2014 Michigan Garden Plant Tour

Ornamental plant growers and industry professionals are invited to visit leading young plant producers, the MSU Horticulture Gardens, and the MSU Extension Grand Ideas Garden from July 28 to Aug. 8.

The MSU Extension Grand Ideas Garden in Grand Rapids, Michigan, joins the 2014 Michigan Garden Plant Tour. Photo credit: Rebecca Finneran, MSU Extension

The MSU Extension Grand Ideas Garden in Grand Rapids, Michigan, joins the 2014 Michigan Garden Plant Tour. Photo credit: Rebecca Finneran, MSU Extension

Commercial greenhouse growers, retailers and landscapers of ornamental plants are invited to participate in the 11th annual Michigan Garden Plant Tour, a free, coordinated open house of leading young plant producers and Michigan State University. The objective of the tour is to educate growers and industry professionals about new and existing plant selections and learn about how they perform in a variety of different settings, including in the ground and in containers. The 2014 Michigan Garden Plant Tour will run from July 28 to Aug. 8.

The participating companies are C. Raker and Sons, Four Star Greenhouse, Mast Young Plants, Pell Greenhouses, Spring Meadow Nursery and Walters Gardens. In addition, the MSU Horticulture Gardens and the Michigan State University Extension Grand Ideas Garden offer attractive and unbiased displays of garden plants. The Michigan Garden Plant Tour is completely free, but the companies would appreciate a call ahead to know you’re coming.

The gardens at these sites are impressive. Based on a post-tour survey last year, the displays and garden plant trials met or exceeded expectations for 97 percent of attendees, and as a result of participating in the tour, 88 percent of producers planned to offer new varieties this year. Most importantly, 97 percent of attendees believed they increased their knowledge of plant materials. If you haven’t participated in the past, consider attending this year. Visit a few sites in one day, or spend several days to visit all of the sites.

You are also invited to participate in the MSU Plant Trial Field Day scheduled on Tuesday, Aug. 5. This is probably the best opportunity to visit the MSU Trial Gardens to learn about and evaluate a wide range of annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs and native plants. Registration is required for the field day, so check back later in the summer for more information.

Dr. Runkle’s work is funded in part by MSU’s AgBioResearch.

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