The showcase enables professional visitors to view current ranges, new plants for next season and hundreds of varieties being trialled for future seasons.
New series this year include the Petunia Ovation which Ball Colegrave marketing manager Stuart Lowen said has a Potunia-type controlled habit. The plants can be grown cool and if potted in week eight can be ready in 10 weeks. They will flower in 10-hour days and are bred by Kerley & Co.
Other highlights include:
- Calibrachoa 'Crave' - seed-raised and naturally bushy and is a vigorous novelty with good garden performance.
- New introductions in the Calibrachoa 'Punch' series - Blueberry and Strawberry. Calibrochoa Can Can has mini rose double blooms and is in several new colours including lavender and wine red.
- Trixi has three new introductions including Cracker, an interspecies mix, White Wedding and Early Sunset. Lowen says they are ideal for parks department who may lack staff to design colour-themed displays.
- Dianthus 'Oscar' is a little more compact and very uniform. It can be potted in June for August/September sale or October/November for March/April sale. Dianthus Pink Kisses is new to Ball Colegrave for 2018.
- In Impatiens, new is New Guinea Sweet Orange, the first bicolour orange from seed. The Clockwork series comes in 12 colours and is also very uniform.
- Diascia Diamond replaces the Juliet series and has five colours including fuchsia.
- Petunia Baby Doll has a splash effect like Night Sky but is more compact and needs less PGR.
- Osteospermum 3D Berry White is new as is O. Serenity 'Blushing Beauty' which changes colour as it matures.
- Isotoma Fizz 'n' Pop is new in dark pink and purple.
- Ipomoea 'Solar Power' is a new series in green and red.
- Ball Colegrave has the licence to distribute Sunpatiens Compact from Sakata, which can be grown in temperatures from 12-16 C.
- Geranium Atlas Red is good for parks and Lowen says could be a star plant for use in places such as outside Buckingham Palace.
The showcase runs until 28 July.