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Canadian annual plant grower Barbara Jeffery, Jeffery's Greenhouses:

"Mixed containers: popular in Canada, not in Europe"

"The FlowerTrials was a good opportunity to see what is and will be on the market," says the Canadian Barbara Jeffery of Jeffery's Greenhouse. She visited the FlowerTrials with a group of 14 women from North America, two weeks ago. During this event, 49 breeders and propagators promoted their new and existing varieties in the pot and bedding plant sector.

Barbara Jeffery of Jeffery's Greenhouse with Jillanne Johnson of Kurt Weiss Greenhouses at the FlowerTrials.

Differences and similarities in trends
"We have got a good impression of the market in Europe now," says Jeffery. She saw a couple of similarities and some differences regarding trends and varieties in pot and bedding plants. "The varieties that were nominated for the Fleurostar awards, for example, are also very popular in Canada and the US. Interestingly, mixed containers are not as popular in Europe as they are in Canada. I saw many hanging baskets filled with only one variety. Just a few containers were filled with mixed plants."

Next to learning about the trends and new varieties, she also gained some new marketing ideas. "Fortunately, we got the opportunity to visit some garden centers in the Netherlands. Some products are displayed differently in Europe compared to North America. This additional advantage of visiting the FlowerTrials opened our eyes and showed us new ways to market our products."

Right time
According to Jeffery the FlowerTrials was organized at the right time. "Our season is just finishing, so for me the event fitted my schedule perfectly. Besides that, our trip was organized which made it even more attractive to go." Dümmen Orange organized this trip to promote women and flowers. The group consisted of 14 women that are active in the floriculture industry. "Next to a travel group, it was also a networking group in which we could share our common interest and learn from each other regarding growing, marketing and selling pot and bedding plants."

Jeffery's Greenhouses
A diverse selection of Annuals and potted plants are grown at Jeffery's Greenhouses. "We start everything from seeds and cuttings ourselves", says Jeffery. The plants are grown at two locations in Ontario, in a greenhouse and in a polytunnel, with a total size of 20 acres. In the summer some garden mums are grown inside and outside. All plants are supplied to big box stores in the US and in Canada.

"At the moment, annuals are finishing shipping and the greenhouses is quickly filling up again with Garden mums. All in all we are pleased with our performance this year. This encourages us to focus on planting for next season." The majority of the plants will be planted in January. So, they will be ready by Mother's Day, which is a very important day for Jeffery's Greenhouses. "It is the busiest week of the year, and yes, even for annuals," she says. Jeffery's Greenhouse create their own Mother's Day concepts. Also for Mother's Day there are certain trends. "This year, we will try to present our annuals more as a gift and we are considering to add some accessories."

For more information
Jeffery's Greenhouses
Barbara Jeffery
Email: [email protected]