I have now been part of Penn State Extension, as Extension Educator in Floriculture, for almost 3 months. It is exciting to be involved with the excellent work set up by our Floricultural Board, and Alan Michael. I am learning a lot. I owe a debt of gratitude to the Pennsylvania Floricultural Advisory Committee, Alyssa Collins, Rob Berghage, Jay Holcomb, and Steve Bogash for carrying the program forward after Alan retired. I also wish to thank Carol Lee Shirk for her work as Trials Associate in assisting with the trials, keeping all the records in good order and maintaining an excellent web page. Also thanks to the Master Gardeners and Interns who have worked on the trials. It is my hope that all these good people are involved in the future, as we move into 2014. It is thrilling to be part of an excellent team.
2014 will bring a new group of plants into the trials: herbaceous perennials. These diverse and interesting plants have had a long association with horticulture in PA. There are also some interesting new developments coming to horticulture from this group of plants, such as the wonderful new varieties of Asters, Coreopsis, Echinacea, Heuchera, and Tiarella, to mention a few of the perennial genera that have been populating greenhouse and nursery retail areas in our state, and throughout the USA. Greenhouse growers are propagating and producing these plants in increasing numbers in Pennsylvania, and new introductions should be tested for their performance, and their hardiness. While a few of the perennial plants have come into the trials from seed production companies, many are being developed in the USA, and abroad, which are propagated by vegetative methods. One new introduction from Terra Nova Nurseries that did make the 2013 trials (Kniphofia Lemon Popsicle) was still sending up new flower stems on Oct 20. Now that’s performance!
The Southeast Greenhouse Growers Day, at Shady Maple is being finalized, and information on that event will be out and online soon. I am grateful for the superb assistance in arranging this event from our Board, and Steve Bogash particularly. Keep the date in mind January 23rd 2014! We have an interesting program planned, with some great speakers, and hope you all will attend.
I would like to thank all the folks who have supported the Floriculture Endowment in the past, and would like to encourage everyone to assist in growing that fund in the future. The endowment is an essential fund for the trials both now and in times to come. Pennsylvania’s horticultural industry needs these trials which also contribute significantly to the national data on plant performance, and in turn enables industry to select the best plant introductions for production.
For more information please consult our website (Trialgardenspsu.com) or contact me: Sinclair Adam, at [email protected], or call the Lebanon Extension office 717-270-4391, or my cell 802-309-3814. Thank you all, and lets have a great 2014!