The trial grounds area at the American Rose Center in Shreveport was established in the mid 70’s. The RHA provided funds to aid in the construction, and the first seedlings were received in the spring of 1977. Support for the trial grounds continues to be given by the RHA, and by interested rosarians in the Louisiana-Texas-Oklahoma area who trek to the Center three times each year to evaluate the entries and to maintain the plants during the annual pruning party. Certificates are awarded to the hybridizers whose plants have high scores. Results of the 2002 trials were posted several days ago on this forum.
Baxter Williams, the Chair of the trial grounds sent me a note a few days ago informing me about the grounds and what plans are in the works. Time has taken its toll thus making it necessary to do some maintenance, including the task of replacing the landscape timbers around all 12 test beds and adding some new soil. The plan is to spread the work out over two years. He can get some support for the costs from some of the nearby local societies, he asked if I would check with our members and ask them to help.
The estimate for Phase I (Spring 2003) is $1700 and $600 for Phase II (Spring 2004). Contributions may be sent to the ARS at Shreveport marked for the Trial Grounds project.