4 Steps to Winning Combinations
There's an art to selecting the right plants for your combinations — plan ahead, and follow a few well-established techniques. Your customers will thank you if you do!
By Dan Foster, Grower/Product Line Manager
When we develop combinations, we try to balance several factors that will not only make them successful for our grower customers, but also for their customers — the end consumers. One question we always consider is: If these plants will look good together on Mother's Day, will they continue to look good on the Fourth of July and after?
We rely on a four-step selection process that creates balanced, beautiful and successful combinations. By thinking beyond the finish date and considering consumer success, we can determine which combinations will work the best for growers and home gardeners.
Proven Combinations for Real-Life Gardens
Each year, our display gardens serve as a blank canvas for new varieties and combinations, so we can see how well they perform throughout the season. Here's how we do it.
By Pat Seibel, Display Garden Supervisor
Fantastic performance in the garden is the goal of Proven Winners® growers, retailers, and customers. At Four Star Greenhouse, we plant hundreds of varieties each year in our display gardens, in hanging baskets, landscape beds, and upright containers — kind of a "living catalog" of our plants. This allows us to gauge performance and provide advice on what will be most successful for your customers.
The gardens started about eight years ago with a few landscape beds and have now grown to include trellises to showcase hanging baskets and upright containers, a covered bridge, window boxes, patio, water feature, and many different planting beds.
Each year the new varieties inspire us to create new combinations and look at ways to improve existing combinations. By trying different combinations in our southern Michigan climate, we get a clear sense of the successes and challenges consumers may have, and are able to see which combinations will perform well for them.
Simplify with Streamliners™
Using our Streamliners will take the worry and hassle out of your combination production. When you are planning what combinations to produce, you have many factors to consider. Some of these are:
- Which colors can you put together to make a nice combination?
- Are the plants going to have similar vigor so one variety does not overtake another?
- Is the flowering time for these plants similar?
Other questions we are frequently asked are:
- What kind of a pattern should I plant the liners in, and
- What goes in the middle of the container?