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Ted Oorsprong, Northend Gardens:
Disney shows interest in Ontario grown Medinillas
Anna Ball of Ball Horticulture with Carrie Oorsprong and Ted Oorsprong at the Cultivate '15. On the right picture: Anna Ball with her Medinilla scarf. Last year, Northend Gardens made a partnership with Ball horticulture, who are presenting them in the US as pre-finished plants; "these plants are 6 to 8 weeks away from flowering," says Oorsprong.
"Last week, I met Melissa Shepherd, the one in charge of the Walt Disney World plant and flower decorations. I brought some Medinillas and she was very enthusiastic about the plant. The plants I brought are on trials now and in January, when we go to Florida to attend the TPIE, we will bring more plants, which will be put on trials for a year then," says Ted. According to Ted, the trials at Disney World are very strict. "Disney World have many plants on trials, but they will only proceed with the plant when it complies with all their strict requirements. They want to be 100% sure that the plants perform well," he says. Even though the plants still have to be trailed, Ted has good hopes that their Medinillas will be on display at Walt Disney World next year. "Shepherd already knew a spot where she can put them," he says.
Every year, the Medinilla is increasing in popularity. "Still, many people do not know the plant, but the sales are increasing year after year," he says. Also at the different exhibitions they attend, they have to explain to enthusiastic visitors what kind of plant it is. "At the Cultivate '15, for example, we displayed our Medinillas in the Innovation Corner of Ball Horticulture and other locations throughout the exhibition hall. Funny enough, during the show people came to our booth to ask us about the 'That plant they are seeing everywhere'" he laughs. Next to these positive reactions, they also received an official award for Medinilla Magnifica. "At the Farwest Show, which took place on August 27-29 in Portland, Oregon, we received the Retailers Choice award."
Medinilla Dolce Vita and Medinella Magnifica.
Northend Gardens is the only weekly flowering year round Medinilla grower in North America that is situated in Jordan Station, Canada (ON). Around 50% of their 2 ha sized greenhouse is used for their Medinilla production and 50% for spring bedding plants and hanging basket plants. Currently, they produce two varieties: Medinilla Dolce Vita and Medinella Magnifica. In the future, they are planning to expand their Medinilla assortment and production. "Our goal is to have 80 to 100 percent Medinilla production in 4 years."
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