Field Day Featured Speaker

Field-Day-00Monique Hakkert of Ball FloraPlant will be our featured speaker for Field Day on August 14th. She works closely with the product managers and plant breeders who develop the innovative new cultivars at Ball, so she has an excellent perspective on the new trends in plant breeding for both retail and landscape use.

We’ve commented in the past on the quality of genetics from different sources, and we’ve also noted the consistent quality and attention to detail that Ball puts into their breeding program. Ball is a major innovator in our industry, and you’ll have an opportunity to meet and share your views with someone plugged directly into their new product pipeline.



For the retail session, Monique will be reviewing the national color trends Ball has seen and how retail centers can funnel that knowledge into their merchandising. Using mixed containers as an example, she will incorporate color trends in both material and pottery to spark sales interest in displays and on benches.

She will also provide an update on impatiens breeding, vis-à-vis the downy mildew problem.


For the landscape session, Monique will review current breeding trends in key landscaping crops as well as innovations Ball is bringing to the market.


Impatiens: News on downy mildew resistance. We’ll learn which Ball cultivars have the best resistance and how their breeding will deliver impatiens performance without the downy mildew baggage.


Coleus: A review of Ball’s sun and shade coleus. This subset of coleus gives landscapers another useful tool to design gardens that perform under a wide range of light conditions, similar to the way wax begonias work.


Verbena: A new look for gardens without the burden of midsummer replacement. Although verbena is not ordinarily considered a landscaping crop, Ball is releasing a new series of the plant that does not cycle out in the heat of the summer. 

Monique is excited to join us on August 14th and she is hoping to hear your reports from the field after her session and during our lunch break. Ball is actively interested in your experience with their material. It helps them breed better plants when they understand how their existing varieties work in the retail and landscaping markets. Don’t miss this chance to provide valuable feedback regarding the Ball breeding programs.