Research & Trials Overview

At Green Bay Botanical Garden we not only evaluate all of our new plants throughout the Garden, but we also evaluate some specific trial plants all season long. As the Garden grows, we have become more involved with the horticultural science side of gardening. The trialing we perform allows our visitors and members to see new plants before they are released – to get them on their purchase list – and to ask local garden centers to supply them. Our trialing allows local garden centers and growers to see the plants perform in a garden setting which may help determine if they are worthy of adding to their garden center’s inventory.

During the summer of 2017, the Garden was involved in four major trialing efforts:

Ball Horticultural Company
All-America Selections (AAS) Trials
American Rose Trial for Sustainability or A.R.T.S.®
Earth-Kind® Rose Trial

Annual & Perennial Trials

Ball Horticultural Company

Fifty-one different annuals and perennials were part of the trial. The plants were evaluated by our horticulture staff and interns monthly throughout the growing season with results sent back to Ball Horticultural Company. Some of the show stoppers were Tidal Wave Red Velour petunia, Taishan Orange Improved marigold, Glamour euphorbia, Campfire coleus, Flame Thrower Chili Pepper coleus, and Flame Thrower Spiced Curry coleus. Look for these plants on sale in your local garden center.

All-America Selections (AAS) Trials

The Garden is one of about 45 trial gardens in the United States that compares a breeder’s entry plant against the most commonly grown industry standards of that particular plant. The entry plants are compared and rated against the comparison plants throughout the trial, and then a score sheet is sent into AAS at the end of the evaluation period. This year 12 entries were evaluated against 19 comparisons for a total of 31 different plants. Our results are tabulated along with those from the other trial gardens to determine if the entry plant is worthy of an AAS designation. Look for AAS plants and seeds when shopping this spring to get proven performers into your garden.

Learn More>>

Rose Trials

American Rose Trial for Sustainability or A.R.T.S.®

This trial includes 15 shrub roses in 4 replicated blocks, equaling 60 plants total, which were planted and watered for a few weeks to establish them. After that, the shrub roses received no supplemental water, no fertilizer, no pesticide treatment, and no winter protection. The idea is to find beautiful flowering roses that require very minimal care and are not susceptible to insects and disease. The roses are evaluated monthly by our horticulture team. The Garden is one of 11 national sites in the A.R.T.S.® program. Roses are trialed for two years, after which a new group is planted. Look for the trial site next summer, and look for A.R.TS. ® winning roses in garden centers in the upcoming years.

Learn More>>

Earth-Kind® Rose Trial

This trial includes 20 hybrid tea and floribunda roses in 4 replicated blocks, equaling 80 plants total. These roses are treated similarly to the A.R.T.S.® roses except they will get mulched for winter protection. This year the plants were simply established. Data collection will begin next year and continue for three years total. The trial’s goal is to provide homeowners and retailers with trouble-free hybrid tea and floribunda roses that look great with minimal care. The Garden is the only northern test site for this trial in the country.

Learn More>>

All-America Selections Landscaping Challenge

Foodscaping: Interspersing Edibles in the Ornamental Garden

The Gardening Patch has gotten an All-America Selections (AAS) makeover! To participate in the 2017 AAS Landscaping Challenge, Foodscaping, we’ve filled our garden with edible and ornamental plants alike. We’re calling it “ediscaping”—interspersing edible plants with ornamental ones—and it has several garden benefits. Everything growing in our display planters is an AAS winner! Explore the page to discover what’s growing and the educational programming the Garden has created around this challenge.

Benefits of Ediscaping


The beauty of interesting shapes and unique colors planted alongside each other can’t be denied.

Soil Nutrition

Edible plants enrich the soil quality and aid in the growth of ornamentals.

Pest Control

Certain types of ornamental plants repel unwanted bugs from edibles. Learn about the benefits of pairing marigolds and tomato plants.

Learn More



Bed One: Patch work quilt design.

Plant Name Award Year
Ruby Queen beet 1957
Katarina cabbage 2016
Konan kohlrabi 2016
Black Beauty zucchini 1957
Supra Pink dianthus 2017
Pink Jolt™ dianthus 2015
Sweet Orange Florific New Guinea impatiens 2014
Buttercrunch lettuce 1963
Red Sails lettuce 1985
Magical Michael basil 2002
Purple Ruffles basil 1987
Derby bush bean 1990
Rivoli radish 2014
Green Chef’s Choice tomato 2016
Orange Chef’s Choice tomato 2014
Pink Chef’s Choice tomato 2015
Yellow Patio Choice tomato 2017
Cayennetta pepper 2012
Mama Mia Gaillo pepper 2014
Purple Haze carrot 2006

Bed Two: Diamond design with tomatoes surrounded by marigolds.

Plant Name Award Year
Queen Sofia marigold 1979
Celebrity tomato 1984
Fantastico tomato 2014
Bossa Nova zucchini 2015
Bopak pak choi 2015
Diva cucumber 2002
Wee-B-Little pumpkin 1999
Hot Sunset pepper 2016
Cornito Gaillo pepper 2016

Bed Three: Medley of color.

Plant Name Award Year
Bright Lights Swiss chard 1998
Artwork broccoli 2015
Prizm kale 2016
Pretty ‘N Sweet pepper 2015
Mini Love watermelon 2017
Sunburst zucchini 1985
Suntastic Yellow with Black Center sunflower 2014
Fairy Tale eggplant 2005
Sparkle White butterfly flower 2014

Bed Four: Triangular beds consist of heat.

Plant Name Award Year
South Pacific Scarlet canna 2013
Ring of Fire sunflower 2001
Magical Michael basil 2002
Emerald Fire pepper 2015
Flaming Flare pepper 2015
Flaming Jade serrano pepper 2016
Kentucky Blue pole bean 1991
Double Hot Cherry Profusion zinnia 2013
Yellow Flame Zowie! zinnia 2006
Sweet Success cucumber 1983
Butterscotch squash 2015
Scarlet O’Hara morning glory 1939


Seeds to Snacks

This summer families headed down to the Children’s Gardening Patch to take part in harvesting fresh produce from the Foodscaping Challenge and turning it into something tasty with the help of our education team. Families have harvested and sampled swiss chard leaf topped with hummus and grated radishes; cucumbers topped with cream cheese and basil; and even edible flowers with cottage cheese and cucumbers.

Member Tour

Garden members had the opportunity to take a tour with our education team into the garden patch and learn more about the All-America Selections program as well as the benefits of ediscaping.

Planting for a Purpose 

This program is a partnership between the Green Bay Packers and Brown County UW-Extension Community Gardens Program that encourages gardeners to donate fresh produce to local food pantries. All produce grown because of this challenge at the Garden by ASPIRO, with some help from our horticulture team, was harvested and donated to Paul’s Pantry throughout the summer.

Harvest Highlights

Vegetable Amount Donated
Zucchini 32 lbs 12 oz.
Swiss chard 16 lbs. 6 oz.
Cucumber 7 lbs. 5 oz.
Radishes 5 lbs.
Cabbage 3 lbs. 6 oz.
Lettuce 3 lbs. 2 oz.
Kale 3 lbs. 1 oz.
Basil 2 lbs. 9 oz.
Pak Choi 2 lbs. 5 oz.
Eggplant 1 lb. 2 oz.