Spring Trials Preview – Part 1
Can you believe the 2016 California Spring Trials are just around the corner? I know, the event doesn’t actually start for another two and a half months (or 73 days, not that I’m counting), but believe me, those two months will go by fast.
If you plan on attending this weeklong tour of new varieties along the Cali coast, I hope you’ve begun making your travel plans. With a total of 17 stops and nearly 60 exhibitors, creating an itinerary can become overwhelming. That’s why AmericanHort offers an online scheduling system at www.horticultureevents.com/CAST. You can make most of your appointments right from your computer, in just a few minutes. And be sure to check your inbox for GPN’s Spring Trials Companion, which should be arriving in a couple weeks.
In the meantime, I’d like to share a preview of some of the new varieties that will be making their grand debut in April. I’ve been in touch with some of the breeders that will be exhibiting at this year’s event, and they were kind enough to share some of their 2016 introductions with me. Here’s a glimpse into what will be on display at the California Spring Trials. And be on the lookout for my next newsletter, where I’ll be sharing even more previews with you.
The UpTick series has a tidy, mounded habit that makes it easy to ship. Very attractive in the landscape, it offers bigger flowers and longer blooming for more color at retail and in the garden.
Colibri is a new series of compact calibrachoa bred to be grown in smaller pots, quarts and 6-inch containers. They are very early and can be grown without much manipulation. Although compact, PGRs can be used if needed. Five colors are available; Cherry Lace is pictured.
This new introduction adds a spark to the Hot Shot series. Flambeau Rose showcases a bright rose flower on its cream and green variegated foliage. Purslane is heat and drought tolerant, so including this item in combinations for the summer will bring season-long color.
A new ranunculus series, Bloomingdale II, boasts both beauty and brawn. It offers a compact habit that is ideal for quarts, gallons and mixed containers. And pelleted seed allows for streamlined production and early uniform flowering.
Petunia F1 ‘Trilogy Deep Purple’ presents a vibrantly lush, eye-catching color and has the same outstanding habit as the other Trilogy varieties. Deep Purple has the same dome-shaped, prolific blooming habit for which the Trilogy series is known.
‘Sweet Kiss’ is an ever-bearing strawberry that yields large, dark red fruit from June until frost. Its great flavor has beaten other berries in blind taste tests!
What do you think of these new introductions? Are you attending the 2016 California Spring Trials? If so, what are you most excited about seeing? What plant characteristics do you look for when deciding what to add to your production? Shoot me an e-mail at [email protected]; I’d love to hear from you.