Michigan Garden Plant Tour

25-05-2020    10:44   |    Greenhouse Grower

Prepare now to join us at the 17th annual Michigan Garden Plant Tour, which offers commercial growers, landscapers, public garden employees, and other industry professionals the opportunity to learn about new and existing ornamental plant selections from the major breeding companies and to better understand how they perform in different outdoor settings. The tour is a coordinated open house of leading ornamental young plant producers (Four Star Greenhouse, Mast Young Plants, Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants, and Walters Gardens) and the Michigan State University (MSU) Horticulture Gardens.

This year, the tour runs from July 27 to August 7. It is a terrific way to observe plant performance at multiple locations, grown with different environmental and cultural conditions, both in the ground and in containers.

The Michigan Garden Plant Tour is free, but the companies would appreciate a call or email in advance to know you’ll be coming. Go to canr.msu.edu/Planttour/index for information and highlights for each site (note: be sure to check the site to see if the COVID-19 pandemic affects any of the tour sites). The tour’s Facebook page also features numerous photos and details about each of the gardens.

Four Star Greenhouse (Carleton, MI) is accepting visitors only from July 27-31. Its 1-acre display garden features unique varieties that work well together, creating a cohesive collection that shows their performance in different conditions. The garden will also have numerous combinations on display, new 2021 Proven Winners and Proven Selections varieties on display, and plenty of tropical plants incorporated into the overall design. Tours are available (see the Tour website to RSVP).

Mast Young Plants (Grand Rapids, MI) invites participants to visit its trial garden to experience its living catalog, where you can compare your favorites alongside new and improved varieties. More than 1,500 varieties are in raised landscape beds and fresh, new planters. See 500 unique, handcrafted hanging basket and deco-pot combinations as well as more than 150 new items for 2020-2021 from the world’s best and most well-known breeders.

The Michigan State University Horticulture Gardens (East Lansing, MI) consists of 14 acres of beautiful landscapes including its annual trials. This year, more than 200 varieties of annuals, perennials, and vegetables are being evaluated. In addition to the trial gardens, there are a multitude of other themed gardens to explore. Michigan State University’s Plant Trial Field Day is August 4 (free virtual format; registration required).

The Raker-Roberta’s Trial Gardens (Litchfield, MI) includes more than 7 acres and 100,000 plants dedicated to the horticulture industry. In addition to daily greenhouse tours, visitors will experience more than 1,000 varieties in 600 side-by-side rows, 200 hanging baskets, and 150 large containers in sun and shade. Every visitor will also receive access to Raker-Roberta’s plant trial database. Join Raker-Roberta on July 30 for its Connection event.

Walters Gardens (Zeeland, MI) features 1,000 classic and cutting-edge varieties on display. It also has daily tours to give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at its field and greenhouse operations as well as new plant selections with its guided Display Garden tour. Visit Walters Gardens Tour webpage for tour times. Join them on July 28 for its third-annual Landscaper Field Event, which focuses on new perennials and their landscape uses.

Source and Photo Courtesy of Greenhouse Grower

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