Flower Trial Gardens


Wednesday Walks

Weary of Winter weather? Snow keeping Spring on hold? Let’s take a walk back to last Summer…

Located at 329 Erie Street, Buffalo, NY where the Buffalo River meets Lake Erie, the gardens are throughout the picturesque boating community of The Erie Basin Marina. The gardens are anything but a typical garden, being the home of the Specialty Annual Trials. On any Summer day, one will find boaters, families and joggers enjoying the water, city views, gorgeous sunsets, and GARDENS.


Here you will find colorful plantings from some of the very best suppliers of vegetatively propagated plant varieties, like Ball and Proven Winners. Other suppliers are international, from places like Israel, Germany and the Netherlands.


The purpose of the trial gardens beyond the beauty for the public enjoyment, is the plants are being evaluated for future market value. They are tested in this climate and location next to the water. Wind is common here on the approximately 300 new varieties of annual garden plants.


Paved walkways make it really convenient for the handicapped and parent’s with strollers, not to mention creating a leisurely park-like stroll between deep beds of plantings.


Many new garden favorites such as Lobularia, Cleome, Petunia, Coleus, Echinacea, and Dahlia are found in the beds.


All the flags you see throughout are placed by visitors to mark their favorites. All plants are marked by name and in a couple of years, you may find them on the market.





Many of the groupings would look great in a home garden, quite a few taking the extreme heat quite well.


The lighthouse sits prominently, making this location postcard pretty. You might see the tall ships, or visit the Navy Park with boats docked and open for tours. They also have music concerts and fireworks during the summer, a great place to enjoy the evening as well. The marina is a long thin strip of land that encloses the harbor.


Below, grasses are also trialed. With all the gardens open to visitors in Buffalo and surrounding communities, Western New York is a wonderful place to visit in Summer and Winter as I have been showing you lately. There is much to do and the one thing I have yet to mention, the restaurants are great in this area. Buffalo is known for food too. Next year the Garden Bloggers’ Fling is in Toronto and if you have extra time, plan a visit to Buffalo. And don’t forget about Niagara Falls! See it for yourself.


Friday, Planting Annuals for Cutting. Tips on planting annuals and my favorite groups to plant. While I love the many Dahlia shown in this post, the slugs love them too, and not using pesticides, the slugs would be uncontrollable. I keep the slug’s favorite foods at a minimum. Oddly, slugs here are kind to the Hosta, but the very dry summers have something to do with that too.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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26 Responses to Flower Trial Gardens

  1. Ah, the joy of colour!!!! šŸ™‚

  2. This is wonderful information about the test gardens. I like that you give a plug for tourism! I think all of your readers should try to visit Western New York. There’s so much to do!

  3. patricksgarden1 says:

    Hey Donna,
    I’ve seen a couple of trial gardens in my life and I really like the relaxed look of this one.When I was managing the trade advertising for Ball Seed and its sister company Pan American Seed (Wave Petunias & Super Elfin Impatiens) for my ad agency, I had the pleasure of seeing several trial gardens. But the granddaddy of them all was Ball Seed and that was over 25 years ago. Can’t imagine what it must look like these days.

  4. A.M.B. says:

    Beautiful! It looks like there were many favorites in that bunch.

  5. igardendaily says:

    What a fun place to visit! I would love having something like that close by…thanks for sharing the beautiful color today!

  6. acuriousgal says:

    Thanks for this tour, Donna…such a gorgeous place!!

  7. Debra says:

    Love this! I have been gathering ideas for how to make our little wildlife refuge interactive in a nondestructive way. ‘Flags’ are now on the list of possibilities.

    Is that a mini cleome? Very pretty,

  8. gauchoman2002 says:

    So much color, it seems so far off, but really it’s just around the corner. Thanks for the shot of flowering plants to get us over this last little hill of winter.

  9. Thank you for a most beautiful tour Donna!

  10. John Hric says:

    a nice warm sight for a cold snowy day ! stay warm, spring is coming, eventually !

  11. alesiablogs says:

    I almost feel like I need to come to your neck of the woods sometimes and vacation! I will say one of the most beautiful flower shows I ever attended were in Holland. They were just out of this world amazing!!!

  12. janechese says:

    Oh! the colour! It really gives me something to look forward to. Thanks!

  13. bittster says:

    You’re right, this is a great shot of summer on a rainy, cold, March day. I wonder how much design thought goes into these? They look great, but sometimes I think with a garden like this you could throw any mix of colors in and it would look awesome. It’s just a celebration of summer! Nice to see plenty of people taking the time to check plants out and enjoy the show.

  14. Gorgeous! I want to be there now!

  15. You have me convinced, I’m going to have to take a few days after the Fling in Toronto. I think I told you that I grew up near NYC, but have never even been to Niagara Falls.

  16. I’ll have to check this out next time I’m in the area. I loved it, and never heard of it before. Thanks for the info!

  17. Annette says:

    How colourful, you must yearn for it after your long winter, Donna. Can’t believe how everything explodes into life and colour here this year. It’s just wonderful!

  18. Alisha says:

    heaven on earth…thanks for sharing

  19. I would love to visit this garden, gorgeous flowers and beautiful setting. That group of orange coneflowers is magnificent. I have never had any luck with those.

  20. Karen says:

    Just what I needed with a foot of frozen snow on the ground, more snow today and a high of 19F. Thank you for brightening my day!

  21. Be still my heart Donna. I have missed your wonderful posts and I am so glad I started catching up with this one. Wow is not enough to say how amazing these flowers and pictures are. I have never heard of this garden. Thanks for sharing it on this cold and very buried in white day.

  22. mariekeates says:

    How lovely. Wish I was nearer

  23. Rose says:

    Beautiful gardens! All this color is just what I needed during this endless winter. We also get some trial plants for our Master Gardeners’ Idea Garden, and one of the volunteers spends a lot of time taking notes on the plants all summer and publishes the results at the end of the season. It’s always nice to know what really holds up well in your particular area.

  24. Jennifer says:

    It has been so cold and miserable that last summer seems like a very distant memory. Thanks for the colorful reminder!

  25. Nell Jean says:

    What a treat to have this lovely place to visit. There are no trial gardens near me. The University has Trial Gardens in Athens, GA but their climate is nearly 300 miles north of me, so not much is really pertinent. They have tropical trials over on the coast, also not quite like here.

    I need to clarify my blogs: I post to your blog via WordPress which is not my primary blog, but similar to my Seedscatterer blog on Blogger. I sometimes add something from my Greenhoiuse blog on WordPress too, to add to the confusion. Not every site will let me post from one or the other, so I duplicate things. Sigh.




    Sincere thanks. Jean Campbell.

    • Thanks for the links. I was at all three sites earlier today. I just left a comment on one. I visit blogs by who visits and comments here, so having the links back is important. I know your blog’s name but the link I had saved was not working and I had to Google it. I only do that with people I know and it sometimes is a pain until I get the name of the blog correctly. One it took a while until I remembered the blog’s exact name.

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