Flower Trial Garden#7 in Best Things To Do in Fort Collins
Price & Hours
Each year, different plant companies submit their flower seeds to be part of the Colorado State University's Annual Flower Trial Garden, a competition to determine which cultivars are best suited to Colorado's climate. Plants must withstand high altitude, intense solar radiation, drying winds, severe hailstorms, large fluctuations between day and night temperatures, and a season-long need for irrigation – all growing conditions in Colorado. There are more than 1,000 varieties in the competition that are planted in either flower beds or in pots. Industry professionals evaluate the plants and determine the winners. Results are then announced to local communities so that Colorado residents can select the heartiest flowers to plant in their gardens.
The garden hosts three different trials: annual, perennial and cool weather. Annual and perennials are planted in the spring and evaluated in the late summer. Cool weather cultivars are planted in late October and are evaluated in early spring.
Previous visitors raved about the garden's beauty. They appreciated the care taken to maintain these flowers and loved seeing the variety. A word to the wise from reviewers: For the most variety, visit mid-late summer when the perennials and annuals are at peak bloom.
The Flower Trial Garden is free to visit and is open daily year-round. It's located about 1 1/2 miles south of downtown. Visit the garden's website for additional information about the blooms.
More Best Things To Do in Fort Collins
#1 Horsetooth Reservoir
Originally developed in the 1930s to provide area farmers with a steady supply of water for their crops, Horsetooth Reservoir is now a one-stop shop for outdoor activities. Here, visitors can hike, bike and horseback ride around the 6 ½-mile reservoir, which sits at an elevation of 5,420 feet. Alternatively, they can make a splash in the water itself by kayaking, swimming or stand-up paddleboarding. Travelers also have the option to camp on-site in tents or cabins.
Past visitors enjoyed their time at the reservoir, saying the trails and water activities are great fun. They also praised the scenery and the views of the reservoir's namesake, Horsetooth Rock.
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