UT’s Summer Celebration features Tennessee wildlife, native trees and shrubs

UT’s Summer Celebration features Tennessee wildlife, native trees and shrubs

Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 8:00 pm

JACKSON — The annual Summer Celebration Lawn and Garden Show, a one-day adventure for gardening enthusiasts, devoted naturalists and anyone who enjoys the outdoors, will take place at the University of Tennessee Gardens in Jackson, located at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center on July 11 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
This will be the first Summer Celebration since the UT Gardens was named the Volunteer State’s official botanical garden. Fittingly, the event will honor the state with the special theme, “Wild Tennessee.” In addition to tours and talks on the best ornamental plants for landscaping, those attending can learn more about Tennessee wildlife. From the birds of the air, to elusive furry mammals, amphibians, reptiles and other creepy crawlies, these presentations will dazzle and delight visitors of all ages. Special talks will emphasize Tennessee’s native trees and shrubs.
Other presentations include tours of the newly expanded conifer gardens, as well as the annual and perennial trial beds. Best plants for butterflies, organic and herb gardening and gardens of New Zealand round out the agenda.
The 18 garden and wildlife lectures officially begin at 10 a.m., though it is suggested participants arrive a little early. Beginning at 9 a.m., residents can shop an amazing selection of trees, shrubs and perennials at the Master Gardeners’ Plant Sale. They can also use this time to reserve a spot at the UT Kitchen Divas’ cooking demonstration, “Breakfast & More.” These spots fill up quickly, so participants are reminded to stop by Room 162 for a reservation ticket at no extra charge, a spokesman said.
People who have a gardening grievance can take it to the experts manning the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Center. They can identify weeds, plant diseases and insect damage. Additionally, they’re offering free testing of soil pH levels, so participants are encouraged to bring a cup of soil from their landscape.
“When you’re ready for a break, take a ride on the relaxing AgResearch wagon tour. You’ll get to see areas of the farm not generally open to the public, as UT scientists fill you in on their cutting-edge research that’s contributing to the success of Tennessee farmers. You can also visit the 4-H All-Stars food tent for a hamburger right off the grill with all the fixings. And don’t forget to visit the vendor tent to check out more plants, supplies, garden tools and unique outdoor art,” a spokesman said.
Admission to the Summer Celebration Lawn and Garden Show is $5 for adults, but the event is free for children 17 and younger. For more information, including directions to the event and the complete program, visit the website http://west.tennessee.edu/events.
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.

Published in The Messenger 5.28.13

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