‘Dinner is served’… on Day 2 of Spring Trials

April 03, 2017
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April 2, 2017, Oxnard, CA – Day 2 of the California Spring Trials included stops at Green Fuse Botanicals, Floranova and Gro-Link (which hosted several breeders and supply companies).

Included was an imaginative dinner party (PHOTO NINE), with new varieties as the main courses, and older varieties being side dishes. Top marks for Hout Couture for this amazing display at Gro-Link. It sure had people buzzing...and checking out their new – and older – varieties.

Hout Couture was also promoting its line of Coleus Under The Sea, the breeding work of students at the University of Saskatchewan. This series, with its many distinctive leaf shapes, is the kind of breeding that will capture new consumers.

I saw potted alstroemeira for the first time (yes, I’ve lived a sheltered life – I've associated them only as cut flowers) and was quite impressed. It’s a new look, a bit unique, and something that will attract attention at retail.

On my rounds this week, I’m particularly interested in marketing programs. North Amerian growers are among the world’s best in producing quality plants. The challenge will increasingly be in the marketing of those products to changing demographics. The best breeding and growing in the world will all be for nought if the market isn’t expanded…or at least maintained.

PHOTO ONE: Steve Jones, president of Green Fuse Botanicals, with Fuchsia Windchimes®. This variety blooms early, even in short days. Debuting this year is Windchimes ‘Pink Lilac,’ the first of Green Fuse’s next generation fuchsia.

PHOTO TWO: Peter Bradford, product development manager with Floranova, with Freefall XL, one of the impressive new additions this year. Extremely hardy, this pansy can survive all but the harshest of winters. It will flower much later in winter and will be the first to flower in the spring. It’s excellent in groundcovers and baskets.

PHOTO THREE: Nico Laan, sales manager with Royal Van Zanten, with Colorita Eliane Orange, the newcomer to this popular series of potted alstroemeria. The series flowers continuously from spring until late fall.

PHOTO FOUR: Jarvis Green, quality manager with Hort Courture, with some of the Coleus Under The Sea varieties bred at the University of Saskatchewan. The series features oddly shaped and frilly leaves – similar to lobsters, coral and crabs.

PHOTO FIVE: Felicia Vandervelde, North America sales manager for Florist Holland, with ‘Capital Reef,’ one of three new introductions to the Patio Gerbera series. The series features abundant flowering from late spring to early fall.

PHOTO SIX: Surfinia ‘Trailing Red’ is one of three 2018 introductions in the Suntory spotlight, notes Delilah Onofrey. The others preparing for their debut include Million Bells ‘Butter Pop’ and ‘Beedance Yellow.’ ‘Trailing Red’ features large vibrant flowers and a gorgeous trailing habit.

PHOTO SEVEN: All varieties in PlantHaven’s Watersaver™ Collection are heat and drought tolerant and hardy to USDA zones 6-9. These vigorous, low maintenance are also deer and gopher resistant.

PHOTO EIGHT: Joost Hendriks, account manager orchids for Anthura, holds new variety ‘Ferrara.’ It features bright yellow flowers and a shelf life of 13 weeks.

PHOTO NINE: Hout Couture’s imaginative way of serving up some of their new varieties. If you’re in retailing, this should given you some ideas!

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