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Trial Garden

Our Trial Garden is a space for Longwood’s horticultural research team and gardeners to trial new plants, planting designs, growing techniques, and cultural methods.

Changing annually, the Trial Garden puts new cultivars and combinations to the test. This year, we are experimenting with seasonal plant combinations and featuring dahlias. Varieties of the genus Dahlia provide incredible late-season blooms in soaring heights that erupt behind other plants and add fantastic variety to our displays.

The Trial Garden beds are divided into two main areas: the twelve southern beds feature a display of most of the 21 different forms and unnamed varieties of dahlias, and the northern beds have been planted for aesthetics with combinations of dahlias and companion plants.

Every year in September, The Greater Philadelphia Dahlia Society hosts its regional show at Longwood Gardens. In 2018, Longwood will be the site of the National Dahlia Show hosted by The American Dahlia Society.

Look for these Dahlia varieties in our 2018 Trial Garden

  • Dahlia coccinea
  • Dahlia imperialis
  • Dahlia tenuicaulis
  • Dahlia ‘Alloway Candy’
  • Dahlia ‘Alpen Cherub’
  • Dahlia ‘Alpen Chips’
  • Dahlia ‘Alpen Diamond’
  • Dahlia ‘Bishop of York’
  • Dahlia ‘Brookside Cheri’
  • Dahlia ‘Camano Sitka’
  • Dahlia ‘Candlelight’
  • Dahlia ‘Chimacum Nadjae’
  • Dahlia ‘Chimacum Zyair’
  • Dahlia ‘Clara Huston’
  • Dahlia ‘Fidalgo Blacky’
  • Dahlia ‘Fire Magic’
  • Dahlia ‘Frank Holmes’
  • Dahlia ‘Gingersnap’
  • Dahlia ‘Hollyhill Black Beauty’
  • Dahlia ‘Hollyhill Monet’
  • Dahlia ‘Honeymoon’
  • Dahlia ‘Ice Tea’
  • Dahlia ‘Inflammation’
  • Dahlia ‘Irish Pinwheel’
  • Dahlia ‘Jacs Butterscotch’
  • Dahlia ‘Just Peachy’
  • Dahlia ‘Korb Yellow Hy-light’
  • Dahlia ‘Little Scottie’
  • Dahlia ‘Lora Ashley’
  • Dahlia ‘Maki’
  • Dahlia ‘Mark Lockwood’
  • Dahlia ‘Mikayla Miranda’
  • Dahlia ‘Ms. Kennedy’
  • Dahlia ‘Monarch of the East’
  • Dahlia ‘Moorplace’
  • Dahlia ‘NTAC Brian’
  • Dahlia ‘NTAC Eileen’
  • Dahlia ‘Parkland Fire’
  • Dahlia ‘Sandia Susan’
  • Dahlia ‘September Morn’
  • Dahlia ‘Sheyn’
  • Dahlia ‘Starchild’
  • Dahlia ‘Tahoma Hope’
  • Dahlia ‘Teesbrooke Audrey’
  • Dahlia ‘Thomas A. Edison’
  • Dahlia ‘Topmix Yellow’
  • Dahlia ‘Verone's Patsy’

History of this Garden

This Garden was formerly dedicated to groundcovers, ornamental grasses, vines, and roses. The ornamental grasses have remained in the Garden, but have been relocated to the easternmost bed where they are displayed in long, naturalized sweeps. The Trial Garden is located within the greater Idea Garden.

Explore Plants In This Garden