Wait! Before you skip over this post because it’s about petunias and “petunias are boring, old-fashioned, plants for boring, old-fashioned people,” I want to share some of what I learned from touring the California Spring Trials, also known as Fashion Week for Plants. Petunias are so much more than The World’s Pinkest Pink flowers.
While you will still find overflowing baskets of candy-pink petunias at the exit of every Wal-Mart, plant breeders have spent many years researching, growing, and testing annual flowing plants to come up with the next big thing. So, even if petunias are not really your thing, have a read through some of what the brilliant minds behind them have been working on in hopes of launching modern petunia varieties that will win you over.
The Spring Trials are where growers and breeders of flowering plants open up their doors to show off the newest and best of flowers. I spent six days this April traveling from Los Angeles to San Francisco to visit over 25 of the world’s most prominent breeders, growers, educators, brokers, and marketers, to see what’s new in floriculture.
The trip was organized by the National Garden Bureau and All-America Selections, who bring a diverse group of gardening writers to peek behind the scenes of the industry. You can follow the tour on social media by searching for #NGBPlantNerds on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You will notice plenty of pictures of me and the other Plant Nerds looking at flowers and traveling the coast (once by helicopter!).
I attended the Ball Spring Trials for one day last year, but this year I went on the full meal deal. The California Spring Trials used to be a true demonstration of side-by-side growing…