Aug. 24, 2016 – Veteran horticulturist Brad McMillan of JVK spent a few days this summer checking the trial gardens at JVK in St. Catharines and the Raker Trial Gardens in Michigan. Here’s a few of the varieties that caught his eye!I’m a big fan of Sweet Portugal, Sweet Yellow and Red, and one of my favourites, Sweet Heat, for my mixed pickled peppers. Spicy-sweet … yummm! Grown in my greenhouse this summer, despite the hot summer. Beauvilia Salmon Beauvilia Salmon Vermillion Red Begonia Vermillion Red Begonia LaBella Grande Red LaBella Grande Red Waterfall Encanto Orange Waterfall Encanto Orange Non-Stop White Non-Stop White Big Red Bronze Leaf Big Red Bronze Leaf Cyperus Cyperus Amore Series Amore Series Royal Blue Hawaiian Royal Blue Hawaiian Macho Nephrolepsis Macho Nephrolepsis Garvinea Sweet Glow Garvinea Sweet Glow Betty Blue Betty Blue Anigozanthus Mix Anigozanthus Mix Belleconia Snow Belleconia Snow Tweety Compact Tweety Compact Lobelix Lilac Lobelix Lilac White Candle White Candle Little Lava Little Lava Mini Mint Mini Mint Purple Prince Purple Prince Chilly Chili Chilly Chili Dragon's Breath Dragon's Breath Petchoa Light Yellow Petchoa Light Yellow SunKiss SunKiss Sweet Portugal Sweet Portugal Lanai Blue Eyes Lanai Blue Eyes Uproar Rose Uproar Rose Melampodium Jackpot Melampodium Jackpot Glass Slippers Glass Slippers Tuscan Sun Tuscan Sun Cascadia Rim Cherry Cascadia Rim Cherry Babycake Little Orange Babycake Little Orange Cherry Mocha Cherry Mocha   View the embedded image gallery online at: Here’s a strong, relatively new variety from the breeders at Kientzler to stimulate sales of nemesia. Babycake Little Orange consistently has excellent flower cover, and a good habit, as you can see from this photo. It has an explosion of rich orange and cherry-red flowers growing from the planter, trailing down towards the ground, and it shows no sign of slowing down! I can envision this mixed with something white, or dark-blue for contrast, making for a nice retail presentation.With all the lawns, ditches, and fields across Ontario looking completely burnt, one has to appreciate a fresh, crisp looking white petunia such as Syngenta’s Sanguna Series White, pictured here. Loads of fresh, clean, white flowers and nice dark-green foliage with a good habit. No wonder Sanguna has been a staple within most growers petunia offerings for some years now. Syngenta has continued to improve the series through breeding, and in my opinion, it shows. This specimen puts one in mind of late spring, not mid-summer. Talk about creeping, prostrate growth! PanAm Seeds’ Mini Mint (non-edible) appears to be the epitome of both those characteristics. It has moist, green, tiny foliage with a super-dense, creeping habit and tiny flowers. See it rolling over the edge of the container in the photo? That’s very representative of other examples I’ve seen of this great variety of PanAm. If only my lawn was a green and dense … and minty.Little, but cute. Hort Couture’s Little Lava begonia originates from Boliviensis-type plants, but has been turned into a dwarf-form through breeding. Growing very densely in this container, and quite prostrate as you can see, I can imagine this planted alongside sea-shells, rocks, small fairy statues, gnomes (maybe not gnomes, as they can be capricious at times), or perhaps succulents, or HC’s line of dwarf coleus, the Sea Monkey Series. This specimen of Little Lava has held up very well this summer, and has held its dwarf-habit.What a pretty, cheerful, coreopsis we see here, with PanAm Seed’s Sun Kiss Coreopsis. Lots of flowers with beautiful colour and pattern, sturdy, upright stems, loads of new flower-buds coming on, and green foliage, despite the intense sun and humidity this year. Coreopsis is known for its low-maintenance requirements, long bloom-time, and range of colour. If offered in the right format, these qualities are exactly what consumers are looking for, which should make for good retail sales.Cyperus, a member of the sedge family of plants, has really caught on since Proven Winners first released its original, King Tut, back several years ago. Then, came Baby Tut, the dwarf version. Now, we have another new category – the mid-size cyperus. New Prince Tut from Proven Winners will surely please those growers and consumers wanting something, well, right in between the size of The King and The Baby. Overall, to me, Prince Tut has a looser, airier look to the foliage, and will work well in the landscape and in large containers where King Tut would be just way too tall. I think this one will be a hit for the folks at Proven Winners.Danziger’s Amore Series of petunias all feature prominent, heart-shaped features in the flower pattern. This particular one, called Queen of Hearts, put on a real show this summer, and is one of the favourites of those looking after the trial containers and beds. It certainly has a great shape overall, and has beautiful, vibrant colour, and those little hearts on the flowers – could we make this petunia series work as a Valentine’s Day crop at retail? In northern latitudes, perhaps Amore is more practical as a plant for Mother’s Day.Anigozanthus needs heat and sun. This summer, of course, has been perfect conditions for this plant to shine. Growers like anigozanthus for its unique appearance and flowers, and there’s nothing else quite like it – a common trait for things native to Australia. If you have customers for summer, heat-loving plants, this Anigozanthus Mix from Greenfuse Botanicals, grown by Pell Greenhouses of Michigan, would be a good choice. It’s not for May or early June sales, but is something to offer at retail further into the summer. I could easily see this mixed with one of the newer, dwarf, white euphorbias to help make the yellow and pink colours of the anigozanthus really pop.Here’s another plant from the DecoStyle Tropical Collection from Tellier. This beautiful, H-U-U-U-G-E colocasia, Blue Hawaii, has gorgeous, contrasting veining in the leaves. All the colocasia and alocasia from Decostyle nearly doubled in height and girth over the space of a month, with this summer’s heat and humidity. Some growers unfamiliar with tropicals still confuse the two – remember, alocasia leaves generally point up – think “alto ,” as in “high” or “up.” Colocasia leaves generally point downward.Consumers still love their trailing, spreading petunias, especially in baskets, and Cascadia Rim Cherry petunia from Danziger is an example of why the love still exists. Striking, vivid colour and pattern, great trailing habit, great summer performance – what more could you ask for? All the Cascadias are excellent, but Rim Cherry caught my eye this summer in many different trial gardens.Here’s an example of DecoStyle’s beautiful, heat-loving Macho Nephrolepis. A terrifically sturdy plant, with beautiful, thick, glossy, green foliage, Macho has thrived in the outdoors this summer in southern Ontario. DecoStyle is a collection of tropicals from Quebec grower, Tellier.Consumers are still not entirely used to seeing gerbera in garden centres, but they do recognize and love them as a cut flower. The Garvinea Series, born of tissue-culture propagation and breeding by Florist Gerbera, is a terrific plant, profuse with blooms, and demonstrates greatly improved container and garden performance compared with older types of gerbs. This beautiful specimen of Garvinea Sweet Glow came from Ontario grower Orchard Park.There’s more to Beekenkamp that just begonias, but still one has to appreciate Waterfall Encanto Orange begonia for its shape, flower cover, and brilliant orange colour. This basket has held up amazingly well, don’t you think?The Beauvillia Series from Beekenkamp is another great Boliviensis-type begonia available to growers. These types of begonias started out several years ago with reds and oranges, but the colour palette is continually improving. Beauvillia Salmon still looks excellent in its basket, covered in pretty, salmon-orange flowers, with nice deep-green foliage and a decent shape.The Betty Series blue bacopa sure looks good after this hot summer. One wouldn’t normally say “looks good” and “hot summer” about bacopa in the same sentence. You can’t argue with the results of trial after trial, though. Greenfuse really has a good thing going with its bacopa breeding program. Hats off to Steve Jones and the breeders at Greenfuse Botanicals!Just look at all the sturdy, upright flower spikes on this specimen! There are a few new, annual salvias on the market these days from a number of Breeders. Kientzler’s Candle Series is a good one, to be sure. This Candle White has really held up well over this blistering, hot summer, showing no signs of slowing down.Vermillion Red Begonia, from the breeders at Beekenkamp, stunned many visitors to Raker’s gardens with its coverage of dark red blooms, hence the number of “favourite” flags seen in the photo. This basket was out in full, scorching sun, along with the other sun-loving tuberous begonias from Beekenkamp.This brand new introduction of alternanthera from PanAm Seed has been recently named Purple Prince, and was considered an experimental variety until not long ago. The beautiful, dark colour and vigorous habit have impressed many, and have proven this plant’s worth.Introduced last year by Sakata, Dragon’s Breath celosia has gorgeous, rich, dark-coloured foliage, as seen in this example from Raker’s gardens. The plants in this row were grown under a natural day program, and are just a shade lighter than plants started with shortened days, which can be seen just to the left in the photo.‎ Short-day production will also substantially increase production of flowers. Beautiful, regardless.There's a beautiful, Zone 6 perennial lagerstroemia, also known as Crepe Myrtle, that's a Walters exclusive variety. It’s in the Barista Series, and is named Cherry Mocha.I’m quite impressed by this beautiful perennial heliopsis that has flower power like an annual – Tuscan Sun, from Walters’ Proven Winners selection.Look at the size of this specimen of Glass Slippers buddleia! You can’t tell from the photos, but it was covered in bees and other insects, happily pollinating away, as nature intended.Consumers are rapidly growing to love Boliviensis-type begonias, and Kientzler’s Belleconia Series is a terrific example of them. This one, Belleconia Snow, is what you’d expect, based on the name – a multitude of pretty, clean, white blooms, and a lovely habit.Yellow-flowered plants are usually top-sellers with consumers, and Takii’s Melampodium Jackpot is completely covered in sunny, golden-yellow flowers. This likely won’t be an early-spring plant for most growers in Canada, but it’ll perform through heat and sun, such as we’ve experienced this year, providing another choice for late-spring and summer sales.Most growers know Syngenta’s Lanai Series of verbena to be one of the better ones available, for its various habits, heat tolerance, mildew resistance, and huge selection of colour. My attention was drawn to Lanai Blue Eyes – a standout at Raker this year. Lots of flowers and wonderful blue colour – it was just a great hanging basket.Some people still remain unconvinced about Supercal Series Petchoa, the unique, hybrid petunia/calibrachoa from Sakata. Initially, several years ago, the colour selection started out rather limited, but has steadily grown, as has the flower size, in my opinion. Growers are always looking for a “better” yellow petunia. There actually are a few out there now, and in this photo, you’ll see an example of one of the better ones – Supercal Light Yellow. Looks pretty good!Non-Stop begonias have been around quite a while. They’re considered one of Benary’s greatest contributions to floriculture, and are a staple in the production at most garden centres. Despite being relative veterans as far as tuberous begonias go, Benary continues to improve and update the genetics of Non-Stops. Just look at the beautiful, clean, white blossoms on the dark-green foliage! These look fresh and new to me.The summer of 2016 is being recorded as one of the hottest and sunniest in recent memory. Historically, lobelia wasn’t known or admired for its mid-summer performance, but the breeders at Kientzler have made dramatic improvements in the heat-tolerance of their Lobelix Series of lobelia. This is a beautiful row of Lobelix Lilac, after having been out in the heat and sun of southern Michigan for some time now. It still looked great on Aug. 4 in Raker’s gardens!The zinnias of today are a far cry from great-grandma’s garden zinnias. There are several very good, disease resistant, floriferous series out there from the various breeders. Syngenta has an impressive, showy flower here in its Uproar Rose. Look at the sheer size, and huge, vibrant flowers of these plants. Definitely a standout for me in Raker’s gardens.Some folks like ornamental peppers, others don’t. I’d say there are better ones and worse ones. Of all the orny peppers on display at Raker this summer, a couple stood out for development of the fruit, and showiness of colour. PanAm Seed’s Chilly Chili was one of the standouts. These plants were very uniform, laden with brightly coloured peppers, and really popped, visually, from the bed they were in.Beekenkamp, of late, has had much praise for their begonias, but there’s more to BK that just begonias. Take a look at this showy, disease-resistant dahlia – Labella Series Grande Red.  It features big, beefy plants, with many large flower heads, and nice, dark-green foliage. This Labella Series is Beekenkamp’s offering of the new-type of dahlia that will impress in a planter, or in the ground as pictured here.Yes, another great bidens, but with a distinctively different look to the flowers. Kientzler’s Tweety Compact 2015 is a relatively upright-type, but with flowers that have more prostrate petals, almost flat, in comparison to other bidens. Terrific heat tolerance is also an improvement as a result of breeding, as is the degree of floriferousness (yes, that is a word). Just look at all those flowers!Do you prefer the look of traditional wax-begonia to some of the more contemporary, exotic-looking ones, or the Boliviensis types? The Big Series, from Benary Seed, has been around a few years now, but many growers have yet to recognize its potential. I’ve seen this variety 18-20" tall, with a big spread of branches and covered in blossoms. At the Benary facility during the California Trials, they serve up a mean Pink Lady cocktail, garnished with Big Series begonia blossoms. These flowers can take all the sun and heat that we’ve had this summer and still look terrific.
Brad McMillan is the territory manager of North, Central and Eastern‎ Ontario‎ for JVK, one of Canada’s leading suppliers to the horticulture industry. JVK is based in St. Catharines, Ontario, but provides sales, customer care‎ and logistics services across all of Canada. The corporate website and webstore is at
September 2016 – Andropogon Red October is available from Emerald Coast Growers. Its deep green foliage darkens to purple in late summer, then vivid scarlet in autumn for spectacular late-season colour. Red October loves sun and reaches heights of 5 to 6 feet. It’s hardy in Zones 3 to 8.
September 2016 – It has great compact habit with the same bright gold flowers of Achillea 'Moonshine.' This petite beauty grows 9-12" tall by 10- 12" wide in sun. It is ideal for containers and smaller gardens and features early and long blooming – May to September.
September 2016 – The Lantana ‘Havana’ series is a brand new introduction from Dümmen Orange starring heat tolerant, compact Lantanas in five colours. The ‘Havana’ series features advanced genetics with moderate vigor and extra-large umbels.
September 2016 – The groundbreaking new Superbells Garden Rose is the first in a brand new line of Calibrachoa bred for landscape use rather than containers. It is extremely vigorous, quickly covering 2-3 feet of ground, and blooms all summer without deadheading.
September 2016 – The UpTick series has a tidy, mounded habit that makes it easy to ship. It’s also very attractive for landscape designs! This North American native offers bigger flowers and longer blooming for more color at retail and in the garden.
September 2016 – A perennial first: Now you can grow high-quality, affordable Perovskia from professional-grade seed. Blue Steel has higher and much more uniform germination than other seed varieties so you’ll grow top-notch plugs easily and efficiently.
September 2016 – Popular bicolour is now available in premium spreading/trailing Cool Wave Pansies. Cool Wave has superior overwintering – the earliest pansy to return in spring.
August 2016 – ‘Sweet Kiss’ is truly the ultimate home gardener strawberry. It is an everbearing variety that produces high yields, which means it will flower all summer long. It is zone 4 hardy so it will last the winter.
August 2016 – This new calibrachoa series features novelty colours that are truly striking in hanging baskets. StarShine has a stable star pattern and strong greenhouse and garden performance.
August 2016 – ‘Surfinia Heartbeat’ is an adorable novelty petunia with white flowers and a pattern of pink hearts! Plants have a compact mounding and trailing habit and are charming in hanging baskets, containers and window boxes.
August 2016 – The first Fuseables to contain the first seed calibrachoa, Kabloom™. The mix includes ‘Kabloom Yellow,’ plus denim and rose (not available separately). Fuseables let you stand out in a world of combos.
Sept. 30, 2016, Eindhoven, the Netherlands – U.K.’s largest tomato grower APS Salads and supermarket tomato supplier Flavour Fresh Solfresh Group have both completed their first 12- and 10-month growing cycles, respectively, using 100 per cent Philips LED lighting.
October 2016 – Greenhouse producers are long familiar with using high-pressure sodium lamps to compensate for reduced sunlight. Not so long ago LEDs started to make inroads into the industry. Because of their ease of maintenance, longevity and energy saving benefits this technology is no longer necessarily cutting edge.
October 2016 – Lighting is one of the most important inputs in controlled environment (ex. greenhouse and plant factories) plant production that we have the ability to manage in order to achieve our production goals. There is an astounding variability in how plants utilize light for photosynthesis as well as perceive and respond to their lighting environment.
October 2016 – It was at the age of 44 that Bob Mitchell decided he wanted to try greenhouse cultivation.
Aug. 2, 2106, Durham, NH – University of New Hampshire researchers have received a three-year grant for nearly $250,000 that will substantially expand research that aims to improve nutrient and pest management in high tunnel tomato production.
July 28, 2016, Eindhoven, the Netherlands – Philips Horticulture LED Solutions, a leading provider of LED lighting solutions for the horticulture industry, and Light4Food, an innovator in closed cultivation systems, have announced their partner agreement to supply LED lighting systems for greenhouses and vertical farms.
July 28, 2016, Tel Aviv, Israel – Netafim, the global leader in smart irrigation solutions for a sustainable future, has released its 2015 Sustainability Report, which demonstrates how its 2020 Sustainability Strategy is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)recently adopted by the UN.
August 2016 – It’s that time of year again already. Except it’s not! Level 1 water restrictions came into effect in Metro Vancouver on May 15, two weeks earlier than in previous years, the result of requiring Level 3 restrictions last summer for the first time since 2003.
August 2016 – An Ontario-based agricultural automation leader in North America is now eyeing worldwide markets.
August 2016 – Murphy’s law states that if anything can possibly go wrong, it will. This may be why the biofuel supply chain – a complex sequence with numerous hurdles – has been identified as a key barrier to the development of a bioproduct industry in Canada.
Each year, Canadian greenhouse growers face a challenge nearly as old as the sun itself: during the darker days of a Canadian winter, nothing grows.
May 27, 2016, Elmira, Ont. – Philips Lighting, a Royal Philips company and global leader in lighting, recently teamed up with Elmira’s Own Produce for the installation of Philips GreenPower LED interlighting.
Oct. 7, 2016, Niagara Falls, Ont. – Crop Defenders Ltd. surveyed attendees at this week’s Canadian Greenhouse Conference, asking about this year’s major pests and diseases in ornamental and vegetable crops.
Sept. 16, 2016, Simcoe, Ont. – Thrips are one of the most serious greenhouse pests, with an especially large host range that makes most greenhouse crops vulnerable.
October 2016 – In early July 2016, after a very hot and dry start to the summer, reports emerged from a number of greenhouse flower growers of a sudden increase in western flower thrips being caught on sticky traps. This subsequently led to pest establishment and the sudden appearance of (sometimes) severe damage in a number of ornamental crops.
October 2016 – Silicon (Si) is the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust next to oxygen . It is a major component of plant tissue. It is found in varying concentrations in virtually all living tissue, plants, animals and humans.
October 2016 – Talking about root zone is always fascinating to me because it is the foundation of all greenhouse crops and it is hidden from our eyes. The tops we can easily see but the tops depend on the roots, and the roots depend on the health of the tops!
October 2016 – A deleafing robot cleaned up the top award at this year’s GreenTech Show held in mid-June in Amsterdam.
September 2016 – Just recently, Dr. Tim O’Neil from ADAS in the U.K. spoke to Canadian growers on the topic of Root Mat Disorder (“Crazy Root,” as it’s called here). This has been seen on hydroponic cucumbers in the U.K. since 1993 and tomato crops throughout Europe (especially the Netherlands and France) a few years later.
September 2016 – Insects pose one of the greatest challenges to humans when it comes to crop production and human health.
September 2016 – Greenhouse tomato growers may soon have another tool in their IPM toolkit, thanks to research at the London Research and Development Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
September 2016 – The use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and biocontrol in the greenhouse industry is growing exponentially and greenhouse growers are looking for resources to better understand how to manage pests and biocontrol agents within their production system. A new online tool,, has been launched to meet this need.
August 2016 – Crop Defenders Ltd. considers pest management as having three major foundations: (1) good cleanout, (2) proficient scouting, and (3) timely/proactive treatment with biological control agents (biologicals).
August 2016 – You were first introduced to two Premier’s Award winners in our February issue in the cover story on urban agriculture.
Sept. 29, 2016, Guelph, Ont. – Fall is just around the corner and as the leaves begin to change, so do the flowers that are in season. Soon, everywhere you look there will new brides planning the happiest day of their lives and a big part of wedding planning is choosing the right flowers to fit the bride (and groom’s) vision. Flowers set the feel of the wedding and whether they are bright and bold or soft and subtle, the floral arrangements, bouquets and boutineers are an important part of any wedding. Luckily, brides do not have to look too far when trying to pick the right flowers.  “Ontario greenhouse growers produce a wide variety of flowers that are perfect for the big day,” says Dejan Kristan, marketing director for Pick Ontario. ”For autumn weddings, flowers and plants like asters, celosia, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, zinnia, sedum, eucalyptus, and succulents can add lots of interesting texture and a seasonal look to your arrangements and bouquets.” HERE ARE KRISTAN'S TOP FALL WEDDING PICKS• Matsumoto asters are a cheerful addition to any bouquet. Their bright yellow centers give them a daisy-like charm.• Celosia plumes are great for boutonnieres, and add brilliant colour and feathery texture to arrangements.     • Use tall sunflowers to add height and a bold splash to mixed arrangements. A fun flower that is also so recognizably “autumn.”• Chrysanthemums are another classic bloom that radiates with the beauty of the fall season, especially when using them in warm tones of reds and oranges.• Succulents are not only trendy, but also extremely hardy and you can enjoy them long after your wedding day is over. They add unique shapes and texture to your arrangements.• Talk to your florist and experiment with hardy stems like the silver dollar eucalyptus, curly willows, and rose hips. All add soft colour and something special to your bouquets and table arrangements.• Spray roses offer the beauty and fragrance of roses, but on a charming miniature scale. Each branched stem has multiple blooms, which make excellent fillers in large arrangements. LOCALLY GROWN FLOWERSIt is highly recommended for brides and grooms to choose locally grown flowers. By doing so, the longevity of the flowers is highly maximized and they can be enjoyed even after the day has passed. Local flowers also tend to have more fragrance than those imported, as their scent comes from natural chemicals that they release into the air. Imported flowers often lose these chemicals during their long transportation, so the shorter the trip the longer the scent of the flowers will last. “Flowers are one of the most essential parts of any wedding and fall is the perfect time to experiment with soft colours, unique textures and various types of blossoms,” adds Kristan. “I don’t think there is a better way to enhance the happiest day of your life than with fresh, locally grown flowers that smell like they’ve been picked that morning.” For more information, please visit Follow @pickOntario on Twitter and Instagram, and like them on Facebook. ABOUT PICKONTARIOPickOntario is an initiative developed by Flowers Canada (Ontario) Inc. to raise awareness, interest and demand for Ontario-grown cut flowers and potted plants. When you pick Ontario, you are supporting the more than 200 greenhouse farmers who employ approximately 9,000 people in our province. The growers in Ontario work hard to produce quality flowers and use the latest trends in technology and growing techniques to ensure their products are delivered fresh to local retail establishments, daily.
Sept. 27, 2016, Leamington, Ont. – With a staggering submission count of over 5000 entries from 21 countries and five continents across the globe, Zing! Healthy Foods™ was thrilled when it captured top honours with a Gold Award for its website ( and a Bronze Award for packaging with its exclusive Chef Sampler this year at the Summit Creative Awards (SCA).
Sept. 27, 2016, Kobe, Japan – Researchers have used 3D live imaging to observe the formation process of lateral roots in plants, and clarified part of the mechanism that creates new meristematic tissue.
Sept. 22, 2016, Ottawa – The Agriculture and Agri-Food Labour Task Force is thanking the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) for its valuable input and its prudent middle-ground approach in its Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) Report.
Sept. 22, 2016, Norwich, U.K. – Plants have specialized immune receptor proteins on the surface of their cells, which detect specific molecular patterns, or ligands, on harmful bacteria.
Sept. 21, 2016, Stratford, Ont. – Adrian and Jodi Roelands of Roelands Plant Farms Inc. have been selected as Ontario’s Outstanding Young Farmers for 2016.
October 2016 – Thousands of Torontonians enjoyed a sampling of floral delights one day this past summer, all courtesy of pickOntario.
October 2016 – This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner of Flowers Canada Growers was a pioneer in North America in growing one of the most popular houseplants.
October 2016 – We are told the millennial is the new consumer and the more we understand that consumer the better our businesses will be. Building sales is not just about millennials, it is about your whole target consumer base and how you can build trust and their confidence while providing them with an experience.
October 2016 – In my hometown there is a “new boy in town” on the food retailing scene.
September 2016 – One of the industry’s leading retailing consultants will be especially busy at CGC’16.
September 2016 – Looking for some advice on flowering perennials in the fall?
June 2016 – If it’s true that each food unit we consume now takes about 10 units of carbon energy to produce, then perhaps the food system is broken. Surely it does not make sense to use more energy to produce something than we can get back out of it in useful food energy. What options do we have?
June 2016 – In our August edition last year we presented an overview of a few of the new alternative energy projects across the country. This year, we have more exciting news to share, along with some recent updates.
Oct. 1, 2015, Moberly Lake, B.C. – The Saulteau First Nations are replacing a plant nursery’s propane heating with a biomass heating system, with funding support of $150,000 from B.C.’s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund.
June 23, 2015, Windsor — Greenhouse operators in the Windsor-Essex Region will reduce their electricity costs and expand their production by taking advantage of electricity programs offered by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).
Juned 2015 – This month we carry on the theme looking at alternative energy options, now considering potential “free” energy opportunities.
June 2015 – Natural gas prices may have dipped the past few years, but there’s still considerable interest in biomass heating.
June 2015 – Year-round vegetable production capability may well be just around the corner. Once accomplished, it will be a major assist for growers seeking to tap into new markets.
May 7, 2015, Montreal – The national research network BioFuelNet Canada (BFN) has just released $8.5 million in funding for research and commercialization of advanced biofuels, which are produced from non-food materials – primarily waste.
April 26, 2015, Leamington, Ont. – Ontario’s 2015 budget included some good news for Ontario’s greenhouse sector.
April 26, 2015, Guelph, Ont. – The provincial budget focused on much needed investment in transportation infrastructure but failed to support Ontario farmers with rising on-farm energy costs.
March 29, 2015, Madrid, Spain – Researchers from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Università Politecnica delle Marche have found that green roofs with high vegetation density are 60 per cent more efficient than non-green roofs.
March 15, 2015, Toronto – Red Sun Farms is again on the rise.
Sept. 29, 2016, Vineland Station, Ont. – As the cannabis industry continues to gain legal status around the world, more and more cannabis growers are learning about commercial scale horticultural production techniques, and of course, that means greenhouse growing.
Sept. 19, 2016, College Station, TX – The U.S. cut flower industry all but wilted over the past 20 years, but much of the loss stems from lack of progress that could blossom under more university research, according to Jim Daly, keynoter at the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture lecture at Texas A&M University.
Sept. 16, 2016, Smiths Falls, Ont. – Tweed Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canopy Growth Corporation, has opened a state-of-the art cannabis breeding facility within its Smiths Falls headquarters.
Sept. 16, 2016, Smiths Falls, Ont. – Tweed Inc.,  a wholly owned subsidiary of Canopy Growth Corporation, has launched ‘Lemon Skunk’ in the Tweed store.
October 2016 – The Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) came into effect in late August. In essence this allows Canadian medical marijuana patients to grow their own or select an independent grower to grow for them, rather than by purchasing through large-scale licensed producers.
Aug. 22, 2016, Ancaster, Ont. – The Green Organic Dutchman Ltd. is now a Licensed Producer under the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR).
September 2016b – Marijuana (Cannabis sp.) has been cultivated for the value of its medicinal properties for a long time.
July 28, 2016, Leamington, Ont. – Zing! European Runner Bean ready to go the distance.
July 25, 2016, Smiths Falls, Ont. – Tweed Inc., Canada’s largest medical marijuana producer, has received necessary approvals in Canada and Germany to begin export of medical cannabis for sale to German patients.
July 25, 2016, Simcoe, Ont. – Wonder what caught the eye of veteran horticulturist Brad McMillan of JVK who toured the Sawaya Garden Trials this past week?Here’s pictorial overview of his visit, with a number of  his favourites. 1/ Betty bacopa 1/ Betty bacopa 2/ Calypha 2/ Calypha 3/ Candy Kisses 3/ Candy Kisses 4/ Amore 4/ Amore 5/ Mega Charms 5/ Mega Charms 6/ Evi Bright Pink 6/ Evi Bright Pink 7/ Flora Frisia Mandevillea 7/ Flora Frisia Mandevillea 8/ Grandstand Blue Bicolor 8/ Grandstand Blue Bicolor 9/ Saucy Coral 9/ Saucy Coral 10/ Mangave Pineapple Express 10/ Mangave Pineapple Express 11/ Bright Lights Yellow 11/ Bright Lights Yellow 12/ Megawatt 12/ Megawatt 13/ Pansiola 13/ Pansiola 14/ Picnic White Improved 14/ Picnic White Improved 15/ Power Daisy 15/ Power Daisy 16/ Pinto Orange Bicolour 16/ Pinto Orange Bicolour 17/ Trend geranium 17/ Trend geranium 18/ Razzle Dazzle.jpg 18/ Razzle Dazzle.jpg   View the embedded image gallery online at: (You’ll remember his reports from this year’s California Spring Trials, posted to our archives.)1/ Think bacopa can’t last through the heat of summer? Some varieties can, and the Betty Series from Greenfuse appears to be one of the better ones. In this photo, take a guess which ones are in the Betty Series. Pretty impressive, given the heat and sun in southern Ontario this summer!2/ Hort Couture has a reputation for unique plants. This is a good example of Copperhead Acalypha.3/ Candy Kisses Hemizigia. This is another unique plant available from Hort Couture and Raker. You just can’t miss it. It obviously loves the sun and heat, that doesn’t seem to have affected the colour-pattern on the foliage, at all. Looks great all by itself!4/ Danziger’s new Amore Series Fiesta petunia – just, wow! Unique flower pattern with heart-shapes, and lots of colour and great vigour.5 / As I wandered down the aisle of bidens, I saw a few groups of visitors in a row stop and comment – “I really like this one!” Many breeders have made improvements in their bidens in the last few years, and here’s a terrific example from Danziger of what “new” genetics can deliver – Mega Charm.6/ Beekenkamp has great genetics in their begonia breeding program, what with Waterfall Series, Encanto and Beauvilia sub-series, but they also have other terrific sun and heat-loving varieties like this one – Evi. Look at the size, habit and flower power. Just simply beautiful. Vermillion Red is also a terrific colour in this group, as is Glory Lemon (yes, a good yellow, sun-loving begonia). Thanks, Beekenkamp!7/ Here’s a beautiful example of one of Frisia Flora’s line of mandevillea – Siesta. Covered in blooms with more coming on!8/ This is a beautiful specimen of Greenfuse’s Grandstand Blue Bicolour Salvia.9/ Saucy Coral Salvia is a terrific variety and colour, available from the breeders at Kientzler.10/ Here’s a heat-loving mangave from Walters Gardens called Pineapple Express. Very nice colour and texture. I was admiring this plant with a grower from Lakefield, Ontario. We may have had differing ideas as to the correct pronunciation of the plant name – mangave. Regardless, a beautiful, southern-looking plant.11/ Many growers have given up on osteospermum for the summer. It’s been very hot in southern Ontario this summer, but Proven Winner’s Bright Lights Yellow Osteospermum looks terrific, despite the heat!12/ Everyone loves large, glossy-leaved begonias, and PanAm’s new Megawatt series has performed beautifully at the Sawaya Trials this summer. Big, beefy plants with gorgeous foliage and an abundance of blooms have made these one of my favourite new introductions of 2016.13/ People just don’t believe me when I tell them that Proven Winner’s newish Pansiola Series will actually keep its blooms in summer heat, and even thrive. Here’s proof. All the colours looked great, but Quartz is my favourite. I was discussing this with Ed Sobkowich, of Sobkowich Greenhouses in Grimsby, and John Gaydos, one of the top people at PW. They said the same thing. No one believes the summer performance of Pansiola.14/ Some growers bemoan the high number of petunia series available these days. Well, when you see a stunning example like this – Syngenta’s Picnic White, a small-flowered type – it still makes you appreciate the flower power of a good, new-fashioned petunia.15/ This is an example of new genetics in calendula, Kientzler’s Power Daisy. Beautiful, bountiful yellow blooms that hold up in extreme heat.16/ I watched several people linger and admire this specimen of Syngenta’s Pinto Series seed geraniums. Orange Bicolor literally stopped people in their tracks.17/ This is just a terrific example of Trend Red geranium, grown by Schenck Farms & Greenhouses. Covered in blooms, with a nice habit.18/ UltraGrow does a beautiful job with bougainvillea. Here’s a nice example of Razzle Dazzle Red.Brad McMillan is the territory manager of North, Central and Eastern‎ Ontario‎ for JVK, one of Canada’s leading suppliers to the horticulture industry. JVK is based in St. Catharines, Ontario, but provides sales, customer care‎ and logistics services across all of Canada. The corporate website and webstore is at
June 30, 2016, Downers Grove, IL – Want suggestions of what plants to add or expand production of within your product line for 2017?
A step into the future! The Les Exceptionnelles® program is officially entering a new development phase thanks to an agreement between the Fédération interdisciplinaire de l’horticulture ornementale du Québec (FIHOQ) and the Jardin Daniel A. Séguin.

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