September 2, 2019
Top picks from 2019 Trial Garden sites
Trial Garden Manager Rodger Tschanz, leads a tour of the Guelph site at this year's open house.
Over 60 industry professionals got a sneak peek of the latest new plant varieties at the annual Trial Garden Open House, held Aug. 15 at sites in Guelph and Milton, Ont.

The day began under sunny skies at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute with a speaker program. Rodger Tschanz, Trial Garden Manager at the University of Guelph, spoke about some of the new perennials in this year’s trial. Brendan Stewart and Karen Landman, also from U of G, spoke about their experience with wexPOPS — a pop-up garden initiative they were involved in this July and August. Hamilton Public Works Department’s Marcia Monaghan and Neil Schofield talked about their challenges and successes with container and specialized plantings. The talks were engaging and generated an active question period.

Activities then moved outside with a tour of the Guelph trial site, followed by a tour of the trial gardens at Landscape Ontario’s home office site in Milton. About 20 industry professionals made the trek to Milton as the weather quickly turned from sunshine into sporadic, torrential rainfall events. From all accounts it was a great day and the rainfall didn’t dampen the mood.

Each year, industry pros who tour the gardens get to vote on their favourite plants at both sites. Here are this year’s results:

Top 10 annuals
Digitalis Pink Panther
Verbena Superbena Sparkling Amethyst Imp.
Zea Pink Zebra
Coleus ColorBlaze Wicked Witch
Begonia Move2 Joy Pink
Verbena (Unnamed cultivar of Verbena bonariensis an All-America Selections Judging Entry)
Bidens Campfire Flame
Dahlia Grandahlia Sincerely
Antirrhinum Monaco Orange
Calibrachoa Cabaret Good Night Kiss

Top three perennials
Echinacea Supreme Elegance
Achillea Firefly Peach Sky
Echinacea Sombrero Salsa Red

Top shrub
Hydrangea Tuff Stuff