Apr 18, 2018
Day 4 at the California Spring Trials By Jasmina Dolce

We’re officially on our last leg of our Spring Trials tour. Day 4 began at Windmill Nursery in Buellton, where we got to see new introductions from Terra Nova Nurseries, Kientzler, 2Plant and J. Berry Nursery.

Terra Nova continues to do a lot of work in heuchera, trialing for large leaf size, color retention and summer performance. Grande is a new series, bred specifically for Southern landscapes.

While Kientzler offers genetics from various companies like Suntory and Sakata, they have also been developing some of their own breeding with lines like Unique calibrachoa and Summersmile osteospermum.

This was 2Plant’s first time exhibiting at the California Spring Trials. The company has been working on bringing new lilies to the market that are more compact and short, requiring no growth regulation.

J. Berry Nursery recently announced it will be launching a young plants division. In addition to that exciting news, they continue to create fun marketing concepts for retail such as Hollywood Hibiscus and Black Diamond Crape Myrtles.

We trekked to Santa Paula for our final visit of the day at Ball Horticultural Company. There’s always so much to see from all the brands, but some standouts were the uniquely colored Tattoo vinca from PanAmerican Seed, begonia ‘Canary Wings’ from Ball Ingenuity, and a new tender coreopsis ‘Electric Sunshine’ from Darwin Perennials.

Here are some of our favorites from Day 4’s visits:

Artemisia ‘Makana Silver’
Terra Nova Nurseries

This new artemisia presents a soft, billowy silver mound that works great in combinations. It is a fast-growing plant and is easy to root. No pinch or PGR is required.

Begonia Crown Jewel
J. Berry Nursery

Crown Jewel is a new series of begonias bred to offer heat and sun tolerance comparable to heuchera. It features thick foliage on strong plants. Each variety is named after a precious gem, like Onyx and Peridot.

Osteospermum Summersmile

This new series is bred for heat tolerance and overall summer performance. It features early and prolific flowering, and requires no chill period. Four colors are currently available, and more are coming. ‘Summersmile Violet’ is pictured.

Salvia ‘Big Blue’
PanAmerican Seed

‘Big Blue’ is the first interspecific salvia from seed. It boasts large flower spikes on a huge plant. It looks great in the landscape and should be grown in gallons or larger containers. It’s a tough plant that can tolerate full sun and drought.

Viola ‘Halo Golden Yellow’
Darwin Perennials

This new addition to the Halo series offers a rich, golden yellow color to the collection. It has excellent hardiness, and its color doesn’t fade. Consumers will enjoy using this plant as a summer edible flower.

Dahlia ‘City Lights Red’

City Lights is a brand new series of dark-leafed dahlia. It works well in larger containers and in the garden, and is a butterfly magnet. Four colors are available; ‘City Lights Red’ is pictured.

Tomorrow is our final day in California, so be on the lookout for one last report from the road. And don’t forget to check us out on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for additional updates.

— Jasmina

Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at jdolce@greatamericanpublish.com.