The Trial Gardens at UGA to host an ‘Evening in the Garden’ Oct. 9

Public invited to an evening of flower gazing, jazz and good food

Athens, Ga. – Staff members with the Trial Gardens at the University of Georgia are offering gardeners-and garden fans-the chance to experience the fruits of the summer’s hard work with the seventh annual “Evening in the Garden” set for Oct. 9 from 6:30-8 p.m.

The gardens are open to the public daily, but one of the best times to visit is in the evening as the sun is setting-when the gardens take on a relaxing, romantic ambiance, said John Ruter, director of the Trial Gardens and a professor in the UGA department of horticulture.

“As the sun is setting low in the sky, the harsh sunlight is filtered and one can really enjoy the vibrant flower colors found in the garden,” he said. “Also, with the weather cooling off, many of the flowers that suffered through the heat of the summer will perk up and start blooming again before first frost later in the year.”

Since 1982, the Trial Gardens at UGA have been used as a literal testing ground for plants from around the world. By evaluating new breeds of annuals and perennials, the Trial Gardens’ staff helps introduce new plants to the Southeast’s green industry and the general public. While the Trial Gardens’ plant evaluations are respected across the globe, Ruter said, the gardens themselves remain a secluded getaway in the middle of the university’s bustling campus.

The “Evening in the Garden” will highlight plants that have survived the summer heat and flourish in the fall. Ruter will lead tours of the gardens, provide fall gardening advice and share his impressions of this year’s new plants. For gardeners who are planning to add trees and shrubs to their landscapes this fall, signed copies of Ruter’s latest book, “Landscaping with Conifers and Ginkgo for the Southeast,” will be for sale for $30.

Snacks and beverages will be provided by the Healthy Gourmet in Athens and will feature a collection of olive oil from Oli+Ve’s in Roswell. The Paul Nelson Jazz Combo will provide entertainment, and pottery by Athens potter Elise Binder will be on display.

A $7 donation is requested, and funds go toward sustaining the gardens. Parking will be available in the McPhaul Center parking lot across from Stegeman Coliseum. The Trial Gardens are located at 220 W. Green St. between Snelling Dining Commons and the UGA Pharmacy Building. For more information and to RSVP, contact Juliet Swanson at trial-gardens@uga.edu or 770-298-9151.