Visiting Young's Plant Farm (Auburn, Alabama) - Part 2

In Part 1, I provided an overview of my visit to Young's Plant Farm.  This post focusses on their trial gardens - they were huge!  We *only* had a couple of hours there, but I literally could have spent all day exploring.

The gardens include trials of shade-loving plants as well as those that appreciate a full sun exposure.

Shade-loving plants are trialed under the huge pergola

There were also container trials...

...which included a number of hanging baskets.

I have a large, shaded front entrance so it's not surprising that I'm a huge fan of coleus.  When I saw this one, I was immediately smitten:

Coleus 'Skeletal'

Just like anyone else, I have my plant preferences. One of the joys of touring trial gardens is that, despite a particular plant typically not being a favourite, I will often find one or two varieties that I unexpectedly like.  For example, while I love plume & spike celosia, I'm not usually a fan of those with 'brain-like' blooms.  'Hot Topic Reef' turns out to be an exception.  

Celosia 'Hot Topic Reef'

Calibrachoas, however, are a favourite, regardless of variety.  This one, with it's hot pink edges, was a stunner:

Calibrachoa 'MiniFamous Uno Ember Eclipse'

And while I rarely find a Calibrachoa I don't love, when it comes to Petunias, I'm rather particular.  Most of them I'm not especially fond of, but these guys fall in the 'Love' column:

Petunia 'Tea Purple Vein Green Edge'

Petunia 'Lo Rider Blue'

And take a look at this gorgeous combination of Petunia 'Bee's Knees' (a 2022 AAS winner!), Cuphea 'Honey Bells' and Ageratum 'Monarch Magic':

A beautiful combination!

Speaking of Cuphea, I was really taken by the diminutive bright pink flowers and glossy leaves on 'FloriGlory Diana', a 2018 AAS winner.  If I didn't know any better, I would have thought it was a tiny shrub.

Cuphea 'FloriGlory Diana'

Every once in a while, I run across a plant that I've never heard of such as this Sanvitalia (aka creeping zinnia) with it's teeny tiny blooms - it was such a beautiful spiller in the container.

And just for a bit of perspective on how small those flowers are:

When it comes to full sun container plants, you can't beat Portulaca for it's drought tolerance and gorgeous blooms.  The side-by-side comparisons in the trial gardens really helped illustrate the differences between each variety, especially when it came to form as some were much more upright while others were more on the ground-hugging/trailing side of things.  I apparently have a thing for the orange/yellow varieties 🙃
Portulaca 'Mojave Mango'

Portulaca 'Mega Pizzaz Mango Twist'

Portulaca 'Colorblast Orange Shandy'

Portulaca 'Pazzaz Nano Deep Orange'

I spotted one of my favourite sedums in a container:

Sedum 'Sunsparkler Lime Twister'

Sometimes the plants on trial don't even have 'real' names yet, like this beautiful Marigold:

Marigold '24OIS17'

I don't think I've ever met a Salvia that I didn't like, both annual & perennial.  This one, with its deep, deep purple blooms, is a beauty:

Salvia 'Sagoon Lake Omega Improved'

And finally, two more stunners: 

Salpiglossis '24OSI10'

Scaevola 'Surfinia Fashion Pink Improved'

Having never grown either Salpiglossis or Scaevola before, you can bet they are now on the list.  And this may be the one downside of going to trial gardens - the list of plants that I want to try is ridiculously long & it just keeps getting longer!

Happy Gardening!


  1. As someone who has a long-term addiction to flowers, I'd have been in 7th heaven at this plant farm too, Margaret. I recently saw that 'Skeletal' coleus elsewhere and I've been looking for it ever since. And I agree that the Celosia is just odd enough to be interesting rather than bizarre. Thanks for sharing your visit.

    1. You would definitely have loved it, Kris! This was only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak - there was just so much to see & the time passed far too quickly :)

  2. Oh my many beautiful plants you observed and shared. Where does one start to comment on them. This definitely seems like a great destination for anyone visiting that area of Alabama. Maybe a future Fling location? Thanks for the reminder about the Cuphea plants--I used to grow them and need to think about adding them again next year.

    1. This is my 1st year growing Cuphea in my own garden and I love it! Can't believe it took me so long to give it a try (I seem to say that about every new plant, lol!) :)


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