By Jim Barlow Three acres of colorful flowers and pleasing scents await visitors at the Friday public dedication and first tours Saturday and Sunday of the Miles C Hartley Selections Garden at the UI. The Miles C Hartley Garden - the first completed part of the proposed UI Arboretum project - will be dedicated at 4 p.m. Friday at the southeast corner of Florida and Lincoln avenues in Urbana. Speakers for Friday's dedication, at the southwest corner of the Hartley Garden, will be Judith Zuk, the president of the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta, and Nona Wolfram- Koivula, the executive director of the National Garden Bureau. A reception in the garden will follow the dedication. "The Hartley Garden contains bedding plants competing in the 1994 All-American Selections Program," said Anton G. Endress, head of the UI horticulture department. "And it is currently a 3-acre kaleidoscope of color and wonderful floral scents." Tour hours will be 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. In addition to being able to tour the Hartley Garden, visitors on Sunday will have the opportunity to be transported for a tour of a nearby prairie restoration project. The theme of the weekend's festivities is "A Community Celebration in the Garden." Experts will be available Sunday to answer questions about fall planting, garden design, plant insects and disease diagnosis. Children will find a variety of activities to take part in, including bulb-planting. Visitors can learn how to attract butterflies to their gardens, and the work of 16 artists will be on view. There also will be Herb Society demonstrations, garden- club talks and crafts for all ages. Parking for all events will be at the Florida and Lincoln Playing Field Complex lot west of the Florida-Lincoln intersection, at the veterinary medicine parking lot off Lincoln Avenue south of the garden, and across Lincoln Avenue from the veterinary facility. The Hartley Garden was constructed with funds from a bequest of Miles C Hartley, a UI graduate who also served as a faculty member from 1948 to 1962. New varieties of annual bedding plants will be evaluated in the garden, such as those currently competing in the All-American Selections Garden. University experts will study how participating companies' seeds grow and flower, as well as how the plants tolerate disease and insects. The site where the Hartley Garden is located is envisioned to house the UI Arboretum, "a living laboratory for research and teaching in the plant sciences and in fine and applied arts," Endress said. It will focus on native Illinois nursery stock and the possible use of the various plant species in landscaping designs that enhance people's well-being and recreational endeavors. "One day, visitors entering the arboretum will step into the middle of an unfolding story," he said. "Visitors will be surrounded by a tale of research, of instruction, of design and application." The arboretum will have three sections, including a core area that will feature the Hartley Garden. A collections section will house woody plants arranged in a park-like setting; woodland, savanna and wet-prairie ecosystems will be highlighted in the third area. Support from UI alumni and friends led to the concept and plan for the arboretum project. Its completion will rely exclusively on private gifts and grants from individuals, organizations and businesses.