Public Info

Flora, Fun, and Free Garden Help at the Union County Spring Garden Fair

Union County, NJ – With a blustery cold spring soon giving way to seasonably warm weather, it’s time for the annual Union County Spring Garden Fair and Plant Sale. The event takes place on Sunday May 18 from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Demonstration Garden, located by the Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside, 452 New Providence Road.

Now in its 25th year, the Spring Garden Fair offers hundreds of plants for sale along with a full slate of family friendly fun activities, educational presentations, and free expert guidance on gardening.

Fair admission and parking for the rain-or-shine event are both free.

“The Freeholder Board is very proud to support the Spring Garden Fair and the Master Gardeners of Union County,” said Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak. “The Garden Fair is a popular spring tradition that provides hundreds of Union County residents with an opportunity to explore their interest in gardening while contributing to a good cause.”

The Garden Fair is a project of the volunteer Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County, a community service program of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension supported by the Freeholder Board. Proceeds from the sale go to fund horticulture scholarships and many other Master Gardeners community projects.

Highlights of the plant sale include deer resistant, drought tolerant, fragrant, and easy-to-grow plants for beginner gardeners, as well as varieties of tomatoes for gardening in containers and other small spaces.

Also featured are heirloom tomatoes and other vegetables, a large selection of herbs, hanging baskets, houseplants, and annual and perennial flowering plants.

Other items for sale include Rutgers soil test kits, garden crafts by Master Gardeners, gently used gardening equipment and books, and home baked goodies and other refreshments from the “Cupcake Café.”

Visitors to the Garden Fair can tour the extensive Demonstration Garden and learn about the latest popular trends in gardening including square foot gardening, rain gardens, and rain barrels.

Master Gardeners will be on hand to provide free guidance on gardening and troubleshooting. Visitors are encouraged to bring plant and insect samples for free diagnosis.

Visitors can also talk to personnel from the County’s Mosquito Control Bureau for guidance on controlling mosquitoes, and get information about the Extension’s 4-H Master Tree Steward community service program.

Free children’s activities include free face painting, crafts, and seed planting.

Free parking is available adjacent to the Garden Fair, and at the Loop playground a short walk away. Visitors who plan to purchase plants are advised to bring a small wagon for ease of conveyance.

Please note that no pets are permitted.

New Jersey Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Cooperative Extension in its mission to deliver horticulture programs and information to the public. Anyone with an interest in gardening can join. No previous education or training in horticulture is required

For information on becoming a Master Gardener, contact Judi Laganga at the Extension office in Westfield at 908-654-9854 or, or visit


Please join the County of Union online at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at

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, 848-932-3584.