Inside Colorado's annual 'Superbowl' of flowers in Fort Collins

It takes more than a hundred experts because there's more than a

FORT COLLINS - Every year at Colorado State University's Trial Garden, judges gather to crown the best-growing flowers. 

"It's almost like the Super Bowl of flowers for the Colorado Rocky Mountain region," Jim Klett, director of the competition, said.

It takes more than a hundred experts because there's more than a thousand flowers to examine.

"It's pretty grueling sometimes," Frank Yantorno said. "But as long as the weather is like this, we've got all the sunshine and all this color around -- it's a pretty neat job." 

Yantorno is one of the judges at this year's competition. He's been doing this since the '70s.

"And I've been doing it ever since," he said.

Yantorno wears a hat to block off the sun, but he's not wearing what most people wear when it gets too bright outside.

"You can't wear sunglasses. You got to be able to see the colors. This is our business -- it's color," Yantorno said.

The average person might not be able to see what Yantorno sees when he looks at flowers.

"This one I'll rate 8 out of 10," he said as he examines a petunia. Yantorno rates a flower in just a few seconds by looking at its color vibrancy, uniformity, the way the flower sits on the plant, the number of flowers, and its evenness.

It's not just judges like Yantorno who walk around to look at flowers. The people who grew the flowers come out to the garden as well.

"It's kind of like graduation day for them," Klett said. "They get to see the product of all their hard labor." 

It's a long few hours in the sun, but it's worth it to people like Yantorno.

"It's like heaven, it really is. You look at this...you're surrounded by beauty, you're surround by great people," he said.

Check out the gallery below to see some of the flowers that were at CSU's trial garden. 

The winners of this year's competition will be posted soon on CSU's Trial Garden website here

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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