Michigan Garden Plant Tour

March 17, 2006 - 10:33

For the third consecutive year, plant growers from around Michigan are teaming up with Michigan State University (MSU) to offer a 2-week travel tour of floricultural displays. Growers are invited to attend the Michigan Garden Plant Tour to see new garden varieties and performance evaluations, as well as attend the educational sessions offered at MSU. People can visit any or all of these destinations between July 31 and August 11, 2006.

Last year, over 1,500 people participated in the Michigan Garden Plant Tour by visiting these open houses. Each location has different specialties and product lines for wholesale and retail greenhouses, garden centers and landscapers to see. It’s a way to stay on top of the garden plant market and observe plant performance and trends under a variety of outdoor conditions and survey how plants perform in the ground and in containers, alone or in combinations with other plants.

Tour Highlights

C. Raker and Sons, Inc., Litchfield, Mich.

The trials and grounds at Raker have received a facelift. This year, five breeder-sponsored beds showcase old favorites as well as many new varieties for 2007. Comparison row trials feature lantana, pentas, salvia, argyranthemum and ornamental peppers. The container trials have also been greatly expanded and include monoculture items as well as mixed containers. E-mail: susieraker@raker.com; phone: (517) 542-2316, ext.560.

Duwayne’s Greenhouse Inc., Hudsonville, Mich.

New Flower Field selections from Ecke Ranch and new geranium and vegetative varieties from Fischer, Goldsmith, Oglevee, Danziger and Plant Source International are featured. Large combination baskets feature new varieties. E-mail: duwaynes@choiceonemail.com; phone: (616) 669-0552.

Four Star Greenhouse Inc., Carleton, Mich.

Preview the 2007 Proven Winners and Proven Selections varieties. Creative presentations provide hundreds of combination hanging baskets, upright containers and landscaping with both new and existing top-selling varieties. E-mail: mail@pwfourstar.com; phone: (734) 654-6420.

Glass Corner Greenhouses Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich.

There are over 400 varieties planted in raised display beds in a landscaped garden setting and over 200 hanging baskets and 400 planters in exciting design combinations. Preview new varieties from many of the vegetative breeders including Goldsmith and Fischer. E-mail: niles.riese@glasscorner.com; phone: (616) 784-0583.

MSU Horticulture Gardens, East Lansing, Mich.

This is an All America Selections official site. Seven acres of public gardens with over 1,000 varieties of annuals, herbaceous perennials and landscape plants are featured. Annual trial books are available for purchase. E-mail: allens@msu.edu; phone: (517) 355-5191, ext.1339.

Pell Greenhouses, Inc. , Hudsonville, Mich.

This is a specialty regal geranium grower that is showing a complete line of Bodger Botanicals displayed in container gardens. There are over 400,000 sq.ft. of production space. E-mail: pellgh@sbcglobal.net; phone: (616) 669-1796.

The Garden Plant Showcase At MSU

Michigan State University will host its annual Garden Plant Showcase on Wednesday, August 2, 2006. Over 1,000 plant varieties are trialed each year in the MSU gardens. Come to learn about how your favorite plants perform in outdoor beds and in an expanded area of containers.

MSU will also offer new, research-based educational sessions on how to improve your greenhouse production practices and marketing skills. In addition, the self-guided tours of the trials and several other gardens on campus, along with lunch and time to network with others, will make this day informative and fun.

Companies are open Monday through Friday during normal business hours. The MSU Horticulture Gardens are open seven days a week, dusk to dawn. They suggest that you call the sites in advance so they know that you are coming. Travel directions and more information can be found at www.hrt.msu.edu/planttour or by calling Sandy Allen at (517)355-5191, ext.1339. There is no fee to attend the tour, and the program at MSU on August 2, 2006, is $35 per person.

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