And the countdown continues! Only 25 more days until the 2014 California Spring Trials begin. If you're attending, have you finalized your travel plans? If not, be sure to check out GPN's Spring Trials Companion  to help set up your appointments and map out your route.
If you won't be at this year's trials, don't worry, we'll be updating our photo gallery and posting blog updates from the road and in the weeks following the big event. Be on the lookout on www.californiaspringtrials.com .
In the meantime, here is a sneak peek into some of the new introductions that will be on display at some of the trial locations. Stay tuned for for more sneak peeks in my next e-newsletter!
Agastache Arizona series (American Takii )
The new Arizona agastache is a first year flowering perennial hardy to Zone 6. It is a fast crop from spring sow: four to five weeks from sowing to transplant and nine weeks from transplant to finish crop. It requires little care once established. Three colors are available; Sunset is pictured.
Lobelia 'Starship Scarlet' (Kieft Seed )
New 'Starship Scarlet' is bred to produce a better quality finished plant than other Lobelia speciosa. It is early to flower and finish with improved branching, low stretch and a uniform, controlled habit.
Heuchera 'Forever Purple' (Terra Nova Nurseries )
Heuchera 'Forever Purple' has a vigorous, multi-crown mounding habit with showstopping foliage. Short-stemmed spikes of purple-pink flowers in the summer are paired with deep, ultra-purple glossy leaves with fluted edges that last throughout the year. It performs well in Zones 4 through 9.
Begonia Bossa Nova series (Floranova )
New seed-raised Bossa Nova begonia is available in four vibrant colors. Eye catching as well as extremely versatile, these begonias exhibit excellent branching on a tidy yet abundant habit. Thriving in a variety of climates, Bossa Nova is self cleaning and produces color from late spring to first frost.
Dipladenia Sundenia series (Suntory )
Historically, dipladenias have beautiful flower colors but limited flower size. The new Sundenias offer gorgeous, large flowers that consumers love but on a compact, manageable plant. Flowers are 3 to 5 inches in diameter, double the size of a typical dipladenia. Colors include Red, White and Coral.
Petunia 'Ramblin' Amethyst' (Syngenta Flowers )
With a designer, jewel-toned color, 'Ramblin' Amethyst' spreading petunia is the newest addition to the award-winning Ramblin' series. It features deep purple veins with lavender petals that are early to flower, consistent and reliable for premium seed containers.
Verbena 'Tiara Mickey' (Cohen Propagation Nurseries )
The new verbena 'Tiara Mickey' is an interesting multicolor variety boasting white to pale pink flower clusters with dramatic dark pink centers.
What do you think about these new introductions? What characteristics do you look for in new varieties when adding to your production? Shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org , and let me know. I'd love to hear from you.
— Jasmina