Tagawa Gardens Blog

The CSU Flower Trials: Plants that may be just right for your garden!

Every year, Colorado State University grows thousands of annuals side-by-side to compare the different varieties and see which ones do best in our climate.

Many of the flowers are new to the market and will be available to garden centers like Tagawa’s next year. Others are improved from previous seasons or examples of plants we already know and love.  The same types of plants receive the exact same treatment so the comparisons will show the strongest contenders.

Every August, a group of ladies from Tagawa’s Annuals Staff goes up to the CSU trails to see what’s new and different or tried and true and simply deserves more attention.

Let’s look at just a few of the flowers that turned heads and drew praise from our Tagawa crew.

“Crystal White” Euphorbia

Lina (shown one picture above) wanted to get up close and personal with this beautiful plant.  The euphorbia that most of us know and love in our annual containers is “Diamond Frost.”  With its dense display of tiny star-like flowers, Crystal White could give its cousin a run for the money!

“Viking XL Rose on Green” Begonia

Jere, Tagawa’s Annuals & Production Depts. Manager, fell in love with this new begonia.  She wasn’t alone.  The eye-popping red flowers… the glossy rich green leaves… and the fact that it was growing in full sun… All that made for one impressive package!

“Fuzzy” Pennisetum

This new ornamental grass was a real crowd pleaser with our group!  The beautiful pink seed heads are truly elegant… long and feather-soft on top of stems a good five-feet tall!  Fuzzy needs a lot of room to grow, but it’s so worth it!

“Estrella Lobsterfest” Verbena

Aside from having a great name, Estrella Lobsterfest is one beautiful plant.  The more I garden in big containers, the more I love verbena, and this new variety is a keeper!  The color says it all!  Bring it on!

“Ruffled Pink” Tuberous Begonia

Picture a beautifully rippled salmon-colored blossom that’s easily four inches across.   The new Ruffled Pink begonia lives up to its name and more.

These big showy flowers will light up soft shade and draw double-takes from all who see them.  Deborah, Tagawa’s Annuals Dept Supervisor, joined Trish of our Annuals Staff in heaping praise on this remarkable plant.

Even surrounded by thousands of other flowers vying for attention, Ruffled Pink was a standout.

The CSU Flower Trials Gardens are just outside of the campus, at Remington and College in Fort Collins.  If you love flowers, it’s well worth the trip.  But go soon!  Take your camera and dream of gardens to come!

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Luan Akin
About 
Luan Akin
Tagawa Gardens Outreach Ambassador

After 30 years as a news reporter for KCNC TV in Denver, Luan Akin was ready for a change. In 2008, she came to Tagawa Gardens and offered to create a brand new position: Garden Outreach Ambassador.

Luan had trained and volunteered as a Douglas County Master Gardener for ten years. In addition to her duties as a news reporter, working primarily out of the Channel 4 News helicopter, Luan also produced and presented a long-running series of stories called “Gardening Together.”

All these years later, Luan now works year ‘round, presenting a variety of gardening and nature-related topics to hundreds of children, HOA’s, gardening clubs, church groups, small businesses and other organizations.

She is an avid gardener, a beekeeper and a proud mom to four dogs who have trained her well.

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