Two varieties of the Suntory Flower, Ltd. Million Bells Series, marketed in the U.S. by Jackson & Perkins Wholesale, Inc., have been awarded the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) for Trial of Calibrachoa 2003 by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS. Million Bells is the world’s first calibrachoa, according to Suntory Flowers, its developers.
In 2003, various companies in the United Kingdom, Germany and The Netherlands submitted 46 entries to the RHS. Only four entries were awarded the AGM. Two varieties of the "Million Bells Series" — Trailing Pink and Trailing Magenta — were included in the four award-winning varieties of 2003.
Besides being one of the highest accolades the RHS can give to a garden plant, the AGM provides practical value for the ordinary gardener. Every AGM plant must be of outstanding excellence for ordinary garden decoration or use. It must of good constitution and available from nurseries, seed suppliers or specialist growers. It must not require highly specialist growing conditions or care and cannot be particularly susceptible to pests or diseases. It also must not be subject to reversion in its vegetative or floral characteristics.
Suntory Flowers, Ltd. position flowers as "something that enriches people’s lives and enhances mental health. We have succeeded in creating new flowers that bloom beautifully, bloom profusely and bloom in three seasons."
Suntory Flowers, Ltd. has been awarded with the AGM two consecutive years. They have also won in the Petunia Trials for four varieties of Surfinia petunias, the world’s first vegetatively propagated trailing petunia developed by Suntory, according to Suntory.
Lou Aguirre, marketing and license manager for Jackson & Perkins Wholesale, Inc., said, "We take ride in the fact that cultivars bred by Suntory Flowers, Ltd., continue to win awards all around the world, and continue to bring to market new, different, unusual and high-quality vegetative plant varieties."