On August 31st and September 1st, 2022, Fleuroselect welcomed more than 80 delegates in Munich (Germany) to the annual Home Garden Conference. The two-day program proved to be a unique opportunity for industry professionals to learn about the latest trends in home gardening.
Working closely with Herbert Wehrle, Vice President of the Fleuroselect Home Gardening Business Unit (BU) and Ralf Schrader of Graines Voltz, the program has been carefully designed to include both plenary sessions and company visits. The main theme – ‘Small Space Gardening’ – was evident in all aspects of the program and provided a well-rounded insight into this highly relevant topic.
After the introduction of the main theme by Herbert Wehrle, Trends and customer profiles in the German picture package market were discussed by Rolf Pohlen from Bruno Nebelung. He explained that after 2020 and 2021 – where picture packaging sales increased significantly due to the COVID crisis – the market is now declining again due to the unstable political and economic environment. As a representative of the Heidelberg State University for Horticulture and Research Institute, Vera Joedecke presented her research results biodiversity in the cityfocuses on the Pollinator friendliness of annuals and perennials in an urban context. By conducting a series of visual pollinator counts on selected ornamental plants, LVG mapped which variety attracts which pollinators. The difference between native and non-native plants as a food source for insects has been studied. Florian Demling from the Bavarian State Office for Agriculture informed us about this latest public initiatives to support community gardens and home gardening in small spaces. In seven community gardens throughout Bavaria, the urban gardener is inspired by new techniques such as plant towers, mobile and vertical gardening, raised beds, hydroponics, terra bioponics and aquaponics. Finally, Katrin Kell introduced herself Weihenstephan University and their industry-related activities. With courses, guided tours and information packages, the university plays a leading role in the training of local leisure gardeners.
Despite the rain, the delegates experienced an inspiring afternoon at the Weihenstephan University. That experimental garden, founded in 1947, covers an area of more than five hectares and serves to test shrubs, perennials and new varieties of roses for their practical usability. An important aspect is Planting perennials in ecologically harmonious and aesthetically pleasing combinations in a manner appropriate to local circumstances. The Weihenstephan University of Applied Sciences has grown various varieties especially for this visit sage to inspire the delegation to include Fleuroselects ‘2023 Year of Salvia‘ initiative in their marketing plans.
In which allotmentthe focus is on Growing vegetables and herbs grown in a number of established and new varieties. Delegates found this extremely interesting to watch classic vegetables and raised beds to horizontal container systems with a diverse range of plants that can even be found on small balconies and terraces. As part of Fleuroselects’2022 year of basil‘ initiative, the Weihenstephan University of Applied Sciences grew more than 40 types of basil, which the delegation could admire and taste.
The second day of the Home Garden Conference was spent at Plants Kolle in Munich. In over 200 years, the family business has developed into a garden center chain with 13 locations and three of its own garden centers throughout Germany. Our delegation was welcomed by Managing Director Michael Wittmann, who gave an overview of the history and current activities of Pflanzen Kölle. Subsequently, sustainability manager Ulrike Rothhaar explained the vision of the group of companies towards ecological and pesticide-reduced cultivation. The delegates were given tours of the garden centre, where the extensive range of picture packs attracted a great deal of attention. The group was allowed to visit the nursery, where part of the range is produced in-house.
Up-to-the-minute lectures on the subject of urban gardening, magnificent plants in a small space in the Weihenstephan Gardens and first-hand commercial information from Pflanzen Kölle: These were the cornerstones of a successful Home Garden Conference!