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WCROC Features from the Farm

The Ken Anderson Hosta Garden in the Horticulture Display Garden. WCROC photo

The Horticulture Display Garden at the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) is home to thousands of annual flowers, trees, shrubs, and perennials, all of which are beautifully landscaped for visitors to enjoy. The Garden is open daily from dawn until dusk; admission is free.

Annual Flowers

Nearly 400 varieties of annual flowers can be found at the Horticulture Display Garden. A few of our favorites include the Zinnia Magellan series, which boast bold color blooms on study stocks. There's a new Petunia called Evening Scentsation, which smells wonderful and is quite showy with its lavender purple blooms. Be sure to look for Dahlia City Lights Purple, with dark leaves in contrast to its bold bicolor blooms, and Cosmos Apollo Pink, a soft rose pink flower.

The Edible Garden

As homeowners continue to find ways to creatively grow their own food, the concept of an edible landscape came to life. We've dedicated an entire garden bed to showcasing edible varieties that can be grown in the landscape. Follow the pathways through the bed around trellises and plant materials, taking note of your favorites. If you want to know more about creating an edible landscape, be sure to attend the "Edible Landscaping" presentation at our annual Horticulture Night, scheduled for Thursday, July 26 from 5-9 pm.

Vegetable Container Gardening

For those with limited gardening space, or wishing to grow vegetables in containers right out your front door, we've got a solution on display for you! Visit the deck at the Children's Garden play structure to view All-America Selections vegetable varieties best suited for containers, including tomatoes and peppers.

Pond Garden Renovation

Out with the old and in with the new! A typical landscape planting has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years before renovation is needed. The pond garden was among the first gardens to be created 25 years ago at the WCROC, and was in need of an overhaul.

We began the project last fall by removing plant material from the berm surrounding the waterfall and pond. Then, we developed a new landscape garden design to incorporate new plant material. The next step is to add boulders for outcropping and retaining walls from field stone, then add new conifers, ornamental trees and shrubs, and perennials that thrive in full sun. Once established, we can add shade tolerate plants.

We are grateful to our Garden donors for supporting this project, as well as to Bailey Nurseries and Bachman's who provided much of the new plant material.

Hosta Garden

Hostas, one of the most popular garden plants, beautify shady spots with spikes of flowers and striking lush foliage. The Ken Anderson Hosta Garden at the Horticulture Display Garden is an impressive display of a variety of hostas — solid and variegated leaves, colors of blue, green, and gold, and miniature types to giant plants. The Hosta Garden offers a meandering path around water fountains, shady perennials, and offers relaxing rest areas to enjoy the beauty all around.

No matter what your interest in gardening (if any!) may be, we've got something for everyone to enjoy. Perhaps its playing checkers on a stump in the shade, or enjoying the sights and sounds of our bird garden, or taking a peaceful walk through the beauty of the Garden, or filling your notebook with gardening ideas. We hope to see you in the Garden!