Funding and Support
Annual flower research efforts are supported mostly by entry fees collected from plant breeding companies. Visit our sponsors page to see the list of participating plant breeding companies. Additional financial assistance is generously donated by various horticulture industry associations, nurseries, garden centers and greenhouses. Some operational and staff resources are provided by the U of MN WCROC, the U of MN Department of Horticultural Sciences, and CFANS (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences).
The Horticulture Display Garden is an All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden, showcasing superior flower or vegetable varieties. An AAS Display Garden provides the public an opportunity to view the new AAS winners in an attractive and well-maintained setting. The AAS award recognizes a flower or vegetable variety proven to have superior performance throughout North America. The garden has participated in this program since 1990.
The garden is also an AAS Trial Ground site, the only such location in Minnesota. A Trial Ground is where AAS entries are planted side-by-side to compare and evaluate garden performance for flower and bedding plants. Steve Poppe, horticulture scientist at the WCROC, is an official AAS Trial Ground judge.
The annual flower trial at the WCROC Horticulture Display Garden is conducted by Steve Poppe, Sr Horticulture Scientist. Additional staff include a full time greenhouse manager, a part time landscape gardener, and a part time communications specialist. During the months of May through August/September, we employ an additional 6-8 students to assist us with greenhouse tasks, garden care, and maintenance. Occasionally we have student intern positions available, as well as work study positions during the school year.
Every year, numerous volunteer hours are put into the garden. Our volunteer base is essential to the success of our annual flower trial. Volunteers assist with transplanting in the greenhouse, providing garden care, clerical work, data collection, and maintenance. We would like to thank and recognize all those who have volunteered in the Horticulture Display Garden.