If I learned one thing at this year’s Flower Trials, it’s that I’ll never get tired of going to this wonderful, creative, colourful event! However, I fortunately learned far more than that!
Flower Trials 2019, held across three regions in The Netherlands and Germany, uncovered lots of exciting trends that are about to take the plant industry by storm. From “enhanced” flowers to cherished nostalgia, there were plenty of things to talk about at this year’s event.
Here are five things that we can take away from Flower Trials 2019:
The world is sharing ideas
I was particularly excited to see so many different nationalities from all around the world at this year’s trials. It seemed more diverse than ever. The heart of horticultural innovation really is in Europe. It was fantastic to see so many different nationalities swapping ideas and being inspired.
Remixing old hits is the new trend
It felt like a trip down memory lane during this years flower trials for me. Many of the plants that I grew as a child were now here in full updated glory. New breeding has managed to improve many forgotten plants, the best cases in point are Coleus and Celosia. These are now fully fledged outdoor patio plants, and available in a dazzling range of colours. My 13 year old self would be super happy!
World news is driving plant innovation
Some locations were remarkably busy this year. I soon realised that there were particularly busy areas around topical plants. A rush of royal weddings using peony flowers has really elevated this cut bloom, the peony location was packed out with people. Likewise, houseplants are very much in vogue and the companies are responding to this too.
Faux is okay!
There was a time when it was social suicide to have artificial flowers in your home. However, technology has developed and tastes have changed, and we can now enjoy “enhanced flowers”. Judgement also seems to have relaxed over the use of faux.
Whilst there is still some discussion about sustainable materials, people do have a genuine need to turn to artificial blooms now and again, due to allergies for example. So, where plant breeding can’t do the job, it seems that ink dye and spray paint can.
We are eating more of what we grow
With more and more people looking to grow their own fruit and vegetables, the companies have really developed their ranges. Not only are they adding herbs, vegetables and small space crops, but they are also investigating which of their flowers are edible too!
This new wave of urban edibles is really resonating well with consumers. And there were plenty of opportunities to see the plants, AND taste the varieties during this year’s trials. From wasabi to white strawberries, it was all total yum!
Did you have a favourite trend from the Flower Trials 2019? Head to their Instagram account to see more photos from the event!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.