Each April thousands prospective flower buyers descend on flower and vegetable seed companies from Salinas to Gilroy, where clients are invited to take in new developments where traditional breeding programs offer home gardeners the latest developments in flower color, disease tolerance and environmental improvements.
Over the past ten years the flower trials have grown in popularity and attendance. Originally only about five seed companies participated in the California trials. Today, over 20 companies from Salinas to Gilroy open their greenhouse doors to prospective buyers and put on their most remarkable flower displays.
Following the tours, several seed companies donate their displays to various charities in their respective communities. Goldsmith Seeds in Gilroy, now owned by Syngenta, is known for the largest community flower sale, where hundreds of Rotarians run the charitable event in Gilroy to benefit youth programs and to fund scholarships for students in the Gilroy Area.
For the past few years Sakata has donated their displays to benefit the pets in the Salinas area, where a weekend sale is open to the public and proceeds are donated to the Salinas Animal Services on Hitchcock Road in Salinas.
This year the SeedX Lab staff was thrilled to be invited by several clients to attend this year's flower trials.
Most popular this year appeared to be the trend toward companion gardening; where edible flowers and vegetables are grown in beautiful displays that promote healthy eating and local growing.
The 2016 SeedX Lab Staff pick for their own personal gardens this year: Sakata's SunPatiens, which are grown, bred and sold with integrity to traditional breeding programs and which offer home gardeners the beautiful and prolific look of impatiens capable of growing in hot sunny garden locations.
SeedX Lab Staff Pick for best outside display, goes once again to Goldsmith Seeds , now Syngenta, in Gilroy .
If you ever wonder what happens to all the flower seed tested in California... much of it may end up helping to make our home gardens a bit more beautiful.