Summer Garden Experience

Bring nature home to your garden with the expert knowledge of Doug Tallamy, nationally-recognized author of Bringing Nature Home and The Living Landscape, at Penn State’s Summer Garden Experience on Saturday, July 22.
The summer garden is about so much more than just flowers!  Don't worry, we've got those, too.

The summer garden is about so much more than just flowers! Don't worry, we've got those, too.

Date and Location

When (Date/Time)

July 22, 2017, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Add to calendar


Do you want to know…which plants are best for attracting pollinators and beneficial insects to your garden? Which tomato and pepper varieties grow best in our area? Which tomatoes taste the best? Which flower varieties are top garden performers? How to grow garlic? How to preserve herbs and create your own herbal blends? How to grow hops? Do you want to hop on a farm tour, and learn more, lots more, at Penn State’s Summer Garden Experience?

Then join Penn State Extension in the heart of Lancaster County’s rich farmland for the 12th annual Summer Garden Experience on Saturday, July 22, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Held at Penn State’s Southeast Agricultural Research and Extension Center (SEAREC), located at 1446 Auction Road, Manheim, seven miles northwest of Lancaster, this fun-filled event packs a maximum of gardening ideas and information into five hours. Admission to all talks, tours, and demonstrations is covered with a $10.00 per vehicle parking fee, and pre-registration is not required.

Dr. Tallamy will be presenting two informative and entertaining talks on nature and biodiversity in your garden, one at 10:00 a.m. and one at 1:00 p.m. With Dr. Tallamy’s information, you can help conserve native habitat and beneficial insects right in your own backyard. His books will be available for sale and signing.

Other featured presenters include Julie Girton on new and proven perennial varieties; Kristen Kyler on managing stormwater on your home grounds; and Extension Educators Tim Abbey and Connie Schmotzer on pollinator gardens and beneficial insects.

The research farm is also home to Penn State’s Flower Variety Trials, a sneak preview of thousands of the newest varieties of annual and perennial flowers, arrayed in row after row of colorful foliage and blooms, and professionally evaluated for quality and performance in the garden. Bring your camera for fantastic photo opportunities, and join in walking tours with Trial Director Sinclair Adam at 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 12:00 noon.

Wagon tours of the farm will also be offered every hour on the hour with Farm Director Alyssa Collins and Extension Educator Tim Elkner providing an overview of the latest horticultural and agronomic research and demonstration plots being conducted by Penn State researchers and Extension educators. 

Learn about bluebirds with the Bluebird Society, and for an additional fee, make and take home a bluebird box. There will also be tours of the Pollinator Trials, live caterpillars on display in a vivarium, and a selection of the very best pollinator plants for sale. There will be vendors with a variety of native plants and gardening-related items for sale; and lunch, ice cream, milkshakes, and cold drinks will be available for purchase.

Many short gardening talks and demonstrations will be given throughout the day, covering topics ranging from Repotting Orchids to Edible Flowers, from Growing Garlic to Getting Kids into the Garden, from Green Roofs to Fruit Trees.

There is something for everyone, and everyone is welcome, so bring your family, bring your friends, and bring your neighbors for the experience of a summer garden down on the farm.

Contact Information