Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

July 27, 2005

U of G Trial Garden Event Aims to Attract New Visitors

The University of Guelph is holding its annual trial garden open house Aug. 4 from 1 to 8 p.m. at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute, 328 Victoria Road. The event is free and open to the public.

The event is designed to encourage the community to familiarize itself with the facility. It will include guided tours to allow guests to ask questions about the facility and learn more about the garden, said Rodger Tschanz, a U of G plant agriculture technician who manages the trial garden.

Located along the entrance to the turfgrass institute, the trial garden's 1,400 square metres of growing space allows gardeners to see what flowers and plants perform best in southwestern Ontario's climate. It's the only university operated ornamental trial garden in Ontario and is part of a network of research centres across North America set up to determine which plants grow higher and fuller, bloom quicker, stand up in extreme weather conditions and resist common plant diseases.

Greenhouse growers, seed companies and landscapers can use the trial garden's results to choose species that will be successful in and around Guelph, said Tschanz.

"In addition to showcasing new and under-utilized plant varieties, the facility offers researchers the opportunity to examine new uses for old plants and this may spark new landscaping trends," he said.

It's a tradition to have the public vote on their favorite plants during the open house. "One of best parts of the whole process is finding out what type and colour the public is attracted to," said Tschanz, who is partial to plants that are low maintenance and offer creative possibilities for use in landscaping.

In addition, this year's garden will host the All-American Selections bedding plant trial. The program was established in 1932 to promote new seed varieties with superior garden performance. At the end of the season a panel of judges will submit their rating scores and the winner is allowed to advertise this distinction on their packaging. "This is a very prestigious award," said Tschanz.

This is also the first year the trial garden will be evaluating perennials. The first variety of perennials, from Blooms of Bressingham, has already been planted and will be evaluated over the next three years for winter hardiness and growth performance.

Rodger Tschanz
Trial Garden Manager, Department of Plant Agriculture
(519) 824-4120, Ext. 52788,

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, Ext. 56982.

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