Saturday: Where flowers are tested

The Erie Basin Marina test gardens are maintained by horticulturalist Stan Swisher, who grows and maintains test beds of annuals being introduced by various companies, such as Ball, Proven Winners, Goldsmith, and others. Many of these are the AAS winners of tomorrow; some will sink without a trace. We'll be visiting these flower fields and talking to Stan on Saturday morning.

But the real pleasure of the test gardens is their magnificent setting, as you see above. They are surrounded by beautiful views, a pretty boat harbor, and several historic points of interest. This is a favorite spot for family outings, picnics, and summer strolls. They are also just a few minutes away from your hotel.

I’ve had the pleasure of pouring Stan a glass of wine or two at the Garden Walk rally and he’s tried to explain to me how the testing works and why I never seem to see any of these plants in local nurseries the next spring. I’m still not sure I understand, but no matter. It’s fun to check them out.

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National Buffalo Garden Festival