Russia: 'The Best Flowers in the World' event concludes 6th edition

In the Southern Urals in Magnitogorsk, in the largest park under construction in Russia, 'Prityazheniye,' the flower festival of the project 'The Best Flowers of the World,' was held. The project is organized by the TV channel TV IN, the city club of gardeners, and the city club of flower growers and is unique in Russia. The project is being implemented for the 6th season. The aim of the project is to conduct variety tests of various flower crops, as well as floriculture technologies in the harsh conditions of the forest-steppe of the Southern Urals. And as a result, it provides recommendations for amateur and professional flower growers on a modern assortment of flowers and methods of their cultivation.

The climate of the Southern Urals is sharply continental, making it difficult to grow all plants. The first builders of Magnitogorsk at the beginning of the last century created a park of iron-forged palm trees in the city under construction due to the inability to create a park with live trees in the steppe. But the climate in the world is getting even tougher, and this year the testing of flowers in the project was especially difficult. The heat with dry steppe winds at a temperature of +39C, soil temperature up to +60C, air humidity up to 12%, and an ultra-violet index of 8 then for 1-2 days was abruptly replaced by prolonged 2-week cold spells with heavy rains up to frosts and freezing rains in mountainous areas. Then the cold was replaced by abnormally hot weather again, while in the Southern Urals, temperature maximums were updated in 72 cities, and the temperature reached +42C. At the Flower Festival, varieties were presented that withstood these tests in open areas and were decorative.

Garden begonias elatior, garden begonias rex, petunias, pethoa, calibrahoa, ayugas, sedums, coleuses, thyme, highlander, cereals, and viola were presented at the festival. The winning varieties of tests of previous years and novelties were presented. The visitors of the Flower Festival have chosen the 'Most attractive flowers' of the festival, but the final competition for the 'Best flowers of the season' will end only at the end of the season following the results of the entire season.

'The most attractive flowers' of the festival were begonia elatior BK Vermillion Red (Beekenkamp), petunia Itsy Purple (Syngenta), ayuga Black Scallop (Danziger).

The project 'The Best Flowers of the World' is unique because no one conducts flower tests in the region. The latest recommendations of scientific and special institutions on the sorting of flower crops for the Southern Urals were given in the 70s and 80s of the last century. Since then, the climate has changed, numerous varieties of flower and ornamental crops have been bred, and new types of plants and technologies have been introduced into floriculture. Testing the best flowers in the world in the project allows you to determine varieties, plant species, and technologies suitable for growing in the Southern Urals.

The project is unique for Russia in that it is a public project that cooperates with professionals from all over the country and the world. More than 40 specialists from among the members of the horticulturists' and flower growers' clubs of Magnitogorsk, Chelyabinsk, Yuzhno-Uralsk, Uchaly, Beloretsk, professional flower growers of the Ural region, the garden company "Victoria" were involved in the variety testing of flower crops and testing of new technologies. Variety testing of flower and ornamental crops is carried out on three types of test sites: household and garden plots, streets of cities and towns, and industrial sites. The project tests flowers in very harsh conditions at the industrial site of the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works. Metallurgical dust and gas pollution are completely new types of stress for flowers, statistics on which are not kept anywhere in the world. In addition, flowers are also tested on the territory of gas stations of the company "Profit," where there is also a very high gas content in the air. Such strict conditions for the selection of flowers allow us to recommend flowers for urban gardening in other regions. Information on the tests of begonias elatior Solenia in the project was used by professionals-gardeners of the greenest resort city of Russia, Kislovodsk.

The main partner and consultant of the project is the Egorjevskiy Plant Production Company. It is he who supplies flowers for the project and gives recommendations on growing flowers. Also, partners of the project are the garden company 'Victoria,' Magnitogorsk Iron&Steel Works PJSK, the Gas Stations Network 'Profit,' City Resort 'Prityazheniye,' the company 'Organic Mix,' the Center for Music Education 'Kamertohn.' Together with these organizations, tests of flowers are carried out in the city and on industrial sites. In addition, at the test sites of the project partners, residents of the city form an opinion about what kind of greening of cities in the Southern Urals is possible.

Over the past five seasons, more than 300 varieties of perennial and annual flower and ornamental crops have been studied within the framework of the 'Best Flowers of the World' project. Initially, varietals were ordered chaotically into the project, but recently, flowers that have already been selected by professionals from all over the world at Trials and various international competitions have been tested most often in the project. The selection of the most resistant novelties for the project is also carried out by the Yegoryevsky Plant Production Company.

In addition to flowers, the project studied various cultivation technologies, soils, fertilizers, growth stimulants, and plant protection products from diseases and pests. The project provides recommendations for growing flowers for the climate of the Southern Urals and for urban landscaping. For example, container gardening in a very hot climate is possible only with the protection of the root system from overheating, it is impossible to exclude the possibility of over-drying of soils in urban gardening, therefore, soils should not change volume over-drying, and even during periods of prolonged cold spells, soils should be free of pathogenic organisms. The soils of Klassman, Agrobalt, and the soils of the Buisky Chemical Plant have proven themselves very well in the project. For each crop, soil mixtures have been experimentally selected according to the parameters. As a water-retaining element, the blue clay of the Organic Mix company has proven itself well. Fertilizers based on brown seaweed and fertilizers based on autolysis from salmon of the Organic Mix company were successfully tested as bio stimulators for flowers in the project.

Every year, the 'Best Flowers of the World' project has several exhibitions where it demonstrates the achievements of world floriculture. Seminars and conferences for amateur and professional flower growers are regularly held.


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