Which new plants will take the spotlight at the Four Oaks Trade Show 2019?

Diantus ‘Flutterby’ - image: Whetman Plants International
Diantus ‘Flutterby’ - image: Whetman Plants International

Matthew Appleby looks at some of the new plants from the UK and overseas that will be introduced at the Four Oaks Trade Show (3-4 September Lower Wthington, Cheshire).

Exhibitor numbers were nearing 350 as the Four Oaks Trade Show approached, with 35% from overseas. Event director Pat Coutts says impending Brexit on 31 October is a nuisance but "in due course it will all come put in the wash".

She adds: "Overseas exhibitors are just getting on with the job. At the start, some smaller overseas growers were very worried about paperwork and not having the resources to manage to trade in the UK, but they are moving on from that now and waiting to see what happens. There’s nothing else we can do. It’s dragged on for so long."

The Animal & Plant Health Agency will once again be managing the crops coming in after show exhibitors complete forms stating whether there is anything that needs to be inspected.

Ball Colegrave will exhibit recently introduced novelties along with a special preview of new "game-changing" varieties for the 2020 season. These include introductions in Begonia Sweet Spice, Calibrachoa Kabloom, Geranium Macarda, Osteospermum 3D, Osteospermum ‘Purple Sun’, Petchoa BeautiCal and Petunia Glacier Sky.

This year saw the launch of Beacon, the Impatiens with high resistance to the devastating impatiens downy mildew. Ball Colegrave marketing manager Stuart Lowen says: "We are incredibly excited with this introduction, which will undoubtedly bring huge confidence back to the UK market for the good old trusted busy Lizzie."

Whetman Plants International will launch three new Alpine Pinks as well as Buddleja lindleyana ‘Floral Fanfare’ this year, a double violet-flowered sterile form. Dianthus ‘Aztec Star’ (above) has light-magenta flowers with a dark-magenta, star-shaped eye over grey, compact foliage. Dianthus ‘Blushing Star’ (below) is a single pink-blush flower turning to white with a dark-magenta, star-shaped eye over grey/green foliage. Dianthus ‘Cherry Burst’ is a single flower with a bold maroon eye bleeding into a lighter pink border over compact grey/green foliage. All are scented.

The company will also be showing its recently launched Dianthus ‘Flutterby’, which managing director Ed Marley says "is proving to be an absolute stunner and great garden performer", adding: "We actually think this could become our biggest-selling variety ever."

Kernock Park Plants has an extensive list of breeders and agents offering new and improved genetics plus a team looking for fresh ideas to provide a new lease of life for old favourites. With more than 60 introductions coming through its intensive trialling process for the 2020 season, launches at Four Oaks will include another addition to the Agryranthemum range, a model variety called ‘White Mocha’ from one of the Proven Winners breeders. Geum ‘Rustico ‘Orange’ aims to help meet increased demand for geums, while Hakonechloa ‘Sunflare’ (above) has outstanding golden foliage that develops wine-coloured blushing tips and margins as it matures. Sunbelievable Brown Eyed Girl was third at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Heuchera ‘Tokyo’ (above), with chartreuse foliage, veining and scarlet red coral bell flowers, has earned continual praise in extensive trials. Other new introductions likely to feature at the show include Lysimachia ‘Sunburst’, Petunia ‘Mango Madness’ and Salvia ‘Amethyst Lips’ and ‘Cherry Lips’.

New Leaf Plants (above) will show its new green pots and newly designed labels. The pots are kerbside recyclable, while the labels are longer, to match the climbers grown by the Evesham-based nursery. The labels have new illustrations and include a "Grown in the Cotswolds" logo as well as all the usual growing information including prune code.

Seiont Nurseries will show Rosa rugosa Jam-a-licious, which promises fewer thorns and more flowers, along with Buddleja ‘Butterfly Towers’, a tall and narrow type for smaller spaces. Also new are Salvia ‘Amethyst Lips’ (above) and ‘Cherry Lips’.

Earley Ornamentals will show the new BeautiCal next-generation ≈ Petchoa — more mounded than SuperCal with larger flowers and strong weather resistance. New colours French Vanilla and Bordeaux are now available. Also new from Earley is Begonia Viking, available in red on chocolate and pink on chocolate. The British-bred Nemesia Aroma Heart of Gold bicolour will also be on display.

MNP Flowers/Suntory Genetics will exhibit Surfinia Trailling Red and Surfinia Blue Ocean as it celebrates the 30th anniversary of Surfinia, the world’s most widely sold petunia. Sunpuma Ipomoea and Granvia Gold are also new.

New breeding by Danziger for 2020 includes Petunia Amore King of Hearts with red and white stripes, Calibrachoa Lia Dark Red and Petunia Capella Neon Pink.

Botanics International will showcase Dahlia Dahlightful, a new series of dark-leaf dahlia, and Salvia Flamingo, a new cutting-raised variety of Salvia splendens.

Hishtil Nurseries will promote Lavender BeeZee, a compact hardy angustfolia in five colours, as well
as its speciality, Herb Combos.

Walter Blom Plants will display Chrysanthemum Moviestars from Armada, in six colours.

Alstroemeria Jean is a new introduction from Turcieflor in the Maxie range.

Hogendoorn Holland will launch Miscanthus sinensis Pink Cloud, an ornamental grass with high ornamental value that has been selected because of its beautiful pink flower plumes and stands out because of its compact habit, reaching a maximum height of 1m. Pink Cloud, said to be low-maintenance and hardy to -23°C, likes a spot in the sun or partial shade and is not picky in terms of soil type. It is recommended as a hedge of grasses, a solitary on terraces or patios, for mass planting or in the border.

Laxsjon Plants (above) took over Expertrees in July 2019. Thanks to the acquisition, the grower has expanded its product range even further. The assortment contains forestry and hedging seedlings, transplants, rootstocks, (solitary) shrubs, conifers, whips, ornamental trees and fruit trees, multi-stem trees, Christmas trees, topiaries, perennials, tree seeds and flower and flora mixtures. Laxsjon Plants is certified "PlanetProof" and, where needed, supplies plant passports and a certificate of provenance.

Beekenkamp will introduce Begonia Dreams Garden MacaRose, a floriferous pink begonia with a yellow heart. This year, Beekenkamp will also introduce two new colours to the Petunia Tea series — light-violet and tea yellow. 


3 September: Biologicals — A New Dawn for Ornamental Plant Production

11.30am-12 noon
Nematode Application
Andrew Wilson and Martin Donnelly, ICL Professional Horticulture 

The Role of Biostimulants
Nicolas Body, European technical manager, Alltech Crop Science

Components of a Crop Management Matrix
Adrian Jackson, consultant, Koppert

Smart Technology — Delivering Improvements in Plant Protection |
Fargro integrated pest management specialist David Hide and Fargro technical development specialist Ant Surrage

4 September Biologicals — A New Dawn for Ornamental Plant Production

11.30am-12 noon
Nematode Application
Andrew Wilson and Martin Donnelly, ICL Professional Horticulture

The Role of Biostimulants
Nicolas Body, European technical manager, Alltech Crop Science

How far Can Smart IPM Go?
Fargro integrated pest management specialist David Hide and Fargro technical development specialist Ant Surrage

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