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What’s New?

Well, now that’s a loaded question. Everything and nothing at all.

But I have an idea if the question is about plants.

I went to the OFA Short Course trade show this week in Columbus, Ohio. It’s the biggie. Everybody seems to be there with the latest and greatest in the horticulture world. It is HUGE! Now I fly right past the potting machines, injector systems, greenhouse manufacturers, and so forth. I’m there for the plants. I was only there one day so I could not bog myself down with non-plant booths. I did not make it through the entire show. One of these years I’m doing the whole four days of the Short Course and then I know I can see every plant booth. Traveling companions this year were Jo Ellen Myers Sharp and our own Sue Nord Peiffer – a brand new GWA member.

I’m just going to try to hit some highlights of what I saw. It would take a month of daily blogging to cover it all. Okay, let’s get started.

Echinacea evolution continues. I mentioned in an earlier blog that a new seed strain was coming that included the exotic colors – red, orange, apricot, gold and so forth. I saw them as live plants. I likey. It’s called ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ and was bred by KieftSeedTM. It is already a 2013 All-America Selections Flower Award Winner.

Here are a couple close-ups.

In both an Echinacea and a marketing revolution, two true horticultural powerhouses, Terra Nova Nurseries and Blooms of Bressingham, are teaming up. One of the first plants is Terra Nova’s Echinacea ‘Supreme Cantaloupe’. Luscious color.

Another plant we are so familiar with is undergoing some genetic and marketing changes. The poinsettia of today is a far cry from the color and quality of 20 years ago. One of the first colors added to the traditional red was pink. That pink is amazing now with shades ranging from soft pastels to this rather intense one.

You think poinsettias are just for Christmas? Better get used to what may be coming. Expect to see them marketed for Valentine’s Day and Easter in the future. I felt this Easter inspired arrangement was very nice.

Saw lots of booths marketing to the Miniature Garden fad (formerly known as Fairy Gardens – not as marketable). I’m not a fan, but anything to get folks involved with plants, horticulture, and nature has some merit.

Lots of work being done with Eucomis (pineapple lily) now. Getting better color into the flowers in particular.

I got the Hoosier Gardener to pose with the biggest caladium I’ve ever seen. It has the rather unassuming name of ‘Garden White.’

It is from Bates Sons and Daughters – so rare to see “daughters” in a company name.

Succulents remain hot. And I do tend to want them all still.

Loved this silver one.

It’s a non-toxic paint that the plants simply grow out of or it wears off. Comes in a variety of colors including turquoise and orange. Need it.

In the “everything old is new again” category one finds that petunias are still one of the most popular plants that simply keep getting bred to another level. Here is one of many new ones I saw.

The new plants really did cover the gamut from odd new species to variations on plants we’ve used in gardens for seemingly forever. And every color in the rainbow was represented.

So what’s new? Everything and nothing at all.

Filed under: Horticulture, Road Trip

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