This week I’ve braced the icy January weather to go planthunting! Where, you might ask… The arctic? The mountains of Canada? No. A network of trade halls in Germany! This is IPM Essen, one of the most important European horticultural trade shows of the year.
Here are some highlights, mostly in picture form!
It’s all about catching visitor attention! With 1000’s of buyers, product developers and nursery owners walking through the doors, you have to have the wow factor on your stand. These hearts do the trick; Kalanchoe continue to be developed (top photo), with many different flower forms, and even being used as cut flower! And I absolutely love the double-flowered Mystery Lady Asters (bottom), but unfortunately they flower far too late outdoors in the UK!
And how about some new shapes for flowers?? Firstly, look at this, the a Popcorn Hydrangea! The crinkly, curled blooms are in PVC pink, and are produced on new and old wood, and supplier says will bloom for 150 days in total! Then, we have some new frilly, pastel splashed primroses, which completely change the look of this spring bedding specimen!
Succulents are making a soft comeback too, and one particular stand at Essen seems to have a very welcome addiction to them! Just look at the range available, I particularly love the Crassula ‘Buddha’.
Then, how about some new colour breaks… there’s a BLUE version of Primula ‘Gold Lace’. Plus, we have a new Bidens is punchy two-tone orange and yellow, this will be a welcome change to hanging baskets and window boxes.
Then, lastly, here are a couple of spoof plants seen at the show. Can you tell us why everything isn’t what it seems in these 2 photos…???