Well, it appears that Alstroemeria Rock & Roll® is in the HOT category!
It is not often that I spend time trolling the Internet to see which of our plants are generating interest but I had received a staggering number of enquiries about a new release just appearing on the market this spring called Alstroemeria Rock & Roll®. A lot of these referred to comments included on other people’s blog sites. So, off I went to have a look at what people were saying.
Now, to say that we were impressed with this product and found it appealing is, of course, an understatement (especially given that we commercialised the plant!) and doesn’t make for very interesting reading. However, I thought I would share a little background on how we first identified this plant and then some of the comments that are appearing on the web which reflect other people’s opinion on how exciting this new introduction is.
As part of my travels dealing with breeders around the world visiting commercial production facilities and ornate gardens I am often shown plants for consideration as part of our plant portfolio – plants that somebody has identified as being “different” or “new”.
I can understand the enthusiasm anyone discovering or developing a plant that they can rightly call their own has. However, for the most part, not many fall into the classification of generating a WOW factor for me personally.
In fact we have a term that we use within the company that captures what we are looking for when it comes to “separating the wheat from the chaff’ with new products. A new plant must pass “the galloping horse test” to deliver the excitement we require of any new introduction.
Simply put, this means it has to immediately grab our attention immediately – so much so that if I were travelling by on a galloping horse it would catch my eye – through either its color or habit.
Now you might think this is not an exact scientific methodology for plant selection and I agree it is not, but it’s the key to a good start. Many other factors come into consideration before a decision is made to bring the plant to the market, including performance, easy of care, etc.
Anyway, back to my story about how we came around to find Alstroemeria Rock & Roll. I first spotted this plant on a visit to one our long-term partners in New Zealand. Almost immediately, based on the few plants that I saw at the nursery and the striking combination of colors and form, I confirmed our interest in being involved with this plant. I had not seen anything that came close to this product in the market before. Not only was the foliage a winning combination, but the flowers were a great contrast as well. So, I rang the office in Australia straight after the visit to tell them that I thought we had our next big winner!
Like many new products, the excitement then fades as you undertake the many years of testing to determine how the plant performs in different conditions (climate, light, soil, etc…) and the long process of taking a few plants developed by the breeding and build them to commercial numbers for supply around the world.
Note: There is still only limited availability of this product regionally but each year this increases as production bases expand. this year Rock & Roll is available predominantly in California and the Pacific Northwest.
In any event I could tell you how to care for the plant, how it is best grown and what / where it can be used in the garden but all of that information is available on the Rock & Roll page of our website.
The purpose of the story today is to share the enthusiasm others are communicating about this exciting new product – all of which reinforce the validity of still applying “the galloping horse test”.
Below are a just a couple of links to some blogs where you can read about how much this product is capturing people’s attention. It appears from the quotes on these sites that we are not alone in our opinion that Alstroemeria Rock & Roll would certainly demand any gardener’s attention.
From the blog “A Growing Obsession“ Alstroemeria ‘Rock & Roll’ (consider yourself warned)! A mind-numbing, eye-hemorrhaging, variegated alstroemeria has been unleashed at Southern California nurseries this spring. I reached for the camera phone when I saw big displays at two nurseries over the weekend. Alstroemeria ‘Rock & Roll.’ The tag predicts that it will be “Sure to attract attention.”Ya think?
From the blog “Outlaw Garden“: The foliage is spectacular and Hoover Boo is using it in her California garden as a substitute for hostas which don’t like the summer heat in her area. Serious crush on the foliage but the blooms are pretty wonderful too! For those of you with refined taste who are fond of understated pastel flowers, please avert your eyes lest you be offended by the brashness of this foliage/flower combination.
So make sure to look out for this plant or ask your garden center to get some in so you can share in the excitement, and until next time – Garden on good people!