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 2013 garden includes 90 cultivars and 5 All-America Flower winners and 2 All America Vegetable winners. The following seed companies are participating in this year’s trials: Benary Seed, Ball Flora Plant, ball Seed, Selecta, Takii & co., Ltd., Ball Ingenuity, Pan American Seed, Takii Europe B.V., Syngenta Seed, Sakata Seed America, Kieft, Harris Seed, and Burpee Home Gardens.; Ted’s Greenhouse, in Tinley Park, IL also assisted in germinating seed for transplants used in the garden.
New this year is an All-America display garden. This containerized display highlights past All-America winners and showcases them in containers, an idea that can easily translate to any size home or balcony garden.