UGA’s Trial Gardens will be hosting its annual public open house on Saturday.

“We want to get the community engaged and knowing that the garden’s here. It’s really quite surprising how few people in our community know that the garden exists,” said Trial Gardens Director John Ruter.

The Trial Gardens tests how the newest plants from breeders withstand Georgia’s weather conditions. There are more than 1,000 plants in the gardens and 400 are new this year.

The event, held 8 a.m. to noon, will feature tours of the garden, including a special tour of the rose collection led by a local rosarian. Tours will last approximately 30 minutes. There will be a variety of plants for sale, including zinnias, loropetalums and hydrangeas. Other vendors have not been chosen, yet.

Attendees will be given flags to mark their favorite plants. The results will be tallied and shared with the Trial Gardens’ clients, so they will know which plants the public is most excited about.

“Quite often what the industry folks pick as their favorites is completely different from what the public picks,” said Ruter.

Admission is a $5 donation to the garden, which runs entirely on fees from trialing clients and proceeds from plants sales and tours. The garden is located at 1030 West Green St., Athens. Parking on UGA’s campus is free on weekends and there are parking lots across from the Trial Gardens.