A Brand New Gerbera, A 2014 Rose, And A Thought For Parks And Green Space Managers
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale


Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at

November 3, 2013

Above: Gerbera jamesonii Cartwheel® Strawberry Twist in a container which is the prime use the flower producers see for the new Gerbera. Below: the RHS Rose of the Year 2014 as produced by the famous Harkness rose nursery. Photos by Fleuroselect and RHS.

Fleuroselect is the international organisation for the ornamentals industry in Britain and Europe. Its counterpart in North America is All-America Selections. Fleuroselect’s mission is to stimulate ornamental plant breeding by testing, awarding and promoting new varieties. Its members, for whom it provides a worldwide platform, are breeders, producers and distributors of ornamental varieties both from seed and cuttings.

Fleuroselect, the international organisation for ornamental plants, is proud to announce that its FleuroStar Award for 2013/2014 goes to Gerbera jamesonii Cartwheel® Strawberry Twist created by Syngenta Flowers.

The FleuroStar Contest is held annually during the Flower Trials week in June in the Netherlands and Germany. An independent panel of more than 30 expert judges visit the eight contest locations to choose the winner with the ‘wow’ effect at point of sale. Due to its strong visual impact, the FleuroStar winner stands out in retail.

Syngenta’s award winning Gerbera was competing with Calibrachoa, Gentiana and Pelargonium cultivars, along with Campanula medium nanum, Impatiens x hybrida and a Lupinus polyphyllus.

Syngenta offers the widest range of pot and bedding plants in the industry. Every year, Syngenta produces over 500 million cuttings, over five million gram seeds and one billion young plants.

“It is my honour to give this key award in the horticultural sector to Syngenta Flowers,” said Nils Klemm the Fleuroselect President. “Cartwheel® Strawberry Twist offers a fantastic colour mix for pots and containers that will convince many consumers at point of sale.” According to the jury, this award-winning Gerbera offers “very attractive, supersized semi-double flowers with a broad colour range, ensuring a true wow effect. Cartwheel® Strawberry Twist is an eye-catching variety that will appeal highly to the consumer.”

Syngenta has a long history in the ornamentals industry. They combine the strengths and experience from their origins in Holland (Sluis & Groot), Germany (Fischer) and the United States (Goldsmith and Yoder). For over 140 years, Syngenta has led the way in applying innovative technology and breeding techniques to the benefit of professional growers and to the delight of the hobby gardener.

Cartwheel® Strawberry Twist is the first true semi-double bicolour Gerbera for pots. Breeder Kathryn Verlinden said: “I was inspired by the huge range of colour patterns existing in cut flower Gerberas. Already nine years ago, we started experimenting with the introduction of cut flower genetics into pot Gerberas. Cartwheel® Strawberry Twist offers the colour explosion of a cut flower Gerbera bouquet to pots and containers for both the home and patio.”

The U.K. Royal Horticultural Society’s Rose of the Year for 2014 is ‘Hartiger’, to be known as Lady Marmalade. It is produced by Harkness Roses, Hitchin, Herts, England. It is said to have big bright tangerine blooms set against glossy light green foliage making a riotous spectacle. The clusters of blooms keep coming all summer and into autumn (if you dead head the plants) and the perfume is a spicy delight. Rounded buds open into a cupped bloom with heavily reflexed petals which finally open to wide bright flowers with a contrasting yellow centre.

The Harkness nursery had its origins in 1879 in Yorkshire, soon becoming well-known as a grower of top quality roses. It was 80 years later that Jack Harkness began breeding new varieties in Hitchin, Herts determined to create new and ever-more-beautiful roses. Today, Harkness Roses are known and grown world-wide; Many rose growers believe their reliability, flowering performance and beauty are second to none.

At this time it is unknown which if any nurseries/garden centres in Canada (if any) will be carrying Lady Marmalade next spring. However, if you have a particular interest in acquiring one or a number of these bushes, now would be the time to contact your favourite nursery/garden centre and ask the manager to order your requirements.

Finally this week, Diane E. Pataki of the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA. along with nine other co-signatories wrote in a recent issue of Nature magazine about the fact that Urban Greening Needs Better Data. That brief report follows here.

“Current urban-greening programmes are all too often based on inadequate data (see, for example, C. T. Driscoll et al. BioScience 62, 354–366; 2012), and models for estimating the value of urban vegetation are largely untested. To make substantive progress towards urban sustainability, city managers and researchers need to know where, when, how and which greening programmes are appropriate for urban areas. Simplified urban-forest models have been widely used to estimate the benefits of scattered planting of trees in city parks and avenues, but these mostly fail to build in estimates of uncertainty or to consider trade-offs and costs. For example, urban forests would be unlikely to reduce atmospheric concentrations of polluting particulates and nitrogen dioxide (H. Setälä et al. Environ. Pollut. 183, 104–112; 2013), and their high pollen density could exacerbate respiratory conditions such as asthma.

“We suggest, therefore, that urban-greening strategies should be tailored specifically to their localities. Programmes need to be validated by testing against comparative studies that capture spatial and temporal variability in and among cities. This means that local urban data collection and ecosystem modelling will have to meet the same high standards as those applied to non-urban areas.”

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