JACKSON, Tenn. – Summer Celebration, one of the largest gardening shows in the Mid-South, will be held Thursday, July 12. The event features more than 40 plant and craft vendors, 16 talks/tours led by gardening experts, an extensive Master Gardener plant sale and a plant and pest diagnostic clinic.
Hosted by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, Summer Celebration runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Jackson, Tennessee.
“The goal of our program is to plant ‘seeds of success’ in the minds of gardeners,” says Jason Reeves, curator of the UT Gardens, Jackson. “We want to show them how their gardens can be more productive, more cost-efficient and possess greater curb appeal.”
Reeves says part of successful gardening is choosing the right plants, and guests can certainly find those at Summer Celebration. Beginning at 9 a.m. visitors can shop hard-to-find ornamentals at the Master Gardener plant sale, or visit local nurseries at the Exhibitor Tent. Crafters will also offer distinctive garden art.
Garden talks begin at 10 a.m. and repeat throughout the day. Topics include garden design, successful seed starting, soil and pest management, vegetable gardening, watering do’s and don’ts and garden travel. In a highly anticipated talk, Reeves and Carol Reese, UT Extension horticulturist and renowned garden writer, will share their picks for the top plants for Tennessee.
Worried about summer heat? No need to fret. Seven talks, including Top Plants for Tennessee, plus the popular UT Kitchen Divas cooking demonstration will take place indoors with the comfort of air conditioning.
Six cooking demonstrations will be given hourly beginning at 10 a.m. Divas tickets can be purchased outside the north entrance of the building beginning at 9 a.m. for the first three shows and then at 12:15 p.m. for the remaining shows.
Some outdoor garden talks include walking tours of the UT Gardens, Jackson. Guides will point out high performing annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs, including many varieties of the 2018 featured garden plant, basil. Visitors can learn to successfully incorporate this beautiful and aromatic herb with ornamental plantings.
UTIA plant and pest experts will identify weeds, disease, insect damage and other plant ailments at the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic. Additionally, they’ll offer free testing of soil pH levels, so visitors are encouraged to pack a cup of soil with them.
A wagon tour featuring some of the research in progress at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center rounds out the program. These tours will depart every 30 minutes.
For entry fee and other information, visit west.tennessee.edu/events. There will be breakfast and lunch items available for purchase for guests who want to make a day of it.
The West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center is at 605 Airways Boulevard, Jackson, Tennessee.