In late 2017, the All-America Selections Garden (directly west of the Steppe Garden) was re-named the Annuals Garden and Pavilion. The garden remains a display garden with ever-changing displays of annuals that are winners of the All-America Selections (AAS) program.
The AAS program was started in 1932 by seedsman W. Ray Hastings. Prior to 1932, consumers had little to no information on what types of flowers and vegetables performed well in their part of the country. Hastings encouraged seed companies to set up trial grounds to test new varieties and rate which ones were superior in performance. Plants that performed well by generating abundant produce or showing extraordinary large or vibrant flowers were given the All-America Selections award. Consumers could see this stamp of approval and know that seeds they purchased would be winners in their gardens. The program continues today with AAS trial gardens and AAS display gardens all over North America and has expanded by trialing not only annual flowers and vegetable varieties, but also perennial plants.
There are so many wonderful All-America Selections plants to create amazing gardens at your home. Look for plants and seed packets with the AAS logo at your local nursery or seed catalog. For a full list of All-America Selection Winners from 1932 to present visit the All-America Selections website.
Below are some of my AAS favorites to look out for in the Annuals Garden and Pavilion this summer.