Display and Trial Garden
| The University of Minnesota
Department of Horticultural Science
Display and Trial Garden
The horticulture garden has existed in the Department of Horticultural Science for many years. It was used primarily for growing, planting, and maintaining herbaceous plants. In 1992, a five-year implementation plan was initiated, in conjunction with a 13-credit course sequence in landscape design, implementation and management, to develop the garden as an outdoor laboratory for Environmental Horticulture. At that time, the horticulture garden was renamed the Department of Horticultural Science Display and Trial Garden.
As the garden name indicates, its purpose would now be department wide with implications throughout the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences. The garden began changing from a plant demonstration area to include a combination of landscape features such as decks, patios, water features, fences, walls, seating, walkways, a pergola and a kiosk. Woody plants, herbaceous plants and turf are now featured in both landscape and trial settings.
Where is it located?
The garden is located on the north side of the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus at the corner of Gortner and Folwell. It is just north of Alderman Hall (the horticulture building) and west across the street from the horticulture greenhouses.
What is included in the garden?
The Department of Horticultural Science Display and Trial Garden is made up of 15 segments. These mini gardens include:
Outdoor ClassroomThe garden encompasses approximately 120,000 sq. ft. of space.
Students construct patio and pergola in Outdoor Classroom
Baskets hang from pergola
Perennial Garden (Sun & Shade)
Shade-tolerant perennials: Hosta, Lamium, and ferns
Students place limestone capping around pond
Adding water to finished pond
Texture garden construction: student eases boulders into place
Texture play between phlox and Umbraculifera Arborvitae
Student prepares ground for planting
Curving cabbage bed
Students create paths
Construction completed; ongoing addition of Minnesota varieties
Garden designs, pictures, free pamphlets
Annual and Perennial Trial Areas
Beds laid out; ready to plant annual trials
Dianthus chinensis 'Strawberry Parfait'
Students add plants
Monarch on milkweed
Low Maintenance Turf Trials
Students take turf data
Fertilizing turf trial plots
Grass Identification Area
Ornamental grass identification
'Karl Forester' Feather Read Grass
Woody plants backdrop annual trials
Construction of Alderman Hall Landscape
Alderman hall north side
What is the purpose?
The garden is an outdoor laboratory for undergraduate and graduate students in Environmental Horticulture. Students throughout the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences (COAFES) also utilize the garden as a supplement to their educational experience. The University of Minnesota Extension Service and the Department of Horticultural Science sponsor seminars, workshops and tours involving the garden during the growing season.
County Extension educators, state specialists, COAFES faculty and staff have all been involved in conducting these events. The garden is a popular stop for garden clubs, master gardeners, industry groups and K-12 classes. It is open to the public during daylight hours, seven days a week.
How do horticulture faculty staff and students use the garden?
Faculty and staff involve students in all aspects of garden development and use. The garden has been designed and installed by students through assignments associated with undergraduate classes and individualized directed studies. Students also aid in the development of the management plan for the garden. Students with specific areas of study, projects, or experiments maintain their own project areas. Horticulture work study and other students maintain the garden during the growing season. Undergraduate courses associated with the Department of Horticultural Science Display and Trial Garden include:
- Plant Propagation
- Herbaceous Landscape Plants
- Turf and Landscape Management
- Landscape Design and Implementation
- Nursery Production
- Commercial Floriculture Production Practices
- Woody Landscape Plants
Support for the garden has developed gradually since 1992. The faculty, staff and students who designed and constructed the garden operated on a philosophy of "build it and the money will come". In 1997, the Department of Horticultural Science established a position with responsibilities for the departmental greenhouses and the garden. This is currently the only line item funding for the garden. In addition, the office of the COAFES dean and the UM Department of Facilities Management provide funding for two part-time, seasonal employees. The Horticulture Club donates approximately $2,000 each year toward garden development. The horticulture department's teaching, research and education, (TRE) nursery has provided many of the large woody plant specimens.
Hard goods, plants, and amendments were donated by the green industry as in-kind and cash contributions. Without these contributions the garden would not exist today.
The following is a list of major contributors deserving of special thanks for their assistance with the garden:
- Anchor Block Co.
- Bachman's Wholesale Nursery Center
- Bailey Nurseries, Inc.
- Borgert Products, Inc.
- Cas Forest Products
- Cross Nurseries, Inc.
- Cushman Motor Company, Inc.
- Hedberg Aggregates
- Highland Nursery, Inc.
- Jackson Landscape Supply, Inc.
- Lake Owasso Garden Club
- Lesco, Inc.
- Malmborg's, Inc.
- Medalist America Turfgrass Seed
- Metro Cluster Master Gardeners
- Mid-America Cedar
- Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association
- Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association
- Minnesota Park Supervisors Association
- Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation
- North Star Turf, Inc.
- Peterson Seed Co., Inc.
- Glen Rehbein Companies
- Hans Rosacker Floral Co.
- Dr. Eugene H. Sander
- Sargent's Landscape Nursery, Inc.
- Scotts Pro Turf
- Shady Oaks Nursery
- Shiely Masonry Products
- Turf Management Products, Inc.
- Twin City Seed Company
- Wheeler Consolidation, Inc.
- Woods Run Forest Products, Inc.
- Wagner's Greenhouses
With the completion of the initial five-year construction phase, there will be increasing emphasis on plant selection, establishment, and maintenance. In-kind donations of plants and maintenance products will increase while hard goods for construction will decrease.
The garden currently meets the campus-based educational needs of the department and college and will remain the current size. Although managed in a sustainable manner, the biggest challenge for the future will be additional maintenance dollars to bring the garden to its full potential as an outdoor laboratory. If you would like additional information about the Department of Horticultural Science Display and Trial Garden or undergraduate and graduate programs of the department, please contact the Department of Horticultural Science (612) 624-4242 or Bradley Pedersen, Associate Professor, Department of Horticultural Science (612) 624-7407, firstname.lastname@example.org.