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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
Flowers tested by K-State for the prairie climate
Flower trials at the Northwest Research-Extension Center in Colby, KS
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About this blog
By Dr. Stevens
Dr. Stevens has been at Kansas State University for over 20 years researching flowers. He serves as the State Extension Specialist in Floriculture and is director of the Horticulture Research Center in Olathe, KS Robin R. Dremsa is a Research ...
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Prairie Star Flowers
Dr. Stevens has been at Kansas State University for over 20 years researching flowers. He serves as the State Extension Specialist in Floriculture and is director of the Horticulture Research Center in Olathe, KS Robin R. Dremsa is a Research Associate who manages the flower trials. She's been at the K-State Hort. Research & Extension Center since 2007.
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Located in the far northwest corner of the state in Colby, KS, the Northwest Research-Extension Center is a facility primarily used for agricultural research, but is also a trial site for Prairie Star flowers. This year marks the Center's 100th Anniversary as a site for agriculture research and outreach! 
With Kansas being such a big state, the climate and growing conditions for the flowers at this site are quite different from the eastern or southern parts of the state. While the days are very hot and rain is scarce, the higher elevation and drier atmosphere lead to much cooler night temperatures. Under the cooler nights the flowers store more sugars in their petals, resulting in deeper, darker, richer and more vibrant colors.
The highly landscaped grounds and flower trials are a wonderful respite for travelers.  Visitors are encouraged to stop and stroll through gardens.  The grounds of the research & extension center are open during daylight hours 7 days a week.
Colby KS flower trials
Dr. Stevens speaking in front of the flower trials at the Colby Horticulture Field Day
Every year in late summer, Kansas State University holds a Horticulture Field Day at the Colby station. Held in the evening hours, it's a chance for local gardeners to hear pertinent information from K-State Research & Extension.
The 2014 Field Day is on August 13 with the following schedule:
5:15 Registration
5:30 Guided tour and Welcome
6:15 Speakers begin the program:
    Tree selection and care for northwest Kansas
    Turfgrass selection and care for northwest Kansas
    Shrub selection and care for northwest Kansas
    Prairie Star annual flower trials
Attendees are encouraged to bring in samples from their home gardens for identification and diagnosis.
The Northwest Research-Extension Center is located at:
105 Experiment Farm Rd
Colby, Kansas 67701-0505
785-462-6281

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