Variety is the Spice of Life

We find ourselves in a particularly advantageous time for commercial cut flower growers. Based mainly on our own recent interactions, we know that breeders and distributors are aware of the growth in our industry, perhaps particularly in the ASCFG, and working to introduce even more cultivars, and sometimes even entire programs, suitable for cut flower production to the trade.

This is apparent in the number of entries in this issue’s New Varieties section (pages 22 to 26), with more likely to be included in the Winter 2020 magazine. Several of the participating companies were eager to send their material, making sure to be part of this important section.

Both William Dam Seeds and Johnny’s Selected Seeds graciously opened their doors and trial fields to ASCFG members this year, and growers were happy to be invited. Much as the California Spring Trials provide for bedding and container plant growers, the opportunities for flower farmers to see the initiation and production of the varieties that will become important components of their crop lists is invaluable.

Perhaps we could convince some of the breeders to dedicate portions of their Spring Trials displays to their specialty cut flower introductions, and coordinate visits through the ASCFG. We wouldn’t mind traveling through coastal California in early spring!

Until that adventure comes to fruition, however, you’ll have the opportunity to meet representatives of some of the most important companies in the business at next February’s “Cut Flower Nerds” meeting here in Oberlin, Ohio. This is truly a meeting for plant geeks: we’ll take deep dives into those new varieties, as well as basic botany and horticulture. Program information is on page 56; watch the ASCFG web site for session details and registration. Once it appears, don’t wait to register—attendance is limited to 170.

We’re grateful to the breeders and suppliers for their support of the ASCFG, and encourage you to form your own partnerships with them.