Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Winners

The University of Illinois does a test garden each year at which I am hoping to volunteer this year.  It is about thirty minutes from my home so it won't be that difficult to do even with a busy gardening season coming up.

Echinacea Pow Wow Wild Berry
This is a perennial grown from seed that flowers the first year.

Echinacea Pow Wow White
The U of I is expecting this perennial to come back strong this year.

At the end of the growing season the plants are rated by the University of Illinois researchers and also the public who can visit and write down their favorites on a survey.

Gomphera All Around Purple

Coleus Versa Crimson Gold

The seeds are planted in the spring with most of the flowers being annuals with some perennials that bloom from seed the first year.

Marigold Moonsong Deep Orange

Zinnia Profusion Knee High

Zinnia Uproar Rose

Angelonia Angel Mist Spreader Purple

They are tended by volunteers from the Illinois Master Gardener Program and noted for floriferous traits, long blooming period, color and disease resistance.

Impatiens Sun Spreading Corona

Impatiens Sun Compact Magenta

These are all 2010 Winners, some winners nationally and all deemed winners by the University of Illinois Horticulture Department

Begonia Inferno Pink

My feelings are if anything could be a winner for the summer of 2010 it must be great!


Hocking Hills Gardener said...

That does sound like a fun idea Eileen to volunteer for the test gardens. You will get to see some new plants coming out. I like the Echinacea. Especially the Wild Berry.The new Sun Impatiens are a great new addition. The orange is a stand out isn't it? They were testing some of these and the Profusion zinnias at the Conservatory last year.

Anonymous said...

Dear Eileen, What a splendid idea to work as a volunteer at the garden. I am sure that they will be most grateful for your help but this will also be a wonderful way to see what new introductions are coming along and how well they perform. You always seem so very busy so I do hope that you will not be too stretched with all these commitments.

AshTreeCottage said...

Wonderful idea ~ and just think of the marvelous posts you will have. It's so nice to meet you. I grew up in the North Shore Suburbs of Chicago, although I live in Idaho now. I am your newest follower. I hope that you will stop by for a visit when you have a chance!

Susan and Bentley

Cher' Shots said...

Thanks for sharing this burst of color as I am still looking at a few feet of snow.
'hugs from afar'

Anonymous said...

Fabulous plants! Makes me itch to get gardening.

garden girl said...

Nice to see color when everything here is still covered with snow! Enjoy the volunteer work!

Zoey said...

Volunteering at the gardens sounds like it would be fun and educational.

I like your header!

It's 45 degrees here right now. I am getting ready to go out --shopping, but at least I will be in the heat wave. After 10 below a few days ago, it will feel like a heat wave to me!


That Zinnia Profusion is one of my all time faves, Eileen. Hope you have fun in the test garden.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Lona,

I have always liked the Profusion series and now they have a new Zahara grouping which I believe has a Plant Selection award. I am going to look for this Pow Wow Coneflower.


The Tablescaper said...

Your photos are glorious and make me yearn for summer. Thanks for linking to Seasonal Sundays. Please edit your post to provide readers with a link back to Seasonal Sundays. Thanks.

- The Tablescaper

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Edith,

I hope they will have room to let me do this. Although, each year our own gardens are "test gardens." I do need to reign myself in every so often but I do like to be busy.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Susan,

Thanks for visiting! Idaho must be quite a different gardening experience than Chicago. I will stop by.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Cher' Shots,

Our snow is slowly going down, 47 degrees today, 50's by the weekend. I am encouraged, but I know that we can get hit several more times.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Grace,

Our snow is meltimg, but I know you will be gardening long before me. We get excited here with a thaw but know that we can still get tons more snow.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi GG,

The snow is melting but not fast enough. Now I notice a ton of ice underneath.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Zoey,

We are in a heat wave also. The header is Love Lies Bleeding which I grew in containers at my last house. I bought the seed in the red and green to grow this year again. They are both stunning.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Carolyn,

I really like the Profusion Series. I ordered the Zahara seeds in red and yellow to start this year. I think they are taller and larger flowered than Profusion.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Tablescaper,

I will make a badge out of your logo to put on my site. I would love others, especially the gardening group to see what you do!


joey said...

Sounds delightful and most informative, Eileen. Keep us posted on the winners. Happy Valentine's Day :)

Sissy said...

My son attends the U of I and we stopped last year to look at the test plots...! It was so interesting to see even how the different colors of the same variety responded! I can barely keep up with my own plants, much less think about keeping up with another garden!! I love your blog!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Joey,

I hope I get into this part of the volunteer program.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Sissy,

I think they have the plots at several of their locations which even makes it better in regard to habits.


Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

Hi Eileen, You have showed some lovely flowers in this post and it would be hard to pick a favorite, but I really like that pink zinnia. It will be a great experience to volunteer in the test garden. Wouldn't it be nice to know that you might have played some small hand in the testing and introduction of a new variety?

Gatsbys Gardens said...

HI jennifer,

I would love to do this but they may not take me because I live in a different county even though I am pretty close. I may have to be satisfied with a location not so large and interesting.


Indoor Fountains said...

Wow-the crimson golds are magnificent