Northern Colorado’s largest and most stunning flower garden will be put to the test for the first time by consumers. The first ever Consumer Day at Colorado State University’s Annual Trial Garden will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 11. The event is free and open to the public.
The flowers of CSU’s Annual Trial Garden are judged each year by industry evaluators, but this year consumers will also get the opportunity to help choose Colorado’s top performing flowers.
The event will be held at CSU’s Annual Flower Trial Garden, 1401 Remington St., Fort Collins. Free parking will be available on CSU campus lots on Aug. 11, and participants can park in the campus lot on Pitkin Street, northeast of the University Center for the Arts.
Participants at Consumer Day will view over 1,100 different varieties of annual flowers and over 300 new varieties to select recipients of the Colorado Garden Foundation Consumer Choice Awards.
Guided tours of the Annual Trial Gardens will be provided at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.Free refreshments will be available, and door prizes will be given throughout the morning. Flower-planting activities for children also are planned as part of the morning’s events.
“For the first time, we’d like to engage consumers in helping select Colorado’s top varieties of flowers,” said Jim Klett, garden coordinator and a professor in the CSU Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. “Consumer Day at the Annual Trial Gardens ultimately will benefit home gardeners because the results will help choose what to plant.”
The Trial Garden, a northern Colorado showpiece and CSU gem, spans nearly three acres and is the largest university trial garden west of the Mississippi River. The Trial Garden draws visitors from near and far but has a distinct research focus: The cultivars planted here are scrutinized for their ability to flourish in Colorado’s harsh growing conditions, and the varieties deemed winners are touted to home gardeners who want to cultivate their green thumbs.