California Spring Trials is one of our favorite events of the year, in part because we get to see so many new and improved plant varieties, including some that are truly groundbreaking in terms of their genetics, color or other attribute. But the true test for these plants is their performance during their natural growing season, in different areas of the country and under “real-life” conditions. How did they hold up in the heat? Did they still grow well even during an unusually wet season? Did the plant’s habit match up with what was advertised, and did it “play nice” with the other plants in the garden?

These are all aspects that trial garden managers across the country look at each year. Once again, we reached out to these folks to find out which plants were stars in their gardens. Their responses are featured in this month’s extensive cover story, divided out by category and region. It starts here. We’re also showcasing Young’s Plant Farm’s beautiful garden on the cover of this issue.

Mast Young Plants
Photo courtesy of Mast Young Plants

Since we couldn’t feature all of the stunning photos within these pages, below we’re sharing one more colorful shot we liked that was taken at Mast Young Plants’ trial gardens. I remember visiting it several years ago, and it’s just as eye-catching now as it was then.

As your fall season transitions into winter, we hope you’ll be ending 2018 on a high note. Even if you didn’t get the chance to comment in the 2018 State of the Industry Report in our October issue, we’d still love to hear from you. Drop me a line at and let me know how your year is shaping up.

Karen E. Varga, Editor

216-393-0290 | Twitter: @Karen_GIE