The Annual Flower Trial Garden is a horticultural project at the Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Every year, the project sees new varietals of different flowers planted in the garden to assess their ability to develop and grow in the local climate, as well as their flowering characteristics. Located at Lake and Remington across the street from the Colorado State University for the Arts, the Annual Flower Trial Garden are free to the public to visit.
The mission of the Annual Flower Trial Garden is to provide a place for students, scholars, educators, industry professionals, and the community to learn more about horticulture, flowering bulbs, and plants and the environment in which they live. The Garden’s outdoor display and test areas were established with this mission in mind, providing a place for demonstration projects and horticultural research of plants in the unique environmental conditions of the Rocky Mountain/High Plains region.
The Annual Flower Trial Garden was born from a Pansy Trial program initiated in 2003 by Dr. Klett and David Staats from the W. D. Holley Plant Environmental Research Center (PERC). This program aimed to evaluate the ability of various Pansy and Viola varieties to survive the freezing winters in Northern Colorado. As the number of participants in the trial grew year after year, the demand for space grew, and the Annual Flower Trial Garden moved from its original site at PERC to its current location on Remington Street. The new 2.9-acre site took five phases to relocate and features 20,000 total square feet of bedding space.
The principle goal of the trial program conducted at the Garden is to assess and evaluate how a variety of annual plant cultivars and other flora perform, survive and thrive in typical Rocky Mountain environmental conditions. Over 1,000 different varieties of annual bedding plants in the test undergo all types of weather conditions, ranging from high altitude and intense solar radiation to severe hailstorms, drying winds, and significant changes between day and night temperatures. The trial also tests the need for season-long irrigation. Varieties of plants are grown in rows that are arranged by color and grouped by genus to make the comparison of other types easier.
The Annual Flower Trial Garden is located on the campus of the Colorado State University at 1401 Remington St, Fort Collins and is open to the public, free of charge. Annuals are planted around the entire garden from late May through October, while pansies are planted in the fall, so they bloom for display in the early spring. The Annual Flower Trial Garden can be rented for special occasions for an additional fee, including the romantic Gazebo and surrounding facilities.
In addition to the Annual Flower Trial Garden, Fort Collins offers an array of things to see and do. Home to Colorado State University, Fort Collins is a charming town surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes that offer year-round adventures. Explore the scenic Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, visit the Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures, have fun with hands-on exhibits at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery and stop by the Center for Fine Art Photography.
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Colorado State University, 1401 Remington St, Fort Collins, CO 80523, Phone: 970-491-7179