Spring Trials Day 1 — Danziger, Proven Winners and Syngenta Flowers
The 2017 California Spring Trials has officially begun, and we were blessed with a gorgeous first day. The sun was shining, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the plants all looked fantastic.
Our day began at Headstart Nursery in Gilroy where we walked through all the new varieties from Danziger. They always have a wonderful assortment of petunias and other popular annuals, but they’re really expanding their bidens collection with some unique and eye-catching colors. We were also able to evaluate and vote on some experimental Mixis, so we’re looking forward to finding out which combination is the big winner.
Next we drove up to Kirigin Cellars, where Proven Winners is exhibiting for the second year in a row. They have a beautiful setup with tons of retail and merchandising inspiration. Their message to the consumer is to “grow memories” and make gardening a regular part of their lifestyles. So we should be seeing the hashtag #growmemories start popping up on social media.
Our final stop of the day was at Syngenta Flowers. Over the past couple of years, we’ve noticed a more streamlined approach there and focusing on their main introductions and improvements. They have impressive breeding, from trailing verbena from seed to a whole catalog’s worth of interspecific geraniums. We especially loved all the geranium mixes.
Tomorrow we head down to San Juan Bautista and Watsonville, so stay tuned for more. And if you’re not following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you’re missing out on lots of great photos and videos.
But for now, here are some of our favorite new introduction from Day 1 at the trials:
Petunia ‘Capella Pink Lace’
The Capella series is bred to be a more compact collection of retail-ready petunias. No PGRs are needed, they flower early and they have excellent shelf life. Pink Lace grabbed our attention with its soft pink blooms paired with a much darker throat.
Osteospermum ‘Ostica Glamour’
Danziger added a few new varieties to its Ostica line including this beautiful yellow. The flowers are large and the habit is nice as the flower stems were shorter keeping the blooms close to the foliage. An added bonus — it can be grown warm with other crops.
Cuphea ‘Fairy Dust Pink’
This heat- and drought-tolerant cuphea has the look of ‘Diamond Frost’ euphorbia but with pink flowers. It has great branching and will look great in solo baskets or combination planters.
Heucherella ‘Fun and Games Eye Spy’
The foliage on this heucherella stands out with amber yellow centers in spring that mellow to bright green in summer. The bright pink flowers add a lovely contrast. It is hardy to Zones 4 through 9.
Verbena ‘Obsession Cascade Red with Eye’
The new Obsession Cascade series is the first trailing verbena from seed. It is ideal for value-added baskets and combinations. Five colors are offered, including a Twister.
This indeterminate new sunflower offers nonstop blooming through the season with up to eight flowers at first flush. It is a great retail item that will be supported with branded tags and pots and technical support to growers.
What do you think of these new introductions so far? Do any look like something you’d like to add to your production next season? Shoot me an email and let me know; I’d love to hear from you.