Trial Gardens

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Whenever there are picture tags for perennials, we try to put the picture tag in the pot. This gives everyone the opportunity to see what the plant will look like. We also include one of our nursery tags in each pot that describes the characteristics of the plant. Despite the information and pictures tags, it can still be difficult to visualize the plant, or see if the plant will be correct for the empty place in the garden. This is where our trial gardens come in handy. The front garden started back with my dad’s vision, and I have continued on with that garden, as well as, a few other gardens. These gardens give the opportunity for people to see what the plants, perennials and trees alike, will look like once they are planted outside of the pot, as plants in pots are always somewhat restricted by the pot, and expand and mature much more once outside of the pot. This also gives me the opportunity to see what plants do well in certain conditions. While some plants tags say they only do well in full sun, it is fun to expand the limits of the plants, and find new conditions where plants thrive. These trial gardens don’t have perfect growing conditions, just like your gardens won’t; they still experience all the gifts of Mother Nature like high winds, flooding, dry spells, extreme heat, etc., so these gardens also show when some plants can’t endure the wide span of weather we experience in Northeast Indiana. Speaking of Mother Nature, the trial garden on the west side of the nursery was 3 feet under water a couple of years ago. It is interesting to see what plants survived that and what plants didn’t. Some plants just aren’t cut out for the variability in the weather here. With that being said, I encourage everyone to take a stroll through our many trial gardens when you come to the nursery. This past fall we even added a few more gardens, and also added many more plants to the already existing gardens. We are working to have all the plants tagged so it makes it easier for you to see what plants you like as you walk through the garden. We do the best we can to put good descriptions on the tags of plants, but seeing plants well established in the trial gardens is the best type of “description” there is.

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