Apr 16, 2018
The First Two DaysBy Abby Kleckler

California Spring Trials is here! Each year around this time we look forward to hitting the road in search of the latest in breeding innovation, introductions and, of course, display ideas.

Team Lawn & Garden Retailer and GPN started in the north, and we’ve had a busy first two days. With eight stops and more than a dozen different companies, we’ve seen a lot.

We started at Speedling’s Breeders Boulevard in San Juan Bautista before heading to Suncrest Nursery for introductions from Cohen, Jaldety and Hishtil. Up next was Pacific Plug & Liner in Watsonville whose “Welcome to the Jungle” theme impressed. See a video from this stop on our Facebook page. At our last stop of the day we celebrated Benary’s 175th anniversary.

Day 2 started out strong with Proven Winners’ introduction of five edibles to its new Proven Harvest line and the brand new Coral Creations succulent program, which are both set to be stars at retail. Then we visited Syngenta Flowers in Gilroy seeing the new Moxie, an interspecific geranium bred for color in small containers, and fun calibrachoa and perennial displays you can see in this video. Danziger impressed with its Mixis combinations, and the last stop of the day, Floricultura, featured lots of vibrant color from Westhoff, PAC, Beekenkamp and Plug Connection.

There is so much to see, so follow along with our journey on Facebook and Instagram, and check out my colleague Jasmina Dolce’s Culture Connection e-newsletter for GPN on the latest variety introductions. But for now, see some highlights below:

Proven Winners

Proven Winners Spring Trials

Coral Creations from Proven Winners were bred by Chris Hansen — the man behind Chick Charms — with multiple colors, fast growing times and habits that grow well together in mind. The turtle caricature is fun at retail.

Calibrachoa Tree

Hishtil Spring Trials 2018

This grafted calibrachoa made its debut at Spring Trials last year but has since been tested by growers in the U.S. and is getting a lot of interest for its unique mound over a high stem.

A Cohesive Theme
Pacific Plug & Liner

Pacific Plug & Liner Spring Trials 2018

A rock-and-roll theme was carried throughout numerous vignettes at this stop. Each one featured a specific plant category, a vibrant color scheme, bold signage and creative containers, such as these tire swings planted with hellebores.

Pieces of Art
Quality Cuttings Team

Quality Cuttings Team

Also at Pacific Plug & Liner, the Quality Cuttings Team got in on the “Welcome to the Jungle” theme with creative succulent eye-catchers such as this boombox, a drum set and a guitar case as a container that were all Instagram worthy.

Seed Partnerships
Thompson & Morgan

Thompson & Morgan Spring Trials 2018

This is one of many partnerships over in the UK with a sunflower seed packet on top of a Dorset Tea kit, making a great gift. They also put packets in kid’s books, at fundraisers and much more. Their hope is to bring these ideas to the U.S.

Celebrating Stories

Benary Spring Trials

The focus here was on Benary’s 175th anniversary with banners throughout. After WWII, company hero Fritz Benary rode around Germany collecting seeds to re-start the company, fitting with the award-winning ‘Super Hero Spry’ marigold.

Making a Statement
Syngenta Flowers

Syngenta Top Hat

Large blooms are the talk of the new Top Hat series of begonias, so why not go big with the display as well? Huge, white letters and a black-and-white banner featuring an expansive city draw in the eye.


Beekenkamp Spring Trials

This display took into account the series with bright containers to complement Kelos celosia, which has a tagline of “Splash of Colors.” The terra cotta plastic pots made flowers stand out elsewhere, but you could see these from far away.

Are you out in California? Let me know what you’re seeing. And if you’re not, please share with me what piques your interest in our coverage.



Abby Kleckler

Abby is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at [email protected]


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