Urban gardening was the theme of Fleuroselect’s 8th Home Garden Conference that took place on 21-22nd September in Paris. Approx. 75 seed breeders and distributors for the home gardening market from 10 different countries enjoyed a well-balanced programme of professional visits and inspiring speakers.
Compact or climbing
Host of the Conference was the French seed breeder HM.Clause who, in addition to its professional activities, also specialises in both flower and vegetable seed for the hobby market. The company invited the Home Garden Conference participants to discover the latest HM.Clause assortment in Le Grand Jardin, their summer trial case which was set up on a magnificent roof top terrace in Montmartre. Fully in line with the urban gardening trend, HM.Clause mainly showed compact and climbing varieties that fit perfectly on city balconies and patios. Echinacea Feeling Pink and Lupine MiniGallery Blue, both Fleuroselect Gold Medal winners, now also allow city inhabitants to enjoy these varieties in the outside space of their homes. The richness in fruits of the tomato and paprika climbers turn these varieties into a real must-have for urban terraces. Also the new, one-person sized watermelon climbing plant Mini Love caught the eye of many participants. A tasting session of the vegetable varieties made the experience complete.
French market meets horticultural therapy
Keynote speaker of this year’s event was Lodewijk Hoekstra, a Dutch television gardener who shared his vision on urban gardening. Ghislain Bousseau of the Bureau Regional Horticole gave us interesting facts and figures on the French market and journalist/horticultural therapist Isabelle Boucq introduced the group to the many benefits and applications of horticultural therapy including those for the sick and elderly. Antoine Jacobsohn, Director of Le Potager du Roi, gave a highly interesting presentation on the use of plants in the city in the past and in the future.
From Zinnia to Marigold
Within the framework of the ‘2017 Year of the Zinnia’ marketing campaign, the delegation visited the magnificent Jardin des Plantes where approx. 130 Zinnia varieties of Fleuroselect members were lined up to inspire the French and international visitors of the park. Wild varieties were added to the trial to underline the improvements in flower size, flowering period and disease resistance of the cultivated varieties. The 2018 Plant of the Year campaign will focus on Marigold and Pepper. Fleuroselect will offer logos, images and banners, all free of charge, to promote the sales of existing marigold and pepper varieties. Trials showing the entire membership’s Marigold varieties are again planned in Wisley (UK), Jardin des Plantes (FR), the island of Mainau (GE) and the Egapark in Erfurt (GE) for the 2018 season.