Trial by flower
In 2002, the Dallas Arboretum became the 31st “All-America Selections Trial Garden”. The Trial Gardens opened to the public in March 2003.
In North Texas, there are many environmental challenges that make selecting the right plants crucial to successful gardening. Although most catalogs and books provide information about plant requirements, many of these descriptions are based on growing experience in northern states. Dallas has weather conditions that require resilient plants. Our winters can be mild, but we occasionally experience sudden sharp drops in temperature. We ask a lot of our ornamental plants, as they must also tolerate periods of too much rain or no rain at all and extreme temperatures in the summer.
The Trial Gardens at the Dallas Arboretum were created for the purpose of expanding our research efforts and providing information to the public. The focus of the trial program is to grow and evaluate many different plants in the drastic climate of the Metroplex and North Central Texas. Information generated from the trials is provided to commercial plant producers, retailers and home gardeners. Between 3,000 and 5,000 plants are trialed yearly from over 150 plant breeding companies.