CSU Archives and Special Collections

CSU Buildings and Grounds History

A history of CSU's building and grounds from 1870 to the present.

Annual Trial Gardens/Annual Flower Trial Garden, 2000-

An aerial view of the Trial Gardens. Empty flower beds form an rough oval shape with grass in the middle and outside of the beds. The roof of a gazebo is visible.

Annual Trial Gardens, 2004

From CSU's Sense of Place:  A Campus History of Colorado's Land-Grant University, by James E. Hansen, Gordon A. Hazard, and Linda M. Meyer.  Fort Collins, CO:  Colorado State University, 2018.

Architects – Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Bath Landscape Design Company (2016 Perennial Flower Garden)

Builders - Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Sinnett Builders of Fort Collins (renovation of the Gazebo they originally built for Fort Collins High School in the 1980s), Bath Landscape Design Company (2016 Perennial Flower Garden)

1401 Remington Street

Following the purchase of the old Fort Collins High School property, the small park just west of the main building was turned into space where hundreds of flowering plants are grown each year. It is visited by residents to view the spectacular variety of flowers grown there each season. A landmark feature is the large gazebo originally built in the 1980s.  It is listed as one of the top twenty college gardens in the country.

During the summer of 2000, a pedestrian/bicycle tunnel connecting the Flower Trial Garden and the Main Campus was installed under South College Avenue. This became the model for larger pedestrian/bicycle underpass tunnels installed under West Prospect Road and South Shields Street years later. 

The objective of the Flower Trial Garden is to evaluate the performance of annual and perennial flower varieties under Rocky Mountain environmental conditions. In 2015, 805 different varieties of plants were being evaluated by the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture faculty and students. Over the years, the size of the gardens has expanded to lawn areas on the west side of the University Center for the Arts main building.

In the summer and fall of 2016, the lawn area on the north side of the University Center for the Arts was converted into the new location for the “University Perennial Flower Trial Garden”.  Bath Landscape Design Company helped design and build the new portion of the garden complex that was once located at the W. D. Holley PERC on West Lake Street on land that is now used by the on-campus stadium and its football practice fields.

Sources by Gordon A. Hazard

State Board of Agriculture Minutes, September 1, 1999.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 2, 2000, page 1, vol. 108, number 81.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, February 11, 2000, pages 1 and 5, vol. 108, number 93.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, June 12, 2000, page 3, vol. 108, number 148.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, August 28, 2000, page 1, vol. 109, number 7.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, July 10, 2002, page 1, vol. 111, number 5.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, August 26, 2003, page 5, vol. 112, number 3.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, March 10, 2005, page 11, vol. 113, number 112.

“Democracy’s University – A History of Colorado State University 1970 – 2003” by James E. Hansen II, 2007, pp. 353, 376, 402(n53).

Flower Trial Garden 2015 brochure published by the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture.

An on-site information sign observed during the construction of the new PERC Perennial Gardens over the summer and early fall of 2016.

https://source.colostate.edu/green-spaces-define-csu/,  Source, August 16, 2017, by Jennifer Dimas.

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