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This week in HORT 1101 – Flower fun

From Frank Rossi, who introduces students to plants grown for foods, beverages, fiber, aesthetics and recreation in HORT 1101 (Horticultural Science and Systems). View more HORT 1101 posts.

Seasonal bouquets, a bonus from Bluegrass Lane clean-up.

Seasonal bouquets, a bonus from Bluegrass Lane clean-up.

This week in class, Neil Matson taught us all about the floriculture industry, and how flowering plants are grown, harvested, processed, marketed and ultimately enjoyed. Cheni Filios, our teaching assistant, also discussed how flower bulbs are used as potted plants, cut flowers and in the landscape.

Planting bulbs at Bluegrass Lane.

Planting bulbs at Bluegrass Lane.

For our hands-on lab experience, we traveled to the Bluegrass Lane Turfgrass and Landscape Research and Education Center, just off campus near the golf course. There, we helped with the fall clean-up. We removed plants from beds where the annual flower trials were conducted by Bill Miller’s Flower Bulb Research Program and cut back the perennials to ensure excellent growth and performance in the spring.

We also split up into groups to plant bulbs for a perennialization trial to evaluate how well the bulbs return over several years.

The weather was ideally crisp and so delightfully bright and sunny that many of the students caught the spirit and created their own bouquets of dried flowers and ornamental grasses.

Cleaning up annual flower trial beds.

Cleaning up annual flower trial beds.

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