Trialing & Styling

In response to both grower and retailer demand, the California Pack Trials will be earlier this year, from March 29 to April 6, before the busy spring season gets too far under way. Bus loads of growers travel with their big box buyers to discuss next spring’s program just as this spring begins.

For one week, California’s U.S. Highway 101 will become the runway for the launch of new annuals and perennials. From Gilroy in the north and then south to the Los Angeles/Ventura area, the journey continues down I-5 to Encinitas. In addition to the flower breeders that are already based in California, others will come from as far as Japan, Israel, Germany, Holland and the United Kingdom to showcase their new offerings.

Now that Fischer is owned by Syngenta and is in charge of its genetics on the seed and vegetative side, the company is rebranded as Syngenta Flowers, and the former S&G Flowers brokerage division will operate as Syngenta Horticultural Services. Syngenta Flowers will show its vegetative lines at Goldsmith Seeds and seed lines at the former S&G Flowers location, both in Gilroy. Vegetative perennials will be featured at both locations.

Also in Gilroy, Kieft will maintain its independent presence but also show its Color Grass line at Goldsmith Seeds through a marketing partnership.

Ball Horticultural Co. is consolidating its presence at the PanAmerican Seed location in Santa Paula instead of showing the vegetative and Ball Seed items at Ball FloraPlant in Arroyo Grande. The Santa Paula site will include both seed and vegetative varieties and sales-boosting programs. The goal is to make it simple and convenient for visitors to get the information they need in one stop, with a strong focus on bundled solutions.

German flower breeder Westhoff will be a new addition at Greenheart Farms in Arroyo Grande. Sahin, which exhibited at Greenheart last year, will move to Salinas to join American Takii, which purchased Sahin last fall.

Below is an alphabetical list of participants. If you’re planning to attend the trials, please schedule appointments at each location in advance. The National Garden Bureau has put together a handy scheduling tool on its Web site–www.ngb.org.

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