Apr 16, 2018
Day 2 at the California Spring Trials By Jasmina Dolce

We packed a ton of visits in our Day 2 itinerary, starting in Gilroy. Our first stop was at Kirigin Cellars where Proven Winners showcased their new introductions. Aside from the beautiful annuals, perennials and shrubs, they debuted two totally new plant categories: Coral Creations succulent program and Proven Harvest edibles.

Next, we visited Syngenta Flowers where they had a totally new setup that welcomed guests through their outdoor garden where we got to enjoy snapdragons, pansies and more. Inside, we got a closer look at all the new varieties and displays.

We continued to Headstart Nursery to check out Danziger’s exhibit. They highlighted some of their best-selling items like bidens and lobularia and all the new introductions for 2019. They also added new combinations to their Mixis line. You may remember last year guests were able to vote for their favorite recipes. They tallied up the votes and officially introduced the most popular ones. Our pick (Morning Dew) made it!

Our final stop of the day was at Floricultura in Salinas, where we caught up with the folks at Westhoff, PAC, Beekenkamp and Plug Connection. Westhoff continues to expand on its popular lines Candy Shop and Chameleon calibrachoas. Beekenkamp is venturing into brand new plant classes, like petunias. And Plug Connection is introducing a new and impressive rose collection. It was a lot to take in but all very exciting!

It was a busy day, but here are some of the highlights:

Salvia ‘Rockin’ Fuchsia’
Proven Winners

This color breakthrough in Salvia gauranitica boasts large, vivid pink flowers with dark bracts. It has darker, more compact foliage than ‘Amistad’. Hummingbirds and other pollinators love this plant.

Berried Treasure strawberry
Proven Winners

This ornamental and edible everbearing patio strawberry is perfect for containers as well as the landscape. The berries are highly flavorful, and the flowers (available in Pink or Red) are semi-double.

Geranium ‘Moxie Dark Red’
Syngenta Flowers

Syngenta continues to do work in the interspecific geranium category, and this one is a game changer. It is bred specifically for small pot production. Six colors are currently available, but even more are in the pipeline.

Begonia Tophat
Syngenta Flowers

This new interspecific begonia series boasts huge flowers, up to 20 percent larger than comparable varieties!). It can be used in sun and shade, and stays nice and mounded. Three colors are available, but this is the only white in this class.

Erysium ‘Sunstrong Bicolor Purple’

This Zone 6 erysium requires no cooling and can be grown just like an annual. It will flower all through the summer and is recommended for larger containers.

Calibrachoa ‘Chameleon Atomic Orange’

Chameleon now has more open availability, and Westhoff continues to expand the popular line of color-changing calibrachoa. New to the series, ‘Chameleon Atomic Orange’ presents vivid color similar to Indian Summer Improved but with a more compact habit.

Petunia Tea

In an effort to provide a full profile of products, Beekenkamp has introduced petunias to its collection. The Tea series is early flowering and disease resistant, and has great garden performance. Ten colors are currently available with more to come (Rose Morn is pictured).

Rose ‘True Passion’
Plug Connection

True Bloom is a totally new rose program for Plug Connection. These selections have been through years of testing and trialing for disease resistance, color retention, fragrance and ease of growing. ‘True Passion’ has already won multiple awards before before hitting the market!

I wish I could share more with you, but that’s what the June and July issues of GPN are for! Stay tuned, as I share some more highlights over the next few days. And remember to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for even more updates.

— Jasmina


Jasmina Dolce

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

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