University of Wyoming Extension News

Garden walk exhibits University of Wyoming’s All-America Selections Display Garden

The UW AAS Display Garden is located adjacent to the Williams Conservatory

Attendees of a garden walk at the University of Wyoming’s All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden will feast their eyes on 29 distinct cultivars of 18 species of plants.

The garden walk is 4-6 p.m., Tuesday, August 7 at South Ninth Street and East University Avenue adjacent to the Williams Conservatory on the UW campus. Complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and light snacks will be provided. Parking is available on South Ninth Street.

Karen Panter, UW Extension horticulture specialist, will host the garden walk.

“Some of the flowering annuals are totally awesome right now,” said Panter. “Three cultivars of zinnias are outstanding — Double Zahara Cherry, Double Zahara Fire and Zahara Starlight Rose; the latter is my favorite. And the four violas are also full of blooms. They are: Endurio Sky Blue Martien, Rain Blue and Purple, Skippy XL Plum, Gold and Shangri-La Marina.”

The AAS Display Garden, the only one in Wyoming, contains some of the latest and best introductions of annuals, a few perennials and some vegetables from various seed companies to observe how they respond to southeast Wyoming’s climate, according to Panter. The same cultivars are planted throughout the United States in nearly 200 other AAS Display Gardens for climate-comparison purposes.

This year the AAS selections are three herbaceous perennials, 15 flowering annuals and 11 vegetables.

“We have two cultivars of tomatoes, Lizzano and Terenzo, which are smaller bush plants,” said Panter. “They are both producing fruit at the moment. A few are starting to color up.”

Panter said that the three perennials are thriving although they probably will not bloom this summer. They are: Echinacea purpurea “Powwow Wild Berry,” Gaillardia aristata “Arizona Apricot,” and Gaillardia aristata “Mesa Yellow.”

The UW AAS Display Garden is a joint effort between Panter and Andy Smith, manager of UW landscaping and grounds, Cody Barry, coordinator of UW landscaping services, and the UW landscaping and grounds maintenance crew.

Panter said that the AAS national office contacted her last summer and expressed their interest in having her grow an AAS Display Garden in Laramie.

“So I talked to Andy Smith over in landscaping and we chose a site, submitted an application to AAS and were awarded Display Garden distinction,” said Panter.

Panter started sowing seeds in March and nurtured them to transplanting size at the UW Laramie Research and Extension Center Greenhouse Complex, a 20,000 square foot headhouse facility that includes 11,000 square feet of greenhouse space and 10 research laboratories. The garden was planted on June 6.

For more information, visit Panter’s website at http://karenpanter.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/cultivars-in-2012-aas-gardens-at-the-university-of-wyoming/; for information about Display Gardens visit the AAS website at http://www.all-americaselections.org/.