Spring Trials: Look Out for Landscape Performance
The 2017 California Spring Trials begins in just nine days. Many of you will be in attendance, and if not, I’m guessing you still heavily rely on learning about all the new introductions and programs available at retail for next season.
What once used to be a straight comparison trial has become an annual coastal journey looking at breeding breakthroughs, consumer trends, merchandising strategies, POP materials and more.
One category that continues to be critical in almost every exhibitor’s Spring Trials blueprint is landscape performance. At every stop, we’re educated on new plants’ various attributes, and presentation and survival in the landscape seem to be of the utmost importance to many attendees.
For that reason, I got in touch with many of the exhibitors for a sneak peek into what they’ll be debuting this year. And without even asking, they informed me which varieties were going to be their best landscape performers.
So if you’re already thinking about the 2018 season and which varieties you can add to your landscape programs, be sure to be on the lookout for these beauties that will make their official debut next month.
From the greenhouse to the garden, Calliope Medium delivers intense color and enjoyment that lasts all season long. It boasts an abundance of blooms at shipment time and exhibits outstanding heat and drought tolerance.
This new senecio has been in the works for several years. It adds a plush look to the landscape with its velvety silver leaves that arch to give a vase shape habit. Finished height is 12 to 16 inches with a 6 to 8 inch spread.
Fitting perfectly into the existing Unbelievable lineup of strong branching double-flowering begonias, Miss Malibu features excellent garden performance in both sun and shade locations. Its rich bronze foliage, striking bloom color and compact habit will impress from the greenhouse to the home landscape.
The new FloriGlory series of cuphea is bred to have five times the flower power with excellent garden vigor compared to the industry standards. Three colors are available: Diana (pictured), Maria and Sofia.
This true, bright pink petunia joins the popular line of sun-loving Supertunia Vistas. It is very vigorous, with a mounding habit that can reach up to 2 feet in height in the landscape.
These dwarf African marigolds feature large, double flowers on well-branched plants. Aggressive, sturdy side branching creates a full flowering canopy for high impact in the garden.
The first true-red zinnia in its class, ‘Profusion Red’ has been named an All-America Selections winner for superior garden performance. Its color lasts in the garden, and it exhibits superior disease resistance.
Coming from Heuchera richardsonii breeding, this new variety is more cold tolerant that others. It forms a dense, rounded mound with burgundy-silver to silver leaves. Hardy to Zones 4 through 9, it has excellent rust resistance.
Will you be attending the 2017 California Spring Trials? If not, be sure to keep up with our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages where we’ll keep you up to date on all the exciting happenings during the week-long coastal event. And keep an eye on your inbox where Managing Editor Abby Kleckler will be delivering regular news from the road.