A Trip to the K-State Bedding Plant Trials

Every year for the last 7 years, I have attended the Annual Bedding Plant Trial Day in Olathe, put together by Kansas State University. This year, they had improved the trial beds and it was the best looking annuals they have had in my time. 6 Grimm’s Gardens professionals went to the trials, including Doug & Jeryl Grimm, 2 greenhouse staff, designer Nadine Champlin, and myself. It takes about 2 hours driving for us to get there, but the industry fellowship and learning experiences we gain put aside the distance.

The Bedding Plant Trial In Olathe, KS

This year we arrived early and were able to walk much of the site before opening remarks and a few speakers. The trial gardens were at peak performance. Nearly all of the 580 cultivars of annuals and a few perennials were in full bloom and beautiful. Seeing the large, expansive grouping of annuals in full bloom really got us excited about our own annuals and future sales at the greenhouses.
Cheryl Boyer, of KSU discussing the Prairie Star Annual selections

There are too many cultivars to list them all, even the noted Prairie Star Annuals, so I will mention a few that may come to us in the future, though not necessarily next season. Keep an eye out for these, I think they will be great to come. All of the ornamental sweet potato vines looked great, I would recommend any one of them. Salvia ‘Rockin’ Deep Purple’ was a very interesting royal purple color on plants that looked like ‘Black & Blue’. The MainStreet Series of coleus had several new additions to its already exceptional collection, look for these at the store. A low growing vinca, Soiree ‘Lavender’ may come to be used as a great border plant. Also expect to see an explosion of new Dahlia cultivars in the coming years.
The Container Trials

These and many more made up a very wonderful day of flowers in the heat of Kansas July.

Happy planting!

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