FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 25, 2008

CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, (908) 527-4419
Tina Casey, (908) 527-4346

 

NEW HERB GARDEN DELIGHTS AND SURPRISES
Master Gardeners of Union County create a savory oasis

NEW HERB GARDEN DELIGHTS AND SURPRISES Master Gardeners of Union County create a savory oasis

Elizabeth, NJ – Visitors to Union County’s Watchung Reservation are in for a sensory treat. An elaborate new herb garden has been added to the many natural attractions at the reservation.

The garden is a project of the Master Gardeners of Union County, supported in part by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. It is located behind the county’s Trailside Nature and Science Center off New Providence Road in Mountainside.

“The herb garden is a wonderful complement to the many volunteer activities of the Master Gardeners at Watchung,” said Freeholder Chairman Angel G. Estrada. “It will provide inspiration, education and enjoyment to visitors throughout Union County.”

The garden features almost 100 different herbs, with many colorful and unusual varieties such as lime balm, lemon verbana, enormous 12-foot tall castor plants, lamb’s ears, and chocolate mint.

The formal raised beds are arranged in ten themes, including medicinal herbs, scented herbs, and herbs from the Bible. Fans of Harry Potter will enjoy a special bed containing lungwort, wolf bane, and other herbs mentioned in the popular series of books and in magicians’ lore.

Some of the herbs are used for projects and activities in the Master Gardeners’ horticultural therapy program, which serves children and adults with special needs throughout Union County.

The garden thrived all summer and is still beautiful in the fall, when pineapple sage, Russian sage, chrysanthemums and a number of other late-blooming plants are in season.

The centerpiece of the garden is a gazebo donated by the Sisters of Maria Villa. The Merck Community Advisory Panel Mini-Grant Program provided a grant to purchase the horticultural therapy herbs. Most of the funds to build the garden beds came from the annual Master Gardeners’ Spring Fair and Plant Sale.

The garden is fenced and gated to protect the plants from wildlife. Visitors to Watchung are welcome to come in whenever the gate is open, generally on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings while Master Gardener volunteers are working there.

The Master Gardeners is a program of the Rutgers Agricultural Experiment Station-Cooperative Extension, supported in part by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

For more information about the Master Gardeners, call the Union County Extension
at 908-654-9854. Or, visit www.ucnj.org/greenconnect for links to the Master Gardener
and Extension websites.