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Afternoon Tea and Garden Tour scheduled for May 20

5/8/2012 —

Jim and Lynn Ramage open their 37-acre Armstrong County estate on May 20 for the “Afternoon Tea and Garden Tour”. The event, which is open to the public and supports Penn State New Kensington’s capital campaign, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, will offer not only a glimpse of the English-style estate of the Penn State Master Gardeners but also a presentation and refreshments.

The event begins at 1 p.m. and lasts until 4 p.m. Finger sandwiches, sweets and beverages will be provided in the estate’s pavilion, which seats about 60. Jim Ramage will share his knowledge with a brief talk entitled “Choosing the Right Plant for the Right Spot.”

The flowers, trees, trails, ponds and gardens that guests will see are all tended to by the Ramages themselves, said Mardelle Kopnicky, who, along with her husband Patrick, chairs the capital campaign. That they not only design the gardens but devote their time to caring for them is one of Kopnicky’s favorite aspects of the Ford Cliff property.

“What I love about their place is they are doing exactly what they want, they go out searching for unique plants,” she said. “This is their love and their passion and they take very good care of it themselves.”

In addition to being Penn State Master Gardeners, the Ramages are active in a number of horticultural societies. In 2009, the couple pledged $120,000 to the Arboretum at Penn State for its marsh meadow. The meadow, part of the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens, was named after the Ramages.

“This is sort of the love of their life they have been sharing with each other and they are going to share it with us on May 20,” Kopnicky said. “We wanted it to be unique and something people would very much enjoy. It’s a different event for us, one that I think can appeal to anyone who has an interest in gardening or landscaping.”

Jim Ramage earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and biological science from Penn State in 1963 and a veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1967. For 30 years, he operated a veterinary practice, where Lynn Ramage worked as well, as a business manager, technician and surgical assistant. Both are now retired.

A donation of $10 is requested. All proceeds benefit Penn State New Kensington’s current fundraising endeavor, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. The campaign is a University-wide effort to raise $2 billion by June 2014. New Kensington is responsible for $3 million of the total. With more than two years remaining in the campaign, the campus has already passed the $2 million mark.

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