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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September 16, 2010

Michigan Garden Plant Tour

The California Spring Trials is such a well-attended event because it’s the first time the industry gets a look at new varieties for the following year. The Michigan Garden Plant Tour, which took place August 2-13 this year, doesn’t offer that exhilarating first look for most attendees. But the tour is equally important to Midwestern growers who can travel the state in two or three days to evaluate the regional performance of the newest cultivars and species of annuals, perennials and shrubs. The tour is in its seventh year now, and seven greenhouse operations participated along with Michigan State University. Those operations are C. Raker & Sons, Pell Greenhouses, Mast Young Plants, Spring Meadow Nursery, Walters Gardens, Zylstra Greenhouses and Four Star Greenhouse. Greenhouse Grower Editors Delilah Onofrey and Kevin Yanik made the trip to Michigan for this year’s tour. Here are a few highlights from each stop. C. Raker […]

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August 18, 2010

Inspiration Blooms At Ball Gardens

[imageviewer] A wide range of industry groups have been enjoying the Gardens at Ball this summer. GG’s Editor Delilah Onofrey visited with her family during Ball Customer Day on July 30. View an extensive slideshow from the 8 acres of gardens.

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August 16, 2010

Raker Trial Gardens Highlights

[imageviewer] Greenhouse Grower visited C. Raker & Sons and the Raker Trial Gardens last Thursday during Hort Couture Day. Representatives from McHutchison, Eason Horticultural Resources and Fred C. Gloeckner Co. Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 – all three of which have formed an alliance as Hort Couture brokers Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 – were on hand to check out Hort Couture varieties for 2011 and compare them to material from other breeders. Hort Couture highlights were just one component of Greenhouse Grower’s Thursday visit, though. Breeder-sponsored beds, container trials, hanging calibrachoa basket trials and comparison row trials are all part of the Raker Trials Gardens, as are other C. Raker & Sons programs. One interesting program Raker showcased is Living Roof, which the operation has been researching for the last two years. Raker has been trialing several green roof types, including sedums, grasses and natives. The operation is […]

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August 16, 2010

Slideshow: Sponsored Beds At Raker Trial Gardens

Among the highlights at this year’s Raker Trial Gardens in Litchfield, Mich., were the different breeder-sponsored beds.  Varieties from several breeders were showcased this year, including material from Pan American Seed, Syngenta Flowers, Sakata, American Takii, Fides, GroLink, Jelitto, Ball FloraPlant, Benary and Hort Couture.

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July 27, 2010

The European Flowertrials Are A Summer Getaway

The ninth edition of the European-based Flowertrials experienced an increase of 40 percent in total number of visitors back in June, when more than 5,500 visitors attended from 62 different countries. Ninety-two percent of visitors were European growers, retailers and traders. Flowertrials also welcomed growers from the United States, and it’s targeting U.S. growers as visitors for future Flowertrials. This year, 31 different companies participated in the four-day event, covering three regions in The Netherlands and Germany. “If you visit the Flowertrials you will see a much wider assortment of new products,” says Jeroen de Kuijer, Flowertrials chairman. “Thirty-one companies were involved and I expect more companies to get involved next year–maybe 40.” De Kuijer compares Flowertrials to California Spring Trials but argues the European event can be covered in just a few days, as opposed to a week of driving that includes hundreds of miles. “The time of the […]

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July 21, 2010

MSU Plant Showcase Is August 10

Greenhouse growers, landscapers, garden center operators, nurserymen and plant enthusiasts are invited to participate in the annual Garden Plant Showcase at Michigan State University. The trial gardens include annuals, perennials, vegetables, and now, native plants. In addition to walking through the trial gardens, visitors will hear presentations from MSU faculty and staff about top-performing plants. New for 2010, representatives from many of the major breeding companies, including Ball Horticultural Co., Benary, Danziger, Dömmen, Floranova, Paul Ecke Ranch, Plug Connection, Proven Winners and Sakata, will present highlights of some of their favorite new introductions and proven performers. Check out the schedule of events at http://planttour.hrt.msu.edu/showcase.

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July 19, 2010

Raker Gardens Hosting Hort Couture Day

C. Raker & Sons is hosting the inaugural Hort Couture Day on August 12 at the Raker Gardens in Litchfield, Mich. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A special Raker pig roast is the lunch event. Tour of the gardens and greenhouse facilities will be available all day. There will also be a full day of speakers on the following topics: –Jim Monroe (Hort Couture): New Varieties For 2011–Paul Karlovich and Jessica DeGraaf (C. Raker & Sons): The Hort Couture Trialing & Product Development at Raker–Gerry Raker (C. Raker & Sons): Developing The Hort Couture Brand Distribution There are several opportunities to see Hort Couture varieties in row trials, sponsor landscape beds, mixed containers, basket trials and in a sneak peak into Raker’s private trials. C. Raker & Sons also has new varieties for 2011 from breeding partners like Westhoff, Danziger, Kerley and Heuger. There […]

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June 22, 2010

Lilytopia: Longwood’s Lily Heaven

Here a lily. There a lily. Everywhere you look a lily. The East Conservatory at Longwood Gardens was fully decorated with cut lilies the last 10 days of May for Lilytopia, Longwood’s inaugural event showcasing the newest lilies Dutch hybridizers have developed. The world-famous lily show at the Keukenhof in The Netherlands is the inspiration for Lilytopia. Dutch floral designer Dorien van den Berg led the design effort at Longwood, converting the conservatory into a lily heaven which nearly 60,000 people experienced during Lilytopia. “Lilytopia was a tremendous, first-time effort for Longwood Gardens,” says Paul Redman, Longwood’s executive director. “Planning for Lilytopia began more than two years ago and required the support and active participation of numerous Longwood team members and international partners from The Netherlands and the Dutch bulb industry. It truly took a global village to make happen.” One Lilytopia component was a grower symposium May 24. More […]

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June 17, 2010

UGA Hosts Annual Open House

The University of Georgia hosted its annual open house Tuesday at the Trial Gardens at UGA. Breeders, brokers, growers and landscapers arrived from as far west as California to as far south as Florida. As Allan Armitage says, visitors “did a lot of looking and a lot of sweating.” “The plants were the story, with more than 2,000 items to look at–baskets and containers, vegetables and perennials–there were notes being scribbled everywhere,” Armitage says. “Plants are trialed for their response to heat and humidity and with temperatures in the high 90s and humidity in the high thousands, visitors were as tough as the plants.” From the black petunias and hundreds of geraniums to Petchoas, Callitunias, Bonfire begonias and argyranthemum, the flower power was truly in your face. Additional highlights included popular patio vegetables, new roses and the weird and wonderful, such as variegated tapioca and orange flame vine for which […]

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June 15, 2010

Pleasant View Makes Spring Trials Accessible

Pleasant View Gardens is hosting its Open Garden Day on August 5 to give growers who missed California Spring Trials the inside track on new varieties and trends. Open Garden Day will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at both Pleasant View locations. “We pack tons of ideas into one day at both the Loudon and Pembroke locations,” says Carol Huntington, Pleasant View’s marketing manager. “So many people can’t get to Pack Trials, so with Open Garden Day, we try to bring some of that message back at a time when more people can attend.” The day at Pleasant View’s display gardens gives retailers a chance to check out performance, bloom and habit in ground and in containers of more than 500 Proven Winners and Proven Selections varieties. Here are a few new ideas you’ll see at Open Garden Day: –Three ways to organize your garden center: by color, […]

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June 15, 2010

East Texas Horticulture Field Day Is June 24

The East Texas Horticulture field day June 24, which is free and open to the public, will feature nearly 400 entries of everything from petunias to verbena to ornamental sweet potatoes. The field day will take place at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Overton, Texas, and begin at 8:30 at the center’s North Farm site. The tour will continue at the site until about 10:30 a.m., then move to the Overton center’s headquarters, where a demonstration garden is located. A free lunch will be served at about 11:45 a.m. Indoor presentations will begin at 1 p.m., and the program will conclude by 2:50 p.m. The trials include thousands of square feet of plots planted with purple, pink, red and white flowers. Brent Pemberton, an AgriLife research horticulturist, designed the tests to help local growers, but the event has become popular with local gardeners too, as hundreds show […]

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June 15, 2010

Experience Raker’s Trials This Summer

The Raker Trial Gardens are open this summer from July 14 to August 27. They’ll be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A few highlights include: –Annual row comparison trials. C. Raker & Sons’ row trials offer an opportunity to view more than 600 rows of annuals and perennials in a true, side-by-side comparison format. This season, Raker offers dianthus, echinacea, gaillardia, grasses, ipomoea, lobelia, mint, nemesia, sedum, snapdragon and zonal geranium varieties. –Breeder beds. Raker is featuring 16 raised brick beds and raised row beds supported and designed by breeders across the globe. Participants include American Takii, Amerinova, Ball Horticulture, Bartels Stek, Benary, Cohen Nursery, Fleurizon, Floranova, Florensis, Fides, GGG, GroLink, Grimes Horticulture, Heuger Trading, Hishtil Nursery, Hort Couture, Jelitto Perennials, Kieft Pro Seed, Living Color Fundraiser, Pan American Seed, Sakata , Selecta First Class, Suntory, Syngenta Horticultural Services and Syngenta Flowers. –Hort Couture displays. Raker is […]

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June 4, 2010

Slideshow: Marketing & Merchandising Ideas

Spring Trials is becoming the place for growers to see new merchandising programs and ideas. Check out a few that we saw this year.

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June 4, 2010

Information Revolution

Tags offer only so much space to tell a plant’s story. Even the largest tags have limits, as they offer enough space to present the plant’s name, a photo and a couple hundred words of care tips and other relevant information – but no more. So tags, at least the way they’ve traditionally been designed, force growers and retailers to make tough decisions. Is it, for example, more important for consumers to know the plant requires sun or shade? Or, is it more useful to point out the fact the plant can be grouped with others to create a beautiful combination basket or planter? As long as space is limited, growers will continue to make tough decisions about which information they present on tags and which information they don’t. But what if, in addition to the plant’s name, photo and cultural information, the tag was a gateway to endless facts […]

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