Breeders often look for ways to distinguish themselves from other exhibitors at California Spring Trials, a week-long event showcasing the latest plant introductions. “You want people to remember who you are,” says Melanie Fernandes, marketing and communications manager at Syngenta Flowers, which hosts a stop at its facility in Gilroy, Calif. “When the display is unusual, it draws people in, and then you have a message that hits home with the plant material.” The old adage “less is more” serves as a guide for Syngenta.

For a trio of pentas, their names and key features served as a guide. Falling Star is a breakthrough series of trailing pentas, and the team told this story by suspending stars from the ceiling to mimic the trails from shooting stars. BeeBright and HoneyCluster, magnets for bees and other pollinators, were illustrated with a honeycomb-like backdrop using hexagon-shaped wood pieces sourced online. The team avoided busy displays and opted for cleaner looks, as evidenced by another eye-catching area where shovels and rakes were used as “hooks” for hanging baskets, and watering cans dangling from the ceiling poured chandelier-like plastic crystals instead of water. Syngenta bought most materials in bulk to save money — the watering cans and crystals effect was achieved for about $20.

“We could have hung up 10 million watering cans, but we would have lost the effect,” she says. “We’ve been learning less is more. If you put too much into a piece, you’re going to lose the effect.”

MICHELLE SIMAKIS
MICHELLE SIMAKIS
MICHELLE SIMAKIS