July 2014
Habit-Forming & Vigorous Trends Ahead By Pete Mihalek & Tim Hodson

Looking for the next big thing from California Spring Trials 2014? Read on to learn about a few of the trends we spotted this year.

*This layout is jam-packed with great photos for California Spring Trials 2014. Please click the PDF link below to see the layout in its entirety.

T hey say trends are born on the coast and work their way inland. If that’s true, we have five noteworthy trends from this year’s California Spring Trials that are sure to end up in one of your greenhouses and garden centers … it’s only a matter of time.

In April, the team from Lawn & Garden Retailer descended on California working our way from the north to south, flying into SFO, out of LAX, and making stops everywhere in between. We traveled along the Pacific Ocean, up into the mountains and down in the valleys to learn about new breeding breakthroughs and marketing concepts.

Since everyone can’t make it to Spring Trials each year, we make it our job to snap as many photos as possible, so we can share the latest trends and introductions with you. You can see many of these photos in our photo gallery on www.CaliforniaSpringTrials.com.

Next month, we will give you an overview of some of the new varieties that debuted at 2014 California Spring Trials.

The Year of the Petunia

The National Garden Bureau has declared 2014 as the Year of the Petunia, but judging by the many new colors that debuted at California Spring Trials this year, 2015 is going to be another banner year for petunias too! Shown here is just a sampling of some of the newest colors, be sure to check out our photo gallery on www.CaliforniaSpringTrials.com to see even more more new colors that were introduced this year.

Gone Antiquing

We see the rustic and worn trend popping up everywhere, from home decor to fashion. So why not in the garden as well? There is something very charming about this color trend. These antique-looking plants have a classic yet unique look. They definitely grab your attention, and consumers will eat them up. Hues of cream, light pink and faded purple are taking over.

Uniquely Delicious Debuts

As edible gardening at the consumer level remains a hot and hip category, seeking out the uncommon has become a common occurrence at the retail level. Here are five interesting introductions to appease the foodies in all of us.

1. The new, ball-shaped Brice zucchini from Syngenta Flowers is packed with features: it’s easy to grow, is disease resistant and has a manageable compact habit.

2. At Pacific Plug & Liner, we got a chance to see (and taste) the new and intriguing white strawberry Hula Berry. The plant will produce fruit in only 55 days and the berry has a pineapple flavor to it.

3. Sakata’s new Kandy Korn Plus F1 baby pumpkin is a real seasonal looker thanks to its dark green handles set on deep orange miniature fruit. Tight on space? This variety yields a tremendous amount of fruit per plant on a bush vine.

4. Speaking of space issues… Vegetalis’ Big League tomato is a determinate variety perfect for a patio container. It produces huge, 14- to 21-ounce beefsteak fruits.

5. Not your typical basil plant, Burpee’s Emerald (and Ruby) Frills basil boast gigantic, flavorful leaves all season long. It would make a striking and useful centerpiece in a container garden, too.

Orange is the New Black

Remember a couple of years ago when “true black” was all the rage. For 2014, it looks like “true orange” — a comment we heard at multiple stops — is stepping in to take over. And this time around, there are plenty of options to choose from.

1. Syngenta’s Grandalia series features five core colors and two novelty colors (‘Grandalia Orange is pictured) with rich, vibrant blooms. It is a continuous bloomer that will produce flower buds throughout the plant’s lifespan.

2. At Takii, the 2014 AAS Winner, ‘African Sunset’, really stood out. It is the breeders first orange-hued petunia from seed. While more compact when compared with other orange petunias, this variety has a mounding habit and will reach a height of 7 to 10 inches.

3. Dümmen’s Red Fox Savannah ‘Oh So Orange’ geranium loves the heat and with its medium vigor will perform well in landscapes, containers and baskets.

4. The star of the Floranova greenhouse was the new Bossa Nova seed-raised garden begonia. It is covered with brilliant blooms from late spring until frost. It looks great in hanging baskets and large containers. The new series has four colors — Rose, Red, White and Orange (pictured).

5. The Oro line of petunias now has 114 different products that are produced in separate facilities from the company’s other petunias. Of the Fortunia series, ‘Fortunia Fresh Orange’ was a real standout. It features a larger than average flower size and has medium vigor and a trailing habit.

6. At EuroAmerican, the Rockette series of kniphofia highlighted one new addition – Orange. Like its Rockette brethren, it does an excellent job luring hummingbirds and butterflies to the garden. This series is more compact with narrower, grass-like foliage.

Looking for the next big thing from California Spring Trials 2014? We’ve got you covered.


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