September 15, 2008
Over 60 industry members and media attended an open house at Landscape Ontario’s Milton office on Aug. 20 to see and hear the results of the ornamental trial gardens.

After a successful first year in 2007, the LO Grounds Management Commodity Group and the University of Guelph decided to expand and redesign the flower beds on the Milton property.

The result — approximately 6,000 square feet of colourful annuals and perennials on the south lawn of the Milton property offering a wide selection of flowers, grasses and interesting foliage for the landscape. The purpose of the trial garden is to promote the use of interesting and varied plant materail to the landscape industry. Some of the cultivars in the trial were new releases and others were examples of hardy and vigorous plants that are ideally suited for landscape applications.

A unique challenge to this year’s trials was the record amount of rainfall. University of Guelph Trial Gardens Manager Rodger Tschanz said it was the most rainfall he had experienced since his first trials in 2001.

Some plants performed better as a result of the extra rainfall, which also proved to be a good environment for some pests and diseases.

After spending the morning at the LO site, many attendees continued on to view the trial gardens at the University of Guelph in the afternoon session.

The LO Grounds Management Commodity Group and the University of Guelph would like to thank the following sponsors: A.M.A. Plastics, Ball Horticultural Company, Goldsmith Seed, Vanden Bussche Irrigation and Equipment, Rainbird, Hunter Industries and Halton Turf & Tractor.