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–

    301 Natividad Rd., Salinas, Calif.
    March 29-April 5
    Contact: Julia Paul
    831-443-4901, Ext.36,
    355 S. Briggs Rd., Santa Paula, Calif.
    March 29-April 4
    Contact: Mary Long
    1200 Via Regina, Santa Barbara, Calif.
    (at Imagination Canyon Greenhouse)
    March 29-April 4
    Contact: Jessica DeGraaf
    1851 W. Olive St., Lompoc, Calif.
    March 31-April 4
    Contact: Sylvia Pardo
    2302 Bautista Ave., Vista, Calif.
    March 31-April 4
    Contact: Jake Rudnick
    4860 Monterey Rd., Gilroy, Calif.
    (at Headstart Nursery)
    March 29-April 4
    Contact: Reese Kiikka
    15245 Telegraph Rd., Santa Paula, Calif.
    March 29-April 4
    Contact: Diana Dickenson
    222 North A Street, Lompoc, Calif.
    March 31-April 4
    Contact: Bill Wilson
    1260 Hwy. 1, Watsonville, Calif.
    March 28-April 4
    Contact: Susan Groves-Ameil
    2280 Hecker Pass Hwy., Gilroy, Calif.
    (also Syngenta Flowers & Kieft grasses)
    March 29-April 5
    Contact: Keysha Weintz
    902 Zenon Way, Arroyo Grande, Calif.
    (also includes Dömmen, Westhoff, ITML and The John Henry Company)
    March 30-April 3
    Contact: Karen Franck
    805-481-2234, Ext. 20,
    4107 W. Gonzales Rd., Oxnard, Calif.
    March 29-April 4
    Contact: Paul Gaydos
    2640 San Juan Highway, San Juan Bautista, Calif.
    (at Speedling, includes Global Flowers, GGG International, HemGenetics,
    Schoneveld Twello and Northern Innovators/Florist de Kwakel)
    March 29-April 6
    Contact: Emily Colatriano
    270 Rucker Ave., Gilroy, Calif.
    March 29-April 5
    Contact: Jeff McGrew
    750 Casserly Rd., Watsonville, Calif.
    (also includes the Agrexco Companies)
    March 29-April 4
    Contact: Jennifer (Leggett) Swart
    831-722-5396, Ext. 205
    800 Ecke Ranch Rd., Encinitas, Calif.
    March 29-April 5
    3376 Foothill Rd., Carpinteria, Calif.
    (at Island View Nursery)
    March 31-April 4
    Contact: Margaret Pryde, 805-569-9179
    2627 Ramona Drive, Vista, Calif.
    March 29-April 5
    Contact: Lisa Finnegan
    760-631-0992, Ext. 118,
    3219 Aqueduct Rd., Bonsall, Calif.
    March 29-April 5
    Contact: Kerry Strope Meyer
    7240 Holsclaw Rd., Gilroy, Calif.
    March 29-April 5
    Contact: Ashley Dekker
    103 Boronda Rd., Salinas, Calif.
    March 30-April 5
    Contact: Nicole Naragon
    1150 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas, Calif.
    March 29-April 5
    Contact: Angela Storm
    6500 Donlon Rd., Somis, Calif.
    March 29-April 5
    Contact: Lou Aguirre

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