Home & Garden

Press Releases

Shop for a Cause at the 28th Annual Spring Garden Fair and Plant Sale, May 21


The 28th Annual Union County Spring Garden Fair and Plant Sale will be held on Sunday, May 21, 2017 rain or shine, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Demonstration Garden complex at the Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside.  The Fair is a project of the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County in cooperation with the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. 

The Spring Garden Fair features hundreds of plants and for sale including deer resistant, drought tolerant and fragrant verities, and easy-to-grow vegetables, herbs and ornamentals for beginner gardeners.

“The Master Gardeners is an all-volunteer organization, and all proceeds from the sale go to fund the many service projects and activities they provide for the Union County community, said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “The Garden Fair is a wonderful opportunity to contribute to their work while adding color and greenery to your home, yard and neighborhood.”

Sign Up for E-News

Among the many highlights of the sale are heirloom tomatoes and tomato varieties ideal for containers and small gardens, hot peppers, hanging baskets and houseplants along with annual and perennial flowers for the garden.

Of special interest to tomato lovers are the Rutgers 250 and the Ramapo F1 Hybrid varieties.

The Rutgers 250 tomato is the new result from crossing the same parent varieties as the original ‘Rutgers’ tomato that was released by Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) in 1934. Rutgers 250 was selected for high fruit quality and flavor and was named in honor of the University’s 250th anniver­sary (the number of plants an individual can purchase may be limited due to demand). 

The Ramapo F1 Hybrid tomato was developed at Rutgers NJAES and first released in 1968. It was prized by gardeners for its great flavor, fruit quality, reliability, and productivity. Ramapo seed was unavailable for many years but Rutgers NJAES continued receiving requests for this popular tomato and eventually reintroduced Ramapo F-1 seeds in 2008.

Other Spring Garden Fair highlights include: 

  • Free Garden Helpline clinic and Rutgers information fact sheets for gardening problems. Residents are encouraged to bring plant and insect samples for diagnosis
  • Union County Division of Mosquito Control Supervisors available to answer questions
  • Rutgers Soil Test Kits will be available for sale
  • Square Foot Gardening display and informal presentation all day
  • Free children's activities, including making bird feeders and planting seeds. Children must be accompanied by parent or guardian.
  • 4-H Master Tree Steward display
  • Guided tours of the Demonstration Garden complex including our vegetable and herb gardens
  • "The Cupcake Café" will have home-baked goods 
  • Arts & Crafts table with hand painted bird house gourds grown in the garden, along with other items made by Master Gardeners
  • A Gardening “Odds & Ends” table with various new and slightly used gardening items
  • Applications to become a Master Gardener will be available for the new Master Gardener class starting next fall.

The Trailside Nature and Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside, in the Watchung Reservation. Free parking for the Spring Garden Fair is available in the Reservation at the Scout Camping Area, and in the parking lot at the corner of New Providence Road and Coles Avenue. Additional free parking is available in the nearby Loop playground area. Please note - no pets are allowed in the Garden Fair.

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

Rutgers Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist Rutgers NJAES) in its mission to deliver horticulture programs and information to the general public. Anyone with an interest in gardening and a commitment to volunteer service can become a Master Gardener. No previous education or training in horticulture is required. 

For more information contact Judi Laganga at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Office located in Westfield at 908-654-9854, visit the Extension page on the Union County website at ucnj.org/rce, or visit the Master Gardeners website at mastergardeners-uc.org

Cooperating Agencies: Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and County Boards of Chosen Freeholders. The Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, is an equal opportunity program provider and employer.

For quick links to all Union County environmental and sustainability programs and activities visit The Green Connection at ucnj.org/green-connection.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org 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

Roselle/Roselle Park

Roselle Chamber of Commerce to Host Women’s History Month Event

March 19, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ - It will be an evening of honoring the trailblazing women leaders in business at the Roselle Chamber of Commerce event honor of Women’s History Month.

Joetta Clark Diggs, New Jersey’s four-time Olympian, Motivational Speaker, Author, and Businesswoman will be the featured guest speaker.

The event is free and will be held on Thursday, March 22 at the ...

Free Citizenship Workshop to be Held This Saturday in Elizabeth

ELIZABETH, NJ - A free Citizenship Workshop will be held this Saturday, March 24, at the Santa Isabel Lutheran Church from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. located at 908 East Jersey Street in Elizabeth.

The Citizenship Drive is an annual event that assists eligible residents to apply for naturalization. Immigration attorneys will be present to screen eligibility and trained volunteers will assist in the ...

Wastewater Sewerage Authority Looking for Treatment Plant Operator

LINDEN/ROSELLE, NJ - The Linden/Roselle Sewerage Authority is seeking to fill a position for a Wastewater Sewerage Treatment Plant Operator.  

This is a full-time position that entails shift work, 7 days a week. Candidate must have a High School diploma or obtained equivalency; possession of a valid S-1 New Jersey Wastewater Operators License is preferred but not ...

Teacher Training at Trailside

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ  - Teacher Training programs at Trailside will be offered this spring for teachers of students in Kindergarten through grade twelve starting March 15.

Project WET, a teacher training program for teachers K – 12 will be offered on Thurs. March 15 from 9 a.m.. to 3 p.m.  This workshop will provide the necessary tools, resources, and lessons for teachers ...

Daylight Savings Time Begins this Weekend - Remember to Turn Your Clocks Forward

ROSELLE/ROSELLE PARK, NJ - The winter months are about to come to an end. You know spring is definitely around the corner when Daylight Savings Time begins. A reminder to everyone to turn your clocks forward one hour tonight when you go to bed. Daylight Savings time officially begins at 2 a.m. Sunday morning. 

While many will dread losing that hour of sleep, that extra hour of daylight ...

Union County Students to 'March for Our Lives' Saturday in Union

March 19, 2018

UNION, NJ – Students from all over Union County will be walking from Burnet Middle School to Town Hall on Saturday morning, March 24, in an anti-gun violence march.

Led by steering committee chairman Colin Sumner, the march, which has the support of Senator Joseph Cryan, Moms Demand Action, Union County Chapter, and the Union County Freeholders, is not aimed at taking away guns, but ...

Totowa Rapper Accused of Trying to Bring Loaded Gun Through Security at Newark Airport

March 12, 2018

NEWARK, N.J. – Rapper Juelz Santana, a resident of Totowa, faces weapon charges after allegedly trying to get a loaded firearm through security at Newark Liberty International Airport, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

The rapper, whose real name is LaRon L. James, 36, surrendered to police this morning. He has been charged with  one count of possession of a firearm by a ...

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

March 16, 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 ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...