Trial gardens play an important role in the evaluation of plant performance, prior to the release of new varieties to the trade and consumer by plant breeders. The University of Guelph’s annual trial garden event held every year in mid-August attracts an audience keen to learn more about potentially new and exciting varieties ready for release in the not-too-distant future. Retailers and landscapers in attendance are anxious to learn more about new varieties they will be able to offer to their clients. The main audience, however, are the staff of parks departments from across southern Ontario, eager to find new varieties of annuals and perennials that will perform well in their challenging urban environments.
Now a long-standing annual tradition, the Trial Garden Open House starts at the University of Guelph with a series of educational speakers, followed by a guided tour of the trial gardens, led by U of Guelph’s Rodger Tschanz. The U of G seminars and tours are always followed up by a site tour of the trial gardens at the Landscape Ontario Horticultural Centre in Milton.
Read more about the 2019 Trial Garden event, including the attendee’s top picks of annual, perennial and shrub selections.