Public Info

Rain or Shine, Annual Spring Garden Fair and Plant Sale Will Blossom in Union County

Union County, NJ – No matter what the weather, the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County will bring their popular Annual Spring Garden Fair and Plant Sale to the Watchung Reservation in Mountainside on Sunday, May 15, from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. This year’s event, celebrating 23 years of volunteer service by the Master Gardeners, gives visitors a festive opportunity to pick up some new gardening skills and to purchase a variety of old favorites and new discoveries, including flowers, herbs, vegetable seedlings, hanging baskets and house plants.

All proceeds will help fund community projects of the Master Gardeners.

“The Master Gardeners are a wonderful resource for the many Union County residents who help to keep our communities green, healthy, and pleasant,” said Union County Chairman Deborah Scanlon. “Their work with children, seniors and the disabled is also exemplary and the Freeholder Board is very proud to support this outstanding group of volunteers.”

The Master Gardeners of Union County is a program of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension, supported in part by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. The all-volunteer group cultivates an expansive Demonstration Garden in the county’s Watchung Reservation. They are headquartered in the County building in Westfield.

Among the Master Gardeners’ many service projects are horticultural therapy, a free gardening helpline, flowers for local cancer patients, community gardens, scholarships and more. Each year the Demonstration Garden yields hundreds of pounds of fresh produce for donation to local food pantries.

Among the offerings featured at this year’s Garden Fair are tomato seedlings specially selected for containers and small gardens along with the legendary Ramapo Tomato.


Other Garden Fair highlights:

  • Guided tours of the Demonstration Garden

  • Lectures by Master Gardeners:

    • 1:30pm – Plant Propagation

    • 2:00 pm – Square Foot Gardening

    • 2:30pm – Vegetable Gardening

    • 3:00 pm – Home Composting

  • Free children’s activities.

  • Free Helpline clinic and Rutgers information fact sheets. Residents are invited to bring plant and insect samples for diagnosis.

  • Union County Division of Mosquito Control Supervisors available to answer questions.

  • 4-H Master Tree Stewards with children’s activity and display.

  • Rutgers Soil test kits for sale.

  • “The Cupcake Café” home-baked goods.

  • Arts & crafts table.

  • Gardening “Odds & Ends” sale table.

  • Used gardening books and magazines sale.

The Spring Garden Fair is located at the Demonstration Garden by the Trailside Nature and Science Center, at the corner of New Providence Road and Coles Avenue in Mountainside. A free parking lot is located at the site. Additional free parking is available at the nearby Loop playground area. For maps and directions,

Visitors who plan to purchase plants are advised to bring a small wagon for ease of conveyance.

To find out more about becoming certified as a Master Gardener, contact Lynne Orlofsky at the Extension offices, 908-654-9854 or visit

The free Master Gardener Helpline is available from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Call 908-654-9582 or email

For a full calendar of all Union County summer events including free concerts and films, visit

Photo Caption (photo attached): Union County Freeholder Angel G. Estrada greets Master Gardener volunteers (l-r) Susan Thomson and Cindy Coppa, and Madeline DiNardo of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Photo/Union County Master Gardener T.J. Karns.


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Rutgers Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity program provider and employer. Contact your local Extension Office for information regarding special needs or accommodations. Contact the State Extension Director’s Office if you have concerns related to discrimination, 732-932-5000, ext. 584.

For more information on any Union County press release, please contact Sebastian D’Elia, Communications Director for the County of Union, or a designee listed at the top of this press release. Please join the County of Union online at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at