WAREGEM, Belgium: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Belgium’s premier horticultural trade show Florall turned to virtual judging for the 2021 Florall Spring Awards.
The Florall Awards typically are the centrepiece of the Florall show, which this year was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organiser AVBS, the Belgian board for ornamentals growers, florists and landscapers, added an online trade directory/virtual catalogue to their website www.florall.be
The Florall Awards are widely regarded as Belgium’s green industry’s version of the Oscars, honouring the best growers, the smartest merchandising concepts and the most spectacular breeding breakthroughs. The awards ceremony for the first time was held virtually.
To get the most balanced opinion, a panel of expert judges were asked to select the awards.
Betterbuxus® submitted by Herplant BVBA was presented with the Florall Gold Award. BetterBuxus is the first collection of scientifically bred blight-resistant boxwood in the industry. The brandname includes four varieties. BetterBuxus Heritage is most similar to the standard Buxus sempervirens, though a little more compact. ‘Rennaissance’is a low growing, small-leaved variety suitable for low box pattern designs, and only needing clipping once a year. The fastest growing is ‘Skylight’, and its vigour makes it well-suited to topiary and tall, cloud-pruned hedges. ‘Babylon Beauty’has a low, spreading habit useful for large ground-cover sheets of box.
Grower Tim Wyckstandt from Aalter scooped up the Florall Silver Award for Agapanthus ‘Poppin Purple’. According to Tim, who is a part-time horticulture teacher, ‘Poppin Purple’ has stunning bicolour flowers (white on the inside and white and blue on the outside) and produces flowers from summertime into autumn. Tim is also a self-acclaimed Agapanthus aficionado. He also ventures into breeding and selects showy flowers, continuous blooming and high petal counts.
Leucothoe walteri ‘Firestar’submitted by Van Vliet New Plants won the Florall Bronze Award. This new shrub, which made its premiere at GrootGroenPlus, is an easy to grow ground cover in spectacular variegated gold and red evergreen. Its most prominent feature are the gold edged leaves and its young shoots in spring with a glossy red colour and white border.
The Florall trade fair first began in 2007 and is held twice a year, in spring and autumn. In 2014, event organiser AVBS, the Belgian board for ornamentals growers, florists and landscapers, decided to switch from a two-day event to a one-day format, starting with their August 2014 trade show.