2020 Australian Horticultural Trials Week

By Gabrielle Stannus

With COVID-19 restrictions easing and state borders opening, Nursery & Garden Industry Victoria (NGIV) are hoping that the 2020 Australian Horticultural Trials Week will cap off what has been a challenging year for the industry.

David Reid, NGIV’s Policy and Technical Manager, says that the Australian Horticultural Trials Week is an opportunity for all members of the greenlife industry to discover exciting new lines, visit some of Australia’s finest propagators and growers and enjoy networking with industry colleagues from across the country.

“Trials Week is all about bringing the industry together, with a focus on innovative and good quality products. It is different for different markets,” says David, “For the wholesalers, the week is about the plants that are available from the propagators either this year or whenever they come online with volume. For the allied traders, it is an opportunity to showcase other materials and products that they have.”

“For the retailers who can come along, it is an opportunity to get a sneak peak of these new plants and products that are going to be out there,” David continues, “It is invaluable to propagators to hear retailers’ thoughts on these products because they are at the front line with regards to the consumer.”

NGIV are excited to announce that many exhibitors will be opening their doors during Trials Week given the recent relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria.

Ball Australia

According to Kate Grant, Ball Australia’s Marketing Manager, 2020 has been a demanding year. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. “COVID-19 has allowed for the capture of a new market. People in lockdown found new interests at home and in the garden. Whilst we anticipate that there will be some drop off as lockdown ends, we expect significant retention of these new greenlife consumers going forward,” says Kate.

To cater for this growing market, Ball Australia will be showcasing a variety of new releases in their indoor displays and external garden beds during Trials Week. “Evergreen (indoor foliage) and flowering colour will be the core focus of our displays,” says Kate. ‘You Can’t Stop the Flowers – Nobody Can Stop the Colour’ will be making a show.

During Trials Week, Balls’ gardens will open from 9am to 4pm, Tuesday to Friday. Attendees will be temperature checked upon arrival and will need to register before they can enter the display areas. Growers or retailers unable to attend in person will be able to view the displays through video streaming on social media.

Haars Nursery
“We have excellent relationships with international breeders and are pleased to be showcasing a very exciting range of new breeding suitable for retailers and landscapers,” says Brendan Haar, General Manager of Haars Nursery.

Haars Nursery will be open by appointment only during Trials Week, displaying varieties successfully trialled in the European and United States markets. Their displays will include landscaping and structural plants, seasonal colour and indoor colour. “We have a number of new ranges, including PAC pelargoniums and new kalanchoe breeding from Europe which are very tight, heavy flowering, suitable for patio and indoors. These kalanchoes can cope with heat and have amazing colour,” says Brendan. Landscape plants of note include FanciFillers™ varieties such as Plectranthus ‘Guacamole’ and Althernanthera ‘Choco Chill”.

Trade Day to go ahead
NGIV’s Trials Week Trade Day will go ahead as usual on Tuesday 1 December, between 7am - 10m, at the Caribbean Gardens in Scoresby, Melbourne.

Trials go online
In 2020, many exhibitors will also have an online presence throughout Trials Week, showcasing their displays via social media, video, Zoom or similar. So, if you cannot travel to see these displays in person, you can still get a sneak peak of new plants and products about to hit the market.

Further information
For a full list of the 2020 Australian Horticultural Trials Week events, exhibitors, opening times and conditions, and online experiences, visit www.horticulturaltrials.com.

Visit Health Direct’s COVID-19 Restriction Checker for up-to-date information on travel restrictions in your state and/or territory.