Slide show: First Consumer Day at the Annual Trial Garden

Northern Colorado’s largest and most stunning flower garden was put to the test for the first time by consumers. The first ever Consumer Day at Colorado State University’s Annual Trial Garden was held Aug. 11. The flowers of CSU’s Annual Trial Garden are judged each year by industry evaluators, but this year consumers got the opportunity to help choose Colorado’s top performing flowers. Participants at Consumer Day had the opportunity to view over 1,100 different varieties of annual flowers and over 300 new varieties to select recipients of the Colorado Garden Foundation Consumer Choice Awards.

The Trial Garden, a northern Colorado showpiece and CSU gem, spans nearly three acres and is the largest university trial garden west of the Mississippi River. The Trial Garden draws visitors from near and far but has a distinct research focus: The cultivars planted here are scrutinized for their ability to flourish in Colorado’s harsh growing conditions, and the varieties deemed winners are touted to home gardeners who want to cultivate their green thumbs.

For a live view of CSU’s Annual Trial Garden, visit