Team GPN has officially crossed the halfway mark of the California Spring Trials, but before we complete the coastal trek, I'd like to share some of the new varieties we've seen with you.
Day three began at Ball's facility in Santa Paula. Although Selecta's MiniFamous Double calibrachoas have been on the market for a while now, I was excited to see new colors added to the lineup. My favorite was 'MiniFamous Double Red'.
Another favorite of mine at Ball was petunia 'Cha Ching Cherry' by Ball FloraPlant. The flower colors are just so striking. This grower-friendly variety is early to flower and stable, and has versatile usage.
We continued our journey at Floranova's exhibit in Lompoc. The company introduced two new series of marigolds, but one marigold in particular really stood out — 'Alumia Vanilla Cream'. While most marigolds have more golden and orange tones, this new variety is a truer yellow color.
Day four began in San Luis Obispo where we toured Dümmen's exhibit. Dümmen continues to expand Sarita, its line of interspecific geraniums. Everyone was buzzing about the new bicolor selections, especially Sunstar Red.
HGTV exhibited alongside Dümmen again this year. They also showcased a variety of stunning geraniums. 'So Lovely! Pink' boasts huge hydrangea-like flower heads. It will work well in landscapes, containers and hanging baskets.
Later, we continued north to Salinas to check out Sakata's new introductions. I was really impressed with the company's vegetative gomphrena series, Pinball. It stands apart from other gomphrena with its strong mounding habit and its ability to play well with others. Along with its trials, Sakata was also celebrating its 100th anniversary!
Our final stop on day four was American Takii. Last year the company introduced its Trilogy petunia series, and this year they added three new colors rounding up the collection. The addition of 'Trilogy Blue' makes the collection a true series.
Today, we'll continue up north so be on the lookout for more updates. And be sure to check out our photo gallery on www.californiaspringtrials.com  to see more new varieties.