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.
The Saskatchewan Greenhouse Growers (SGGA) and the Saskatchewan Vegetable Growers Association (SVGA) will be having their annual conferences and combined trade show on Nov. 9 to 11.
“Les Exceptionelles” is the only floral promotion program in North America based on public preference.  Plant trials headed by Claude Vallée, of the ITA in St. Hyacinthe, with the co-operation of the Quebec growers, listed the top 10 best suited plants for Quebec growing conditions based on public choice for colour, beauty and low maintenance.
Achillea ‘Wonderful Wampee’, Cerveza ’ n Lime, Black bacarra, Blue Light, Cabana Trailing Blue, Baptisia ‘Carolina Moonlight’, Citrus Blend, Little Duckling, Mardi Gras
For the second year in a row, Proven Winners® award-winning varieties were selected to add beauty and colour to the grounds of Churchill Downs, just in time for this year’s Kentucky Derby.
Conifers that are rare and unusual were generally of little interest to gardeners and certainly hard to find 20 or 30 years ago, said Jim Lounsbery, co-owner of Vineland Nurseries in Beamsville, Ont.

Northwest Horticulture (NWH) is introducing the cold-treated ‘24-Cell Tray’ for growers looking for a larger plug to plant and finish in the spring. The tray will be on offer from January 15 to April 1, and NWH offers growers a wide selection of perennial, ornamental grass and landscape rose varieties.
It’s not every day that a single plant can create a tsunami of interest in the plant world, but the Wollemi pine has undoubtedly done it in spades.
In 1992, Vanhof and Blokker Ltd. of Mississauga, Ont., first reserved the name ‘Canadian Liberator’ with the Royal General Bulbgrowers’ Association in Hillegom, The Netherlands.
New Millennium comes in a range of shades from white through to blue and pink, but the sumptuous tones of ‘Pagan Purple’ are the most astounding of all.  Shades of dark blue, deep purple through to mauve are represented, with either single or double flower petals, always held high on sturdy, stately spires.

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