Earlier this month I had the opportunity to take a trip to OFA Short Course in Columbus, Ohio. It’s one of the best experiences I’ve had all summer! What makes the Short Course different than most events is that it combines all layers of the horticultural industry — you see folks who build commercial greenhouses, who sell high-tech machinery to big growers, plant breeders, plant growers, distributors, and the like.
It feels tailored to plant growers and retailers. In fact, there were lots of cool displays (the one shown here was in the lobby of the convention center) to help give garden center owners ideas on how to set up their shop. And my favorite, there were displays of hot new plant varieties (look for them to be profiled here on BHG.com in the upcoming months!).
It’s a big show, and many fantastic companies where there, including:
- Bailey Nurseries (which offer Endless Summer hydrangeas and the First Editions line of plants)
- Ball Horticultural (which offers Wave petunias, along with more new and cool plants than I can count, such as Wedding Gown hydrangea)
- Proven Winners (which now offers annuals, perennials, and shrubs)
- Plants Nouveau (which has brought us plants like super-cool ‘Hot Papaya’ coneflower, ‘Delft Lace’ astilbe’, and ‘Stainless Steel’ coralbells)
- Sakata (which brought us SunPatiens and one of my favorite new annuals, Supercal line of xPetchoa)
- Suntory Flowers (breeders of SunParasol mandevillas, and a ton of other fantastic annuals)
- Hort Couture (one of the most exciting new companies, dedicated to bringing plants to independent garden centers; I’m in love with their line of Under the Sea coleus!)
- Fall Creek Nursery — my new friends who are offering Brazelberries (including the dwarf, thornless Raspberry Shortcake)
Watch for us to write about new plants, products, and trends inspired by the show here on BHG.com!