Fleuroselect's 52nd Annual Convention admires floral splendour in East England

Over 100 participants from 11 different countries traveled to Stoke by Nyland near Colchester, United Kingdom, to attend the 52nd Fleuroselect Convention from July 3 to 6.

The Convention is the key annual event for members to spend time networking with industry friends and colleagues as well as visiting member facilities, plant trials, and local horticultural highlights. This year's event was organized together with the Fleuroselect office by Fleuroselect Board member Simon Crawford from Burpee U.K.

Trial Fields at Mr. Fothergill's Seeds and Floranova
Fleuroselect members Mr. Fothergill's Seeds and Floranova co-hosted this year's company visits. At Floranova, part of the Syngenta group, the delegates viewed the highlights of the breeding program, including the new introductions for 2024 and many Fleuroselect winners. At packet seed producer Mr. Fothergill's Seed, the group viewed trials of varieties in their large assortment and visited the latest facilities in seed packaging. Each of the visits also included a Fleuroselect annual trial where the judges could view the entries submitted this year for Fleuroselect Gold Medals and/or Novelty Protection.

A visit to RHS Hyde Hall
The RHS Garden Hyde Hall was one of the highlights of the program, where the delegates were able to enjoy a tour of the beautiful landscape, including the dry garden. The group was particularly interested in the Floral Fantasia garden set up by the late Peter Seabrook and now sponsored by the horticultural industry. This garden shows the wide variety of bedding plants available from many key breeders, including numerous Fleuroselect Gold Medal and FleuroStar winners. It also showcases the ‘2023 year of the Salvia' with over 100 varieties on trial from both seeds and cuttings for RHS Awards of Garden Merit.

Fergus Garrett: colorful plantings stimulate biodiversity
The Convention's Keynote was given by Fergus Garrett, an influential horticultural educator and famous head gardener at Great Dixter. By using examples from this delightful English garden, he was able to show how wildlife and colorful plantings can be a successful combination in maintaining and stimulating biodiversity. Great Dixter recently undertook an extensive biodiversity audit of the buildings and grounds, proving their great potential as a model for the integration of biodiversity conservation within the heart of horticulture and gardening.

Philipp Klein Samen and Seedlynx join the organization
At the Annual General Meeting held at RHS Hyde Hall, two companies were accepted into the Fleuroselect membership. Philipp Klein GmbH is a family company and has been producing seed packets for retailers and consumers in Germany since 1863. The company's key brands are Frankonia and Samen Pfann. Seedlynx is a breeder and distributor of sweet peas. The company sells bulk and packet seed of more than 200 varieties to growers, distributors, and retailers in the U.K. and Europe.

2024 Gold Medals handed over
Medals and certificates were awarded to the three 2024 Gold Medal winning varieties. Klaudia Benary-Redlefsen and Matthias Redlefsen of Benary collected the medal for Gazania rigens Zany Sunny-Side Up; Ard Ammerlaan of Prudac collected the medal for Lycopersicon esculentum Tiny Temptations F1 Orange and Henk van der Velde, breeder from Burpee Europe was on stage to collect the medal for Helianthus annuus Desire Red.

Elisabeth Sahin - Fleuroselect Laureat
Elisabeth Sahin was honored for her significant contribution to the floricultural industry. A former owner of the Sahin company, together with her late husband Kees, she introduced and commercialized many outstanding varieties from their extensive breeding program. These included both Fleuroselect Gold Medals winners and Novelties, and many are still available from Takii Seed both in their Home Garden assortment and in their professional range. Elisabeth is the first woman to receive this prestigious award.

Thank you Karol Pawlak
2023 will be the last year as President for Karol Pawlak of Vitroflora. He was thanked by the members with the gift of a specially engraved spade, after which he thanked the members of the Board, the secretariat, and all members of Fleuroselect for their support during his five years of presidency.

53rd Annual Convention 2024; Salzburg
Next year's Annual Convention will take place in Salzburg, Austria, and will be hosted by Renner Young Plants, partner of Florensis, and Gastager GmbH, partner of Selecta one.

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