Spring Trials 2015-2016 and even a few 2017 sneak peeks!

In the last few weeks, I have given you bits and pieces of the 2015 Spring Trials Display from BallHorticulture.  (If you missed them, please read The Little Whites, Can You Spot the Sunshine? and The Cyclamen and The French) Let me give you a little bit of background, starting with the origin of Spring Trials.  Originally, all the plant breeders and growers would get together and line up their flats of plants back to back so that buyers could compare and choose which seed or starts to purchase. Of course, now, it looks like this:

 Today, that simple meet-up has progressed to a California coast full of plant giants creating elaborate displays to showcase the newest genetic innovations coming to the market in the upcoming year.  For a plant lover, it is an incredibly exciting event.

I was asked to visit the BallHort Spring Trials location, but there are many more up and down the coast from other plant companies.  what you might not know (I didn't!) is that BallHort is an umbrella company that includes

Wild, right?
Onto the pretty stuff though...
Here are some of my favorites coming out in 2015, 2016 and even 2017.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PICTURES (breaking this into bits so all the pics will load for you!)

My favorite...the Angelinas...
They look like tiny orchids, with smaller blooms, but so many more of them.
'Balarclipi' light pink.

There was a darker pink, a purple and a white as well, but that first one is hands down my favorite.

Now onto the Congos....small and rounded...great for pots and gifts!
Calibrachia is the real name and there were tones of different choices,
including 'Balongcriss' - a pretty coral and 'Blush' -- my favorite:

Next on the list are the Trixi Mixes!
Now we need to stop for a moment and discuss the mixes in general.  I am usually not a fan.  In fact, I think one of the very best parts of gardening is picking how and when to mix plants in containers, in the garden, in baskets and indoors.  Mixes kind of steal the joy.  THAT said, there are mixes and there are MIXES.  If you are going to buy a pre-made mix, you cannot get better than a Trixi Mix.  They are far and away the most aestetically pleasing mixes, but are also made so that the flower show continues TOGETHER.  In other words, you won't have one plant just give up the ghost in a week while the rest take over.  So for those of you that want the easy garden path - PICK a TRIXI!  This is MY favorite:

Here are a few more...

Verbenas were really pretty, but no single variety stood out.

These lavender certainly did though!  Isn't it beautiful? (It is Spanish.)
Pretty triangular in-ground planter:

The grand finale of the event were the new "Night Sky" Petunias:
 Bred to create this pretty constellation effect, they will be available in 2017.
Last but not least, the Tiger series Gazania really stood out. 
They are daisies with petty pink and whit stripes, a most brilliant display of a classic favorite!

OK, one more...Revolution bicolor rose shade Gerbera was a SHOWSTOPPER.

There was a ton of variation in each flower, the colors were striking and vivid and this plant will be grown  by EVERYONE next year. 

I was so thrilled to be able to attend Spring Trials this year and see all the new "goodies".  I am already dreaming about next year and I KNOW Ball Hort is already planning the new flowers and veggies that will be coming to market soon.  Plants are in development for years, testing various climates and microclimates, predicting behaviors and building up stock.  By the time is gets to Spring Trials, these plants have already been through the wringer.  By the time they make it to market, they are the best of the best.  I hope you have enjoyed this little peek into the process and will join me for new plant reveals in the future!

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