If you're a Midwest gardener, why should you trust the Prairie Star list as opposed to, say, a home and garden TV show or the latest glossy plant catalog that advertises guaranteed success?  Well, our recommendations are all research-based and we do the research.  We make a conscious planned effort to compare plant material in an unbiased way.  Also, our trial is purposely a stress trial, meaning we water infrequently and only provid [...]

If you're a Midwest gardener, why should you trust the Prairie Star list as opposed to, say, a home and garden TV show or the latest glossy plant catalog that advertises guaranteed success?  Well, our recommendations are all research-based and we do the research.  We make a conscious planned effort to compare plant material in an unbiased way.  Also, our trial is purposely a stress trial, meaning we water infrequently and only provide minimal care.  We want to simulate "lazy gardener" care!  This treatment separates the plants with the right stuff from the pretenders (those that need extra attention to look their best).   
We are not a "look pretty" botanical garden! We are a research trial.  First time visitors often run around the trials and make their "WOW",  amazing flower list.  In fact, the plants that are dead and dying should also be of significant interest to visitors so that they know what NOT to plant! A dead, dying and ugly list can be very useful list when planning your garden. 
Good to know Kansas is one of the most stressful climates for growing plants. It's baking hot during the summer, plus there are near-constant winds that can dry a plant out.  If there's not a heat wave, then there's probably a severe storm going on with intense rain and flooding, maybe even a micro-burst or tornado - our trial grounds have seen it all!

So next time you see a picture of a flower, think about where it was grown.  California? Florida?  The pics on our website are all from Kansas summers, so there's no candy-coating it.