29 June 2022
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Plant Novelties Get The Industry Votes!


This year’s Blue Flag results have been a clear victory for novelty patio plants

Visitors to the Ball Colegrave Summer Showcase voted for their favourites and it was certainly the year for varieties which can make a bold statement on their own. Here are three of the top plants ...

NEW Panicum ‘Frosted Explosion’
Panicum elegans

An exciting ornamental grass that looks beautiful in mixed containers, gardens and bedding schemes.

These architectural plants produce flower plumes that have an airy appearance that resemble exploding fireworks. ‘Frosted Explosion’ is a most adaptable grass which looks fitting in classic cottage gardens or contemporary landscapes. Height and spread: 24 - 40” (60 - 80cm).

Why not try ‘Frosted Explosion’ in mixed bouquets ... it makes a wonderful cut flower ‘filler’!

NEW Begonia‘Gryphon’
Begonia x hybrida

The Gryphon is a mythical creature with the head and wings of an eagle, and the body of a lion. This superb foliage Begonia combines the same majestic beauty with strength and durability. This unique plant delivers plenty of "WOW" as it makes a dramatic garden statement in mixed or solo patio containers. The large hand-sized deeply cut, silver spotted leaves of Begonia Gryphon bring a tropical feel to any garden. It also makes for a great houseplant.

These easy-care, low-water plants tolerate dry conditions better than Rex Begonia. They are perfect for a partially shaded location in the garden and will make even the less ‘green-fingered’ of gardeners look an expert and the envy of their neighbours.

Begonia Gryphon grows 35 – 40cm tall with a spread of 40 – 45cm.

NEW Petunia ‘Phantom’
Petunia x hybrida

Petunia ‘Phantom’ is a unique black and yellow variety guaranteed to bring style to any setting!
Give garden a stylish edge with pinwheel-stripe ‘Phantom’ Petunias. Sleek and sophisticated, this astonishing new Petunia has a black base colour with a distinctive yellow star, blushed around the edges with a dark purple pink. Many people don’t consider mixing black into their garden colour palette, but it looks great in containers and window boxes. This new annual is easy to grow and has a long blooming season.

has the appearance of a chic lady, but requires much less maintenance! Far from being demanding, these beautiful Petunias continue to flower through the warmest Summers, and thrive in slightly dry conditions. With an upright, mounding habit and good weather resistance, this unique variety will add a touch of class and draw admiring (and envious) glances all round! Plants reach 30 cm in height and spread, and flower profusely from May to the first frosts.

NEW Petunia ‘Pinstripe’
Petunia x hybrida

This distinctive Petunia adds a stylish and sophisticated look to mixed containers, with each of the dark purple blooms showing off a cream white star pattern.

The market is hungry for novelty flowers and the recent breeding innovations of PetuniaBlack Velvet’ and ‘Phantom’ have paved the way for more cutting edge genetics. Now gardeners can look out for ‘Pinstripe’ to add to the emerging collection of Black Petunias from Ball Colegrave.

With an upright, mounding habit and good weather resistance, this unique variety will add a touch of class and draw admiring (and envious) glances all round!

A perfect fit as a solo planted basket or patio container. Alternatively pick up the pink, cream and purple colours in the stripe to add complementary flowers for stunning combination plantings.

Height and spread: 8 - 12” (20 - 30 cm).

What is the Blue Flag survey?

The ‘Blue Flag’ survey is a measurable study that identifies sales opportunities right through the supply chain and enables Ball Colegrave customers to determine what varieties are “favourites” as visitors place a blue flag beside their favourite plant. Over 1,200 blue flags were placed this year during trade and public days.

The Ball Colegrave Open Days this year were a great success with an increase in visitors this year. More than 2,500 Nurserymen, Parks Departments and Retailers visited during July and August, to cement their production and promotional plans for the forthcoming year.

Over 50,000 plants were bedded out over eight acres of grounds to demonstrate a diverse range of annual and perennial varieties. Bedding plants were shown in new dimensions, with inspiring vertical bedding displays using the award winning VertiGarden™ planting system. Customers were also afforded the opportunity to preview many of the 300 new varieties for the 2012 season and development work on future introductions.

Trade information:

- Panicum ‘Frosted Explosion’ is available in a Ball 104 plug.
- Petunia ‘Phantom’ and ‘Pinstripe’ are available in a Ball 84 plug tray weeks 6 -20.
- Begonia ‘Gryphon’ is available as a Ball 84 plug weeks 8 – 18.
- A high impact Ball label is supplied with the plugs

Overall Results 

Rank Variety
1 NEW Panicum Frosted Explosion
2 Begonia Gryphon
3 NEW Petunia Phantom
4 NEW Petunia Black Velvet
5 Heliotrope Marine Blue
6 Mina Lobata
7 Begonia Glowing Embers
8 NEW Hibiscus Mahogany Splendor
9 NEW Geranium Designer Dark Red
10 Coleus Henna
11 Geranium Candy Flowers Bicolour
12 Ornamental Millet Purple Majesty
13 NEW Begonia Buffey
14 NEW Geranium Designer Peppermint Twist
15 Lantana Lucky Sunrise Rose
16 Monarda Fireball
17 Zinnia Zahara Fire
18 Impatiens New Guinea Divine Violet
19 Coleus Red Head
20 NEW Cosmos Antiquity

 Trade Overall

Rank Variety
1 NEW Panicum Frosted Explosion
2 Begonia Gryphon
3 NEW Petunia Black Velvet
4 Begonia Glowing Embers
5 Heliotrope Marine Blue
6 NEW Petunia Phantom
7 NEW Hibiscus Mahogany Splendor
8 NEW Geranium Designer Dark Red
9 Lantana Lucky Sunrise Rose
10 NEW Geranium Designer Peppermint Twist
11 Zinnia Zahara Fire
12 Mina Lobata
13 Coleus Henna
14 Geranium Candy Flowers Bicolour
15 NEW Begonia Buffey
16 NEW Begonia Solenia Red Orange
17 Monarda Fireball
18 Coleus Red Head
19 Ornamental Millet Purple Majesty
20 NEW Osteospermum Serenity Magic Rose

Home Gardners

Rank Variety
1 Mina Lobata
2 NEW Panicum Frosted Explosion
3 Begonia Gryphon
4 Ornamental Millet Purple Majesty
5 NEW Petunia Phantom
6 Heliotrope Marine Blue
7 Impatiens New Guinea Divine Violet
8 NEW Petunia Black Velvet
9 Coleus Henna
10 Geranium Candy Flowers Bicolour
11 NEW Hibiscus Mahogany Splendor
12 NEW Cosmos Antiquity
13 NEW Calibrachoa Cabaret Pink Vein
14 Impatiens New Guinea Divine Lavender
15 NEW Begonia Buffey
16 NEW Celosia Smart Look Red
17 Monarda Fireball
18 Coleus Trusty Rusty
19 NEW Geranium Designer Peppermint Twist
20 Zinnia Zahara Fire

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