Honors for Hancock research station’s “exemplary” horticultural display garden

The Hancock Agricultural Research Station‘s A.R. Albert Villetta Hawley-Albert Horticultural Garden has been named a winner in the Exemplary Education Category by All-America SelectionsAll-America Selections®, a non-profit organization, has tested new flowers and vegetables at numerous independent trial sites throughout North America. The Hancock garden has been an AAS display garden since 1995.

The 2007 theme “All-America Selections, 75th Year” culminated the evening last August during the station’s 14th annual Fruits, Flowers and Vegetables Twilight Tour. Walking tours of the stations two-acre fruit, flower and vegetable garden allowed visitors to view more than 500 varieties including 140 AAS winners dating back to 1935. Extension specialists and area Master Gardeners were on hand to answer all gardening questions. Guests were given an 80-page booklet containing research garden history, AAS program information, and descriptions of featured varieties with seed sources. The 412-acre Hancock Agricultural Research Station, established in 1916, is recognized internationally for innovation and excellence in agricultural research, and serves as a center for agricultural education programs. Their garden is a beautiful place for a casual summer stroll and is a valuable source of information about the latest offerings of seed companies. The garden is open to visitors daily from dawn to dusk during the summer.

Tested Nationally & Proven Locally® – for 75 years, All-America Selections®, a non-profit organization, has tested new flowers and vegetables at numerous independent trial sites throughout North America. Nearly 200 AAS Display Gardens across North America provide the public an opportunity to view the past five years of AAS Winners in an attractive, well-maintained setting. In addition to growing the winners from seed, designing, planting, and maintaining the display, the dedicated gardens provide educational programs during open house or field days. A listing of the AAS gardens is available on the AAS website.

This is the sixth year the AAS Board has provided the opportunity for AAS Display Gardens to achieve national recognition for outstanding education featuring the AAS program and AAS winners. Three award categories were established based on the estimated number of visitors to a garden during their growing season. Category I: up to 4,999 visitors; Category II: 5,000-49,999; and Category III: 50,000 or more visitors. For the 75th Anniversary, Category IV was added for best historical garden. Entries were judged on event substance, educational content and quality of event publicity. Presentation style, originality, materials and garden display were also considered.

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