June 10, 2013

Garden celebrities: Try-outs for the Academy Awards of Gardening

When it comes to innovation in gardening, Landscape Ontario is leading the pack. On August 21, Landscape Ontario will open its trial gardens to the public, providing gardeners with a glimpse of what to expect in 2011.

"Of all the presentations I give across the province, the subject people get most excited about is new plants," said Denis Flanagan of Landscape Ontario. "The trial gardens at Landscape Ontario are a sneak preview to next year's top performers," he continued.

Now in their fourth year at Landscape Ontario, the trial gardens are the result of a joint effort with the University of Guelph, building on the university's trials held at its main site in Guelph for a number of years. Some of the plants contending for celebrity status in 2011 include:
  • GoldDust mecardonia - small yellow flowers and low trailing habit similar to bacopa Black.
  • Velvet petunia - a mounding upright petunia with a unique, very dark purple flower.
  • Venti Parfait Crimson Eye dianthus - an 8- to 10-in. dianthus with very large single, pink flowers with red centres.
  • 'Spring Celebrities' hollyhocks - a new knee-high, bushy, annual hollyhock Magnum series.
  • New Guinea impatiens - series features six different colours with extra-large flowers.
Landscape Ontario's trial gardens open house on August 21, 2010 runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will also be a stop on the Milton Community in Bloom Garden Tour. The showy gardens are easy to spot on the north side of Hwy. 401 between the Trafalgar Rd. and James Snow Parkway exits - get directions at www.landscapeontario.com. The open house is free to the public, or tickets for the garden tour are $25 and include lunch at Landscape Ontario.