IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF LANDSCAPING PLANTS IN FINLAND: THE COMBINATION OF FIELD AND LANDSCAPE TRIALS
At MTT, Agrifood Research Finland, projects to improve the quality of plant material available for landscape gardening have been carried out. The plant material for each project has partly included species or clones which represent Finnish plant genetic resources. Two of those projects have consisted of a combination of field and landscaping trials in different climatic zones. Botanical characters, resistance to pests and diseases and hardiness were studied in field trials at MTT and the knowledge of tolerance to environmental stresses, suitability to different surroundings, ecology, competition and suitability to rationalized maintenance was collected from landscaping trials in cooperation with towns and cemeteries. In the first project, the aim was to find low and creeping woody plants for greening of problematic traffic areas in urban horticulture. Landscaping trial areas were established in six towns in Southern and Central Finland. Aridity and strain caused by traffic make special requirements on plants which should cover the ground and look dense without interfering with the field of vision for traffic. Results of the trials prepare the way for increasing the use of ground-covering woody species and the introduction of two new species into production. The other project aimed at increasing the use of herbaceous perennials in urban landscaping. Suitable species and combinations of species for different purposes were sought. The trials in landscaping areas were carried out in six towns and three cemeteries. Based on the results, guidelines are prepared for the use of 50-100 important perennials. The combinations of traditional species and novelties proved successful even in Northern Finland. Ground-covering perennials can be used instead of lawn, and suitable species for traffic areas and cemeteries were found. The combination of field and landscaping trials proved to be successful in selecting and recommending plants for use. Field trials in uniform conditions provide detailed knowledge of the differences between clones, and landscaping trials are important for the knowledge of suitability and maintenance. Dissemination of the plants increases because the trial plantations remain in place in cities and cemeteries, hence increasing the awareness of such plants.
Juhanoja, S. and Tuhkanen, E.-M. (2013). IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF LANDSCAPING PLANTS IN FINLAND: THE COMBINATION OF FIELD AND LANDSCAPE TRIALS. Acta Hortic. 980, 87-94
clone selection, herbaceous perennials, nurseries, woody ornamentals