2019 – Launching Pad to a New Syn-RG™ Decade


2019 – Launching Pad to a New Syn-RG™ Decade

Thanks to Tim Kane for this great article!

2019 was year of incredible promise and introduction in the Syn-RG™ world.  There are so many things that hit the spotlight in 2019 that it cries out for taking a minute to reflect on the successes of the expanding Breeder/Grower/IGC partnership that is Syn-RG™ before plunging ahead in just a few days into the new decade of the 2020’s. Here are just a few of the 2019 highlights that have us excited for the new year.

New IGC partners

2019 saw strong, steady growth in IGC Syn-RG™ partners with a 21% jump in partners joining and experiencing the Syn-RG™ difference.  As we close out 2019, over 230 independent garden centers across eastern North America have embraced the Handpicked For You® trust mark and  have said yes to a partnership that is dedicated to helping sell more plants at better margins along with helping consumers that visit their garden centers to make easier and better buying decisions.  As we stand at the doorstep of 2020, our goal is to have 300 IGC’s on board by the end of 2020.

To help reach that goal, the Syn-RG™ partners, Overdevest Nursery, Prides Corner Farms, Saunders Brothers Nursery, Sheridan Nurseries and Willoway Nurseries, have focused on further defining the Handpicked For You® message and all that it means to our IGC partners including:  

  • NEW and EXCITING - Access to exciting new plants and the opportunity to participate in their evaluation, certification and promotion
  • CERTIFIED for SUCCESS - A trust mark that promotes consumer confidence and success while providing IGC staff assurance that they are representing plants that perform better in their local area. 
  • YOUR COMMUNITY - Your stake in a POWERFUL FAMILY of hundreds of retailers, world class breeders and progressive nurseries, all working together for the benefit of INDEPENDENT RETAILERS, their CUSTOMERS and our ENVIRONMENT.


Photo: Hydrangea mac. Cherry Explosion PPAF

New Plants

(10) varieties of plants were newly certified in 2019 to carry the Handpicked For You® trust mark.  Only plants that can match up to our stringent standards of performance and viability can qualify for the HPFY trust mark.  Of the over (100) selections that were evaluated in 2019 based on production trials, in ground trials and the feedback from our IGC partners, only (10) made the grade for certification.  These new plants, Buxus ‘Little Missy’, Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Cherry Explosion’, Rosa True Bloom™ True Passion, Aralia ‘Sun King’, Helleborus Frostkiss® Anna’s Red, Dorothy’s Dawn, Glenda’s Gloss and Penny’s Pink, Sedum ‘Joyful’ and Carex ‘Feather Falls’, will add some real shine to Handpicked For You® displays at garden centers this coming spring!

Even better, there is a list of over (70) limited release or first to the market new plants that will be available to Syn-RG™ garden center partners first in 2020. These ‘First Look’ plants will form the basis for new possible HPFY certification in 2020.  Be sure to ask your Syn-RG™ grower partner for this list of exciting new plants that an impressive list of breeders throughout the world has entrusted to you, the IGC Syn-RG™ garden center partners.

Photo: www.newgenboxwood.com

NewGen™ Boxwood

Fall of 2019 saw the roll out of the NewGen™ Boxwood program being offered exclusively by Syn-RG™ growers for 2020 sales at IGC’s.  The buzz about the NewGen™ Boxwood collection has been overwhelming with the message about these new Boxwood Blight tolerant, Boxwood Leaf Miner resistant plants causing well deserved excitement.  This new series, based on the diligent, years long research of the Boxwood experts at Syn-RG™ growing partner Saunders Brothers Nursery, features the first two NewGen™ selections, NewGen™ Independence and NewGen™ Freedom.  These stunning new plants are sure to be in high demand for 2020.  Look for these outstanding new selections at the winter trade shows you may visit in the coming weeks.  They will be on prominent display at the MANTS trade show in Baltimore this January at your favorite Syn-RG™ growing partners.

Even More New Plants

The Plant Finders at Syn-RG™ never rest in their quest for outstanding new plants for our IGC partners. 2019 was no exception as a Syn-RG™ contingent traveled throughout North America and Europe to look for the latest, greatest new genetics to present to you.  Starting with the Essen show in Germany in the winter of 2019 and highlighted by trips to Michigan and Oregon in the summer months, it was a globetrotting year that yielded some breathtaking, exciting new possibilities for the future. Keep your eyes open for some exclusive new perennials that will be available to Syn-RG™ growers and IGC partners later in 2020 along with the possibility of a stunning variety of Hydrangea paniculata and a game changing Thuja selection as we head toward 2021!

Photo: WorryFree® Lemon Glow®

Photo: WorryFree® Crimson Cutie®

WorryFree® Barberry

Sales of WorryFree® Crimson Cutie® continued to grow in 2019. This seedless, non-invasive, University of Connecticut Barberry selection being sold and marketed by Syn-RG™ has struck a chord with retailers looking for a solution to the invasiveness of other Barberry selections while cherishing the easy care toughness and beauty that WorryFree® Crimson Cutie® brings to the landscape.  Numbers for this selection are being ramped up by Syn-RG™ growers as we hit the new decade while, at the same time, Syn-RG™ is working hard to find a solution with states that have banned Berberis selections as a result of the invasiveness of other older, seed producing selections.  Be on the lookout in late 2020 for the next certified, seed free, non-invasive selection that will be hitting the market, WorryFree® Lemon Glow®!

New Syn-RG™ Family Member

What an exciting year for Syn-RG™ director, Emily Chung as she welcomed new daughter, Elizabeth, to her family this fall. Congratulations to Emily and her family!

As you can see, after a hectic 2019, Syn-RG™ is poised for an even more exciting 2020 filled with great new plants, great new programs and great new selling and partnership possibilities. We are looking forward to working together with you, our IGC partners, to make 2020 more profitable for you and more successful for your customers while providing your sales team with more exciting plants bearing the Handpicked For You® trust mark for more selling opportunities!