Enjoy 25th annual event on Thursday, July 10


Summer Celebration Master Gardener Plant Sale, Jackson, TN
Find a plant you can't live without at the UT Gardens Summer Celebration Master Gardener Plant Sale. Plant sale begins at 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 10. The rest of the day's festivities begin at 10 a.m. Photo  by G. Rowsey, courtesy UTIA. Download image

JACKSON, Tenn. – The Summer Celebration Lawn and Garden Show is back for its 25th year!

Scheduled for Thursday, July 10, 2014, the annual event at the University of Tennessee Gardens, Jackson (located on the grounds of the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center), features a full day of garden talks, tours, sales and demonstrations. The event kicks off at 9 a.m. 

If you’ve never been to this gardening extravaganza, here are seven reasons why visitors say they love it.

1.  Master Gardeners’ Plant Sale:  Summer Celebration is known for its plant sale! Sponsored by Master Gardeners, the sale offers an extensive selection of hard-to-find trees, shrubs and other perennials.  Proceeds from the sale benefit Master Gardener projects that beautify West Tennessee and support the UT Gardens.

2.  Garden Talks:  These presentations begin at 10 a.m. and repeat throughout the day.  Topics range from planting and pruning to viticulture and vegetables.  There’s a not-to-be-missed presentation on a damaging new pest to fruit trees.  And the highly acclaimed Felder Rushing will share his unconventional take on gardening.  Raising chickens, recycling trash and Southern folklore round out the program.  A total of 16 talks will be given, both indoors and out.  Talk descriptions are available at west.tennessee.edu.

3.  Expert Advice:  Not only can you get great information at one of the many garden talks, but you also have access to a plant and pest diagnostic center.  Here UT experts will identify and prescribe treatment for weeds, disease, insect damage and other plant ailments.  They’ll also provide free testing of soil pH levels.  So don’t forget to pack a cup of soil and your forlorn plants before leaving home.

4.  Superb Scenery:  The UT Gardens in Jackson, along with the UT Gardens in Knoxville and Crossville, are collectively known as Tennessee’s official botanical gardens. The grounds always look beautiful, but for Summer Celebration, they really pop!  To top it off, curator Jason Reeves typically assembles an elaborate garden display to wow the crowd.  For 2014 he’s planning a stunning bottle art exhibit with more than 3,000 bottles!

5.  Friendly Folks:  The staff at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center will make visitors feel welcome.  They’ll provide rides to and from the parking area, lend a hand to load newly purchased plants, and help locate presentation rooms or tents.  Just look for the people in the gray and orange UT caps.
 
6.  More Great Shopping:  Around 50 businesses typically set up booths in the Exhibitor Tent, selling items like plants, lawn equipment, garden art and crafts.  Purchase books from gardening greats Felder Rushing and Troy Marden in this location.  Refreshments are also sold here.  Lots of great finds! 

7.  Learning about the UT Institute of Agriculture:  The ongoing ornamental research at the UT Gardens, Jackson, assists the state’s growing green industry.  Center scientists also conduct research on row crops and forestry.  Discover more about their work while taking a wagon tour of the facility.  You can also hear about 4-H programs by visiting the food tent, where 4-H All-Stars will be selling hamburgers hot off the grill.  

Event admission is $5 for adults and free for children 17 and under.  Activities conclude at 6 p.m.

For more information, including directions to the event, visit west.tennessee.edu.

The West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center is one of 10 unique research facilities operated by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.  In addition to its agricultural research programs, the UT Institute of Agriculture also provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.

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 Contacts:

 Dr. Bob Hayes, Director, West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center, 731-424-1643, rhayes1@utk.edu

 Ginger Trice Rowsey, UTIA Marketing and Communication Services, 731-425-4768, gtrice@tennessee.edu