, 2011

The Value Of Spring Trials

California Spring Trials are but a distance memory now, but the experience is as alive today as it was in March. It seems as if I’ve been attending these events for decades–hmm, actually I have–and every year, I, along with thousands of other attendees, am suitably impressed. I have seen the trials change from true “pack” trials of seeded bedding plants like impatiens, to plug trials of seed items, to vegetative material and now to mixed containers and mixed plugs. Now, there’s a recent and significant emphasis on marketing. The event changes every year, but there is not a single year I remember seeing “bad” trials. I, however, also hear many other comments, oft repeated, every year. Some are fair, some are not. Here is a sample. The Comments No. 1: Why is Spring Trials held at the busiest time of year for growers and retailers? I can’t get there! […]

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May 27, 2011

10 Spring Trials Takeaways

Whether you made the long journey across California or you couldn’t escape the greenhouse during peak season, we’ve got all things California Spring Trials covered for you this issue. But before you soak it in, get a flavor of the weeklong scene with my top 10 Spring Trials takeaways for 2011: 10. The exhibitor count is as big as ever. The return of Benary and Sakata and the seemingly increasing number of European breeders wanting to penetrate the U.S. market gave growers even more varieties to consider this year. Add in the growing presence of non-varieties companies like Braun Horticulture, OHP and Smithers-Oasis, and California is becoming a place where growers can also find crop input and marketing solutions. 9. A potential national promotion is coming. A number of organizations and groups have tried forming one over the years, but none have fully captured the industry’s support. However, the development […]

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May 26, 2011

The 2D Tag Phenomenon

Growers first got wind of 2D tags at the 2010 California Spring Trials, but even a year ago QR codes and Microsoft Tags were so new nobody knew exactly what to make of them. Until this year’s Spring Trials, that is. From point-of-purchase material producers like the John Henry Company and MasterTag to breeders like Ball Horticultural Co., Dömmen and Syngenta Flowers, 2D tags were a key part of the discussion at a number of Spring Trials stops this year. Not all breeders have bought into the technology, but many are approaching them as yet another opportunity to connect with the consumers they often struggle to reach. “We don’t know where this whole thing is going to go, but I think a lot of people are going to know what these are by the end of the year,” says Joe Fox, sales and marketing director of MasterTag. MasterTag, like the […]

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May 26, 2011

California Spring Trials 2011: Variety’s Vanguard

Just as growers who serve large retailers are becoming responsible for all live goods categories in the stores, the California Spring Trials have become a one-stop shop, featuring so much more than annuals. Here’s a look at trends and introductions by crop category. Seed Annuals Spring Trials has its roots in seed annuals. What would become the California Pack Trials began in 1967 with Glenn Goldsmith inviting customers to come see his new varieties. Friendly competitors in the area joined in later. Now, many of the seed lines that have been on the market for more than 25 years are getting refined and upgraded with modern genetics without losing name recognition. Examples are Syngenta Flowers’ Pinto geraniums becoming Pinto Premium and Accent impatiens becoming Accent Premium. Sakata is doing the same in pansies. PanAmerican is upgrading lines to XP. Bread-and-butter crops pay for the research to develop niche crops. PanAmerican […]

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March 29, 2011

Want California Spring Trials Coverage?

Get ready to take a look at all the new varieties and programs breeders are introducing at Spring Trials 2011. Editor Delilah Onofrey, Managing Editor Kevin Yanik and columnist Allan Armitage are on the west coast for Spring Trials 2011. Our Spring Trials dashboard features links to our live coverage section, video from Allan Armitage and the breeders and industry suppliers at Spring Trials, tons of photos of the event and your first introductions to the stars of the show—the new varieties. You can also follow Delilah and Kevin’s tweets on the left side of the page. Keep track of it all here at http://greenhousegrower.com/onlocation/springtrials.

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March 25, 2011

Welcome To Greenhouse Grower’s Spring Trials 2011 Coverage

Get ready to take a look at all the new varieties and programs breeders will be introducing at Spring Trials 2011. Editor Delilah Onofrey, Managing Editor Kevin Yanik and columnist Allan Armitage are on their way to the west coast for Spring Trials 2011. Our Spring Trials dashboard features links to our live coverage section, video from Allan Armitage and the breeders and industry suppliers at Spring Trials, tons of photos of the event and your first introductions to the stars of the show—the new varieties. Just click on the section you’d like to see at the top of this page. You can also follow Delilah and Kevin’s tweets on the left side of the page. Keep track of it all here at http://greenhousegrower.com/onlocation/springtrials.

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February 16, 2011

Hampton Court & England’s Finest Gardens Tour

England’s Finest Gardens Tour, July 2-10, will pay visits to Bressingham, Sissinghurst, Great Dixler and other fascinating gardens around the London. Led by consultant, garden writer and teacher Kerry Ann Mendez, tour highlights include the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, The Bressingham Gardens, Cambridge Botanical Gardens, a Punt on the River Cam (a great experience), Bury St. Edmunds, Beth Chatto Gardens, Essex Rose Tea House, Christopher Lloyd’s Great Dixter and internationally famous Sissinghurst Castle. The fabulous Bressingham Gardens, especially Adrian’s Foggy Bottom garden, have evolved dramatically in recent years. There’s even a new garden, Adrian’s Wood, which connects Alan Bloom’s original Dell Garden with Foggy Bottom and expands the Bressingham Gardens to 17 acres, densely planted with 5,000 different perennials. You’ll be treated to a book signing and cream tea with Adrian, as well. Kerry Ann Mendez is the owner of Perennially Yours in Ballston Spa, N.Y., where she teaches […]

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January 31, 2011

Costa Farms’ Trial Garden Highlights

Costa Farms’ trial garden was created to expand research efforts and provide good information to the public. The main focus of Costa’s Season Premier Garden is to grow and evaluate the newest genetics being brought to the market this spring. Highlights in the Season Premier Garden, according to Research & Development Director Kate Santos, are: –’Twister Pink’ verbena and ‘Lavender Rose’ Calliope geranium from Syngenta Flowers–The Magnum New Guinea impatiens series and new Confetti combinations from Dömmen–The 3 D Daisy double osteospermum from Selecta/Ball and Plentifall pansy from PanAmerican Seed–Senetti from Suntory–SunPatiens from Sakata–’Voodoo Star’ verbena and ‘Suntastic’ scaevola from Westflowers–Margarita osteospermum series from Fides–’Sunset’ gazania from Ecke Ranch

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January 21, 2011

Doing The California Spring Trials By Bus

A bus trip for growers is again planned to this year’s California Spring Trials from March 26-29. Mark Bridgen and Neil Mattson of Cornell University and Roberto Lopez of Purdue University have organized an intense, educational trip to several of the key Spring Trial locations. The trip is designed specifically for members of the greenhouse and floriculture industry and other horticulture professionals. This will be the second year the trip has been offered. Last year, the group traveled from north to south. This year, the excursion begins in Los Angeles and travels north for four days visiting many different locations from the previous year. Attendees should plan to arrive at the San Diego Airport on Friday, March 25. They will stay at the Crowne Plaza San Diego near the airport. The journey begins on Saturday morning, March 26, when the bus departs from the hotel. That first day, the group […]

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December 30, 2010

Costa’s Top Field Trial Performers

New coleus, lantana and pentas were among the best performers by genus in the field trials this past summer at Costa Farms. Below, we present a list of the top-performing varieties by genus, as well as the best standalone performers in the trial. Click the images to the right for a slideshow of a few top performers at Costa. Top Genera Coleus–’Redhead’ and ‘Henna’ (Ball FloraPlant)–’Stained Glassworks Eruption’ and ‘Stained Glassworks Green Autry’ (Ecke Ranch) Begonia–’BIG Bronze Leaf Rose,’ ‘BIG Bronze Leaf Red’ and ‘BIG Green Leaf Red’ (Benary)–’Emperor Pink,’ ‘Emperor Red’ and ‘Inferno Pink’ (Sakata) Lantana–’Landmark White’ and ‘Lucky Pot of Gold’ (Ball FloraPlant)–’Lola,’ ‘Tropic Pineapple’ and ‘Tropic Pink Bird’ (GroLink)–’Dallas Red,’ ‘Pink Bird’ and ‘Starfruit’ (Dömmen)–’Bandana Trailing Gold,’ ‘Bandana Lemon Zest,’ ‘Bandana White,’ ‘Bandito Rose,’ and ‘Bandito Orange Sunrise’ (Syngenta Flowers) Gomphrena–’Las Vegas Purple,’ ‘Las Vegas Rose’ and ‘Las Vegas White’ (Benary) Pentas–’Graffiti Red Lace,’ ‘Kaleidoscope Deep Red’ […]

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December 29, 2010

Welby’s Top Container Varieties Of 2010

Welby Gardens, a Top 100 Grower based in Denver, Colo., invited the industry to its annual trial garden this summer. Attendees were offered the chance to evaluate their favorite containers, which the business then compiled into a list of 2010 favorites. “At our trial we keep track of votes by breeder-sponsor companies, general industry folks and retailers,” says Al Gerace, CEO at Welby Gardens. “We had approximately 300 people view the trials that day and each received 10 poker chips to pick their favorites.” Here are the favorites as chosen by the attendees in a top-25 fashion: 1. Scabiosa ‘Black’ (Proven Winners/Euro American Propagators) 2. Origanum ‘Kent Beauty’ (Proven Winners Euro American) 3. Alternanthera ‘Red Threads’ (GroLink) 4. Salvia ‘Mystic Spires Blue’ (Ball FloraPlant) 5t. Dahlia 06-103 Lavender (Fides) 5t. Petunia ‘Rhythm and Blues’ (Ball FloraPlant) 7. Petunia ‘Pinstripe’ (Ball FloraPlant) 8. Petunia ‘Black Velvet’ (Ball FloraPlant) 9. Justecea ‘Holanda’ […]

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November 23, 2010

Slideshow: Bellagio Gardens In Vegas

Associate Editor Kevin Yanik took a vacation earlier this month in Las Vegas, where he visited the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Check out photos of the picturesque gardens below.

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November 11, 2010

Join Ecke At Its Poinsettia Trial Open House

Paul Ecke Ranch will open its doors to the industry Nov. 29-Dec. 3 for its annual poinsettia trial open house. Open house attendees will be able to check out Ecke’s newest varieties and its latest design center ideas, as well as poinsettia varieties Ecke plans to introduce to the market in 2012. Those interested in attending can RSVP at 760-944-4032 or ccrysler@eckeranch.com. Learn more about Ecke Ranch at Ecke.com.

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October 28, 2010

2010 Field Trials: Cornell Ithaca

[imageviewer] Top 5 Varieties Overall: Coleus, Spitfire, Proven Winners Pennisetum, Graceful Grasses, Vertigo, Proven Winners Petunia, Cascadias, Noble Blue, Danziger Cleome, Senorita Rosalita, Proven Winners Cyperus, Graceful Grasses, Baby Tut, Proven Winners Number Of Entries:  185 entries this year (down from previous years), 10-15 replicates of each entry were planted, planted first week of June Weather Conditions:  Average temps: June 66.2, July 71.5, Aug 69.0, Zone 5 Trials Manager:  Melissa Kitchen Cornell University, Ithaca, NY campus

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October 27, 2010

Best Of Raker’s Trials

The Raker Trial Garden is located on our greenhouse property in Litchfield in the lower central part of Michigan. The gardens were open after the OFA Short Course in July through the end of August. This year we got a head start with nice, warm weather at the end of May. All plants were planted by the end of the second week in June. The Raker Trial Gardens cover more than 3 acres and feature more than 2,000 cultivars in various categories. – Comparison Row Trials–We featured more than 600 side-by-side comparison row trials, including zonal geraniums, dianthus, echinaceas, gaillardias, ornamental grasses, ipomea, vegetative lobelias, mints, nemesias, sedums and snapdragons. – Hanging Basket Trials – This year’s trial featured more than 225 calibrachoa cultivars. – New Variety Display–New this year, we previewed more than 250 new varieties for 2011 in 20-inch patio containers and more than 50 new varieties in […]

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October 20, 2010

2010 Field Trials: University of Georgia

[imageviewer] Best in Show Calibrachoa ‘MiniFamous Compact Saffron’ Selecta First Class Angelonia ‘Alonia Purple’ Danziger Top Varieties Overall New Guinea Impatiens ‘SunPatiens Compact Deep Rose’ Sakata Begonia ‘Gryphon’ Pan American Seed Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Coralberry Punch’ Proven Winners Calibrachoa ‘Lindura Light Blue’ Fides North America Petunia ‘Sweetunia Soft Pink Morning’ Dummen Gomphrena ‘Audray Purple Red’ Takii Alternanthera ‘Brazilian Red Hot’ GroLink Rosa ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ David Austin Roses Phlox paniculata ‘Peacock White’ Syngenta Planting Dates: We plant our garden beginning in early to mid April and cross our fingers that we do not get a late hard freeze. We usually have practically all our plants in the ground by mid May. What Was Planted: Raised beds, hanging baskets, and larger cement containers comprise most of our trial garden. How Many Entries, Pots, etc. In addition to our raised beds, we have approximately 150 large cement containers and at least 120 hanging […]

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October 20, 2010

2010 Field Trials: Oklahoma State University

[imageviewer] Best in Show: Catharanthus roseus ‘Titan Dark Red.’ This entry provided a vibrant deep, deep color in a quite uniform manner on the beefiest of plants Top 5 Varieties Overall: 1. Petunia xhybrida ‘Opera Supreme Salmon’ 2. Zinnia interspecific ‘Double Zahara Fire’ 3. Echinacea purpurea ‘PowWow Wild Berry’ 4. Sanvitalia procumbens ‘Show Yellow’ 5. Tagetes erecta ‘Moonsong Deep Orange’ Number of entries: There were 187 entries; many of these were duplications above ground in Smart Pots. Weather Conditions: There was a generally favorable period late spring through early summer, which included some very generous rains. Midsummer became consistently very hot and dry, with many days over 100 degrees.   Trial Manager: Haldor Howard  Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City  

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October 20, 2010

2010 Field Trials: The Year Of The Gomphrena

Each year the country’s extension agents, university horticulture professors and botanic experts put varieties to the test with field trials. Of the nine university trials in our report, four rated gomphrena varieties either Best of Show (Texas A&M and Iowa State) or in their top five varieties (University of Illinois and University of Georgia). Click the links below for information on field trials near you, including best of show, planting dates and weather conditions during the trials. Colorado State Cornell University–Ithaca Dallas Arboretum University of Georgia University of Illinois Iowa State Louisiana State University Oklahoma State Texas A&M

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