Consumers can see how All-America Selections Winners thrive in their full glory at nearly 200 dedicated display gardens.
June 18, 2008
An All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden provides the public an opportunity to view the new AAS Winners in an attractive, well-maintained setting. Additionally, display gardens provide educational AAS programs during open house or field day events during the peak season for garden flowers and vegetables.
The network of nearly 200 dedicated AAS gardens includes 55 locations that have served for 25 years or longer. The earliest AAS garden, Norseco, Inc. of Quebec, became an AAS garden in 1962. There are three types of AAS Display Gardens — flowers and vegetables, flowers only and vegetables only. These gardens can be found at botanical gardens, arboretums, colleges, universities, cooperative Extensions, garden centers, seed companies, city civic centers and public parks.
Display Garden Criteria
Just like with the trial gardens, AAS has established criteria for dedicated display gardens:
• The location must have grown and displayed annuals for at least two years. AAS Award Winners are incorporated into an established display garden program.
• A greenhouse or access to one is necessary to start seeds and grow on to transplant size. AAS only provides seeds.
• The applicant must be responsible for the display garden and the maintenance of the garden. The applicant must be employed by or supervise the garden that will incorporate the AAS Winners. Master Gardeners must have an Extension agent complete the application.
• Irrigation must be readily available.
• Garden space must be allocated to grow and maintain from 40 to 50 varieties.
• The garden must be open to the public and conduct an open house or field day publicized in local media. The garden may not be located at a private residence.
• There should not be another AAS Display Garden in close proximity to the applicant garden.
• The garden must be located in North America.
In an average year, an AAS Display Garden will be sent 45 to 55 AAS flower and vegetable winners. About one third of the AAS Winners are vegetables, two thirds are flowers. These include seeds of AAS Winners for the current year, past four years, and in the spring, a preview of next year’s AAS Winners. There is no requirement for the amount of space to display any given variety.
AAS lists all display gardens in its AAS Proving Ground brochure distributed nationally each year to more than 6,000 garden writers, broadcasters, lecturers and instructors. The brochure details the purpose of AAS and the valuable service contributed by AAS Display Gardens. For a complete listing of all AAS Display Gardens, visit www.all-americaselections.org.