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Thank you from the Bake Sale Committee & lawn chair left behind

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Committees & Projects, SpringFair

Thank you to all Master Gardeners who donated their baked goods for the Sale. Once again due to your contribution and generosity the Café was a success! The Bake Sale committee is most grateful and looking forward for your support next year.

From the Bake Sale committee Chairs
Magali Felix, Diane Voight

There was a lawn chair with a blue pillow left behind in the garden- it is in the garden building and you can pick it up any Tuesday or Thursday (weather permitting) between 9:30 and 11:30am when the Demo garden is open. Joanne

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Fair attendance, post sales and feedback

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Committees & Projects, SpringFair, The Gardens

We had another successful Spring Garden Fair, total attendance was 1,127 , with 918 people in the gates by 2pm. Thank you for your hard work creating such a wonderful event. While we faced some challenges (bathrooms not working, rain, hail, and wind gusts up to 42mph) we handled all the obstacles.

We are interested in your feedback and observations, so while the event is fresh in your mind, please send any responses to Joanne by Monday, May 30, to

Did you notice any problems?

Any areas for improvement or new ideas?

Did parking at the “loop” work for you and was the shuttle van helpful?

Any overall comments?

Did you hear any customer comments (negative or positive) that you can share?

Post Event Plant Sales:

We do have a very small amount of flowering plants leftover that we cannot return to the nursery. They are in our greenhouse and we will be open every Tuesday and Thursday starting at 9:30am. Please be sure not to take the vegetable plants for the Sharing Garden or Herb Garden –  they are clearly marked.

Our donated perennials are on the back tables in our outdoor potting area, and they are $1.00 each (to cover the cost of soil)

There are a few shrubs left on the outdoor wood tables – they are $2.00 each

Annuals in the greenhouse are 30% off – so $2.80 for a 4-inch pot, (was $4)  and $1.90 for a 6 pack (was $2.75) Annual vines in peat pots are $1.50 each. There is one hanging basket for $13 and one large container with a mixed planting for $15

There are also a few houseplants leftover in the greenhouse, they are free for Master Gardeners, and are also clearly marked. Sales are on the honor system, and the money can either be sent to the Treasurer, Teresa Gibbons, or can be given to Joanne and I will get it to Terry.

Thanks again – now let’s hope the wind dies down and the temperature gets back into the normal range so we can start planting our own gardens!

Joanne Krueger – 908-313-2734- cell

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Spring Fair-Information for Sunday

Posted by on May 13, 2016 in Committees & Projects, SpringFair, The Gardens

A few IMPORTANT TIPS for Sunday – the Garden will be open Sunday starting at 7:30am

Don’t bring pocketbooks or other valuables with you – please wear a fanny pack or cross body bag

-It may be crowded in the morning at the garden – there are Boy Scouts camping this weekend.

-Remember to bring your own lunch for the afternoon

-Wear your MG hat and t-shirt

-Nametags will be at the main Information table for those that need them (including new class)

-Green aprons are available at the main Information Table for Master Gardeners that don’t have MG shirts. (Information Table opens at 10am)

Remember to SMILE and have fun this weekend. We are sharing our knowledge and love of gardening with the public.

Latest Forecast for  Sunday – sunny to partly cloudy  but chilly – high in the 50s to 60 Wear sunscreen and a sweater!

Parking Information for Sunday:

  • Parking for the public will be down at the Garden in the grassy field, & the main parking lot
  • Parking for Master Gardeners will be at the Loop Picnic Area. Please drop off your supplies in the morning and park up at the Loop.
  • The 4-H Rutgers Shuttle van will be running back & forth to the loop starting around 9:00am. The shuttle will also run at the end of the day. Everyone’s cooperation is appreciated to free up spaces for the public. Be sure to park in a paved spot at the loop to avoid getting a parking ticket.
  • DIRECTIONS TO LOOP PICNIC AREA/PLAYGROUND – Turn left out of Trailside parking lot onto New Providence Road. Follow this road to a wooded traffic circle and take the third right onto W.R. Tracy Dr. (toward Surprise Lake). Bear left around loop for picnic and playground areas. It is a short 5-minute walk from the Loop area to the Demo Garden.

Looking forward to another great event this year! Any problems or concerns – get in touch with me please, thank you

Joanne Krueger- 908-313-2734- cell -call or text me–

I will be at the garden all day this weekend so email is not the best way to get in touch with me –

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MG Spring Fair- Friday & Saturday Information

Posted by on May 12, 2016 in Committees & Projects, SpringFair, The Gardens

Friday – May 13 – starting at 7am at the Demo Garden, we can use all hands! The County is coming at 7am. If you can help set up tables, please come then, otherwise, please come by 8am. We need to cover all the tables with plastic that the County delivers. We will also be helping to set the tables up, doing a general cleaning of the building, and preparing all areas of the garden for the public. We will also mark the grassy field for parking. Please come and lend a hand. We can use people to rake, cover tables, and help with all kinds of tasks, not all of them require strength.

Saturday, May 14 – 8:30am – 5:00pm We will be picking up at nurseries, and we need hands to unload all the vehicles and set-up for the sale, post Fair signs around reservation, and other tasks. The first vehicle should arrive at the Garden by 9am if not earlier.

Master Gardener Member Only Plant Pre-Sale And Social – Saturday, May 14, 2:00 – 4:30pm at the Demo Garden

 You may park at the Garden on Saturday – Watch the weather forecast, and dress appropriately. Remember, the grass is wet so wear waterproof shoes or boots.

All members will be able to purchase plants at full retail price in advance of opening the fair to the public at your very own plant sale. To ensure a good selection of plants for the public, we have to place some limits on the amount of plants you can buy. Remember, you will also be able to purchase plants at the end of the Fair on Sunday at reduced prices-but many of the “desirable plants” will be gone by then.

You’ll be able to purchase the following at the Saturday pre-sale:

2 Hanging Baskets

3 pots of Herbs and (1) 4 or 6 pack (No limit on Basil)

NO LIMIT on Vegetables

NO LIMIT on 4 or 6 packs of annuals

NO LIMIT on assorted 4” annuals including Geraniums, Caladiums, Coleus, and Proven Winners

NO LIMIT on Nursery stock

NO LIMIT on perennials, including many choice varieties

Plant buying limits will be posted during the event. Plants wrapped with tape are reserved for the public.

SORRY- the Rutgers 250 tomato plants are reserved for the public- and there will be a limit on the quantity.

Questions? Contact Joanne – 908-313-2734- cell or

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Fair Schedule update and Request for Baked Goods

Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Committees & Projects, SpringFair, The Gardens

Fair Schedule Update: The County will be setting up all the tables, chairs and canopies on Friday, May 13 starting at 7am. Anyone coming to help cover tables with plastic, and clean the building, please come starting at 8am.

Anyone that has any of the Helpine business cards at home, please bring them with you to the Garden- the Helpline is short of cards for Sunday.

The Bake Sale Committee is calling on all bakers to donate their delicious bake goods for the Spring Fair.   Homemade or store brought bake goods of any kind are welcome.

Make and donate your favorite cookies, cupcakes, brownies, breads, cakes, scones or whatever your specialty may be. For those with more creative baking skills, items decorated to appeal to children and delight adults would be most appreciated.

If you are donating, please email, with what you are bringing. It is helpful for planning purposes to know ahead of time what items the committee chairs need to bake on the weekend. With your help the Café will be a success. We appreciate your help and participation of any kind. Our goal is to sell to hungry gardeners and plant lovers!

All donations should be individually packed in a small clear bag and labeled. The ingredients listed separately on an index card. One ingredient list card per batch of baked goods. This information will be available at the Café for the convenience of our customers. Most important – Anything containing nuts/peanuts must be labeled. Last year we placed all donations containing nuts in a separate section. All donated goods must be delivered Sunday morning to the fair by 12:00 pm.

Suggested bake goods:

Cupcakes – children love decorations especially faces!

Brownies – one large or two small one per pack

Scones – a delight for adults

Cookies – 2 to 4 per pack depending on size

Cakes – Sliced and individually packed

Breads – 1 to 2 slices per pack depending on size

In addition we will need donations of coolers and ice as we will be selling bottled water

Message from the Bake Sale Committee Chairs: Diane Voight, Master Gardener 2014 – and Magali Felix, Master Gardener 2014 –

Please bring your own lunch on Sunday- there is NO food vendor this year.


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Reminder- Spring Fair Orientation Meeting & Items needed

Posted by on May 10, 2016 in Committees & Projects, News and Events, SpringFair, The Gardens

Spring Fair Orientation Meeting:

The monthly meeting is this Wednesday, May 11 at 7:30pm at the RCE auditorium in Westfield. We will review all aspects of the Fair. This meeting is especially helpful to new volunteers. All are welcome, refreshments will be served.

Items needed for the Fair:

Gardening Odds and Ends needed – Please bring your donations this Thursday, May 12 to the Demo Garden. We will be open at 9:30am and closing at 12pm. We appreciate everyone’s donations, but all items must be received by Saturday, May 14 – the day before the Fair.

House plants accepted until Saturday, May 14. Please label them!

Boxes – all types-bring the weekend of the Fair – WE NEED 400 BOXES – If everyone just brought 4 boxes with them on Sunday we would have all the boxes we need. (Boxes should be stored in clear plastic bags and stored next to the building under the overhang- we have plastic bags at the demo garden for the boxes)

Salads and desserts for our MG Brunch

Baked goodies for our Cupcake cafe

Coolers with ice for our MG brunch refreshments and the Cupcake Café

Pump pots or thermal carafes for the MG Brunch and Bake Sale

Canopies and Market Umbrellas and sturdy stands

Shepherd Hooks for hanging baskets (mark with your name or tape)

Card or Folding Tables (mark with your name)

Any questions get in touch with Joanne Krueger- 908-313-2734 – cell –

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Spring Fair Information – it’s coming!

Posted by on May 8, 2016 in Committees & Projects, SpringFair, The Gardens

Please start collecting boxes for the Fair- we need 400 boxes for our customers. You can bring them to the garden this week. If everyone just brought 4 boxes with them on Sunday we would have all the boxes we need. (Boxes should be stored in clear plastic bags and stored next to the building under the overhang- we have plastic bags at the demo garden for the boxes)

We need help this final week getting ready for the Spring Garden Fair; here is the schedule for this week:

Tuesday, May 10 – 9:30 am

The Demo Garden will be open and we need help getting ready for the Fair. We will be setting up the houseplant tables next to the building. Garden beds need to be weeded and mulched and we also need to dig some dead plants out of the cold hardy tropical plot. The new class will also be at the garden to lend a hand.

Wednesday, May 11 – 7:30 pm

Spring Fair orientation meeting at the RCE building in Westfield. We will review all the details and schedule of the Fair. Everyone is welcome, but this is especially helpful for volunteers that haven’t worked at the Fair before. Refreshments will be served after the meeting.

Thursday, May 12 – 9:30 am

The Demo Garden will be open for sprucing up the gardens, general cleanup, sorting the big signs, and we will also label all the tomatoes and peppers we have grown for the fair in the greenhouse.

Friday, May 13 – Weather dependant – may move to Thursday – look for updates from Joanne

The County will be delivering all the tables and chairs (exact time TBD) We need help setting up the tables, covering all the tables with plastic, and helping to set up the canopies. We also need to mark the grassy field for parking, and we can also use “indoor greenhouse and building cleaning help”

Saturday, May 14 – 8:30 am

We will be picking up plants at Ambergs and delivering them to the demo garden. Help is needed to unload all the vehicles. We will also get a delivery from Dreyers.

Saturday, 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm (Extended by 30 minutes)

Master Gardener Member pre-sale – you may buy your plants today before the public. You may park down at the garden this day.

Sunday, May 15 – 7:30 am – The Big Day!

The Garden will be open by 7:30 am. The Fair is open to the public starting at 12noon and closes at 4:00pm.

 Thank you for your help! Any questions get in touch with Joanne Krueger- 908-313-2734 – cell –

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Update – Member Pre-Plant Sale hours extended and Herb ordering information

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Committees & Projects, SpringFair

The Member Pre-Sale on Saturday, May 14 hours have been extended by 30 minutes. The sale will now run from 2pm to 4:30pm to accommodate Master Gardeners who wish to attend the free Professor Douglas Tallamy lecture, “Bringing Nature Home – How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants” in the Trailside Visitor Center Auditorium from 2-3pm. This gives everyone at least one hour after the lecture to choose and purchase his or her plants. Thank you to the Treasurer and the cashiers for staying longer this day. The lecture will qualify for one hour of continuing education.

In addition, we will be taking orders for 4 packs, half or full flats of Italian basil only. This won’t count towards the “3 items of herbs” limit. We know how popular basil is with everyone! After speaking to our suppliers, they have enough this year to supply us with extra. We will be using your request for rough ordering purposes only. Please send your request to Kathleen Murray by Thursday, May 5 to

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Weeding Continues Wednesday at Peppertown Park, Berkeley Heights

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Committees & Projects, News and Events, The Gardens

We are continuing weeding the bed and have begun planting.  We will meet Wednesday, May 4, at 10 am and work for up to two hours on the bed.  The more volunteers, the faster the job goes, so even if you can only spare a half an hour to an hour, please stop by.  Bring work gloves and weeding tools.  We will provide bags.

Peppertown Park, located at the corner of Plainfield Avenue and Sherman Avenue in downtown Berkeley Heights, is approved for Master Gardener volunteer hours.  Union County Master Gardeners together with other volunteers have established a perennial bed, consisting mostly of native plants at the east end of the park.  The goal is to make this a low maintenance bed.

Questions?  Contact Richard Leister at

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MG Pre-Plant sale – Annuals Information & Request

Posted by on May 1, 2016 in Committees & Projects, SpringFair

Master Gardener Members Only! Pre Plant Sale and Social – Saturday, May 14, 2:00 – 4:00pm at the Demo Garden

The very popular “members only” social and plant sale will again be held on the Saturday afternoon prior to the Fair.

All members will be able to purchase plants at full retail price prior to the plants being made available to the public. This is a once a year opportunity for you to purchase plants that we have gathered from local area nurseries- plus a chance to pick from over 1,000 perennials donated by fellow Master Gardeners! Imagine the time you can save by doing some of your shopping with us!

The Annuals Presale for MGs returned last year to applause. We will again make annuals available during the MG Presale, held Saturday afternoon May 14.  However, we need your help to make it a success. The spring plant sale is profitable when we sell out so we must order carefully. If you are interested in purchasing annuals at the pre-sale please send an email of the type of plant and approximate number (entire flat, a six pack, 4 inch pot) that you plan to purchase. We have the typical assortment of annuals including geraniums, begonia, ageratum, alyssum, petunia, marigolds, salvia, snapdragons, vinca and zinnia. We will be using your requests for rough ordering purposes only.  There will be no holds on the day of the sale. Please send your order requests to by Wednesday, May 4.

Please note – due to the downy mildew problems expected again this year on Impatiens walleriana, we won’t be offering these plants for sale again this year. Popular replacements that are not affected are New Guinea impatiens, SunPatiens, big leaf begonia and coleus. We will have a large selection of all these fine plants available to Master Gardeners and the public.

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