MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- TruGreen today announced it has completed its merger with Scotts LawnService. Scotts LawnService is a former subsidiary of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. The merger of two companies in professional lawn service will bring more resources, local experts, enhanced service and innovation to customers, with a shared belief that life is better lived outside.
Winners will be announced by Aug. 1, 2016.
After a rainy first day, the clouds parted and the sun came out for Day 2 of the 2016 California Spring Trials, where we began our day at Windmill Nursery. Chuck Pavlich, director of new product development for Terra Nova Nurseries, told us about an innovation in begonia breeding with their introduction of Revelation ‘Maroon,’ a red-leafed, trailing plant (see "A 'revelation' in begonias"). We also browsed a fragrant, colorful dianthus line, Scent from Heaven, from KiwiFlora, a New Zealand-based breeder that’s new to Spring Trials this year.
Next we made our way to Edna Valley Vineyard winery to tour Dümmen Orange’s annual offerings and HGTV HOME Plant Collection. Kate Santos, operations director for North America at Dümmen Orange, outlined highlights in the breeding company’s calibrachoa offerings, which include bright, bold colors, star-patterned plants and the Chameleon series, featuring five plants that change hue depending on the environmental conditions (see "Coming soon in calibrachoas"). She also pointed out new geraniums that feature dark foliage, great branching and a layering of colors with a subtle white eye to give the plants depth. HGTV HOME Plant Collection showcased its three-pack, quart-sized Patio Veggies & Herbs mixes that offers seven recipes with combinations of tomatoes, basil, pepper and eggplant, and discussed a new partnership with EuroAmerican Propagator’s that creates a “one-stop shop” for brokers and growers (see “A new alliance”).
Dümmen Orange presented its perennials, potted plants and herbs about an hour north of Edna Valley at BarrelHouse Brewery, and retail inspiration abounded. Kalanchoe “spilled” out of a BarrelHouse branded truck out front, and designer and consultant to Dümmen Orange Robyn Foreman presented an array of container designs featuring succulents surrounding bright kalanchoe to add some flower power to traditional succulent combinations. She also shared an idea to make shipping pre-made succulent combinations easier for growers and retailers — adding pebbles to the surface and using glue and water to stabilize the growing media. Zoltan Kovacs, perennials product manager, detailed the new perennials combo program, where growers can choose from 15 varieties that grow well together to create their own container mixes.
Stay tuned to the California Daily for day 3 of the trials, when we’ll be visiting Floricultura and Sakata Seed America.
Follow these links for video coverage of California Spring Trials Day 2:
- A 'revelation' in begonias
- Coming soon in calibrachoas
- A new alliance
- Ship shape perennials
- Pretty and palatable
- Simplifying the process
Pictured: The Dümmen Orange stop at BarrelHouse Brewery featured a truck filled with kalanchoe, a plant they prominently displayed on its own and mixed in succulent containers for some flower power.
The 2016 California Spring Trials (#CASpringTrials for all of you on social media) has officially begun, and we welcome you to the first edition of The California Daily, where we'll bring you the latest news from the road. Click on the video "The California Daily" to learn more.
Although we officially started this year's California Spring Trials on Saturday, we made time to visit EuroAmerican Propagators' trial gardens at a site south of Los Angeles on Thursday. Trials manager Amanda Flint told us that they hope to encourage industry visitors to return to the southern locations like EuroAmerican. Flint said that one of the biggest trends that she's seeing is landscaping for both looks and sustainability in drier climates, and bringing color to water-wise plants. One example of this is Aloe Sassy Grassy, which features bright orange blooms that resemble kniphofia.
Our official first day of Spring Trials began on a rainy Saturday morning at Ball Horticultural. Ball FloraPlant emphasized the new MegaCopa Bacopa as a heat-tolerant plant that will retain its color throughout the summer. In speaking of color, the new Megawatt begonia Pink Bronze Leaf features a lighter pink than what's found in most begonias on the market.
PanAmerican Seed's Cheni Filios gave us a tour through the new tomato and cucumber varieties, including a currant tomato that's perfect for snacking, an orange sauce tomato that adds unique coloring to mealtime, and two high-yield, bitter-resistant cucumbers, one for slicing and the other for pickling. Burpee's Scott Mozingo highlighted the new Take 2 tomato duo, a combination that includes a slicing tomato type and a small-fruited tomato that grow and ripen on the same schedule and in the same container.
At Green Fuse Botanicals, president Steve Jones showed us a solid season extending plant line that works well together in combination planters, called salvia Grandstand (see “A grander salvia”).
The rain hadn't yet abated when we got to our last stop of the day, GroLink, but that didn't stop us from learning more about the Watersaver varieties offered by PlantHaven (see "Save the water"), and Culinary Couture, a revamped ornamental edibles collection by Hort Couture, which includes a new colorful tomato line called Mixology. Suntory Flowers was excited to debut a new offering in its Surfinia line-up, Heartbeat, which features heart shapes on the petals, Florist Holland showcased how garvineas, which last longer than gerberas, can be an eye-catching thriller in mixes (see “Mix and Mingle”), and Flamingo Holland told us about a new grower program that makes it easier to obtain new varieties from around the world at a reasonable cost.
See video coverage of Day 1 of the trials with the following links:
- The California Daily
- A grander salvia
- The rise of Night Sky
- Save the water
- Mix and mingle
- Better color, even earlier
Pictured: Flamingo Holland's SoCal display at the GroLink tour stop.
Henry is the first recipient of the Altman Family Scholarship, which was created in 2015 by Ken and Deena Altman, owners of Altman Plants.
This merit-based scholarship assists in funding the education of floriculture graduate students (MS or Ph.D.), who will become leading floricultural scientists and educators.
The Altmans are highly appreciative of the field of horticulture and support numerous efforts to improve education and research for the industry.
Joshua Henry is pursuing a Master of Science at North Carolina State University and is an active member of several horticultural activities and clubs, including the Horticultural Science Graduate Student Association. Henry will receive $5,900 in funding from this scholarship.
Joshua Henry, 2016 Altman Family Scholarship Recipient
"Floriculture and greenhouse production have been my passion for many years and I am so excited to be pursuing my master's degree in this amazing field," says Henry. "This scholarship will make such a difference as I continue my education and I am so thankful to AFE and the Altman family for making opportunities like this available."
Henry performed a six-month internship at Smith Gardens in 2015 through AFE's Vic & Margaret Ball Intern Program.
Henry's primary area of research is in plant nutrition of annuals and potted plants, specifically with phosphorus. He finds it rewarding to help diagnose different plant issues with growers.