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Novelty trials at Garden Trials and Trade

15 April 2019
Novelty trials at Garden Trials and Trade

As a co-initiator of Garden Trials & Trade, the trials committee of the KVBC (Royal Boskoop Horticultural Society) will also trial the novelties during the second edition of Garden Trials & Trade. The trials committee has many years of experience when it comes to assessing ornamental plant varieties at fairs. During Garden Trials & Trade everything revolves around innovation and novelties, so the KVBC is the logical partner to value these introductions.

During the trial an assessment form, specifically designed for these trails, is being used. Different criteria are considered and points (0-10) are given. Ultimately, the total leads to a decision as to whether a medal will be awarded. This medal can be in Bronze, Silver or Gold. The novelty with the highest score is the best novelty of Garden Trials & Trade.

Criteria during trials
Criteria that are considered at the trials are: ornamental value/general impression, innovation value, presentation and applicability in practice. Ornamental value/general impression concerns the properties of the plant: are the leaves/flowers/fruits attractive, is the plant firm, is the plant shape good and regular, etc. The innovation value is the most important criterion; therefore this score counts double. When introducing the new cultivar, it is important that it deviates as much as possible from existing cultivars. Novelties that differ only in detail from existing cultivars usually in practise do not add much to the assortment. A plant that clearly deviates from all other cultivars within a group will therefore be rated much higher.

Although the trials are about the qualities of the plants, presentation does play a role. Plants with spray residues, in dirty pots or with mosses on the soil are presented here with a lower score. In principle, the trials committee expects the plants to be shown in market quality, just as they are sold in the trade and at garden centres. The idea is that if a participant at this "competition" - which the trial practically is - cannot present a good plant, he will also not be capable in doing so as a sold product either.

The last criterion is applicability. Some plants can only be used as a pot plant or as a hedging plant. Others are much more versatile in application, for example for impulse sales, borders, group planting and for landscaping in public areas. The latter group of plants will score higher on applicability.

Announcement best novelty GTT 2018: Helma van der Louw from KVBC and Ronald Laman from Breederplants

Insight into the assessment
After the trial, the participants can request the assessment forms from the KVBC. This helps applicants and breeders to gain more insight into the assessment of their plants by professional growers and traders. The logos belonging to the various medals can also be requested by the participants. These can be used for PR purposes (website, labels, catalogue, etc.). The KVBC supports the introduction of novelties as much as possible!

Best novelty GTT 2018: Hydrangea paniculata 'Breg14' (Polestar)