The 45th FleuroSelect Convention took place in Norwich on 22-24 July and included delegates from Poland and Hungary as well as seed company representatives from Russia, China and the USA.
Main host this year was Floranova/Vegetalis, which exhibited field trials, container grown plants and novelty flowers, vegetables and herbs, as well as patio pot aubergines and tomatoes.
Introductions included the compact Cucumber 'Peticue', Cucumber 'Petipikel', Physalis 'Little Lanterns', Okra 'Green Finger' and a host of tomato cultivars for containers. They are promoting containers of edible ornamentals, both plants such as Basil 'Floral Spires' and Garlic Chive 'Gigantic', that are in themselves edible ornamentals and planting recipes including scarlet fruited peppers edges with white flower alyssum.
Container growing for decoration and grow your own food was covered by speaker Adam Pasco when he addressed the delegates on the importance of getting an improved dialogue between breeder and consumer.
Main talking point and feature at Floranova was its new inter-specific, seed-raised Begonia 'Bossa Nova' currently in four different colours with more colours to come. Other introductions included French Marigold 'Alumia' (bred by David Lemon) and 'Cresta' Series, Hibiscus 'Honeymoon'. Portulaca 'Lazy Daze' and Potulaca 'Sun Daze'.
A visit to the John Innes Centre and international base for Plant Sciences and Microbiology was included in the second day's programme. Networking among the delegates was a big part of the conference and Simon Groot said that research in Indonesia matches that done by John Innes at Norwich.
He suggested production of Indonesian Bitter Gourd cultivars could well have a place here as an alternative greenhouse crop to cucumbers for Indian and Far Eastern recipes. There are half a million hectares of Mormodica grown to meet demand in China and India.
The highlight of the convention was the gala dinner when the result of the Fleuro Star award, voted for by visitors to the summer trials earlier in the years, was presented to Takii for their Canna 'Cannova Bronze Scarlet F1.
Newly-elected president of FleuroSelect for 2014-15 is Florensis chief executive officer Hermon Hamer. The FleuroSelect Home Garden Conference will be held in Heidelberg, Germany, on 17-18 September. The 46th convention will be held in France on 21-23 July 2015, with main host Graines Voltz.