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Cultivate: Fill Up on Horticulture

First day, accompanied by my colleagues Susanne and Mathieu. Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault.

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I always watch with a mixture of excitement and nostalgia for the arrival of the first red leaf in August. This coloring is invariably accompanied by the melancholy song of the crickets, who are no doubt much more preoccupied than we are by the arrival of the cold days. Since my childhood, these phenological landmarks have marked the high point of summer. So the summer break is over. It’s back to school time. Teachers in horticultural training are converging on their respective schools, suitcases packed with a summer’s worth of knowledge. While the horticultural industry in Quebec abounds with rich training courses throughout the year, our neighbors to the south always entice us with their many horticultural events in summer. Why resist? Once again this summer, my colleagues and I decided to head for the United States, to Columbus, Ohio.

If there’s one show you must visit at least once in your professional life, it’s Cultivate in Columbus. Organized by American Hort, this show is one of the most popular in North America. And with good reason. Every year, it attracts thousands of professionals and visitors from all over the world.

Cultivate, a Horticultural Event Not to Be Missed

Cultivate is a three-day event featuring over 650 exhibitors, dozens of speakers and several tours of local test gardens and garden centers. Held at the Columbus Convention Center, this major show welcomes suppliers of plants, seeds, pots, substrates and horticultural services, with a bonus area dedicated to the new hybrids of the coming year. Focusing primarily on greenhouse production, nursery production and market gardening are not left out of the show. It’s an event that leaves no visitor indifferent. Just imagine, it takes almost two days to cover the entire exhibition floor! If you want to keep abreast of new trends, new hybrids, new horticultural products and take part in important networking, this is the event to put on your summer agenda.

The Columbus Convention Center, always ready to host this major event. Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault.

Discover Columbus

If the days are busy during the show, so are the evenings. They offer unique moments of sharing and festive get-togethers, as it’s not uncommon to hear Québécois in the aisles. The evenings are ideal for getting together and discussing our favorites over a hearty meal and good wine, of course. Columbus is an inviting city to stroll around. Must-sees like the German Quarter, Goodale Park, the Conservatory and Franklin Botanical Garden are sure to punctuate your stay.

To prolong the pleasure among colleagues, we opted for a drive. It’s a beautiful drive from Quebec City, with plenty of stops to relax, admire the fields or stock up on apricots, cherries and plums, which are already in abundance at this time of year. And while you’re at it, why not make the pleasure last with visits to test gardens such as Mel Sawaya in Ontario, Raker, Walters Gardens and Four Stars in Michigan, or Ball’s in Chicago. Not forgetting the legendary Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. Enough to fill our horticultural suitcases!

A Date to Add to Your Calendar!

Cultivate 2024 will take place from July 13 to 16. Will you be there? As far as we’re concerned, the dates are already booked in our diary.

Happy back-to-school!

New Products and Favorites

Speaking of favorites, here are a few of them, along with some images from the event:

A large section is reserved for the presentation of new cultivars. Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault.
Petunia ‘Amazonas™ Plum Cockatoo’, a new Danziger product for 2024. Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault.
A display of succulent cuttings at Succulents Unlimited BV. Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault.
Echinacea purpurea ‘Prairie Blaze™ Vintage Lime’, a new product from Syngenta Flowers for 2024. Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault.
Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Cherry-Go-Round™’, a long-flowering hydrangea. It remains to be seen how it will perform in our climate. Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault.
Echinacea ‘Double Scoop ™ Deluxe’, a hybrid from Darwin Plants. This Echinacea, which blooms in its first year, is sure to be very popular next year. Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault.
It’s also an opportunity to discover new vegetable cultivars. Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault.
Plectranthus scutellarioides ‘Talavera™Moondust’, galactic foliage! A Syngenta Flowers hybrid. Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault.
A much-awaited novelty, the Colocasia ‘RedemptionTM’ This new Colocasia from hybridizer Brian Williams (Plants Nouveau) features wavy, glossy leaves. Exposed to the sun, the leaves turn almost black with vibrant pink veins. Photo: Mathieu Gaudreault.

Chantal Gauthier and Mathieu Gaudreault are both horticulturists and teachers at the Centre de formation Fierbourg in Quebec City, in the Horticultural Production and Horticulture and Garden Center programs. Passionate about the plant world, they enthusiastically scour botanical gardens, parks, forests and horticultural events, always on the lookout for inspiring finds. Their infectious passion is passed on not only to their students, but also to those around them, earning them the nickname Plant geeks.

1 comment on “Cultivate: Fill Up on Horticulture

  1. Linda Hink

    Merci. A very nice article!

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