DAILY MESSAGE 5 OCTOBER 2023
Opening and introduction
On 4 October at 9:00 AM, GrootGroenPlus 2023 was officially opened digitally by chairman David Bömer, who provided a word of welcome. The trade fair is being held with many familiar and some new participants at a new location, which yet feels still very familiar. And why are all those people coming? Because they see GrootGroenPlus as a fantastic PR tool, according to Bömer. It's the stage where they showcase themselves, essentially throughout the whole year. Being visible is something we find very important too, as GrootGroenPlus. We aim to be visible year-round. Currently, it's in the form of three days full of activity here on the border of the Netherlands and Belgium, in the heart of tree cultivation area.
However, both we and our visitors want to be visible year-round. Making a big impression during the trade fair contributes to that, but they can also make their news our news. We've added a new feature to GrootGroenPlus, a real news website where all the news and sponsors are gathered. With these words, David Bömer introduced the new website 'ggp.news' and thereby also digitally on screen. On this platform, we gather all updates, and there are quite a few already. We collect them both in Dutch and in English. For example, we have a news article from our sponsor and partner Rabobank. If you're interested, you can get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can also have your news article appear here.
First day: an animated and busy trade fair
The first day gave every reason for satisfaction. This Wednesday, 8% more visitors attended compared to the Wednesday of the previous edition, and there was also more international diversity. The visitor flow was consistently good throughout the day. Various samples taken at participants elicited satisfied responses, especially regarding the quality of the visitors. Parking, except for the initial rush hour, posed no issues. The judging had been moved from Tuesday to Wednesday morning, and this was positively received. This way, the judges got a better sense of the stands while they were 'in action'. The board of Mayor and Aldermen of Zundert and their colleagues from Hoogstraten (Belgium) also visited the trade fair and were extensively informed.
Plant award winners
Once again this year, there was the novelty inspection by the KVBC, in combination with the Green Grand Prix. This year, a plant was did get a gold medal. This medal was awarded to Ficus carica 'LMF01' (LITTLE MISS FIGGY), submitted by Van de Peijl Tuinplanten from Zundert and Handelskwekerij G. Hoogenraad from Ederveen. The reasoning was: "Good uniform plants, beautifully grown and presented. Beautifully healthy, deeply incised and graceful leaves. Very many edible fruits on the plants. Easy to propagate. Widely applicable, thanks to the edible fruits."
Silver was awarded to three plants:
Ligustrum lucidum ‘Bokrascreen’ (GREEN SCREEN), submitted by Behrens Jungpflanzen, Bad Zwischenahn (D). The reasoning: "Plants are nicely densely branched, only a bit sparser at the bottom. Fresh dark green healthy leaves, slightly shiny. The young shoots are still somewhat bronze-coloured."
Sarcococca hookeriana ‘Purplerij1’ (PURPLE GEM), submitted by Boomkwekerij Robert Rijnbeek from Boskoop. The reasoning: "Grows slightly more compact and produces shorter shoots than Purple Stem. Vigorous with dark green leaves and red twigs. Many flower buds."
Thuja occidentalis ‘Isiprim’ (PRIMO), submitted by Sierteeltkwekerij Kools from Deurne. The reasoning: "Particularly graceful conifer, which despite its compactness, still has good vigor. Healthy, no brown foliage present."
Bronze was awarded to two plants:
Liquidambar styraciflua 'Jason', submitted by L. Akkermans Boomkwekerijen from Maashees. The reasoning: "Beautifully regular crown shape. Not too dense, which limits branch breakage. Resembles 'Kirsten' a bit but has a purple autumn colour."
Pyracantha coccinea ‘Orange Star’, submitted by: Van der Sar – Vermaat from ’s-Gravezande and Vromans Kwekerijen BV from Hilvarenbeek. Reasoning: "Nice, visually appealing plants. No thorns. Many fruits, also on one-year-old wood. If the plants are not tied to a stick, they are more graceful."
Green Grand Prix 2023 jury report
Of the 20 plants on the list, the jury included 19 in the judging. The ranking indicates which plants came out on top. In theory - and this was also evident in this judging - it is possible that these 19 could all end up with the highest award according to other judging methods.
The general verdict of the jury is that the quality of the plants is good. However, there are some plants where the growth habit mentioned in the description has been aided by pruning. While this doesn't detract from the image of the plant, it does raise questions about the growth of the plant once it's no longer under the care of the grower. Also, the naming of a few plants seems unfortunate. A suggestion/reference in the name can create an expectation. If that isn't met, it can be disappointing.
The 5 ranked plants were:
Pyracantha coccinea 'Orange Star': During the judging, we saw 5 beautiful and compact plants with an upright growth habit. This growth habit seemed aided by tying the branches together. The label states that the plant bears fruit on two-year-old wood, but the plants appear to bear fruit on one-year-old wood already. This, along with the abundant quantity of orange berries, made such an impression that the decision was made to award the plant the highest A-classification.
Ficus carica 'LMF01' (LITTLE MISS FIGGY)': A remarkable sight, this compact fig with many fruits! The naturally compact growth of the plant was visible, so the jury wondered if pruning the plant is truly necessary. In any case, it made the presented plants very attractive. If the figs also taste good, then this is an absolute asset in food gardens. A unanimous verdict: A-classification.
Thuja occidentalis 'Isiprim' (PRIMO): Striking growth with a healthy appearance. This first impression received extra appreciation when the expectation that the plant would have brown foliage inside was not confirmed. All in all, a B-classification.
Helleborus niger 'WINTERFALL': Beautiful plants with uniform growth were submitted for judging. The healthy appearance garnered admiration from the jury. The most special thing about this plant lies in the fact that 90% of the plants grow for the Christmas period. At the time of judging, this could not yet be observed. The B-classification is therefore very justified.
Skimmia japonica 'Bolwi94' (GOLD SERIES DESIRE): This Skimmia grafted on a stem can count on admiration due to the cultivation performance and the overall appearance. The fact that they are grafted on a stock suitable for all Skimmia varieties led to a C-classification.
The 'Zunderts Groen Imago Prijs' was awarded to Boomkwekerij Huijbregts BV B102. This year, the prize included a sustainability component and was presented by alderman Ralph Bogers of the municipality of Zundert.
The Jac Lodders Award for the best stand went to MABO Boomkwekerijen G101. What was special about this stand was that no plants were on display, but through digital means, a good impression of the company and production was provided, fitting very well with the theme 'Dynamic & Digital'. The award was presented by Corné de Vooght from main sponsor Rabobank.
The Jan van Dongen award for the best stand of suppliers was won by ICL Growing Solutions R061. The prize was presented by Corné de Vooght from main sponsor Rabobank. The award ceremonies, including the arguments and motivations, can be viewed on YouTube, the website, and in the app.
Internal press tour with 20 international members of the trade press
Traditionally, the first day also included the 'internal press your. A group of 20 international trade journalists, were accompanied by our PR agency, and visited five companies on the red route: Van der Peijl Tuinplanten from Zundert, Boomkwekerij Huverba from Opheusden, Optipot BV from De Lier, Handelskwekerij Wm Hooftman from Boskoop, and Engrow from Tiel. The representatives of those companies had the opportunity to present their company and also answer the questions of the very interested group of journalists.
The journalists attended the award ceremonies together with colleagues from the Netherlands and then individually visited the fair to talk to participants and get acquainted with the presented products. Today, they are going on an external press tour. More information about the press tours can be found in the trade fair guide.