Also in this issue...
| Chris Beytes, Jennifer Zurko & Ellen Wells
>> Published Date: 6/25/2012
To see more highlights from the 2012 Spring Trials, click HERE.
Ideal for Indies
Not all plants are alike. Some are good soldiers—line up in rows, grow uniformly and are as precise and predictable as a Swiss timepiece. Others are a bit more carefree, independent, opinionated. The latter can be the items that allow the independent garden center and the growers who grow for them to stand apart from the mass merchandiser. Whether in baskets, mixed combos, pots or right out in the landscape, these “Ideal for Indies” let IGCs show off their unique stuff.
1. Petunia Glamouflage Grape (Hort Couture) This petunia gets glam with the addition of a creamy variegation, which is more stable than other previous variegations to come on the market. This item can take typical petunia containers or baskets to a whole new level of sophistication. At least one more color is rumored to be in the works.
2. Succulents (Jaldety) While their line of succulents isn’t new, there are new varieties coming into it each year. If you’re looking for new colors and textures, this is a great place to start.
3. Dianthus Green Ball (Ball Seed) If Dr. Seuss bred plants, this would surely be one of them. With perfectly round green flower heads, this dianthus can be used as a filler plant for combos or flowerbeds, and individual stems can be used in bouquets.
4. Eupatorium Pink Frost (Hishtil) A eupatorium that isn’t 8 ft. tall—brilliant! It reaches just 2 ft., has a lovely lemon and light green variegation, and produces light-pink blooms.
5. Cosmos Popsocks Pink (Thompson & Morgan) This cleome has a unique mix of single, double and anemone flower types. Compact habit, too.
6. The Carex EverColor Collection (Pacific Plug & Liner) Bred by Ireland’s Pat Fitzgerald, this series features five small grasses in a variety of hues and variegations. Pictured left to right: Evergold, Everest and Everillo. Five varieties in all.
7. Salvia Summer Jewel Pink (Takii) This salvia joins its sister Summer Jewel Red in the All-America Selections club as a winner for 2012. With excellent branching, a terrific habit and a long bloom window, it’s a big hit with hummingbirds—as we could attest to on site!
8. Rose Popcorn Drift (Conard-Pyle) Like its name suggests, the rose begins as a yellowish “kernel” and opens into a snow-white bloom. Smells delightful, too. Great in the landscape and in baskets. It’s a sport of Peach Drift, so it has a good lineage.
9. Plectranthus Brazilian Purple (Athena Brazil) Talk about a statement plant. Loads of vertical color with light purple, tubular flowers, purple stems and velvety green leaves. It’s a standout on its own in a pot, or make it a centerpiece in a large combo container.
10. Wallflower Sugar Rush (Floranova) Not seen on this side of the Atlantic often, wallflowers are quite common in the UK. A great item to set yourself apart as offering something new and different. No vernalization required, so it’s fast to flower and a good crop to go along with a fall program. And it smells sweet, too, hence the name. Three colors and a mix, with two experimentals in the works.
Grow Their Own
Edible offerings at Trials were prevalent again this year, a testament to how the “trend” has established itself as mainstream. Here are some of what we found.
1. Cucumber Patio Snacker (PanAmerican Seed) A compact cucumber that’s just the size for small gardens and patios. Offer as a container already trellised so the customer gets the idea. It’s free-flowering and high yielding, too.
2. Easy Pick Gold and 3.Easy Pick Green Zucchini (PanAmerican Seed) Two more small vining plants that are great for today’s smaller gardens.
4. Bumper Crop Grafted Tomatoes (Burpee Home Gardens) This line of tomatoes grafts heirlooms onto hardy, disease-resistant hybrid rootstock, producing upwards of 50% more yield than traditional heirlooms. Six well-known and in-demand heirloom varieties are included, like Brandywine and Mortgage Lifter.
5. Tomato Heartbreaker Vita (Hortus Group) This is unique for its heart-shaped form. Good for both the home gardener and the commercial tomato grower, there could be some heart-related cause (or holiday) this variety could be marketed around.
6. Cayennetta Pepper (Floranova) An AAS Winner for 2012, this is an astoundingly prolific pepper producer—the plant pictured has produced more than 300 fruit in an 8-in. pot! Plus, it has the AAS-assured performance and habit. Watch out, it’s hot—a 20,000 on the Scolville scale.
7. Toscana Strawberry (ABZ-Seeds) Toscana’s big, beautiful deep-rose flowers produce up to 2 pounds of tasty, cone-shaped berries each year. This bedding plant strawberry is the 2012 FleuroStar Award winner.
8. Syngenta and 9.Ecke jump into veggies
Stepping aside from specific varieties for the moment, we need to mention that both Syngenta and Ecke are adding edibles lines to their list of programs. With the large arsenal of veggies for small growers and packet seed companies that are part of the Rogers company (now under the Syngenta Flowers group), it’s no wonder that Syngenta would select a few (88!) varieties to add to their offerings. These are not (yet) branded with any sort of Syngenta stamp.
Ecke has put their new line of herbs and vegetables under the name of Ecke Edibles (has a ring to it). The line isn’t meant to compete with the big veggie names out there—so no branding accompanies it. Instead Ecke wants to fill the needs of growers looking to round out their annuals order or fill a blank in their veg program. They are working closely with Hishtil on this and are including at least 50 varieties so far, each chosen for its good taste and appropriateness for small spaces.
COLOR Their World
You can have the best performing, highly disease- and drought-resistant plant in the world sitting on your bench, but if it’s not stunningly pretty, it’s not going to ring through your register. Here are a few outstanding colors that caught our eye.
1.Petunia Potunia Mocacchino (Dümmen)
2.Calibrachoa Celebration Peach Cobbler (Westhoff)
3.Calibrachoa Superbells Lemon Slice (Proven Winners)
4.Calla Callafornia Carnival (Golden State Bulb Growers)
5.Petunia Marvel Beauty Raspberry (Danziger)
6.Coleus Honey Crisp (Ball FloraPlant)
7.Dahlia Dahlinova Hypnotica Tropical Breeze (Fides Oro)
8.Petunia Happy Punch Banana (Cohen)
9.Petunia Duvet White (Syngenta) GP
© Copyright 2001 - 2013 Ball Publishing —