If there was a clear message coming out of the Ohio Short Course (OSC) in Columbus, Ohio last July, it was ‘adding connection value’ to our products.
Purple (and yellow and pink and white) coneflower, flaming maples and ornamental grasses. What could be more appropriate topics for autumn in the Canadian garden than these plant groups, all featured in various consumer magazines this fall?
With a new gardening season quickly approaching, garden enthusiasts will be flocking to your garden centres across Canada for the next new thing.  Here are just a few plants that they’ll be looking for!

Everyone wants the latest, most unusual plants in their garden and consumer gardening magazines continue to present their lists of the hottest, most must-have perennials, annuals and shrubs.
Feb. 07, 2008, Niagara — The second annual COPF Pack Trial returns June 25th and 26th in the Niagara area of Ontario. The world’s pre-eminent flower breeders will be showcasing their new 2009 products and important other genetics.
What a difference microclimates make in trials assessments.
The illegal propagation of young plant material has been a huge problem in all production regions over the world for years. Thankfully, resources designed to fight counterfeiting have been developed in most countries during the last decade. The primary goals are brand protection, breeders’ rights and patent safeguarding.
After a first season of trials, officials are proud to present the first Québec “Top 10” bedding plants.

Calibrachoa has become quite popular with consumers, thanks to its exceptional range of colours and unsurpassed garden performance. It’s also relatively easy to grow and is quite energy efficient. Calibrachoa was well represented at the sixth annual Sawaya Gardens Container Trials. 

Epic Gardens of Niagara-on-the-Lake launched their trial gardens program this year. The goal is to determine what new varieties measure up for consumers under local conditions. “There are so many variables. Hardiness zones are best used as a general guideline.”

Municipalities from the province captured four of nine National Awards, earned the Canadian Classic award, and emerged victorious in one of the International Challenges.
Some 350 growers enjoyed a preview of some of next year’s top garden performers at Idea Day 2006. The daylong event was co-sponsored by JVK and Sobkowich Greenhouses. Considerable note- and picture-taking were the order of the day, as the varieties were studied in great detail.

At separate open houses, growers and gardeners agreed on two cultivars among their lists of top picks.
In this concluding installment, columnist Melhem Sawaya continues his highlights of this year’s Breeders Variety Showcase.
The evaluators of the trial were especially interested in comparing the time to bloom or marketable stage, the need for growth regulation, free branching (need to pinch), and disease and nutrient issues when grown relatively cold after establishment.

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