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The Raker-Roberta's Trial Gardens are closed for the season. We will be reopening July 19th, 2023 

See the newest varieties, top performers, and most unique plants the horticulture industry offers.

OPEN: July 19, 2023 - September 1st, 2023, Monday - Friday, 9am - 4:30pm  
CONTACT: Emily Wildt, Director of Trials, (517) 542-4501

We've got to get back to the Gardens!

Here are some standouts from last summer:

Best overall performance Annual – Begonia Prism Sunset (Westoff) This Begonia was overflowing with large flowers in shades of orange, coral, and rose all summer long. A great shade container choice to brighten up any dark area in your garden. The Begonia had the most visitor favorites pick throughout the summer. The flowers are held above the foliage on a well branched plant habit.  

Best overall performance perennial – Kniphofia uvaria Glowstick (Darwin Perennials) Packed with bright golden flower spikes from summer until fall. The grass like foliage also adds a fine texture to the garden. This plant is drought tolerant, a pollinator powerhouse, and is low maintenance.

Best Pollinator friendly Annual – Salvia interspecific Salgoon Lake Baikal (hilverdaFlorist) This is a well branched, sturdy, flowering powerhouse that provides flowers all summer long. This Salvia was continuously visited by hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Great in a sunny landscape or patio pots.

Best Pollinator friendly Perennial – Echinacea SunMagic Vintage Red (Bull Plant Genetics) Butterflies and insects love this variety. Deep reddish-pink flowers are held on sturdy stems. Well branched with over 20 flower buds on each plant. This series consists of 6 colors, and all are uniform in habit. A pollinator magnet. 

Best heat tolerant Annual – Bracteantha Granvia Gold (Suntory Flowers) This vigorous plant loves the heat and never slowed down in the stressful hot summer days. The flowers stood proudly and abundantly all summer above a mounded plant habit. 

Best heat tolerant Perennial – Veronica Seaside (Garden Choice) This Veronica is larger and has show stopping blue flower spikes all summer long. Loves the heat and sun of summer and did not show signs of powdery mildew until extremely late in the season when the days started getting shorter and the nights cooler. This Veronica also tolerates salt. 

You can find photos and performance data on all of these and everything in our trials on our Trial Data Page.


We will be hosting our big annual summer event, The Connection!
Join us on July 27th for a day filled with Music, Food, Friends and of course, Flowers! Industry experts will be on hand to talk about the latest and greatest offerings. Be sure to make time to visit.

In addition to our extensive sponsored areas (Landscaped beds, rows, large containers and Hanging Baskets) we have exciting things planned for ou
r Comparison areas. 
  • The Michigan Garden Plant Tour will be Monday through Friday from July 24th through August 4th.
  • Our sponsored areas are full of the latest and greatest offerings from our breeder sponsors.
  • This year in our comparison row trials in the sun, we will have Bracteanthea, Ornamental Pepper, Zinnia, Celosia, Grasses, Helianthus dwarf-annual, and Dahlia's. We are also showcasing Pantone's color of the year, Viva Magenta!   
  • In the Shade, we'll have coleus (late flowering).
  • We'll also be showing Patio Vegetables in large containers.
  • In our hanging baskets, we are showing Pot Petunias and also the newest "ready-Made" mixes.
  • in 2022 we introduced our Specialty Cut Flower Trial bed; we are excited to announce for 2023 that we have expanded! New additions include a sponsorship showcase of varieties from top breeders all over the world, the largest Lisianthus comparison trial in the Midwest, and R2's r&d screen for the 2024 Specialty Cut Program. 
  • We are adding to our extensive perennial trials with Phlox paniculata, Helianthus, Rudbeckia fulgida, and Perovskia. These will be in the ground for three years and are in addition to our existing perennial trials.

Last year, we added videos and much more photography to our social media accounts. Search for "Raker-Roberta's" on to see all of our videos. We'll continue to provide the best multi-media content available.

2023 is the National Garden Bureau's Year Of The Celosia!
Be sure to pick your favorites.


Join Us!

Raker - Roberta's Young Plants, Inc., one of Michigan’s premium horticulture suppliers, is proud to present our Raker - Roberta's Garden Trials.