Top Performers Honored in Annual Flower Trial Garden Performance Report

Note to Editors: Top performing varieties at the Annual Flower Trial Gardens for the 2006 growing season and evaluators’ comments on all varieties are available at Selected high resolution images are available by visiting and clicking on the headline for this release. Additional images are available by contacting Nik Olsen at (970) 491-7766 or via e-mail at

Colorado’s varied climate brings unique challenges to flower gardeners wanting to add beauty to their yard with plants that will not only survive but thrive. To help homeowners and commercial operations alike identify viable solutions, Colorado State University has released its annual Flower Trial Garden Performance Report.

Thousands of flowers from hundreds of varieties – from begonias to geraniums to snapdragons – were planted and grown in the summer of 2006 to determine how well the plants faired in the Rocky Mountain/High Plains region. The high-altitude region (about 5,200 feet), presents gardeners many unique and challenging factors including intense solar radiation, drying winds, heavy clay soils, potential for severe hailstorms, large fluctuations between day and night temperatures, and season-long need for irrigation.

Euphorbia "Diamond Frost," developed by the Proven Winner seed company, earned the "2006 Best in Show" award. Judges noted the plant’s exceptionally long-lasting display of delicate white flowers. The "2006 Best New Variety" award went to the Benary Seed’s Celosia flower, called "Fresh Look Gold," for showy flowers that look like large plumes of yellow feathers against dark green foliage.

For a full list of winners, visit

The 2006 growing season marked the sixth year for the annual trial garden site located at 1401 Remington St., which is across the street from the new Center for the Arts at Colorado State University. The Annual Trial Gardens program at Colorado State is directed by Jim Klett, professor in Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Colorado State.

The outdoor display and test areas were established to allow students, researchers, industry representatives, homeowners and extension personnel to learn, teach and evaluate horticultural research and demonstration projects in the Rocky Mountain/High Plains region. The annual flower trial garden and All American Selections display and trial gardens are open to students, industry personnel and the public for viewing, gathering ideas about new varieties, studying the different growth habits, tolerances and visual characteristics of many annual flowering varieties.

The annual trials at Colorado State have no operating dollars directly allocated from state funds. Financial assistance, plant material and other miscellaneous material for trial operations have been donated by a number of sources.