Annual Open House and Wine Tasting Festival

Saturday, July 26, 2014
10 AM - 4 PM

Enjoying pickles from a stand. Taking photos in the gardens. Garden Tours Lectures.


In 1964, the display garden was created by Donald B. Lacey, a Rutgers Cooperative Extension specialist in Home Horticulture.  Now, 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.  Plants designated Best in Show are those proven in Rutgers Gardens as consistently superior performers for New Jersey gardens.

In 1965, to showcase the garden, Mr. Lacey established the Rutgers Gardens Open House.  This year, the Open House celebrates the Golden Jubilee of the Donald B. Lacey Display Garden;  half a century of showing and 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 60 beautiful acres of flower, herb, and vegetable, tropical, succulent, bamboo gardens, woods, ponds and more.  The day also includes a wine and food tasting presented by 5 New Jersey wineries Auburn Roads Vineyard, Chestnut Run Farm, Plagidos Winery, Unionville Vineyards, Wagonhouse Winery and Food Architects.

General admission policy - Rutgers Gardens Members free (must show your card)
general admission policy - $7.00 per person, children 13 and under are free. There is an additional $15 fee for those wishing to enter the wine/food tasting area.

All-Day Events -


Day-Long Activities

10:00 am -
4:00 pm

Wine and Food Pairing – $15.00 gate fee includes souvenir glass.
Presented by NJ wineries and The Food Architects.

Log Cabin and Pavilion

10:00am - 4:00pm Food sales- Food Architects, one of our approved caterers will be here with their culinary delights.  

10:00 am -
4:00 pm

Best in Show – Agriculture displays by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Master Gardeners and Rutgers NJAES (New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station). Middlesex County Master Gardeners will answer your gardening questions.

Sun & Shade Garden

10:00 am -4:00 pm

“Ask the Experts” Rutgers Cooperative Extension Staff and Program Associates will participate in “Ask the Experts” to answer your gardening questions.

Log Cabin Road

10:00 am -
4:00 pm

Garden Market Place Shop with local artisans, as well as some of your favorite Rutgers Gardens Farm Market vendors.

Log Cabin Road

11:00 am -
3:30 pm

Live Music by Bill and Casey

Log Cabin Road



10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Hourly tours of the Donald B. Lacey Display Garden, Vegetable VSA Garden and the Community Youth Vegetable Garden – Led by Rutgers Gardens Staff and Interns. (Meet in front of the Display Garden.)

Display Garden

10:30 am

“Best in Show” Tour – Led by Bruce Crawford, Director, Rutgers Gardens. Join Bruce on a tour of our “Best in Show” plants. (Meet in front of the Gift Shop.)

Display Garden

12:00 pm

“New Introductions” Tour – Led by Ira Grasgreen, Eason Horticultural Resources. Ira will show off the newest annual flower introductions for 2014 planted in the Donald B. Lacey Display Garden. (Meet in front of the Display Garden.)

Display Garden

2:00 pm

“Best in Show” Tour – Led by Bruce Crawford, Director, Rutgers Gardens. Join Bruce on a tour of our “Best in Show” plants. (Meet in front of the Gift Shop.)

Potting Shed
Gift Shop


Master Gardeners Exhibits


Cumberland County The effects of hail on plants
Mercer County Insects
Middlesex County Butterfly Gardening - host and nectar plants for butterflies
Monmuth County The theme at present will be Junior Master Gardeners with a display of vegetables that will "re-grow" form scraps.
Sussex County Pollinator Paradise - Container gardening for pollinators display.
Union County Rain Gardens


Wine and Food Tasting -

food architects

Food Architects


AuburnRoadsAuburn Road ChestnoutRunFarmChestnut Run Farm PlagidosPlagido's UnionvilleUnionville WagonhouseWagonhouse Winery

Garden Market Place Vendors

Alchemized Traveller
Bear Facts
Carabella Imports
Carolyn's Crystal Creation
Garden Defender
Celtic Chairde -
Fulpher Farms -
Garden State day Lily Growers
House of Treasures
Donna Designs
Jams by Kim
Jersey Girl Barefoot Sandals
New York Life Insurance
Recycled Jewelry by Ava -
Raritan Bakery
Rosetta Farm Spices
Scarlet Knights
Sweet Bee Granola
The Space Waraku





Vendor Market Place Application


Questions Please contact: Mary Ann Schrum .