Connie Cottingham is a master gardener, garden club member, landscape architect, and freelance writer.

After living in Little Rock, Northwest Arkansas and New Orleans, Connie now gardens in Zone 7b Athens, Georgia. Sign up to receive her weekly Love Notes from the Garden at



Don’t Miss the Trial Gardens at UGA Open House July 13
by Connie Cottingham - posted 06/24/13

The Trial Gardens at UGA, on the University of Georgia campus in Athens, was in full bloom for the Industry Open House in mid-June. Here are some of the photos from that day. The roses and lilies really caught my eye and I enjoyed chatting with Karen, the rosarian who volunteers to make sure the roses thrive (she even tooled around town with David Austin a few months ago!)
UGA horticulturalist Allan “Dr. A” Armitage, who co-founded the gardens and has led its development since it started three decades ago, often says that July and August are the best times to visit this garden. Since it is a trial garden, this is a great place to compare new, established and yet unnamed varieties of annuals, perennials, roses, bulbs and more. And let's get real - what is more of a trial in Georgia than July and August?
So mark your calendar for the garden’s annual public open house July 13 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Armitage will be offering tours of the garden and signing books during this open house, the last one before he retires. John Ruter, an ornamental horticulturalist in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, will serve as garden director upon Armitage’s retirement.

A $5 donation will go toward the trial gardens and its student workers. Planters designed by the gardens’ staff also will be for sale. For more information, see or email


(Banner) Lilium Oklahoma City

Scaevola 'Blue Sea'

Scaevola 'Pink Charm'

Lavendula 'Dutch' - Armitage says this is the best lavender trialed at the garden

Evovulus 'Blue my Mind'

Inscription on new bench at the garden.Inscription from a new bench for the garden.




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