A beloved tradition in South Carolina, Flower Day was begun by Park Seed to highlight ways to use our products in the garden. Our 9-acre trial gardens in Greenwood, South Carolina, provided the perfect venue for displays in sun and shade.
From the vegetable patch to the water garden to the famous All-America Selection (AAS) Trial Gardens, where new varieties were grown from seed and judged on their performance, Flower Day enabled gardeners, photographers, nature lovers, and families to come and view the beauty of the world's finest annuals, perennials, roses, shrubs, and trees.
Flower Day was so popular that a local Festival of Flowers grew up around it, with special attractions and displays of city and local plantings all around the Greenwood area. Park Seed and our sister companies, Wayside Gardens and Jackson & Perkins, participate in the Festival Flowers, hosting guest speakers and sponsoring the women's luncheon.
The Festival of Flowers eventually expanded to include Park Seed's Grower Days, a venue for wholesale customers to come and meet, tour the gardens, and discuss ways to improve their business. Grower Days are held a few days before Flower Day, making it easy for wholesalers to participate in all the festivities.
Held on one Saturday in June, Flower Day included barbecue, ice cream, and other treats served at Park Seed headquarters. Tours of our famous Seed Room, lectures on rare plants and other botanical topics, and guided tours of the garden were conducted by our staff horticulturists. Special events included guest speakers, activities for children, and music. Flower Day was also Family Fun Day, and many folks came from across the country to enjoy it!
And for gardeners, Flower Day was often their first glimpse of exciting new varieties in the garden. Many seeds were so new that they had only numbers, not names -- Park Seed's own Doc Alston trialed many different types of seeds in our gardens, choosing only the best for introduction in our catalog. The American Garden Award debuted with Park Seed as a viewing site, and All-America Selections new and classic were always grown.
Occasionally we throw open the gates and welcome gardeners, photographers, bird-watchers, nature lovers, and everyone else into the Park Seed gardens. If you haven't been able to join us, you might enjoy seeing a few photos of our trial gardens on Flickr:
Enjoy these photos of Flower Days through the years, and if you are one of our Flower Day visitors, thank you for sharing the beauty of the gardens with us!