From July 16 to Aug. 29, the Raker trial gardens in Litchfield, Mich., will be open to the public between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Spanning more than three acres, the trial gardens consist of annual and perennial flowers used primarily for horticulture comparison trials. The three main trials this year include annual comparison, container and hanging basket trials.
Annual comparison trials. More than 600 varieties of French marigolds, osteospermum, heuchera, annual phlox, bidens, pentas, Rudbeckia hirta, lavender, gomphrena, ageratum, seed coleus and miniature impatiens.
Container trials. Highlights 220 examples of both monoculture and mixed culture varieties in large, 20-inch patio containers.
Hanging-basket trials: More than 300 varieties of trailing petunias from seed, lantana, trailing snapdragons, trailing phlox and double impatiens in 14-inch baskets.
Once visitors have browsed the trial gardens they also can view the breeder beds, 16 professionally landscaped beds sponsored by plant and flower breeders from around the world. The breeder beds exhibit some of the newest and best flower varieties from companies such as Ball Seed, Pan American Seed, Goldsmith, S&G Flowers, American Takii, Sakata, Grimes Horticulture, Suntory, Fides, Paul Ecke Ranch, Hishtil, Kieft and Selecta First Class.
For more information visit trialgardens.raker.com.