Showing posts with label Trends. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trends. Show all posts

January 22, 2011


Green Trick® Series, a brand new Dianthus barbatus ‘Temarisou’ that looks more like a moss ball than a sterile Sweet William.

This amazing new cutflower may mark the end of  those green-dyed Carnations we all shriek at on St. Patrick’s day. Finally, a true green Dianthus is hitting the market.
First, this is not a true carnation at all (Dianthus caryophyllus) but rather, it is a Dianthus barbatus  cultivar, or Sweet William, But a Sweet William that looks more like a ball of moss.

Green Trick Dianthus is the hottest must-have flower introduced last February at a trade show in France and sold only for commercial growers as a cut flower crop.  You may see it at stylish florist shops in large cities where cool green pom pommy things are as sexy as, well, green pom pommy things.
Green Trick Sweet Williams ( not Carnations, as this grower states) being cultivated in an Australian greenhouse.

Bred by Hilverda kooij in Holland, and winner of countless awards this year is a stylish Dianthus barbatus called Green Trick ‘Temarisou’, unfortunately, this is only available in the cut flower markets since it is a registered brand of the Hilverda Group and licensed out only to commercial cut flower growers, so it may be years before those of us who are interested in growing this plant in our gardens, could possibly obtain one. But this is a flower that is already available this year in the larger flower markets in the world, such as New York City, and San Fransisco. As far a cut flower trends go, this amazing new variety is a terrific example of how plant breeders are focusing on new lifestyle flowers that meet the needs of today's new consumer. Short, modern containers with dense mounds of spiky green is exactly what stylists and hip florists are looking for.

I would imagine that when this hits the garden plant trade, that is will be a rather uneventful plant since most green flowers are useless in garden schemes. After all, foliage is green, and this is one of those plants where looks great in photos, and in arrangements with a clever designers hand, but in situ, it sort of sucks. Check out this photo of it being grown in a greenhouse.
If you are familiar with Sweet William plants in your garden, you can see clearly that this new variety is simply sterile ( I am guessing). The flower heads look similar on a regular Sweet William once you remove the blossoms. As a garden plant, this variety may not be as exciting as it is when view in an arrangement, with it's leaves removed.

New Japanese Scabiosa varieties and Dyed forms for florists

I happen to love Scabiosa, both perennial and annual forms, but after seeing new varieties and dyed flowers with new tints at the Japan Center in New York that was featured on Martha Stewart Living last week, I was  quickly motivated to Google away looking for new sources for this year.
Scabiosa on dispaly by BLOOM JAPAN at the Japan Society in NYC. These can take up liquid dye, which is popular in Japan today. This show promoted the Japanese Cut Flower trade as it expands its products into new markets like the USA.

Scabiosa, another old fashioned garden plant that few people grow today, are easier to grow from seed than you may think. I start my seeds in February in the greenhouse, and then pot them out in late April. The plants are tall, and the flower stems are long, which makes them attractive in both the garden, and in arrangements. These are not short plants, but since the flower stems are wiry,  the blossoms seem to float over the garden. There is a very nice dark, almost black variety that looks nice as a cut flower, like the green Dianthus above, most black flowers are ineffective in the landscape, blending into the shadows which makes black anther poor choice for garden display. Keep these for the cut flower garden.
Scabiosa from Japan

A new Japanese purple Scabiosa being introduced for the cut flower trade

Chocolate colored Sweet Peas? Oh baby. Bronze, brown and gold are also offered.

Lastly, English Sweet Peas are nothing like North American Sweet Pea varieties. The Spencer varieties  seen here (when not imported into the US) are finer than any other cut flower form grown here, but if you really want long long stems and large flowers,  here is my secret – order from overseas, and order what is called EXHIBITION SWEET PEAS . You will get stems as long as 14 inches and flowers as large as an egg.. Try these sources listed on the Sweet Pea Society web site, and sow seeds now if you can, and cut them back when they form their second pair of leaves. Plant outdoors as soon as the heaviest of frosts is over ( or sow seed directly into barely unfrozen ground in March), and tie the stem to a bamboo pole ( cordons), and you will have tall, cut flower quality sweet peas.
Even these violet Sweet Peas are dyed a bit to enhance their denim color. Dyeing flowers is not new, in America, it was common to dye many flowers in the 1950's. When a flower takes up color in it's stem, the tint mixes internally, and the effect can be very natural. Spray on the other hand, or dipped tints look very artificial. Sometime, a tint enhancement is OK for design purposes. 

In Japan these long stemmed sweet peas are grown under glass.

Long stems are key, for commercial Sweet Peas. Only the finest exhibition varieties grown to perfection will develop these long, straight stems.

These Japanese Sweet Peas grown for the cut flower trade  are exceptional examples of how trends and lifestyle trends are affecting flowers today. These flowers are dye by adding liquid dye into their water, which is taken up and the tint mixes with the tint of the blossom. Surprisingly, I am OK with dyed flowers like this as a cut flower, since as an artist, the color and tints are tasteful and decorative, and let’s face it, these sort of flowers are really all about being decorative. In the garden? No, don’t dye them! In a wedding arrangement? I likey. Chocolate and bronze Sweetpeas are rather yummy, don’t you think?

July 31, 2008

Sweet-My First Book is Out - BEYOND TREND

OK, it's not about plants, but it is about design. I thought I would share that my book is out, globally now, I think. BEYOND TREND - How To Innovate In An Over-Designed World by Matt Mattus hit's the shelves in bookstores and your fav. online book stores from Borders to Amazon to Barnes and Noble in the States, to Kinokuniya in Japan, and Asia, David and Charles in the UK, and, well, it seems most major retailers from Wal Mart to Target. ( eeek ).

I guess it's great, and it sure feels nice to have a summer with some free weekends! Although, I am starting my gardening book, which I want to be unique, modern and different, so it's not like I actually have all of this free time!

A little about BEYOND TREND.

I was asked by the publishers of ID magazine, HOW magazine and PRINT magazine, F & W Publications ( also the publishers of HORTICULTURE now, strangely enough!) to write a book about design trends and the future of design, something that I speak about at design conferences, and what I do, at Hasbro, as a Visual Brand Strategist.

The result, this little hardcover book with over 200 color images of everything from Sir Norman Foster's architecture to Zaha Hadid's renderings for the 2012 Olympics to Hand bag designer Kate Spade and everything in between. Visual design today is becoming boring, as is gardening, I must say. We live in a world where we are obsessed with the idea of 'New', and trends seem to come and go faster than ever before. As a trend hunter, I was being asked, "what is next?", and after traveling the world, I had to say " not much". But that was not the entire story.

I love design, I love designing, and I was still, creating new. I was still finding some hope, but how could this be?

BEYOND TREND examines my journey through this realization of discovery. As I edited the visual sameness searching for the next, hot color. What I discovered surprised me. Maybe you will find the read and the visual ride exciting too.

Maybe you won't even care, but there is an amazing link between Biology, Philosophy, and design. It's what we humans, do.

So forgive me for pitching my book on this gardening blog, but I just thought that some of you might be interested. After all, plants are pretty visual, too!

Thanks for reading Growing With Plants, its; always nice to read your comments, even though I rarely can figure out how to reply with my Mac! I do read everything you say, and appreciate the growth in readership.

People are saying some nice things about my book, like Julia Rothman, and Jessica Gonacha.