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Spring Fair a Hit with Local Gardeners Popular Union County Master Gardeners event educates and entertains
Union County Freeholder Angel Estrada visits the recent Master Gardeners’ Spring Fair and Plant Sale with Madeline Falhive DiNardo, Rutgers Extension Agriculture and Resource Management Agent. The all-volunteer organization is an Extension program supported in part by the Freeholder Board, and proceeds from the plant sale help fund many gardening and education projects. Photo Credit: Irene Grottano.
Mountainside, NJ – Hundreds of Union County residents flocked to the 20th annual Master Gardeners Spring Garden Fair and Plant Sale at Union County’s Watchung Reservation in Mountainside last month. Visitors lined up well in advance of the 12:00 noon ribbon cutting that marked the start of the event.
The entire event was set up and run by the all-volunteer Union County Master Gardeners, who are trained and certified by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension.
“The Master Gardeners are constantly out in the community, working with students and civic groups to share their knowledge,” said Union County Freeholder Angel G. Estrada. “They help keep the ‘garden’ in The Garden State, and the Freeholder Board is very proud to support them.”
All proceeds from the Garden Fair go to fund Master Gardener projects, programs, and scholarships.
As in past years, the Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden was open for Garden Fair visitors to view. One especially popular area featured annuals, vines, grasses, butterfly and hummingbird flowers, deer resistant plants and drought tolerant plants.
The plant sale was the main feature. Visitors hauled away wagons full of herbs, fruit and vegetable seedlings, hostas, perennials, geraniums, ground covers, native plants, lilies, irises, houseplants, small bushes, and even trees.
The fair also featured a gardening book and magazine sale, snacks at the Cupcake Café, face painting and children’s garden crafts. Rounding out the fun and information were hourly garden tours and a gardening lecture. Visitors could also collect garden fact sheets, get a soil test, and speak with representatives from 4-H, the Union County Mosquito Control Bureau, and the Garden Help Line.
If you missed the Spring Garden Fair, there are still many opportunities to connect with the Master Gardeners for free, helpful gardening advice. The Demonstration Garden is open whenever Master Gardeners are present, generally on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and some weekends. You can also contact the free Master Gardeners Helpline at 908-654-9852, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To become a certified Master Gardener volunteer, contact the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County, 300 North Avenue, East, Westfield, NJ 908-654-9854.