WARSAW, Poland: The 24th international GREEN IS LIFE show took place at Warsaw’s EXPO XXI from 1-3 September at the EXPO XXI. The theme of this year’s edition was “First Class Garden”, in reference to knowledge and quality necessary for developing ideas for a good garden.
325 firms from 17 countries took part in the fair. Domestic firms comprised 2/3 of total exhibitors. The most foreign firms were from Holland, Belgium, Denmark and France.
An absolute first was the Flower Expo Poland which was held in conjunction with Green is Life. This new event hosted over 65 international exhibitors from different continents and as well as a top-notch educational programme. Present were South America, with a very large group from Colombia (more than 20 companies), Africa (Kenya, Uganda, South Africa), Asia – companies from China, Thailand and Europe, with the Netherlands at the helm. Thanks to the industry cooperation and participation there was a full offer for the audience. This included plants, products for the garden and outdoor areas as well as interior decoration. A broad and international offer of cut flowers, potted flowers, floral decorations and accessories was available for the first time in Poland. The presentation featured demonstrations by master florists, shows and competitions of floral schools.
17 468 guests visited the fair, including 6 867 professionals. This is 8,5% more than last year (2015). Clients interested in the fair offer included: plant producers, buyers and managers of retail outlets, landscape architects, contractors and local government specialists dealing with public greenery, as well as florists, floral shop owners, wholesalers and suppliers of horticultural technology products and services. Foreign visitors came from more than 40 countries. The largest group of visitors arrived from Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, Russia, the Netherlands, Finland, Germany and Belgium. There were also clients from distant countries such as Kazakhstan, Japan, Nigeria, and South Africa. Many guests were from closer neighbours: Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Moldova. Over 60% of industry guests are decision makers – owners and managers who take important decisions in their respective companies.
Once again, thanks to “Green is Life,” the Warsaw EXPO blossomed and became a center of meetings for the horticultural industry. More than two thirds of the exhibitors or 200 companies had plants on display. This is undoubtedly the biggest overview of plants in Poland and Central Europe. The diversity and scale of the offer is the most important value of the Warsaw exhibition. Halls were filled with plants that will be offered for sale next season in stores, garden centers, and florists. Among the plants for use in green areas and private gardens, deciduous and coniferous ornamental shrubs were dominant.
There was no shortage of desirable trees for planting in public green areas as well as Christmas trees to enhance sales offers for stores. Many stands displayed the wealth of perennials and grasses – attractive at this time of year that so many want to plant, both in small clusters as well as in larger green areas. Nurserymen and gardeners could look over the offer of young plants for further production and of course, new varieties. There was a clearly visible trend to return to amateur cultivation of fruits, herbs and vegetables in the assortment by exhibitors. Hence the extensive overview of shrubs and fruit trees, climbers with edible fruit or sets for terraces and home cultivations, along with the presentation of preserves. Another noticeable aspect was development of the perennial offer – present at many stands, as well as bulbs suited for fall planting. Stands were thoughtfully and attractively composed, exposing new products or ideas – loyal to the theme, “First Class Garden.” Many stand arrangements involved ideas that can be directly brought to your garden, terrace or balcony.
Exhibitors also showcased technical solutions – machinery, equipment and technologies for plant production and maintenance of green areas. Decorations and garden furnishings presented at the exhibition included pots, decorative covers and plant supports, roofing, furniture systems, green roof or wall systems, surface materials, aggregates, baskets and other accessories for decoration. There were numerous offers of kits for ponds, equipment for garden relaxation and barbecues. Professionals were also interested in packaging systems, software and logistics support solutions. Visitors also took advantage of the extensive proposals for specialized publications.
This broad presentation and the opportunity to meet specialists and experts in one place is undoubtedly a boost for the industry, comprised of sellers, designers, contractors, decorators, and specialists from the public green sector. It always presents a strong dose of ideas, information, solutions and of course contacts.
Competitions accompanying the exhibition always instill excitement, attracting visitors and observers along with the exhibitors. In the confines of the competition for the GREEN LAUREL award, products, technical products for nurseries, gardens and green areas, along with sales concepts were judged.
The diverse jury granted:
GREEN LAUREL nursery product: Geo Polska Sp. z o. o. for the product – Folie Plastika Kritis series EVO2®
The jury awarded the GREEN LAUREL marketing concept to the nursery: Piotr Kość Szkółki od 1965 for the “in your PATIO” plant collection from berry&morreTM.
A DISTINCTION was granted to: PPHU GARDEN SERWIS TOMASZ PECYNA for the product – CDF AQUA – CO2 and O2 microprocessor dosing device.
The only Polish and prestigious NEW PLANT Competition was also conducted. The jury awarded 6 medalists and 2 distinctions from the 28 plants submitted to the competition. The media also granted an award this year – domestic and foreign garden magazines, including industry and hobby titles, directed to a wide group of plant lovers, voted by email.
Chinese miscanthus ‘Memory’ from DAGLEZJA Artur Maj Szkółka Roślin Ozdobnych
Eastern Redbud ‘Pink Pom Poms’ from OLSZEWSCY Szkółkarstwo Ozdobne
Salix gracilistyla ‘Mt Aso’ from SZMIT Szkółka
Berberys thunbergii ‘Orange Ice’ from the Szkóka Roślin Ozdobnych WAŻYŃSCY
Cotinus coggygria ‘Lilla’ from PEPINIERES MINIER Nurseries
Pinus uchinata ‘Billabong’ from Szkółka Krzewów Ozdobnych Jolanta i Jan NOWACZYK
Rose BLUSH PIXIE® ‘Bozbluspix’ from LEJA Sp. z o.o. Sp. k.,
Lycium barbarum AMBER SWEET GOJI®from CLEMATIS Źródło Dobrych Pnączy
Salix gracilistyla ‘Mt Aso’ submitted by Szkółka SZMIT
Exhibitors presented new varieties, from both Polish breeders, as well as creations of foreign horticulturalists available in Poland. The fact that plants submitted to the competition are suited for colder climate zones of Poland and countries to the east and north is a key value of the Warsaw competition. The best stand arrangements were honoured with LAURELS.
The 24th edition was full of events – seminars, conferences, meetings, workshops and shows that attracted crowds of participants. Experts and practical specialists shared their knowledge and experience, participated in discussions and answered questions. Opportunities to talk about current issues, share specialist knowledge, learn information that is not well systemized, wide range of discussions, are the primary benefits of meetings organized during the exhibit. The “FIRM GREEN CITY” conference concerning public green space gathered more than 240 participants. Nearly 120 people attended the “Knowledge for Producers” seminar directed to nursery people and gardeners. Meeting topics concerned legal protection of plant varieties, plant passports, guarantees for plants, chemical plant protection, and marketing. There was considerable interest in the topics proposed in the confines of the “Knowledge for Selling” seminar devoted to employee management, effective marketing, and logistics issues.
Special guest of the “Landscape Architect Day” – a seminar planned for 3 September, was Luc Behar- Bannelier – Director of the Nature & Environment Department, Disneyland in Paris – managing 2000 ha of green space at the most famous entertainment park. The guest shared his management experience and presented practical aspects concerning maintenance of the high standard greenery at the facility that hosts nearly 15 000 visitors daily. Creating the identity of a landscape architect, legal issues associated with copyrights, as well as selection and practical application of ornamental grasses were also brought up during the meeting.
Separate workshops were devoted to creating an identity and building the image of a landscape architect, conducted by Wojciech Januszczyk – landscape architect and Małgorzata Bogadnowicz – psychologist and business trainer.
The fair program also featured meetings with garden bloggers, topical exhibits, presentations and technology shows.
The program for amateurs was planned for Saturday. Visitors took advantage of the free workshops, expert advice and lectures. They watched garden shows and flower arranging events. Rare and new plants were available for sale at the plant sale during the three-day fair event.
The exhibit showed new products, trends and possibilities. Solutions, ideas, new plants, as well as niches with potential for greater use and development, were also on display. It facilitated thousands of meetings and talks among people employed in the “green business”, also those enthralled with its richness – garden owners and garden lovers, and the multitudes that visit the Exhibit every year.