Annuals Zoo’s Best 2014 – pdf
Annuals Zoo’s Hall of Fame – pdf
Nothing says summer like masses of color and bloom that come from garden annuals. The Zoo has been planting our popular and extensive annual beds now for over a decade and plants more than 15,000 annuals of over 250 varieties throughout the Zoo every year. The tremendous beauty is a big hit with the public. Because the annuals are labeled and properly sited, visitors can learn which varieties look and perform best and make note of them for use in their own gardens. Evaluations of annuals are performed in conjunction with the Cincinnati Flower Growers, The Ohio State University Extension Horticulture Program in Hamilton County, and the OSU Master Gardener Program.
More people doing more gardening is great for people, our community, and our local ecology. Choosing the right varieties can make all the difference between a thrilling, thriving garden and an utter disappointment. Selecting the best annuals has always been a challenge. Countless new varieties enter the marketplace every year. Which of all these new and old selections look and perform best in our Midwestern climate and soils? Our Zoo’s Best Annuals list makes it easy to create fabulous annuals displays.
The Annual Trials Program at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has tens of thousands of annuals that are donated by top breeders, distributors, and growers. These annuals are grown into plants at the greenhouse at Fidelity. Students at Diamond Oaks High School also help grow annuals in their facility.
When the annuals achieve enough growth and when the weather and soil is just right, the Zoo plants 25,000 – 30,000 annuals into its own gardens. These plants are labeled all around the Zoo and can be seen in the summer months.
Throughout the season, horticulture specialists and Master Gardeners keep records of the annuals and create a list of “Zoo’s Best Annuals” from the year. Our yearly “best” lists help local gardeners identify plants that grow to their fullest and are reliable year after year.