New and Upcoming Trends Spotted at the OFA Short Course

Trends are very important in any marketplace, and that is true as well in the world of ornamental horticulture. Here is what Michael Wells, our Garden Trends Marketing Manager spotted at the OFA Short Course this week:

At the OFA Short Course and throughout the trade show, many trends were apparent relative to food, small space gardening and sustainability.

As food is a priority in our lives, it wasn’t surprising to see that more garden centers are starting to offer gourmet food products along with fresh produce as part of their product line.  Some growers are adding produce field production to their operation while others are purchasing from other local farmers.

Small space gardening is hitting an all time high as both time and space are limited.  Raised beds and large containers of veggies have been seen alongside mixed containers of ornamentals.  One trend that is quickly spreading with women is Fairy Gardens.  These gardens are miniature habitats that may include houses, arbors, water features, seating and even tools that welcome enchanted fairies into your garden. 

Sustainability has really moved beyond a trend to a lifestyle, and many suppliers are using recycled materials now to develop containers and other everyday items.  Also consumers and garden centers are being creative and giving old items a new use… ladders may turn into shelving units and pallets could turn into vertical gardens! 

Trends come and go and we would love to hear what is causing a stir in your neck of the woods, or city block…



News from OFA

It’s mid-summer and we’re in the heat (so to speak!) of launching our 2012-13 growing and gardening season. Between planting and growing trials, preparing our two professional grower catalogs for ornamentals, and attending trade shows, there’s barely time to take a breath!

Members of the Harris Seeds staff are in Columbus, Ohio attending the OFA Short Course, probably the largest and most comprehensive trade show in the U.S. for the ornamentals business.

Jonathan Jones, our Southeast Regional Account Representative sends you the following message:

Hello grower and gardening friends from beautiful, sunny Columbus, OH!  As the morning sun rose on Sunday, I was reflecting on our first day at the OFA Short Course Conference. OFA (Ohio Floriculture Association) is an association of horticulture professionals, and every July they host the premier show for greenhouse operators and nurserymen. Growers and suppliers come from across the nation to find out what is new and exciting for the upcoming 2013 season. 

And what excitement there is!  This year alone there are well over 200 new varieties of plants from around the world.  New varieties range from indoor house plants to the best of varieties for the garden. The buzz of our booth so far has been about new Petunia Sophistica Lime Green.  The exceptional color of this grandiflora petunia has attendees stopping in their tracks. Whether used in mixed containers or even as a stand-alone garden element, it will have customers and gardening friends stopping for a closer look. 

Stay tuned to for more news from OFA in the next day or two!