Dümmen And HGTV: Allan Armitage On What Looks Promising
On his third day of California Spring Trials, Dr. Allan Armitage visited two Dümmen sites and HGTV HOME Plants. (Full disclosure: Dr. Armitage consults for HGTV HOME Plants.) Take a look at the new introductions that caught his eye during these stops.
Dümmen Red Fox
Dümmen has been a leader in the industry for many years, first introducing the Confetti combination baskets, and it continues to add numerous combinations with eye-catching plant material. This year was no different in that we saw more Confetti combinations using well-behaved plants — like Yolo lobularia — to enhance color combinations for consumer appeal.
Speaking of lobularia, the Yolo series is one that impressed me more than any other vegetative alyssum. ‘Yolo White’ is an exceptionally good addition.
New additions to the Wildfire verbena series with spectacular white and red flowers stopped me, and others, in my tracks. Red Fox’s hybird series of geraniums — like the single flower Sarita, and the double flower Cumbanita series — allow growers and consumers additional options for their landscape and garden. These hybrids bring additional vigor and weather tolerance to the geranium market.
I also was impressed with the Unbelievable series of begonias that Dümmen is expanding. The handsome foliage combines well with flowers that stand tall. They all have a habit suitable for container or basket. They will stop traffic.
We could be talking about Dümmen introductions for a long time. Suffice it to say that any product Dümmen sells is being expanded and improved as you read this.
HGTV HOME Plant Collection
HGTV is a trend-setting organization. It sets trends for fashion, fabrics and furniture – and now it brings its expertise in human lifestyle trends to the plant world. The data HGTV measures are the building blocks of the HGTV Home Plant Collection. For example, whether it be people who garden on shady balconies of apartment buildings or those who have a need for drought and heat tolerant plants, these are the issues the HGTV Home Plant Collection is trying to address. It’s a true consumer brand, simply with good plants within. It’s not a plant brand; this is pull through marketing at its best.
During the California Spring Trials, perennials are not first and foremost in most programs. However, the Bartels company at the Dümmen Group location provided some excellent material. For example, phlox breeding and coreopsis breeding just keeps getting better. I also saw some nice work in penstemon, a product just waiting to explode. I really like the Leading Lady coreopsis program, which was introduced last year, but I know more will be coming out soon.
The Solosister series of dahlias looks to be a winner and the Starsister series just keeps getting better. I think both series will be showstoppers. All the dahlia programs at the Dümmen Group continue to expand with new colors, different foliage and diversity of plant habits.
The Lindura series of calibrachoa has always been one of my favorites, and I was pleased to see some new colors in the series this year. This is a calibrachoa that stands out from others for its unique “table top” habit. It tends to have a flat habit above the container, but cascades from all sides.