This year I made a special trip out to California to check out the Northern section of the horticulture industry’s California Spring Trials (CAST). While there I was able to be a part of our client’s celebration of their new plant varieties—and soak up the sunny skies and warm air of the farming towns of Gilroy, Salinas, Santa Cruz and Watsonville. CAST is a way for plant breeders to showcase their new varieties and trial gardens with the goal of them becoming a mainstream product. The team at BatesMeron has been working with our horticulture clients to help prep and prepare them for the annual event. From signage, take-aways, invitations, brochures, point of sale pieces (tags, bench cards and posters) and eblasts, we put on our horticulture hats to provide marketing support that stands out from the pack.
Brokers, distributors, purchasing managers, garden center managers, growers, publishers, educators, suppliers and many other professionals make their way to the California Spring Trials each year to learn about new and exciting plant material and plant “recipes,” along with growing, availability and other cultural and business information. I joined in part of the Northern (self-paced) tour for two days to see gardens and talk with industry pros, including Benary, Cultivaris, Danziger, Hishtil, Sakata, Sunset, Terra Nova and Western Pulp.
Below are just a few of the many highlights from my trip.
Since an Airstream could not fit in the building, Pacific Plug & Liner brought in this small camper to help make the event more festive. (Everyone at the event wanted to hold meetings in it.) The signage for Echibeckia Summerina was designed by BMSD, which showcased the microbrand we helped create.
Hula Berry made its debut at CAST this year. The white strawberry, which many say tastes more like a pineapple than strawberry, was the most recent microbrand BMSD has worked on with PP&L—completing the project just in time for CAST.
Another client, Cultivaris, showcased their exciting new varieties at PP&L this year. The uniform signage and bright colors really popped—grabbing everyone’s attention.
Hot off the printer, Cultivaris had plenty of new brochures to hand out to CAST goers. The 2014 New Varieties brochure is filled with the industry’s most impressive and beautifully unique plants, making their appearance at CAST a must-see event.
In Salinas, I got my first glimpse of the finished POS signage we worked on for Sakata’s SuperCal Petunia. The signage was as vibrant and the flowers.
Also at Sakata, I really wanted to take one of the sunburst-shaped tags for SunPatiens home with me. They truly were a hit, and surely will be in garden centers.
One of the biggest stops during my trip was to Benary. A leading breeding company across the globe, Benary is known for premium plants, and from my experience, breathtaking garden and landscape views.
Benary had plenty of great ideas for garden centers, including a graffiti wall that anyone could spray on.
Even with all of the amazing plants, it was the people who made the trip!
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