Hortivations for 2010 – colour !

This is an annual industry event held at Ball Australia in Keysborough. The theme for this year was colour and I think after a few years of pointy and grassy plants, their is a definite trend towards smoother, rounded and colourful flowering groundcovers and bushy plants. These days of course it’s not just about the plants but also the peripherals like furniture and pots and the importance also of their style and colour.

The picture above is of a new dianthus from Touch Of Class, a company usually related to hardy cordylines and native shrubs. They can see the trend towards colour and have found a dianthus series that is long flowering and disease resistant.

Pictured below is another in the series.

One of the ideas for colour in the garden is to find a palette of shades that go well togethr and stick to them. Adding some silver in between may highlight the display, but ideally you need to be disciplined in plant selection to achieve a truly stunning result. Pictured below is some examples of how the exibiters at Ball have utilised this theory.




A plant that has been a good seller in the last few years have been calibrachoa. I think however their days are numbered. They are like a mini petunia and extremely floriferous. Breeders have now somehow crossed them with petunias and you get the mass of flowers, but the flowrs are bigger. They also have some of the unusual colours of the calibrachoa. These are sure to be very popular in future seasons.

Of course what would you call a plant that is a cross between a petunia and a calibrachoa – a petchoa of course !

Note in the picture, the smaller flowering calibrachoa at the bottom, and you can see the difference in flower size.

Another new plant pictured below is an unusually coloured rudbeckia. Its soft pink and white flowers are in stark contrast to the black and orange rudbeckias I am used to. At about 40cm high in a pot, it would probably make a nice backdrop plant.

It seems that black petunias are in. How did this happen ? Petunias should be vivid reds, blues, white and pinks – not black. Coming to a nursery near you however is Black Velvet, Bumblebee and Twilight as pictured below. These are vegetative petunias and so will be available in pots only and probably for next year. They flower for longer and are extremely vigorous – and black !

I never found out what this one was below, but it sure made an impressive hanging basket. Am figuring it is some type of nemesia, but maybe someone from Ball will get bak to me with some more info when they read this.

The final products for the show were the real show stoppers for me. It was an innovative idea that takes the colour combo work away from the grower and into the propagator’s hands. With this technology, they can now determine plant combo’s in a consistent fashio to all their customers across the world. What it involves, is a grower buying a young tube with a mix of two or three plants already combined in the plant. The result is a show stopper as seen in the photos below. The first has mixed calibrachoa purple with a pale blue bacopa.

Cutting material has been used, but I can see seed companies putting little capsules together with all sorts of annual combo’s as well. This could really see a resurrgence in flowering annuals. It also inspires us all to become more creative in our use of combining plants – either ones that contrast, or ones that blend similar tones. Below is calibrachoa red, white and apricot.

So there was plenty more to see, and some great industry functions. If any garden clubs or keen gardeners are reading this and would like to have a look next year, contact us at Gardenworld, and we will be happy to arrange a tour. But for Hortivations 2010, it was the fun of colour, and thats something gardening should be.

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