Aug 8, 2017
Distinctive Performers at University of Georgia By Jasmina Dolce

It’s that time of year again. Trial gardens are at their summer peak, and every plant is being analyzed for its strength and overall aesthetics before the season comes to an end.

One of the country’s most distinguished gardens is the Trial Garden at University of Georgia (UGA). I enjoy receiving their weekly “Plants of Distinction” updates, where they share the week’s top performers in the trial garden based on overall performance and eye-catching beauty. It’s interesting to see the progression of the different plants’ performance as the season progresses.

In addition, the UGA Trial Garden hosts a public open house each summer where attendees can use flags to vote for their favorite plants. According to Brandon Coker, garden manager, “It was widely agreed that the choices were abundant. There was something beautiful at every turn. So our winners this year are truly something spectacular.”

Although the open house has passed, there’s still time left to walk through the gardens and see the plants for yourself. To schedule an appointment, feel free to email Brandon at

In the meantime, check out this year’s People’s Choice Winners below …

1) Echinacea ‘Sombrero Sangrita’
Darwin Perennials

2) Celosia ‘Asian Garden’
Murakami Seed
(also an All-America Selections winner)

3) Caladium ‘Pink Splash’
Classic Caladiums

4) Portulaca ‘Wagonwheels Cherry’

5) Salvia ‘Rockin’ Playin’ the Blues’
Proven Winners

6) Celosia ‘Twisted Red’
Ball Ingenuity

7) Coleus ‘Flame Thrower Chipotle’
Ball FloraPlant

8) Gaillardia ‘SpinTop Yellow Touch’
Dümmen Orange

9) Scaevola ‘Scampi Blue’
Green Fuse Botanicals

10) Canna ‘Toucan Rose’
Proven Winners

Are you growing or trialing any of the above varieties? How are they performing for you?

Which trial gardens do you visit throughout the year? Have you seen any new varieties that you’ll definitely be adding to your production next season?

Shoot me an email at, and let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

— Jasmina


Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at