UT’s Summer Celebration to be held on Thursday

JACKSON, Tenn. — Calling all gardeners, novice and master alike.

Thursday is the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture’s Summer Celebration, where you can learn the latest on gardening.

Staff at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center are making the final touches to the UT Gardens.

This is in preparation for one of their biggest events of the year: Summer Celebration.

“You get a glimpse into the background at what we have to offer with our landscaping and ornamentals program here at the West Tennessee Center,” said Scott Stewart, Director of the Center.

Stewart says during Thursday’s online event, there will be sessions for everyone from the professional gardener to the beginning landscaper.

“The topics are pretty varied: ‘How to plant a shrub,’ ‘How to grow vegetables,’ ‘How to keep your garden healthy,’ all those types of things,” Stewart said.

Jason Reeves is one of the hosts for the event. He designs and maintains the gardens, which you’ll also get a tour of during the event.

“The gardens here are multipurpose. One of them is, ‘We are a garden.’ We’re actually the only public garden between Nashville and Memphis,” Reeves said.

“We’re growing plants from different companies who supply the different plants to trial and see how well they perform in our area. That information gets sent back to them, but it’s also made available to our growers, so they know what does well and can grow those plants, so you can buy them and take them home to put in your garden,” Reeves said.

Because COVID-19 restrictions were eased so recently, the celebration is going to be online this year. It’s free, and you need to register at the UT Institute of Agriculture’s website.

“There’s no cost, of course. That’s where you can link to the live content. Then after we launch the videos and pre-recorded presentations, you can link there as well,” Stewart said.

And if you’re not available Thursday to watch the event, the gardens are open to the public from dawn to dusk.

“There’s so many good plants for our area, and coming and seeing them in person to see how they perform let’s you figure out what’s going to do well in your landscaping and make you a successful gardener,” Reeves said.

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