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Garden Centers of America:
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This Year's All-America Selections Winners 

Next Year's All-America Selections Winners

This Month's GCA Member Profile


2017 GCA Summer Tour Social Media Recap

The 2017 GCA Summer Tour traveled to Virginia at the end of June for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at garden centers' operations from Virginia Beach to Newport News to Richmond. In case you missed all of the coverage of this year's GCA Summer Tour, here are some of the highlights from social media:

"GCA Summer Tour adventurers found many intriguing, inspiring, creative and unique store solutions on this year's Virginia extravaganza. This 'alert bell' for customers to access store help at the Sneed's Nursery & Garden Center stop in Richmond, VA, caught the attention of many. This large, rambling outdoor natural sales area stretched out among huge native pines, where shoppers mingle with free-range chickens, can clearly produce the need for these 'call bells.' Excellent graphics and an area to write in the store's daily specials are executed with excellence! Well done, Sneed's! #GCAtour"

"On the 2017 GCA Summer Tour, attendees were quite taken with these unique fish topiaries. Note the 'flower' fish eye! By the way, the pink structural frames are actually painted and repurposed Monrovia-provided dark brown 'store-within-a-store' units. Nearly 100 attendees - 2 buses full - are enjoying perfect sunny and not-too-hot weather in the Newport News, Richmond and Virginia Beach area, touring leading garden centers and interesting local historical sites and taking in local color. #GCAtour"

"This afternoon, Jeff Morey, GCA Executive Director, announced that Seattle will be the destination of the 2018 GCA Summer Tour during the currently-running 2017 GCA Summer Tour in Virginia. Tour attendees expressed great enthusiasm upon hearing the news. Exact dates and more details will be released soon, according to Morey. #GCAtour"

"In an emotional announcement during the Closing Wine, Beer and Cheese Extravaganza on the 2017 GCA Summer Tour Virginia, Jeff and Cheryl Morey, Managing Directors of GCA, regretfully revealed that long-time friend and GCA Tour Leader Robert Hendrickson will be making this 2017 tour his last. But, Robert rushed to tell the attendees after exchanging hugs with the Moreys that - given the way rumors fly - the three remain close friends, and there is absolutely no riff between him and GCA management. Rather, Robert explained that he had wanted for years to buy a farm back in his native Missouri and raise veggies and goats, and spend lots of time with his grandkids. He has finally put all the elements together - now living on such a farm in Missouri - and it's time to ride off into the sunset, in regards to conducting the store tours any longer. The attendees applauded loudly, and Robert went on to say that he looks forward to completing this year's Monday Garden Center Tour at the IGC Show in Chicago this August - which he also leads - before adding that he hoped Jeff and Cheryl will accept his invitation to visit him and his wife, Wendy, 'on the farm' someday soon. So long, 'Roberto' ... happy trails! #GCAtour"



A HEARTY THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!

   
   
 

 
   


All-America Selections Names Three Winners for the 2018 Garden Season

All-America Selections, currently celebrating their 85th anniversary, announce three new and exciting national AAS Winners for the 2018 season. Each of the following varieties was trialed throughout North America by professional, independent volunteer judges who grew them next to comparison varieties that are currently considered to be the best on the market.

This new group of AAS Winners for the 2018 garden season includes:

Click here to view the new and previously announced AAS Winners.

Retailers and consumers will find these AAS Winners for sale as supply becomes available through the distribution chain.  

Corn, Sweet American Dream
AAS 2018 Edible Vegetable Winner
National Winner
AAS judges selected American Dream as their top trial choice, and it just so happens to come from the same company that introduced Honey 'N Pearl, an AAS winner from 1988. In a tight trial, American Dream was pitted up against Honey 'N Pearl and came through as the winner! With its excellent germination, very tender, super sweet kernels, this newbie will make a great addition to the home garden. American Dream matures slightly earlier than the comparisons and produces vigorous, healthy plants with cobs that have good tip fill of bi-colored kernels. Plants grow 6-7 feet tall and mature in 77 days after planting seed. Perfect fresh, roasted, grilled, canned or frozen. Bred by Illinois Foundation Seeds, Inc.

Ornamental Pepper Onyx Red
AAS 2018 Ornamental Flower from Seed Winner
National Winner
Onyx Red is one of those stunning double-take plants that steal the show! This breeding work has resulted in an unprecedented compact, well-branched ornamental pepper adorned with eye-catching dark black foliage. The contrast between the diminutive black foliage and tons of shiny red fruits is striking and makes a bold statement in the garden. Plants are vigorous, continually growing but retain their neat, compact habit, making Onyx Red a wonderful plant for beds, borders, containers and dramatic mass plantings. Naturally compact plants are perfect for a potted plant program as well as for an annual bedding plan where earliness and retail readiness are important factors. Bred by Takii & Co., Ltd.

Tomato, Cocktail Red Racer F1
AAS 2018 Edible Vegetable Winner
National Winner
Red Racer, a cocktail size tomato, produced small, uniform fruits with great taste in the AAS Trials. Cocktail tomatoes have a good sweet/acid balance and are a smaller variety tomato (although larger than cherry or grape tomatoes). These tomatoes are uniform in size and mature as a cluster of fruits. The compact determinate plants produced a huge yield 7-10 days earlier than the comparisons and are ideal for small space and container gardens. One judge summed up this winner saying "Red Racer is small in size but big in taste!" Bred by EarthWork Seeds, distributed by Garden Trends Wholesale.

Click here to read more information about these newly announced AAS Winners.



UPCOMING EVENTS

August 15, 2017 • Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
August 15, 2017 10:00 AM • Room 324, Navy, Pier, Chicago, IL
August 16, 2017 11:30 AM • Room 324, IGC Show, Chicago, IL

GCA MEMBER PROFILE:

Richard Ortega, Managing Partner Nick's Garden Center & Farm Market, Aurora, CO

Nick's Garden Center Relies On Fun In-Store Experiences to Navigate the Business Into the Future

Celebrating its 30th year in business, Nick's Garden Center & Farm Market has continued to be the go-to source for any gardening and landscaping needs for residents living in the Aurora, CO, area. As the 10-acre retailer heads into the future, the family leaders at the helm are implementing efforts that shift the focus from just what products they sell to what value they can add to customers' lives through fun, unique in-store experiences.

Like many independent garden centers throughout the country, Nick's is a family-run business. Nick Ortega Jr. and his son Randy Sr. opened the garden center in 1987. Nick's other son Richard would help out around the store while he was in high school, working on the weekends. (Pictured above, from left to right: Bert Gallegos, Randy Ortega Sr., Randy Ortega Jr. and Richard Ortega.)


After he graduated college in 1994, Richard joined his father and brother in the business full time. Now, the two brothers are Managing Partners. "I always had a passion for the business," Richard says.

As the retail landscape continues to evolve throughout the years, so does Nick's, which is starting to expand its portfolio beyond gardening and landscaping offerings to deliver that exceptional in-store experience that customers crave.

An on-site cafe, called Nick's Café, was added to the property four years ago. Not only does it provide an additional revenue stream, it also increases foot traffic, especially during slower months. "Shoppers tend to browse longer, therefore increasing the average dollar transaction," Richard says.

The retailer is currently in the process of revamping the store website to make it easier for Millennials and Gen Z consumers to navigate it and get the information they need to complete their gardening projects. The younger generations of shoppers especially demand a unique in-store experience from retailers these days. They also expect to communicate with brands over social media, so that's why Nick's has increased its marketing budget to advertise more on Facebook and other social media platforms.

Consumers love to shop with retailers that invest in the local community - it's the right thing to do, and the act of giving back resonates with customers. It signifies that the store cares about the community and wants to see it flourish.

Nick's increased its community outreach and support of local organizations, such as the Garden Centers of Colorado and Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association, to really show its customers how much it cares about the success of the area.

The IGC retailer is also part of another community - Garden Centers of America (GCA) - where it networks with other indie garden centers and discovers new ideas and strategies from the GCA Summer Tours. Everything contributes to improving the in-store customer experience and the business altogether.

"What I always take away from these visits to other garden centers is the way I get inspired and motivated," Richard says. "Sometimes we tend to get complacent by being at our store most of the time. Whether it's discussing problems that other owners are facing or sharing ideas, it's that networking aspect that makes our business better and stronger."

GCA is not only one of Richard's go-to sources for networking, but his window into what else is happening in garden retailing. "There are many benefits of being a GCA member," he says. "GCA provides a 'pulse' on the industry."

Aiming to Entertain & Inspire

There's always something happening at Nick's - the range of events keeps customers coming back for more and creates an entertaining in-store experience.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are sold every day from mid-June through the end of October at the store's Farm Market. There are two seasonal events that are the highlights of the year and well attended: Green Chile Fest and Fall Fest.

The Green Chile Fest takes place on a weekend in mid-September, when Nick's roasts and sells approximately 400 bushels of green chiles. Cooking demonstrations, live music and garden vendors giving out samples rounds out the customer-favorite event. There's even a green chile, or "chile verde," contest where customers can enter their homemade recipes for a cash prize and a spot in Nick's "Hall of Flame."

Fall Fest kicks off the first weekend in October, entertaining customers with the annual "Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off" contest, straw mazes, tractor rides through a haunted tunnel, jumping houses, pedal kart races, train rides around the store and more. The retailer does charge for these attractions. The Fall Fest is a big hit with children, drawing in many pre-school and kindergarten classes on field trips.

In addition to having a fun in-store experience, Nick's is known for its large selection of product, quality plants and great customer service, according to Richard.

"We empower our staff to take care of the customer first and foremost," he says. "Our ambiance is also special. We are here to inspire!"



Click here to read more Member Profiles.


All-America Selections Introduces 24 Exciting AAS Winners for the 2017 Garden Season

Anyone watching the movements of All-America Selections lately will notice an ever-increasing number of exciting and wonderful plants that are being named AAS Winners. This announcement is no different with 24 new plants that have been trialed by horticulture experts throughout North America and deemed worthy of the All-America Selections® brand. Each of the following varieties was trialed in North America by professional, independent volunteer judges during one growing season next to comparison varieties that are currently considered to be the best on the market.

This grouping of AAS Winners for 2017 includes:
Bean, Pole Seychelles (National)
Celosia Asian Garden (National)
Dianthus Interspecific Supra Pink F1 (National)
Fennel Antares F1 (National)
Geranium Calliope Medium Dark Red (National)
Okra Candle Fire F1 (National)
Pea Patio Pride (Regional: Southeast)
Penstemon Barbatus Twizzle Purple (Regional: Heartland and Southeast)
Pepper Aji Rico F1 (National)
Pepper Chili Pie F1 (National)
Pepper Mad Hatter F1 (National)
Pepper Sweetie Pie F1 (Regional: Heartland, Northeast and Southeast)
Petunia Evening Scentsation F1 (Regional: Great Lakes, Heartland and West/Northwest)
Squash Sugaretti F1 (Regional: Southeast)
Squash Winter Honeybaby F1 (Regional: Heartland)
Tomato Chef's Choice Yellow F1 (Regional: Southeast)
Tomato Midnight Snack F1 (National)
Tomato Patio Choice Yellow F1 (National)
Verbena EnduraScape Pink Bicolor (National)
Vinca Mega Bloom Orchid Halo F1 (National)
Vinca Mega Bloom Pink Halo F1 (National)
Watermelon Gold in Gold F1 (National)
Watermelon Mini Love F1 (National)
Zinnia Profusion Red (National)
 
With this announcement, these varieties become available for immediate sale to the commercial market. Brokers and growers can purchase these varieties immediately. Retailers and consumers will find these Winners for sale for the 2017 gardening season as supply gradually becomes available throughout the chain of distribution. 
 
A complete list of trial grounds and the judges behind our awards can be found here.
 
A complete list of all AAS Winners since 1932 can be found here. Note that this list of AAS Winners can be sorted by Flowers from Seed, Flowers from Cuttings, and Vegetables.

Bean, Pole Seychelles 
AAS 2017 Edible Vegetable Winner
National Winner

A Dutch breeder developed the Seychelles pole bean to produce long (5-6”), uniform, straight stringless pods with an excellent flavor. This AAS Winner produces high yields in multiple crops over the growing season and is easy to maintain. Whether grown in the garden or in a pot on the patio, Seychelles grows 7-9 feet tall on vigorous dark green vines and should be grown on supports, thus, its classification as a pole bean. Foodies, vegetarians, and vegetable-lovers will all enjoy this productive bean that is fast-growing and early-to-produce crisp delicious pods. Bred by Bakker Brothers/Pure Line Seeds, Inc. Click here for more information.

Celosia Asian Garden
AAS 2017 Flower Winner
National Winner
This spiked beauty claimed victory in North America’s trial sites to become the first ever AAS Winner from Japanese breeding company Murakami Seed. The judges gave this entry high marks in the greenhouse for the good branching, almost bushy growth habit and early to bloom flower spikes. In the garden, Asian Garden Celosia continued to bloom on sturdy stems, keeping the bright pink color all summer long, holding up even through some of the first frosts of the season. The AAS Judges commented on the fact that this celosia was a pollinator-magnet, making this AAS Winner a sure bet for pollinator-friendly gardens. Bred by Murakami Seed Co. Click here for more information.

Dianthus Interspecific Supra Pink F1
AAS 2017 Flower Winner
National Winner

Supra Pink joins its sister, 2006 AAS Winner Supra Purple, to give us two fantastic colors in an easy-to-grow interspecific dianthus for three-season (spring, summer, fall) garden color. This compact, bushy plant blooms prolifically with novel mottled pink flowers sporting frilly petal edges that hold up even in summer heat and drought. No deadheading needed on this winner. One judge attempted to deadhead this entry but it re-bloomed too fast to do so! Supra Pink grows to just under a foot in height but is a vigorous grower and will deliver fancy, clear pink flowers for a long time as observed over and over by the AAS Judges. Supra Pink was tested as an annual and won the award based on first-year performance, but similar to other dianthus, it may overwinter in some regions. Bred by Hem Genetics. Click here for more information.

Fennel Antares F1
AAS 2017 Edible Vegetable Winner
National Winner

This winner is a “First in Class,” as AAS has never before trialed and declared a fennel an AAS Winner. What is extremely fun about this winning plant is its many uses: as an edible bulb; for its ornamental fronds; as a seed producer; and as a favorite food of pollinators, namely swallowtail caterpillars. The AAS Judges described Antares as a very uniform, pure white, beautiful plant with a much improved, almost sweet, licorice/anise flavor as compared to other market varieties. It was also 7-10 days slower to bolt than comparison varieties. Many AAS Judges said they plan to plant this easy-to-grow fennel in their own gardens next year! Bred by Bejo. Click here for more information. 

Geranium Calliope Medium Dark Red
AAS 2017 Ornamental Vegetative Winner
National Winner

With an outstanding deep red velvety flower color and great branching habit, Calliope® was unmatched in the AAS Trials when compared to other market varieties. Calliope® Medium Dark Red geranium is an interspecific hybrid with zonal-type flowers and leaves. This AAS Winner has a mounded, semi-spreading growth habit with strong stems supporting the flower heads that are loaded with deep red blossoms. These plants work great in containers, combination plantings, hanging baskets as well as in an in-ground landscape. Gardeners will enjoy exceptional landscape performance in normal conditions as well as in more challenging high heat and drought conditions. Available in plant form only. Bred by Syngenta Flowers. Click here for more information.

Okra Candle Fire F1
AAS 2017 Edible Vegetable Winner
National Winner

A unique red okra with pods that are round, not ribbed, and a brighter red color than the reddish burgundy okras currently available. This high-performing AAS Winner received high marks for productivity, taste, texture and tenderness as well as the ornamental value of red pods on red stems. One judge noted that Candle Fire okra was quite maintenance free to grow, except for the frequent harvesting, which is a great thing! Candle Fire thrives in the heat and is disease resistant even in hot humid climates like the south where it’s perfect for traditional fried okra. Suitable for both fruit producing and ornamental usage. Aged fruit can be used in flower arrangements. Dry seed can be used as coffee (without caffeine). Bred by Known-You Seed. Click here for more information. 

Pea Patio Pride
AAS 2017 Edible Vegetable Winner
Regional Winner: Southeast

This compact beauty produces sweet, uniform pods that are very tender when harvested early. With only 40 days needed to maturity, Patio Pride can be one of your first spring harvests or one of the last fall harvests from your Southeastern garden! This pea is wonderful when planted in containers and is ideal for succession planting yielding a consistent harvest over many weeks. Plant in patio containers with cool-season flowers for a beautiful combination ornamental and edible display. Bred by Terra Organics. Click here for more information. 

Penstemon Barbatus Twizzle Purple F1
AAS 2017 Flower Winner
Regional Winner: Heartland and Southeast

Vibrant purple blooms present a new and unique color in penstemon! Twizzle Purple was judged as a first-year flowering perennial by judges who were impressed with the upright plant habit and superb flowering performance. This North American native blooms profusely with 1-inch tubular flowers on long slender stalks that grow up to 35 inches high, making this beauty a magnet for pollinators from mid- to late summer. Twizzle Purple can be used to add height to combination planters or in landscapes for high-impact color. Bred by Van Hemert & Co. Seeds. Click here for more information. 
 
Pepper Aji Rico F1
AAS 2017 Edible Vegetable Winner
National Winner

Aji Rico is the first of its kind: a hybrid hot pepper from the Capsicum baccatum species that matures early for short-season production or early summer enjoyment. The large plant produces many thin-walled, crunchy fruits which have a narrow conical shape. Fruit matures from green to red and can be eaten at any stage. “Ají” is the term for chili in South America. These fruits have a refreshing citrus flavor and warm heat level, perfect for eating fresh or cooking into salsas or hot sauces. Simply incorporate the desired number of seeds from the pepper to add some heat. Aji also dries well for a flavorful homemade flavorful “paprika.” Bred by PanAmerican Seed. Click here for more information. 
 
Pepper Chili Pie F1
AAS 2017 Edible Vegetable Winner
National Winner

A unique miniature Bell Pepper that is mildly hot when fruits turn red. These peppers are compact, easy to grow and adapt well to a container or small garden planting. Another plus is their dark green foliage and ability to set fruit even under hot humid conditions. Each plant yields 25 to 30 fruit and can be eaten fresh or cooked. “A word to the wise,” cautioned one judge, “plant these opposite side of your garden from your sweet bells – I only absentmindedly confused the two once!” Bred by Clover Seed Co. Click here for more information. 

Pepper Mad Hatter F1
AAS 2017 Edible Vegetable Winner
National Winner

This exotic pepper wins on uniqueness alone! However, the plant’s vigor, earliness, high yields, large size and awesome taste all contribute to its high score among AAS judges. Mad Hatter is a member of the Capsicum baccatum pepper species from South America commonly used in Bolivian and Peruvian cuisine. You can impress your friends by growing this pepper and showing off the novel three-sided shape and deliciously sweet taste. The taste has a refreshing, citrusy floral flavor that remains sweet, only occasionally expressing mild heat near the seeds. Be prepared for vigorous and robust plants that are easy to grow because they were bred for North America’s many growing conditions. Use your abundant harvest raw in salads, pickled or stuffed with cheese…a new favorite! Bred by PanAmerican Seed. Click here for more information. 

Pepper Sweetie Pie F1
AAS 2017 Edible Vegetable Winner
Regional Winner: Heartland, Northeast and Southeast

A miniature bell pepper that is easy to grow with excellent fruit set even under hot and humid conditions. An attractive plant that is well-adapted to a container and small garden growing. Fruits can be harvested 60 to 70 days from transplanting either in green or red. These small 3 oz cuties are 2.5 inches x 3 inches in size and are thick-walled, sweet and flavorful. These peppers can be eaten fresh, grilled, stir-fried or stuffed. The possibilities are endless. As one judge said, “A cute way to introduce bell peppers to kids.” Bred by Clover Seed Co. Click here for more information. 

Petunia Evening Scentsation F1
AAS 2017 Flower Winner
Regional Winner: Great Lakes, Heartland & West/Northwest

Evening Scentsation is the first petunia to receive an AAS award for its lovely fragrance and stunning color. This is “One of the best blue petunias I have seen, nice mounding and spreading habit. Excellent fragrance too!” wrote one judge. Evening Scentsation’s fragrance has notes of hyacinth, sweet honey and rose. As the name implies, the scent is stronger in the evening hours, though it can be experienced throughout the day as well. Scent is perceived differently by each individual. Evening Scentsation is a medium-sized multiflora type, reaching a height of 5-8 inches, and a width of 30-35 inches and will work well in containers, hanging baskets and in mass. Bred by Takii & Co. Click here for more information. 

Squash Sugaretti F1
AAS 2017 Edible Vegetable Winner
Regional Winner: Southeast

Sugaretti is a new spaghetti winter squash that prolifically produces a  generous crop of mid-sized orange-fleshed vegetables. These striped beauties are the perfect size for culinary gardeners who want to grow a great tasting, healthy fall treat on semi-bushy vines that spread only about two feet wide/long. The nutty sweet flesh (somewhat reminiscent of a sweet potato) can be used as a pasta substitute simply roasted or blended in soups.  Determinate vining plants have good disease resistance to powdery mildew and produce fruits slightly earlier than other similar varieties. Sugaretti produces so many fruits that it’s good that their hard shells protect the flesh for a long shelf life. Bred by Seeds By Design. Click here for more information.

Squash Winter Honeybaby F1
AAS 2017 Edible Vegetable Winner
Regional Winner: Heartland

Honeybaby is a very productive variety of winter squash producing numerous fruits on a compact plant. These shorter vines grow 2-3 feet in a semi-bush habit showing great garden vigor. Short, wide fruits are slightly larger, sweet and nutty and meatier than similar comparison varieties. Honeybaby is delicious steamed, baked or made into soups and stews. Bred by Seeds by Design. Click here for more information.

Tomato Chef's Choice Yellow F1
AAS 2017 Edible Vegetable Winner
Regional Winner: Southeast

The fourth addition to the popular Chef’s Choice tomato series is Chef’s Choice Yellow which produces hearty beefsteak type tomatoes in a beautiful yellow color. Tomato lovers and culinary gardeners will fall for this large meaty delicacy that has a sweet, citrus-like flavor with just the right amount of acid and the perfect tomato texture. AAS Judges raved about the quantity of the 10-ounce fruits that each 5-foot indeterminate vines produced. You’ll enjoy harvesting 30 or more fruits throughout the season from this disease (Fusarium Wilt, Verticillium wilt, Tomato Mosiac Virus, Crack, and Scab) resistant plant with dark green leaves and well-behaved form. You’ll be the envy of all your tomato-growing friends! Bred by Seeds By Design. Click here for more information.

Tomato Midnight Snack F1
AAS 2017 Edible Vegetable Winner
National Winner

Midnight Snack is a unique indigo-type cherry tomato that ripens to red with a beautiful glossy black-purple overlay when exposed to sunlight. This coloration comes from the accumulation of anthocyanin pigments, the same reason blueberries are blue and contain healthy antioxidants. The indeterminate growth habit means vines should be staked and, lucky for us gardeners, plentiful fruits will ripen all season long! Midnight Snack is great in salads or eaten straight off the plant…a guilt-free treat any time of the day or night. Judges commented on the improved taste of this indigo tomato and said this is a “Big improvement in purple tomatoes!” This novel AAS Winner matures earlier than the comparisons, is very easy to grow and will be a unique addition to any garden. Bred by PanAmerican Seed. Click here for more information. 

Tomato Patio Choice Yellow F1
AAS 2017 Edible Vegetable Winner
National Winner

Patio Choice Yellow is a new compact, determinate tomato developed specifically for small spaces and container gardens. This AAS Winner produces very large yields of 1/2 ounce bright yellow cherry tomatoes on short vines that grow only 18 inches tall. This mild flavored cherry tomato sets over 100 fruit on compact plants which are perfect for urban or small space food gardeners. Consider using these beautiful tomatoes either fresh or in the oven or sun dried for a deliciously sweet treat. For even easier picking, plant in a hanging basket. Bred by Seeds By Design. Click here for more information.

Verbena EnduraScape Pink Bicolor
AAS 2017 Flower Winner
National Winner

EnduraScape™ is described as “tough as nails” because it is the first verbena that can tolerate drought and heat plus survive cooler temperatures down to the low teens. This long-blooming pink bicolor verbena is spectacular in the landscape, edging a walk or border as well as in large containers and baskets. Vigorous plants are sturdy spreaders that pop with abundant soft pink blossoms that darken in intensity toward the center of the bloom. Pink Bicolor is the newest color in the series and the AAS Judges deemed it truly spectacular! Available in plant form only. Bred by Ball FloraPlant. Click here for more information.

Vinca Mega Bloom Orchid Halo F1
AAS 2017 Flower Winner
National Winner

Mega Bloom is an exciting new series of vinca bred to withstand heat and humidity without succumbing to disease. Orchid Halo produces huge bright rich purple blossoms with a wide white eye creating a striking look for the garden, even from a distance. Plants maintain a nice, dense habit with flowers staying on top of the foliage for full flower power color. Growers will like the early bloom time, compactness in the greenhouse and plant uniformity. Bred by AmeriSeed. Click here for more information.

Vinca Mega Bloom Pink Halo F1
AAS 2017 Flower Winner
National Winner

Mega Bloom is an exciting new series of vinca bred to withstand heat and humidity without succumbing to disease. Pink Halo produces huge soft pink blossoms with a wide white eye. These flowers present a striking look in the garden, even from a distance. Plants maintain a nice, dense habit with flowers staying on top of the foliage for full flower power color. 
Growers will like the early bloom time, compactness in the greenhouse and plant uniformity. Bred by AmeriSeed. Click here for more information. 

Watermelon Gold in Gold F1
AAS 2017 Edible Vegetable Winner
National Winner

“Eye-catching and fun” was one judge’s comment about “Gold in Gold” Watermelon. The fruit’s outer color is yellow with golden stripes while the inner flesh is a lovely orange/gold. Crisp texture with high sugar contents is also an advantage. This winner is an early producing, high yielding, and improved disease-resistant melon with a strong rind that resists cracking or bursting. The unique oblong shape of the 11-16 pound fruit makes it a perfect “icebox” watermelon and the tasty fruit is superior. Judges said, “We loved it!” Bred by Asia Seed Co. Click here for more information.

Watermelon Mini Love F1
AAS 2017 Edible Vegetable Winner
National Winner

This personal-sized Asian watermelon is perfect for smaller families and smaller gardens. Shorter vines (3-4 feet) still produce up to six fruits per plant and can be grown in smaller spaces. Several judges commented on the crack and split resistant rinds, important for reducing crop loss. For culinary purposes, this deep red fleshed watermelon has a thin but strong rind that can be carved into attractive shapes for fruit salad presentations. Mini Love has a high sugar content resulting in sweet and crisp, juicy flesh that will be a true summer delight for watermelon lovers. Bred by HM. Clause. Click here for more information. 

Zinnia Profusion Red
AAS 2017 Flower Winner
National Winner

This newest Profusion Zinnia winner is the fourth color in the single flower series to win the coveted AAS Winner award. The original Profusions were ground-breaking plants because of their compact form, disease resistance, early and continuous blooms all season long and ease in growing. Judges raved about the vibrant, perfectly true red color of this zinnia which doesn’t fade in summer’s intense rays. As one judge stated, “We have waited for years for this true red color in zinnias!” Gardeners will find many uses for the true red zinnia that’s easy to grow and a favorite of pollinators. Uniform plants and outstanding greenhouse and garden performance will be especially important for growers producing Profusion Red for retail sales. Zinnia Profusion Red is also a Fleuroselect Gold Medal Winner for garden performance in Europe. Bred by Sakata Seed Corporation. Click here for more information.

All-America Selections® was founded in 1932 and continues as the oldest independent testing organization in North America. Every year, new, never-before-sold varieties are trialed in our Trial Grounds and professional horticulturists determine which varieties will be deemed winners based on their garden performance. AAS relies upon a public relations program to inform gardeners about AAS National and Regional Winners that are announced three times each year.

©2017 Garden Centers of America
2873 Saber Dr.

Clearwater, FL  33759

800-721-0024
MemberServices@GardenCentersofAmerica.com

 The IGC Family

 
 
 

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