A super sexy pink hydrangea... and more!

It's day 3 (part 2) at IPM Essen 2023!

Jan 26, 2023

As I always seem to do, let’s start off this Substack talking about food. It’s nigh on impossible to keep a healthy diet when you’re spending all day in a trade show, and exhausted by the evening. I don’t even try, in fact! Shame on me. But, I’m not the type of guy to carry around Tupperware boxes of chicken and sweet potato. Especially over borders.

But, when you are faced with a gorgeous flammkuchen for lunch, you don’t say no. And, the base is so thin, it’s like it doesn’t even exist.

In the evening, I did have a sudden penchant for healthy food, and hunted down some Vietnamese places. Most were busy, but I found the amazing Mr Nam, on a side street, and it was an amazing experience. They did announce that they only take cash, though, so rather than have a tantrum, I went and drew some out. I’m glad I did. I think I might go back there tomorrow, so delicious… oops.

So, let’s fill you in on the afternoon. Where do I start? I was four coffees down by this time. But I knew I couldn’t have one after 4pm, as that keeps me awake.

I dropped by Lubera, a brilliant Swiss company who are changing the face of fruit, and have been doing so for many years. It’s my ambition to visit one day.

They’ve worked on every fruit and vegetable you could’ve imagined, and have such innovative skills. The new (ish) breeder Raphael is working on perennial kale in lots of different colours, and different types of hardy passionflower. The fruits are, dear reader, utterly delicious.

If you’re quick, you can catch my highlights video on the Instagram reels for the official IPM Essen account. I try the fruits of this passionfruit there, so you can easily check my face from micro-reactions!

The boss Markus later took over the chat, and showed me their amazing rhubarbs. They are breeding an innovative selection, including some that keep cropping and that can be grown in a pot. And, wow, wow, wow, peanuts, even a stripey one, it was just amazing.

Now, when you’re at IPM ESSEN, the main plant halls are 1 and 2. As I got into my third day at the show, I still hadn’t looked around those, shock horror. This is intentional. I’ve encouraged myself to go to the halls that I wouldn’t naturally visit as much, where there might be accessories, even machinery. I think it’s good to learn.

For example, this amazing root-balling machine for lifting trees, and planting them as well.

And other machinery such as this clever “bouquet buncher”.

Another area I was focusing was the floristry areas, and I went back to those in the afternoon. Here’s a few of the highlights, which I think are so skilled and innovative, and really push the boundaries, I hope you enjoy them:

There just so happens to be a new plants showcase down there too, and I spent a few minutes salivating over the giant red flowered new Camellia Femme Fatale, a sweet little new primrose with a flower like a Blue Crocus (by Raes in Belgium) and the love-them-or-hate-them StarStyle spider Azaleas!

There’s also quite a new interesting houseplant that I think you guys need to watch out for, and it’s a type of Euphorbia. Now, I’m always banging the drum for flowering houseplants, and I hope you’ll bear with me on that. Let me know what you think!

To round off the day, I attended the most unique press event ever. There was a new hydrangea by Kordes, named Dolly Buster. Dolly Buster is a famous German porn star. Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t know if we have famous porn stars in the UK, but you’re very welcome to correct me on that.

It’s a brand-new candy pink hydrangea, and she came along for the photo opportunities! She drew quite a crowd, good on her!