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Experience the Horticulture Trial Gardens at UGA in Athens Georgia.

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UGA Horticulture Trail Garden plants
The Gardens at Athens were started in 1982, when the then young and foolish Allan Armitage and Michael Dirr, along with a number of confused students, plowed some ground and built a wobbly lathe area.

Horticulture Trail Garden in AthensPanAmerican Seed company was the first believer, and with a bunch of PanAm seed and a few dollars, the gardens were born. Today, we receive plants or seeds from almost all the plant breeding companies in the world, along with material from perennial plant nurseries, individual growers and gardeners, as well as material Dr. A brings back from his travels.

The primary functions of the garden have always been research, teaching, and new crop introduction and that continues today.

The garden is open to the public and professionals. Detailed information on the plants we trial is available to all who are interested by visiting Garden Trials.

The trials are planted in April and May with a variety of bedding classes, tropicals, vines, plantings of specialty annuals, over 60 free-standing containers and three large perennial beds.

Another major garden function is an evaluation and subsequent introduction of new crops for the greenhouse and landscape industries. We have two different methods of plant introduction. Breeding efforts have provided plants such as Aruncus 'Misty Lace' however most new introductions are the result of improvements to selections of plants found through travel (Tibouchina 'Athens Blue', New Zealand; Lantana 'Athens Rose', Australia), sent by gardeners (Ipomoea 'Margarita'; Cleome 'Linde Armstrong'; Alternanthera 'Gail's Choice'), through selection of existing genera (Verbena 'Homestead Purple'; Cuphea 'Susan's Little Gem'; Ruellia 'Ragin Cajin').
Beautiful garden flowers and plants
A protocol for the introduction of new crops has been developed which includes tolerance to heat and humidity, ease of propagation, resistance to disease and insects, greenhouse production time, and cutting efficiency. Essentially, this protocol allows us to cull many plants from the program, so that only the best remain.

UGA Horticulture Trail Garden PlantsIf plants "make the cut," they are distributed nationally. In the past, many plants were simply introduced to growers who wished to produce them, including annuals and perennials. This method of introduction continues today, however, a new program, in which plants which show extraordinary heat and humidity tolerance appear under the nationally recognized 'Athens Select' logo. We have been successful in introducing many new crops in the last 10-15 years.

Amenities: Parking and Restrooms - Free admission. Parking is Free after 5pm during weekdays and all day during weekends. Free quided tours by reservation.

Office hours are Monday-Friday at 8 am - 5 pm. Garden is always open. Call for guided tours.

Phone: 706-542-2471 - Address: 1111 Plant Science Bldg., UGA Campus, Athens, GA 30602 - Horticulture Trail Garden Website

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