Thursday, July 11, 2013

What's in a Brand?

Last month Jonathan McCombie and I had the opportunity to visit Spring Meadow Nursery for their Proven Winners Gold Key meeting. It was an interesting and eye-opening day and a half.

We sat through presentations about the performance of their existing selections and ones that are about to be released to the market. Once finished with the inside presentation, we then spent a few hours at the trial gardens. Here we had the pleasure of seeing the natural habit of many existing and future selections. It was here that really started my wheels turning.

Plant brands, as a whole, have been viewed with skepticism by many. It is true the plants are a little more expensive and we are not obliged to propagate all of them freely due to patent and trademark protections. However, much of this is for good reason.
 
The brands we represent, which are Proven Winners, First Editions, Knockout, Endless Summer, and PlantHaven, all have extensive ties within the breeding community throughout the world. This allows them exposure to many unique and improved plants created by some of the most talented breeders.
Once they have these genetics in hand, the plants are then put through a rigorous trialing program to ensure the selection will perform well both in production and in the landscape. The trialing system has greatly improved over the years and the plants that are exiting now and being released will truly hold up to their claims of performance. Knowing this, should create confidence in their reliability for your customers.
 
Our industry is dictating that many of the newest selections are being released under one of the many brands that exist. In order to offer the best plants to our customers, we must participate. We have chosen First Editions, Endless Summer, Knockout, Proven Winners and PlantHaven because of their dedication to only releasing those plants known to perform. There are many out there and we are investigating some other potential companies, but we are confident the plants we currently offer now will be great performers in the landscape and are excited about what is coming in the next couple years.
 
Ben Cecil, Operations Manager, Loma Vista Nursery

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Red, White and Blue Blooms


Are you in a patriotic mood for the 4th of July? Here are some of our favorite red, white and blue flowering plants:
Double Take Scarlet Storm QuinceChaenomeles Double Take Scarlet Storm has large showy flowers in the spring. Thornless and fruitless, it is a good addition to landscapes in tough sites. Other favorite red flowering plants are Stewartsonian Azalea, Calycanthus, Home Run Rose, Weigela, Pardon Me Daylily, Lord Baltimore Hibiscus.

 
 

Annabelle HydrangeaHydrangea Annabelle and Incrediball both have large globe shaped flowers in the summer. The white flowers brighten up gardens in the shade. They can also tolerate part shade. Chardonnay Pearls Deutzia, Mount Airy Fothergilla, White Chiffon Hibiscus, Snowwhite Spirea, Juddi Viburnum, Korbin Iceberg Rose, and Bridal Veil Astilbe are other favorite white flowering plants.

 
 

CaryopterisCaryopteris Petit Bleu and Sunshine Blue are two of Proven Winners' shrubs available at Loma Vista. The 2PW Petit Bleu's are budded and on sale this month at $10.25 each. Caryopteris' summer flowers attract butterflies. Other blue flowering plants include Ellen's Blue Butterfly Bush, Blue Satin Hibiscus, Endless Summer Hydrangea, Baptisia, Ceratostigma, Iris versicolor and Butterfly Blue Scabiosa.