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.
Annuals trialing is done in conjunction with the Ohio State University, Hamilton County Extension Office, the Cincinnati Flower Growers Association, Master Gardeners, and Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens staff and volunteers. Results of our evaluations are given to the donating annuals growers, the green industry, garden groups, gardeners, and others through our brochures, website, lectures, and via various media outlets.