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Aug 17, 2023

Summer Tradeshow Recap

Marion Meesenburg
Marketing Specialist

Let’s talk trade shows! Cultivate'23 and the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) — Darwin Perennials participated in both, and in case you weren’t there, read about the details below.

Columbus Ohio, July 16-19
I have to say, Darwin Perennials had the best booth ever. The layout, the color and the messaging were extraordinaary. Someone even expressed interest in painting a picture of the booth. See for yourself!

Walking into the space, you were greeted by a beautiful landscape display of Centaurea Silver Swirl. Look how the silver makes all the other colors pop in this mixed planting and in the containers. The blues are richer and the reds are deeper. Silver Swirl truly goes with everything and can be purchased as an unrooted cutting from Darwin Colombia or through the perennial liner supply chain. Silver Swirl also won a 2023 Retailer’s Choice Award from The Garden Center Group, who judged products right from the show floor.

Pivoting 45 degrees, you could not miss the Echinacea Double Scoop Deluxe display. WOW what colors, what uniformity and it’s all reliable first-year flowering. Visitors were touching the plants to make sure they were real. The same breeding Darwin Perennials used for the popular Echinacea Sombrero series has been incorporated into the new Double Scoop Deluxe varieties. The two existing colors, Orangeberry and Raspberry, have been upgraded to Deluxe and the two new colors are Watermelon and Strawberry. Watermelon Deluxe brought home the second award of the day and was also named a 2023 Retailers’ Choice Award winner!

Turning towards the back of the booth, the entire wall was lit up with our Better Versions concept, which drives home the message of Better Blooming, Better Performance and Better Availability.

Better Versions is a new marketing campaign targeted toward the landscape industry to promote updated versions of open varieties. Darwin Perennial’s Better Versions have been trialed and evaluated for landscape performance across the U.S. and have been available commercially for up to five years. The three plants in our Better Versions are:

Lavender 'SuperBlue' — better than 'Hidcote' because of bigger blooms and better habit in the landscape

Nepeta Junior Walker — better than 'Walker’s Low' because of earlier blooming in the landscape and a better habit that won’t lodge open.

Salvia 'Blue by You' — better than Salvia May Night because of earlier blooming, better habit and more reflushes throughout the season.

The buzz around our booth was non-stop! Hope you were there to see it.

Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada, July 24-28

Darwin Perennials was not solo at the PPA this year. Kieft Seed, our sister company, recently joined the PPA and it made perfect sense to share a booth. Kieft Seed is a breeder and producer of seed perennials whereas Darwin manages perennials from unrooted cuttings and tissue culture.

Kieft and Darwin also joined forces recently to build the First-Year-Flower Tool.  Now seed and vegetative perennial schedules are combined on the same interactive tool to take the challenges out of scheduling perennials.

The PPA had a great line up of tours, educational sessions, and welcomed visitors from all over the United States, Canada, and Europe. It’s a great way to take part in a trade show and to continue learning on so many levels. We had a plethora of plants at registration and in our booth. Some featured are (from Kieft Seed) Echinaceas from the Artisan Collection as well as 'Cheyenne Spirit'; Leucanthemum Madonna; and Lavender Blue Spear. From Darwin Perennials, we showcased Echinacea Double Scoop Deluxe; Centaurea Silver Swirl; Polemonium Golden Feathers; Heuchera Carnival series; and Salvia 'Blue by You'. Check out photos of our booth below, and we hope to see you all in Asheville, North Carolina, next year!

Tags: trade shows
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