The Last Stops
We have officially finished our California Spring Trials journey down the coast. At the close of the last e-newsletter, I left you in the middle of Day 4 when we were heading to Ball Horticultural Co. in Santa Paula.
With many brands under one roof, there’s always a lot to see at Ball. This year, I thoroughly enjoyed the dozens of “shoot and share photo opps” throughout the displays. You could hop in a giant bird cage for the new Canary Wings begonia, put on fake tattoos for the new Tattoo vinca, and put on a hat and climb a ladder for the new Firehouse verbena. Another message (from Darwin Perennials) was increasing shoulder season business, which you can learn more about in this video on our Facebook page.
Our fifth and final day started at GroLink in Oxnard. This stop is always a big one with more than a dozen companies such as Suntory with a gorgeous new pericallis, ‘Senetti Magic Salmon’; Plant Haven with its Vibe salvia that has eye-catching bench tape and tags; Florist Holland with a focus on using gerbera as the finishing touch to a complete look; Kapiteyn with POP focused on year-round calla sales; and much more.
We then headed to our last stop: Green Fuse Botanicals, also in Santa Paula, where the fan-favorite Staircase lupine gained attention (see it in this Facebook video) as well as some new breeding breakthroughs. Also at the stop, we saw new varieties from Floranova and Vegetalis.
We’ll continue to report on Spring Trials on Facebook and Instagram, as well as in the upcoming issues of the magazine. For now though, here are some highlights from the last two days (make sure to click on the images for more descriptions):
We saw many lifestyle displays at Ball Horticultural Co., such as this rooftop garden for the new City Lights dahlia. The large, bold blooms make for a great centerpiece or in containers, making them fitting in this display setting.
Garden to Countertop
Burpee has found three pain points for IGC shoppers when it comes to vegetables: too much choice, not sure what the plant is going to be and what to do once it fruits. The display this year focused on bold tags with common names and photos of the harvest to help those shoppers.
Dreamscape cyclamen are bred to deliver strong outdoor performance in landscapes. What was neat about this display, however, was the three-sided 3-D concept with an office building, a home and a hotel on each side. If you zoom in, it looked like you were really in the scene.
Insects and Pollinators
Garvinea gerbera are wonderful garden performers and attract pollinators as well as insects. This Insect Hotel along with the birds and bees on the pots would tell customers immediately what they can expect when planting these gerbera.
We’ve seen some cute cat grass displays over the years, but these pots from Dutch company Evanthia Seeds & Plants for its cyperus zumula had people taking photos all day long.
The latest introduction in the American Pie dianthus series is Georgia Peach Pie. Its large flowers are highly scented, and the simple, easy “smell me” sign was an easy and effective way to demonstrate this.
Green Fuse Botanicals
There was no shortage of dianthus at California Spring Trials, and this ‘Constant Cadence Milk Cherry’ impressed. The blooms open white before transitioning to pink and then to red.
Ornamental and edible pairings are nothing new, but we saw quite a few throughout the trip. This new Liberty Bell sweet pepper from Vegetalis is a full-size bell pepper on a compact plant, and it’s paired with ‘Blockbuster Icy Watermelon’ vinca from Floranova.