Summer Fest

Saturday, July 29, 2017
8:30 AM - 2 PM

FREE Admission

Plant Diagnostics Taking photos in the gardens. Garden Tours Lectures.



LOGO In honor of our centennial celebration we have over 100 annuals on display in the Donald B. Lacey Garden and more than 100 containers throughout the Gardens



Come for a day of FREE tours, classes, leisure and enjoyment.
New Jersey gardener, this is your day.  So car pool, come early, bring a picnic and enjoy a day of horticultural learning and sharing.  Families, all ages welcome.


In 1964, the display garden was created by Donald B. Lacey, a Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in Home Horticulture.  Now, over 50 years later, the Donald B. Lacey Display Garden continues to showcase an incredible display of annuals each year that remain colorful all summer long.
Plants in the Donald B. Lacey Display Garden are exceptional performers chosen from professional trials across the country.  Included are award winners by All-America Selection, Proven Winners and Proven Selections. 
In 1965, to showcase the garden, Mr. Lacey established the Rutgers Gardens Open House.  For over 1/2 a century this day has been teaching New Jersey gardeners and horticulture professionals how to make the most of their gardens. Come enjoy the sunshine at the annual Open House featuring Garden experts who provide talks, guided tours and answer your gardening questions.  While you are here visit the 180 beautiful acres of flower, herb, and vegetable, tropical, succulent, bamboo gardens, woodlands, ponds and more. 


VSA herb garden



Tour Schedule





8:30 am

Rain/Pollinator Garden - Rain Gardens can be an attractive and environmentally sensitive addition to your home through their ability to reduce storm water runoff from impermeable surfaces.  It is often best to plant them with native plants that can serve as food and habitat for all our pollinators, ensuring that they continue to thrive in NJ!

Bruce Crawford, Director Rutgers Gardens

Potting Shed Shop

9:00 am –12:00pm

Hourly tours of the Donald B. Lacey Display Garden

Rutgers Gardens Staff and Volunteers

Donald B. Lacey Display Garden

9:30 am


Helyar Woods - Every forest has a story to tell and Helyar Woods has multiple stories! Come explore the 70 acre woodland and enjoy this nature walk in the woods!

Herve Barrier   Gardens Volunteer

Potting Shed Shop

9:30 am

Organic Vegetable Garden- Come discover the delicious edibles growing in the VSA garden. Learn about the methods used for growing organic vegetables  that are bountiful, healthy, and ecologically friendly.

Arianna Lindberg
Coordinator of
Agriculture (VSA)

Donald B. Lacey Display Garden

11:00 am

New Introductions - See the newest annual flower introductions for 2016 planted in the Donald B. Lacey Display Garden.

Ira Grasgreen,
Eason Horticulture Resources

Donald B. Lacey Display Garden

10:30 am

The development of Rutgers Gardens as a botanical garden began with the formation of Rutgers University’s Cook Campus.
Come learn the history of Rutgers Gardens as we continue our Centennial Celebration.

Bruce Crawford, Director
Rutgers Gardens

 Holly House

11:30 am

Container Plantings in the Gardens - Learn techniques for planting and maintaining beautiful containers. Monica will explore some of the containers at Rutgers Gardens, the plants that are used and show you some tricks for designing and maintaining your container for summer long color!

Monica McLaughlin,
Staff Horticulturist

Holly House

12:30 pm

The VSA Quad leaders will walk you through their part of the garden and talk about their success, setbacks and how they overcame any obstacles.

Barry Batorsky    Anita Brinker  Herve Barrier       Theresa Lam

Donald B Lacey Display Garden
Organic Vegetable Garden

12:30 pm

Come along for a tour of the newly renovated herb garden.  Learn about the herbs we grow here at the gardens. Bring your herb questions!

Caren White    Rutgers Gardens Herb Garden Steward

Herb Garden

1:30 pm

Learn the techniques for preserving vegetables, canning, and pickling. 

Ellen Simonetti   Robert Mellert Gardens Volunteer

Holly House