Walters Gardens Hybridizers

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Clarence Falstad

Clarence Falstad

For decades, Clarence Falstad has been discovering sports and hybridizing plants in a variety of genera including hosta and hibiscus. Currently, he is actively crossing hibiscus and selecting only the best from tens of thousands of seedlings with a goal of introducing improved cultivars for today's home gardeners.

Our customers fell in love with Clarence's SUMMERIFIC® 'Summer Storm' PP20443 Hibiscus with its deep wine purple, maple leaf foliage and large pink flowers. Clarence's has also introduced super long blooming varieties like 'Jazzberry Jam' and SUMMERIFIC® 'Berrylicious' PPAF.

A breakthrough in Clarence's hybridizing came with the introduction of a superb new compact hibiscus introduced in Summer 2009 called SUMMERIFIC® 'Cranberry Crush' PP21984.  This naturally short and compact selection forms a pristine rounded clump 3-4 feet tall and produces large 7-8 inch wide, deep scarlet red flowers which emerge from near-black buds.  It is more in scale with smaller city gardens and can also be grown as a specimen in large containers.  Read more about SUMMERIFIC® 'Cranberry Crush' PP21894 here

 

 

Hans Hansen

Hans Hansen

Meet Hans Hansen, one of our resident plant experts and head of the WGI hybridizing team.  Hans is well-known throughout the industry for his truly new and improved hosta introductions, though his interests in hybridizing encompass a number of genera.

From the young age of three or four years old, Hans Hansen can remember planting onions in his family's garden.  He would ask family members for plants as birthday or Christmas gifts.  Not your average kid!  He must have known early on what he would do with his life given these early signs.  As a teenager, Hans hybridized Asiatic lilies, working to develop doubles, pollen-free varieties, and those with dark patterned throats.  As his hybridizing interests expanded, he began working with hostas extensively and it is that work for which he is best known in the plant community today.  In 1997, he introduced his first two hostas: 'Pandora's Box' and 'Fire and Ice'. 

Over the past decade or more, Hans has introduced about 20 hostas through Shady Oaks Nursery in his home state of Minnesota.  Walters Gardens, Inc. is proud to offer a number of Hans' introductions. In addition to hostas, Hans also works to hybridize plants in a number of other genera including Baptisia and Paeonia, which he finds especially challenging.

Hans is especially excited to offer you his series of DECADENCE® Baptisias, which are the result of over a decade of his breeding work. DECADENCE® Baptisias were hybridized and selected specifically for their shorter, more compact habit and unique flower coloration. All members of this series are produced from cuttings and will bloom the first year. They have terrific impulse appeal at retail. We currently offer 'Blueberry Sundae' PP23891, 'Cherries Jubilee' PP23907, 'Dutch Chocolate' PP23872, 'Lemon Meringue' PP24280, and 'Vanilla Cream' PPAF.

Chris Meyer

Chris Meyer

Chris Meyer became interested in hybridizing daylilies in his backyard in the early 1990s when he made the initial cross that eventually resulted in the introduction of 'Going Bananas' PP17164 in 2006. According to Chris, only a few seedlings out of a thousand are worthy of introduction. 'Going Bananas' PP17164 was certainly worth the time and effort--14 years from start to finish! An improvement over 'Happy Returns', it has a similar petite size but produces larger flowers that bloom continuously and open fully after cool nights.

Walters Gardens, Inc. is proud to introduce Chris' latest daylily hybrid, Hemerocallis 'Elegant Explosion', beginning Summer 2009.  This rebloomer explodes with dynamite orange-gold color beginning in midsummer and is the perfect variety to use when creating large swathes of color in the landscape.  Read more about it here