Ball launches range for 2010

Ball Colegrave opened its gates for a series of summer open days last week to showcase its range of new varieties for 2010.

Marigold 'Taishan'. Image: Ball Colegrave
Marigold 'Taishan'. Image: Ball Colegrave

High on the list of new products are the company's range of VertiGarden green-wall plants, which were shown off to great effect around the grounds. The company has developed a range of mixes proven to work well on the wall and are keen push them for 2010.

The acquistion of Darwin Perennials has massively expanded the range and it will be offering a number of new varieties as a result.

Begonias have also received added attention — Ball Colegrave now has an entire range of new varieties.

The Banbury-based company was open for trade visitors until today (7 August).



Marigold 'Taishan' is an improvement of the 'Antigua' variety, with perfectly uniform flowers. The necks are very strong and the large flowers have no problem surviving wet weather. They were used in the Beijing Olympics as they are tolerant to extreme conditions.

Begonia 'Super Cascade', a new spreading variety, will be used in the VertiGarden. It is exclusive to Ball and offers unusual apricot and pink shades. Similar to the Begonia variety 'Illumination', this cultivar offers very good quality and could be a cost-effective choice.

Coleus 'Crimson Gold' is the latest addition to this striking range, which includes plants that change colour over time. This variety offers deep crimson shades at the centre of the leaf which are trimmed with a green-gold edge, giving a great bicolour effect.

Zinnia 'Zahara Fire' has large, single flowers on strong-branching, bushy plants. It grows quite low, making it ideal for landscaping, and holds its colour well but changes in the shade. Disease-tolerant and heat loving, it is available as a Ball 104 or 230 plug.

Geranium Zonal PAC Green Leaf 'Shocking Pink', bred by Elsner PAC, has strong plant foliage and a strong habit. Its large flowers are more suitable for patio or municipal planting, although as a plug it is much more expensive than geraniums grown from seed.

Impatiens New Guinea 'Strike Salmon' is a bicolour flower with variegated leaves that can be sold very early. Due to the variegation it is sellable as soon as the first bud appears, giving it a long sales window, and it is good for pots or parks.

Petunia Shockwave 'Denim' is ideal for hanging baskets, containers and flowerbeds on a small or mass scale. As a spreading plant it provides a cost-effective alternative to other petunias and will work well in mass-planting schemes for landscapers.

Scaevola 'Blue Print' has very short internodes and is, for a Scaevola, a very tidy plant with a compact habit. The mid-blue colouring and neat shape make an interesting alternative to existing varieties. It flowers early and works well in containers and baskets.

Petunia 'Tumbelina Red' is not, strictly speaking, a new plant but this variety is a very good-quality, double-flowering plant. A rich red colour and a trailing habit make it ideal for baskets. The Petunia is bred by David Kerley and is likely to be extremely popular.

Osteospermum 'Voltage Yellow' will not feature in the upcoming catalogue as it was a late arrival but will be available for 2010. It is an unusual yellow Osteospermum as it is low-growing with a vibrant colour that will make it good for parks, particularly as it spreads.

Calibrachoa Cabaret 'Can Can Mocha', unlike its siblings, copes well with a high pH and can survive in a hard-water area without turning yellow and locking up all the nutrients. This cultivar is the latest in the Cabaret series, which was launched two years ago.

Euphorbia 'Breathless Blush' is expected to be popular in Germany and Holland but will likely be used as a mixer in the UK, though it will work as a stand-alone plant too. This variety can tolerate hot or wet weather and it flowers right through the summer.

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