The garden at the Midwest Golf House is a place to showcase some of the newest introductions to the world of annuals as well as highlight some of the tried and true standards of the industry. The Midwest Golf House Trial Garden is a University of Illinois Extension collaborative project with the Chicago District Golf Association, numerous seed companies, U of I Master Gardeners and All-America Selections. The garden will be used to evaluate the performance of annual flowers for full sun locations. The evaluation process will help to highlight those cultivars that could be used in commercial landscape situations as well as home gardens.
Every two weeks, every cultivar will be evaluated for horticultural performance. The criteria for evaluation will be based on flower display, overall quality, uniformity of habit and the ability to withstand, insect, disease and environmental pressure. A scale of 1-5 will be used to help generate a graph of performance so that each cultivar can be “tracked” through the season and high and low points in appearance can be seen. Most all cultivar ratings will be accompanied by a photograph. The 2012 garden includes 151 cultivars of flowers and 3 All-America Selection vegetable winners. The following seed companies are participating in this year’s trials: American Takii, Inc.; Seeds by Design; Harris Seed; Ball Flora Plant; Pan American Seed; Syngenta Flowers; Ball Ingenuity; Selecta; Burpee Home Gardens; Sakata Seed America; Takii Europe; Floranova; and Known-You-Seed, Co LTD.; Ted’s Greenhouse, in Tinley Park, IL also assisted in germinating seed for transplants used in the garden.
New this year is a display of tropical plants. Plant material for this display was provided by AG3 and Agri Starts.