Mar 26, 2012
Scenes from Spring Trials – Days 1 & 2By Jasmina Dolce

It’s now Day 3 of the California Spring Trials, and I feel like I’ve already seen so much! Days 1 and 2 were busy with color, and I’ve got some pictures below to show you.

Our first stop on Saturday was Suntory, which was set up at Plug Connection in Vista. We’re all familiar with the Sun Parasol mandevillas, but something new is this new 4-inch program. I think this smaller version of Sun Parasol will generate some interest among consumers. And growers will be happy they have a choice to either go with the branded pot or a tag.

Next we visited Benary, also at Plug Connection and we got to see some great ways to group and display plants. This year, they decided to showcase their plants by region, which was very helpful. One great introduction by Benary is this new Nonstop begonia. ‘Nonstop Red’ will now take the place of both Deep Red and Bright Red. It’s the best of both worlds!

Plug Connection had a ton of great material on display. My personal favorite (since I’m infatuated with dahlias) was the Dreamy dahlia series. These dahlias have strikingly dark foliage, and some of the varieties have this beautiful two-tone effect.

Our final stop on Saturday was Ecke Ranch in Encinitas. They were pretty excited about introducing their new edibles line. The new collection is in its infancy, but the company plans on growing and expanding the line soon. As always, Ecke Ranch had lovely merchandising displays and the veggies and herbs looked great!

Proven Winners was our first visit on Day 2. After last year’s introduction of the stunning ‘Cherry Star’, I was looking forward to what they had next. Sure enough, another unique and colorful calibrachoa – ‘Superbells Lemon Slice’. Love this bicolor!

Sunday afternoon we drove up to Oxnard to see some of the companies exhibiting at the GroLink location. Westflowers had a new petunia collection on display, Crazytunia. Here is one of my favorites from the collection. Although Crazytunias are available in Canada and Europe, the company is currently working on a U.S. release. I can’t wait to have these in my garden!

Hort Couture had some of the most unique new introductions this year. After having such success with the funky Under the Sea coleus last year, they’re continuing to bring distinctive and novel varieties to the market. One of my faves is this primula, ‘Blue Zebra’.

And…I gotta save the best for last! Here’s one of Florist Holland’s newest additions to its gerbera Garvinea line – ‘Garvinea Jasmina’! I’m assuming they named this gorgeous flower after their favorite editor 😉

Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at [email protected]

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