Exciting new garden trends, Perennial of the Year for 2018 plus the shortlisted entries for the Elmia Garden Award were some of the elements that attracted great interest at Elmia Garden in Jönköping, Sweden. The trade fair attracted a record number of exhibitors and confirmed its position as northern Europe’s biggest meeting place for the garden retail trade – everyone who supplies plant material, pots, garden decorations and other products or services to customers in the green industry.
“It’s been a fantastic time and we’ve had really pleasant and important meetings where we talked about all the green possibilities of the future. There’s such a wonderful, positive atmosphere in this industry and we’ve once again shown that this is a very important and much-appreciated meeting place that no one wants to miss,” comments Kristin Koefoed, manager of Elmia Garden.
This year Elmia Garden assembled more exhibitors than ever. No fewer than 160 exhibitors from 10 countries took over the halls – about 40 of them attending for the first time.
“We’re particularly happy about that, and we’re hearing from both our exhibitors and visitors that Elmia Garden is the most beautiful fair, that it gives inspiration, and that it’s unique in thereby being able to bring together the industry and the media on garden issues,” Koefoed adds.
The BoGrönt association, the partner of Elmia Garden, took the opportunity to meet at the fair to discuss both the industry’s visions for the future and the challenges facing its 50 members and affiliated shops.
“In today’s competitive society it is increasingly important to support our members with marketing and business analysis and to keep track of the regulatory framework – things that can be hard for a businessperson to find the time to do. This is an unbeatable meting place and one of the year’s high points. Here we can easily convey our ideas and thoughts and meet our suppliers,” says Kai Christensen, CEO of BoGrönt.
An elegant perennial is the winner
The dark-leaved varieties of Actaea simplex, commonly known as Kamchatka bugbane, were selected as Sweden’s Perennial of the Year for 2018 by the Perennial Group of the garden section of the Federation of Swedish Farmers.
The Perennial Group’s statement: “An elegant, dark foliage that brings to life entire flowerbeds, topped with stalks of delicate scented flowers that light up the garden in the autumn. Actaea simplex is a gem among plants, the darling of many garden designers and Perennial of the Year for 2018.”
“It has such a fantastic growth pattern and is attractive all season with its magnificent foliage and then come the delicate blooms as the crowning touch when autumn approaches. It is so beautiful, you can grow it just for its foliage,” comments Berit Haggren, editor of växtforum.se, who presented the Perennial Group’s choice and unveiled the dark beauty on stage at Elmia Garden.
The three new garden trends for 2018 that were presented at Elmia Garden Trends this spring were on display at the fair in various inspiration areas. The fair was also the debut showing for the five smart and innovative products that are shortlisted for the Elmia Garden Award for garden product of the year for 2018.
The five shortlisted products are a composting system that fits under the kitchen counter, a soil-free grow box for herbs and leafy greens, a digital gardening diary to keep on your phone, a Japanese ladder for a safer work environment, and biochar to keep soil porous. The winner will be chosen in the early spring in good time for the start of the gardening season.
“They’re all really good entries – new, exciting innovations and technical solutions with a clear look to the future. They also have a clear focus on the environment and safety, smart solutions, and products for everything from urban gardening and compact living to digital technology – assistive devices that can benefit everyone,” says Kristin Koefoed, manager of Elmia Garden.