The East Texas Horticultural Field Day will feature more than 500 ornamental plant trial varieties for public viewing on Thursday, July 22, at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Overton.
This year’s field day will allow in-person attendance from 8 a.m. to noon for a free, “open house-style” event, said Brent Pemberton, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Research ornamental horticulturist, Overton. COVID-19 protocols prevented attendance by the public last year. “We’re excited to open the event back up to the public,” he said. “We missed the interaction with our fellow gardeners last year and the responses the plants get from people who show up for their first time or who have been making the field day an event they put on their calendar every year.”
Pemberton started the field day in 1993 to showcase the ornamental trials for commercial seed companies, local nursery managers and gardening enthusiasts.
Cherokee County AgriLife Extension horticulturist Kim Benton called the field day “a wonderful way to see a side-by-side comparison of plants that can really flourish under East Texas weather conditions – it’s a priceless teaching tool.” It is also “a great way for growers to be ahead of the curve, and to really see how some of the popular seed trends perform, she added. “There’s a lot of good information available during these events.”
The field day will begin at the center’s Bruce McMillan Jr. East Farm, 2 miles east of Overton on Texas Highway 135 North, while the ornamental trial garden is on County Road 133 just past the former Kilgore College Demonstration Farm.
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