As always, Sara is a tireless advocate of our wonderful city, as is Nancy Ward. Without the work of these and other generous citizens, Charleston wouldn't be as beautiful a place to live.
Where to recycle?
A reader sent a card asking a question that's frequently asked by gardeners throughout our area.
"Could you please provide ideas on how/where to recycle plastic pots and 6-packs we gardeners accumulate each summer. The recycling centers do not take them. Do any of the market vendors accept them?"
Anyone have an answer for us?
California Spring Trials 2012
Plant breeders from all over the world converge on California in the spring to show off new cultivars, improved genetics and the hot new colors.
California Spring Trials (formerly Pack Trials) is the genesis of the Floriculture industry. During the course of a week, the world's prominent plant breeders, propagation specialists, growers, marketing professionals and plant enthusiasts present, share and discuss the floriculture industry's bounty at several open houses throughout California. This multi-day series of invitation-only events showcases the building blocks of the world's greatest gardens and landscapes and the industry it spawns, according to www.springtrials.org.
Three trends were seen at this year's event, noted Richard Jones, group editor of Meister Media, producers of several plant-related publications.
Edible crops were more evident with growers this year. While this trend has been on the upswing for several years, and there are new plants offered every year, it's still a small part of the grower's market. Snack-sized fruits were seen everywhere -- small peppers, cherry tomatoes and mini cantaloupe ('Lilliput').
Popular new veggies included 'Easy Pick Gold' Zucchini (with just 32 days from transplant to ripe fruit and no spines on the stalk of the leaf attaching the stem); Bumper Crop grafted tomatoes (including 'Big Rainbow,' 'Brandywine Red' and 'Sam Marzano') and a compact branching cayenne-type chili, 'Cayennetta' Pepper.
"Local" is a buzzword that resounded with growers. They are working to show not just what's new, but what can be grown easily in different regions of the country.
New ways to reach customers is the third big "thing" among growers. Interesting packaging, display suggestions, using new technology (mobile apps, QR codes) and point-of-purchase ideas were all popular topics.
I'm reading a lot about the new offerings in annuals and perennials, and I'll pass those plants' names in next week's column.
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.