Arts & Entertainment

Spring Garden Fair and Plant Sale Returns to Union County May 21


MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ - A rainy spring is setting the stage for a promising summer growing season, and gardening enthusiasts can stock up on plants, seedlings and other supplies at the 28th annual Master Gardeners of Union County Spring Garden Fair and Plant Sale.

The Spring Garden Fair takes place this year on Sunday May 21, 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. on the grounds of the Union County Demonstration Garden, located by the Trailside Nature and Science Center in the Watchung Reservation at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside.

“A visit to the Spring Garden Fair is a fun, inspiring way to kick off the growing season,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “The event is packed with activities for all ages, and our Master Gardeners offer guidance and information for gardeners at every level of experience from beginner on up.”

Sign Up for E-News

As always, admission to the Garden Fair is free, and parking is also free. Visitors are advised that all sales are cash only.

“All proceeds from the Garden Fair and Plant Sale go to fund the many volunteer activities of the Master Gardeners, including community projects and educational programs,” said Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski. “Stocking up at the Garden Fair is a good way to help the mission of this outstanding volunteer organization while improving your own garden, too.”

Among the hundreds of plants and seedlings offered for sale, the Spring Garden Fair features deer resistant, drought tolerant and fragrant plants that thrive in Union County, including many easy-to-grow plants for beginner gardeners.

The Spring Garden Fair is also known for a large selection of herbs and tomatoes including the popular Ramapo and the new Rutgers 250.

Along with plants, baked goods, books, crafts, and garden supplies for sale, the Spring Garden Fair offers free activities for gardeners of all ages including:

  • Guided tours of the Demonstration Garden including the vegetable and herb gardens.
  • Displays and information for Square Foot Gardening, rain barrels and rain gardens.
  • Information on joining the Master Gardeners and the 4-H Master Tree Stewards.
  • Children's activities (children must be accompanied by adult during activities).
  • Garden clinic and Rutgers information fact sheets for troubleshooting garden problems.

Attendees can bring plant and insect samples for diagnosis, and a Rutgers soil test kit is available for sale.

Free parking is located nearby at the Trailside Nature and Science Center parking lot and the Scout Camping Area in the Watchung Reservation. Additional free parking is available in the Loop playground area, located a short walk away on the other side of the Trailside Center.

Visitors are advised to bring a small wagon to convey their purchases. Sorry – no pets are permitted at the Garden Fair.

The Spring Garden Fair is organized each year by the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County, an all-volunteer organization run by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County and supported in part by the Freeholder Board. Anyone with an interest in gardening and volunteer service can become a Master Gardener. No previous education or training in horticulture is required. 

Among the Master Gardeners many volunteer services are the free Garden Helpline (908-654-9852) where residents can receive gardening advice, horticulture programs for people with special needs, and a community gardening speakers' bureau.

The group’s work in the Union County Demonstration Garden has yielded thousands of pounds of fresh produce for local food pantries and many donations of cut flowers to cancer centers along with other projects and programs.

For more information on the Master Gardeners program contact Judi Laganga at the Extension, 908-654-9854 (ext. 2), or visit online at The Extension offices are located in the Colleen Frasier county services building, 300 North Avenue East in Westfield.

More information on the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County is available at

For quick links to all Union County programs related to gardening, sustainability and nature conservation visit The Green Connection,

For all Union County programs and services visit, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email or use the online Contact Form.

Connect with Union County on social media.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Berkeley Heights’ Women of the Week (WoW) Series features Beth Ferris Sale

March 18, 2018

In honor of the women who are driving change, blazing trails and nurturing society, the Berkeley Heights Diversity Council is pleased to announce an exciting initiative called, Women of the Week (WoW) Series. In the spirit of community, we wanted to honor the women right here in Berkeley Heights who are impacting the world in their own way for the remaining weeks of Women’s History ...

Union County 4-H Club Reaches Out to Help after Hurricane Maria

March 17, 2018

Student members of the Union County 4-H Variety Club reached across local and state borders to help displaced pets earlier this year. Through their “4-H for our 4 Pawed Friends” community service project, they collected donations to help St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison after the organization sheltered more than 700 pets in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

A ...

LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA Cancer Recovery Program Session Begins March 20

A new spring session for The LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program, a 12-week cancer recovery program, will begin at the Berkeley Heights YMCA on March 20, 2018. The program is a research-based physical and wellness program in which certified Summit Area YMCA trainers work with participants to achieve their goals. LIVESTRONG®  at the YMCA helps cancer survivors who find themselves in the ...

Discover Your Inner Ballet Dancer


This 8-WEEK class will be focusing on the classical technique of ballet in a fun and easy to understand manner. You can expect a full ballet class experience from working at the ballet barre, to leaping across the floor! No experience is necessary to participate. Easy to move in clothes, and socks or ballet shoes are recommended.


Diversity and Inclusion at the Summit Area YMCA

The Summit Area YMCA is more than a swim and gym. It is more than a childcare center. It is more than a nonprofit organization. It is a welcoming, safe, inclusive and globally diverse environment.

For the past 2 years, the Summit Area YMCA has been recognized as one of only 74 Y’s in the country with a Diversity and Inclusion and Global Innovation initiative. Our Y is made up of people ...

NPHS Student's Response to After School Walk-out Plan at NPHS

March 14, 2018

A group of students file into a science classroom amid a nervous din of chatter, the air is electric with excitement and nervousness. This small group of approximately 30 students are a studious bunch, largely members of the sophomore class with squeaky clean administrative histories. They are currently preparing to defy authority and stand up for what they believe in, even though they had been ...

New Providence's Allen W. Roberts School Gets Security Walk Through by Police Department after Bomb Threat

March 12, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The New Providence Police Department sent a letter to parents and guardians of students at Allen W. Roberts Elementary School after a non-specific bomb threat was reported on Monday afternoon.

It's the second threat  reported at a New Providence school in March. The first threat was reported on March 5th at New Providence High School.

Emergency ...

Avon Loses Its Last ‘Grand’ Hotel to the Claw of an Excavator

March 17, 2018

AVON-BY-THE-SEA, NJ — In less than two days, an Avon-by-the-Sea landmark that stood for 130 years was reduced to a huge pile of rubble. The Norwood Inn no longer stands on the corner of Norwood and Second Avenues — the last of the stately hotels that once graced the streets of Avon.

As onlookers gathered around the demolition site on March 15 and March 16, an excavator clawed its ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, March 18, 10:00 AM


Camp Riverbend Open House

Sun, March 18, 2:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Maple Sugar Sunday



Sun, March 18, 2:00 PM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Surreal Places, Imaginary Spaces: A Literary Tea

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Sun, March 18, 2:00 PM

Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Maplewood

Maplewood Strollers Present John Patrick ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, March 18, 3:00 PM

Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, Plainfield

Crescent Concerts Presents Annual Festival of ...

Arts & Entertainment

JCP&L Representative Describes Utility’s Actions During Storm Quinn, Answers Residents' Questions

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The format of this week’s  Berkeley Heights 'Here and Now' was turned on its head this week. Mayor Bob Woodruff reviewed what happened in the township following Storm Quinn and its predecessor Storm Riley, complete with statistics. He then asked a representative of JCP&L questions about the utility’s response, and how it was ...

Berkeley Heights, Here and Now: Redevelopment Updates

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Mayor's Round Table has been rebranded to "Berkeley Heights, Here and Now." This new format will continue to provide updates from Mayor Bob Woodruff, municipal offices and the Communications Committee want to hear from citizens, businesses and community organizations.

Included in this episode, Mayor Bob Woodruff addresses the status of the ...

You Want a Check for How Much!

 My first admissions gig was working for a small liberal arts college with a pretty hefty price tag.  Picture me at a college fair: name tag in place, pile of brochures ready to go.  An eager family would walk up and we’d start a conversation.  One of the first questions I’d get from parents was about cost and the moment that $50,000-plus figure left my mouth I ...

Now That The Dust Has Settled…Smart Tax Moves In 2018

Now that the dust has settled, here are some smart tax moves to lower your taxes and/or avoid higher taxes/penalties in 2018. These steps may be especially helpful if you live in high property and high income tax states (e.g. New Jersey, New York, California) since state and local tax deductions are capped.  Unfortunately all these changes mean you’ll need more time and energy to ...