Free educational programs offered at Master Gardeners' Garden Fair

May 11, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Free public gardening workshops will be a featured attraction when the Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Centre County hold their annual Garden Fair and Plant Sale, May 19.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Ag Progress Days grounds at Rock Springs, 2710 W. Pine Grove Road, Pennsylvania Furnace, nine miles southwest of State College on state Route 45. Visitors should use Gate J. Parking and admission are free.

The talks will be held in the theatre area located in the main Garden Fair building and will include the following presentations:

-- 10 a.m.: Herbaceous Annuals and Perennials. Robert Berghage, associate professor of horticulture in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, will discuss some of the best new cultivars from Penn State field trials, as well as other outstanding varieties. 

-- 11 a.m.: That's Not Something You See Every Day: Selecting Landscape Trees and Shrubs with an Eye Toward the Less Common. James Sellmer, associate professor of ornamental horticulture, will provide tips on improving your landscaping with varieties that will help you stand out from your neighbors.

-- Noon: What Are Those Bugs in My Garden? Amanda Bachman from Penn State's Department of Entomology invites gardeners to bring insects or photos of insects for identification. She will show slides of common insects found in central Pennsylvania gardens and discuss how to control them.

-- 1 p.m.: All About Bluebirds. Ken Leister, of Chester County, board member of the Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania, will share his extensive knowledge and love of bluebirds. A retired educator, Leister was honored as Pennsylvania's "Bluebirder of the Year" in 2010.

In addition to the free talks, there will be exhibits and demonstrations including:

-- "Ask a Master Gardener" booth where visitors can get free Penn State gardening publications.

-- Honeybee and pollinators exhibit. See a live honey bee colony and learn the importance of pollinators in our lives from the Centre for Pollinator Research at Penn State.

-- The Geisinger Health System will provide free blood pressure testing and distribute information and samples of skin-care products for gardeners.

-- The Pasto Agricultural Museum will showcase a special garden history exhibit. Museum docents will provide free tours of the museum throughout the Garden Fair.

Breakfast and lunch food items will be available for purchase from the Ferguson Township Lions Club.

Corporate sponsors for the Garden Fair are the Centre Daily Times and Wheatfield Nursery (Platinum sponsors), Geisinger Health System and Wegmans (Silver sponsors), and Accuweather, Attorney at Law Andrew Shubin, Landscape II, and SPE Federal Credit Union (Bronze sponsors).

More information on the Garden Fair and Plant Sale is available online at

Trained and administered by Penn State Extension, Master Gardeners are volunteers whose mission is to provide research-based educational programs in consumer horticulture and environmental stewardship. To learn more about the Master Gardener program in Centre County, visit the Web at

  • A variety of gardening presentations will be offered at the Master Gardeners' Garden Fair and Plant Sale, May 19 at the Ag Progress Days site.

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated May 14, 2012