Wednesday, August 13, 2014

On Trial

I've been to Fort Collins three times so far, and during the first two visits I passed this very interesting-looking sight many, many times. There was always something else to do (find Oldest Son a place to live) or somewhere else to be (a brewery, great restaurant, or The Loopy Ewe) but during my most recent visit in June, I made time to stop and smell the roses (okay, the verbena and petunias).

The Colorado State University Annual Flower Trial Garden is an amazing concept and an amazing place. Different annual plant cultivars are planted in huge pots and beds so their performance can be evaluated in the Rocky Mountain growing conditions. It's a beautiful sight, but it's also a place that benefits students, professionals, gardeners, and anyone with an interest in flowers. The plants are judged in August for "vigor, uniformity, floriferousness and tolerance to environmental and biotic stresses" with the results published on the web site. What a wonderful resource for anyone interested in growing flowers in Colorado! We don't have anything nearly this extensive in New Jersey (Rutgers has display gardens but only a 30 specimen hydrangea trial), so I'm quite jealous and hope Coloradoans appreciate their CSU Trial Garden!

They were still planting when I visited in June, but I spent several enjoyable hours browsing the rows. I would love to see what it looks like now so maybe I can convince Oldest Son to take a photo or two. He's lucky enough to pass this great place twice a day on his way to and from school! Since taking pictures of flowers isn't at the top of his list, maybe Patty can take a few during her visit in September.

I love this beautiful place, and if I'm ever lucky enough to garden in Colorado, I know I'll love it even more!



  1. so pretty! I especially love those pastel-colored dahlias. thanks for sharing this with us!

  2. That is the healthiest crop of columbines I've ever seen! Thank you for sharing this special place!

  3. what a pretty place to stop and visit! Great photos :)

  4. I love visiting the trial gardens at Michigan State University. Always such fun and interesting discoveries!

  5. Consider it done! (Or I'll do my best!) I've taken a photo of the address so I can give it a whirl. My honey would like that too. (Like you...not the son!)


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