Garden Planning for Next Year 2024

The Industry Flower Trials and Evaluation

Industry leaders in west Denver hosted a flower trial this week with all the new varieties grown in containers in their greenhouse.  Container growing performance is especially important to us at Creek Side because that is our growing specialty.  

Flower trials are where the flower breeding companies may introduce new varieties for the upcoming season or feature their mainstay varieties so that we may have a chance to see how they grow in the hot, dry Colorado growing conditions.  It was interesting to see how everything performed this year.  We will make some variety selections based on what we observed there.  

Creek Side Flower Trials – this Weekend!

After the trial, Creek Side brought home some of the flower trial pots so that we could host our own flower trial for our customers!  Stop by all day Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday morning to see them for yourself and vote on your favorites.  Winners will be announced Sunday at 1pm. It is exciting to see what’s new in flower varieties that the breeding companies are introducing for 2024. 

Raffle to follow at 1:30 of selected new varieties, Creek Side Big Summer Color plants, a Fall Porch Kit, and more! Must be present to win! 

Flower Trials and Evaluation at Colorado State University

CSU Horticulture and Landscape Department hosted our industry professionals at their 3-acre flower trial garden located in Ft. Collins.  Professional growers come from all over the country to evaluate, study and take notes on personal favorites.  The flower trial varieties are planted in the ground and in containers.  The CSU flower trial gardens are open to the public at the intersection of College and Prospect St. being the second most popular tourist destination in Ft. Collins behind the Budweiser factory tour.   

Creek Side August Garden Planninghow we decide what is best for our customers and climate

Creek Side is working on our own in-house evaluation process right now.  All our plant varieties and flower recipes are reviewed and graded at the end of the season.  Now is the time of year when we begin making changes in the plan to improve what we do. 

In addition to color, another very important factor is to evaluate each variety for heat tolerance.  The very warm weather we have experienced, especially these last couple of years, really put our beautiful flowers to the test.  Creek Side wants to be sure to offer you only the very best variety in each category so that you will have the greatest opportunity for success. 

Flower Breeder Catalogs

Our flower industry breeders and plant suppliers begin to offer their new catalogs during the late summer months as well.  We visit them at trade shows around the country and attend private flower trials and demonstration gardens located throughout the region.   

Of course, each of the breeding companies believes they are offering the newest and latest and greatest flowers out there.  Now it is our job to sort through the hype and choose what Creek Side truly believes will be the best. 

Best of the Best

As the summer finishes up and we move into the fall season, it is time to consolidate all our evaluations, and put pencil to paper.  How are we going to offer our customers the best of what we have discovered.  What varieties are best for Hanging Baskets?  How about which varieties are going to be best for the Container Gardens?  Did we identify new vegetable and herb varieties for the home gardener?  How about the new roses, trees and shrubs? 

Creek Side Gardens Forecast 2024

Now that we have the flower varieties selected of what we want to grow for our customers, it’s time to pull out the crystal ball to help us decide how many we are going to grow.  If we had flower varieties or pot sizes that we ran out of, we want to consider growing a few more.  And the plants we have left over, perhaps we should consider reducing those numbers.  And then there’s the weather forecast to consider.  Is it going to be a warm early spring season?  Or is it going to be cool and wet again like last year?  Do you think it will snow again in May?  Your guess is as good as ours. 

Because your gardens and landscape are now in full flower and form, now is the time to critically evaluate your landscape from Container gardens and hanging baskets to perennial beds to shrubs, trees, and roses.  Then, take a couple of minutes right now to jot down a few notes for next year.  What new plants should be added next spring?