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 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 Illinois

[imageviewer] Miles C Hartley Selections Garden Best of 2010 1. Gomphrena ‘Las Vegas Pink’ 2. Pennisetum ‘Jade Princess’ 3. Petunia ‘Opera Supreme Pink Morn’ 4. Tagetes ‘Moonsong Deep Orange’ 5. Lantana ‘Bandana Trailing Gold’ 6. Petunia ‘Shock Wave Denim’ 7. Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’ 8. Gomphrena ‘Gnome Pink’ 9. Gomphrena ‘Gnome Purple’ 10. Petunia ‘Cascadias Violet Skirt’ 11) Dahlia ‘Dalina Grande Toluca’ 12) Dahlia ‘Goldalia Scarlet’

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October 20, 2010

2010 Field Trials: Colorado State

[imageviewer] Best of Show Rudbeckia hirta–’Denver Daisy’ from Benary Seed The abundant large flowers are very showy with a long bloom time. Flowering and growth habit are exceptionally uniform. It was a past winner in our trials and also a Grand Prize Winner in public voting through the American Garden Award Program. Best New Variety Pennisetum–’Graceful Grasses Vertigo’ from Proven Winners This plant has impressive vigor. Its large size and dark purplish glossy foliage makes it a unique focal point in any garden. Best Novelty Plant Bulbine ‘Yellow Compact’ from GroLink This bulbine makes a unique impression due to its delicate yellow flowers on the tips of upright stems that softly wave in the breeze. Foliage has a fine “grass like” texture. There is also an orange flowered variety that combines well with this yellow. Top Five Varieties Overall Best Geranium (zonal)–’Savannah Pink’ from Red Fox by Dummen USA This […]

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October 20, 2010

2010 Field Trials: Iowa State

Best in Show: Gomphrena ‘Las Vegas’ series Top 5 Varieties Overall: Gomphrena ‘Las Vegas’ series Begonia ‘BIG’ series Gaillardia ‘Arizona Redshades’ Zinnia ‘Double Zahara Yellow’ Petunia ‘Easy Wave Red Improved’ Planting Dates And What Was Planted: All of our annuals were planted the week of May 10. Unfortunately we had a very late frost and many suffered because of it. Number Of Entries: 69 varieties were grown, but not all were good enough quality to be planted outside. See the spreadsheet for details. Weather Conditions: Except for the late frost, weather this year was quite average for May-August. Sunny, hot and humid, mostly. Trial Manager:  Sarah Rummery Reiman Gardens Ames, Iowa

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October 20, 2010

2010 Field Trials: Dallas Arboretum

Best in Show: Lobularia ‘Snow Princess’ Proven Winners Planted: 5/27/2010(Ground & Container) What a plant! This Alyssum is covered in fragrant white flowers that spread 18″, and it really holds up to the heat! A must have spring through fall. This vegetative cultivar is perfect for a container or the landscape. Took the heat all summer long. Top 5 Varieties Overall: 1. Euphorbia ‘White Manaus’ GroLink Planted: 5/27/2010 (Ground & Container) There have been several new cultivars over the last few seasons, but in a side to side comparison ‘White Manaus’ stands out. Bright white flowers that cascade this 2 foot tall Euphorbia. Great in both containers or in the landscape! 2. Gerbera ‘Drakensberg Daisy’ Series Plug Connection Planted: 5/27/2010 (Ground) I never thought that I would love a Gerbera in this region, but I have been converted! This series does not have issues with chlorosis and continues to bloom […]

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October 20, 2010

2010 Field Trials: Texas A&M University

[imageviewer] Best in Show: Gomphrena Las Vegas series, Audray series, and Fireworks: This was another great year for gomphrena due to the extreme heat and lack of rain. The Las Vegas series from Benary was outstanding. It was more vigorous than the smaller bedding types like the Buddy series, but was not as large as the Audray series from American Takaii. The Audray series put on a great show due to its inherent size and vigor, another series with excellent performance. Fireworks from PanAmerican is in a class by itself. Top 5 varieties overall: Coleus Rebel Rouser: This bright chartreuse yellow leaved wonder from Proven Winners took the heat without leaf burn. It was stunning at the end of the summer when plants with this leaf color have usually browned out. Very little flowering was another plus. Euphorbia White Manaus: This euphorbia from GroLink is the most vigorous we have […]

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