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. Want More Lilytopia? to learn more about the grower symposium at Lilytopia and to check out a slideshow with photos of Longwood’s breathtaking East Conservatory full of lilies. “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 […]

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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

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 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 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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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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May 25, 2010

2010 Medal Of Excellence Award Panel And Nominees

For more than 20 years, Greenhouse Grower has recognized outstanding contributions in advancing flower varieties through our Medal of Excellence awards program. We will present three breeding awards on July 12 during our Evening of Excellence reception at the OFA Short Course in Columbus, Ohio–the Industry’s Choice determined by our panel, Editor’s Choice by Editor Delilah Onofrey, and Reader’s Choice determined by you, our readers. In addition to recognizing the best of the new introductions from the California Spring Trials, we recognize long-term contributions. We are pleased to be presenting Japanese breeding company Takii with our Industry Achievement award in conjunction with the company’s 175th anniversary. This year’s Marketer of the Year will be Floragem/The Home Depot for the VIVA! program, which has effectively spotlighted innovative varieties while stimulating impulse sales. Congratulations to our finalists and honorees! Dr. Allan Armitage 1. Black petunias 2. Beaucoup begonias 3. Punch Superbells 4. […]

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May 25, 2010

Top Trends From Spring Trials

If you want to be in the know, you’ve got to go to the California Spring Trials in April. While some growers may only make the trip once or twice in their lifetimes, because it’s so difficult to leave the greenhouse as spring is getting underway, others have made it a priority to go most years because they want to be at the forefront of all the new developments in varieties, marketing programs and global supply options. For those who can’t make the trip, we’re happy to be your eyes and ears and provide the highlights from the trip. My traveling companions from April 10-17 were Contributing Editor Allan Armitage and Associate Editor Kevin Yanik. We had a great time posting news stories and videos that entire week, which can be seen on GreenhouseGrower.com. Movers & Shakers Last year was a big year for breeder consolidation. We got to see […]

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May 21, 2010

Spring Trials Hitting The Road

If you weren’t able to attend California Spring Trials this year, Ecke Ranch is bringing its show to a destination near you with its “Road to Success” summer tour.   Some of the tour’s highlights are Ecke Ranch’s new varieties for 2011, technical seminars, geographic specific varieties and combos, the latest trends from the Ecke Design Center and a peek at Ecke’s future breeding. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Ecke Ranch will host its road shows in five locations beginning June 29: –June 29: University of Georgia, Horticulture Farm, Athens, Ga.–July 29: Penn State, SE Research Center, Landisville, Pa.–August 3: Duwayne’s Greenhouses: Hudsonville, Mich.–August 5: Plantpeddler Young Plants, Cresco, Iowa–August 10: Botany Lane Greenhouse, Lafayette, Colo. Those interested in attending can register online at Ecke.com/Roadshow.

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May 18, 2010

Ecke Ranch Pitches In For Local Community

Community Resource Center (CRC) raised $24,000 at its annual garden tour and plant sale April 24 following California Spring Trials. The tour, which includes five residential stops and special admission to Ecke Ranch for a private plant sale, attracts gardeners from across Southern California. The private sale at Ecke Ranch, which is rarely open to the public, is arguably the most popular part of the Community Resource Center’s charity tour–and it’s consistently responsible for more than half of the event’s overall earnings. This year, the plant sale alone raised $14,000 of the $24,000. “[The tour] has developed quite a following thanks to Evelyn Weidner, Paul Ecke (III) and so many other supporters in the community,” says Laurin Pause, executive director of CRC. “Evelyn and Paul make sure every cent raised at this event goes to support vital CRC programs that provide safety, stability and a path to self sufficiency to […]

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April 26, 2010

You’re Invited To The Trial Gardens At UGA

The industry is invited to attend an open house Tuesday, June 15 at the University of Georgia’s trial gardens. The open house is taking place immediately before this year’s Southeast Color Connection event in Greenville, S.C. All of the newest annuals and perennials from the major flower breeders and brokers will be showcased. Admission is free of charge. RSVPs are appreciated but necessary. To RSVP, contact Nathan King at nking@ballhort.com or e-mail ugatrialsgardens@gmail.com. Visit the Trial Gardens at UGA online at http://ugatrial.hort.uga.edu.

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April 21, 2010

Spring Trials Wrap-Up

California Spring Trials 2010 have been put to bed, but we have plenty for you to see from this year’s event. Visit our California Spring Trials 2010 page for all our coverage of the event—photo slideshows of the new varieties introduced, video interviews with the breeders and with varieties guru Allan Armitage on his top picks from the trials. 

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