Thursday, May 31, 2007

From Urban Roots (Buffalo)

Urban Roots Community Garden Center is pleased to announce two events for gardeners this Saturday, June 2, taking place at 428 Rhode Island Street.

Third Annual Plant Swap
June 2, 10am-2pm
Park next door to Urban Roots at 428 Rhode Island Street, free and open to the public.

Vegetable Gardening in a Small Space
June 2, 2pm
Urban Roots at 428 Rhode Island Street, free and open to the public. Reservations not required.


Join us for our Third Annual Plant Swap, June 2, 10am-2pm on June 2, in the park next to our store at 428 Rhode Island Street. Take home some locally grown plants for free or bring some of your own to swap.

Join us for a special workshop on Vegetable Gardening in a Small Space. Jeff Gilbert (Cornell Grad and hydroponic grower) will be presenting. It is on Saturday June 2nd at 2pm at Urban Roots. There is no fee for the workshop. Contact or call the store (362-9282) with questions.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I'm Outta Here

I'm in the mood for a ploughman's lunch and a pint of stout.

I'm off to London and the Chelsea Flower Show. The last (and only other) time I was there I found this fabulous piece of art, crafted entirely of flower petals, of "Bert Simpson and his dog Christmas."

Everyone knows Bart's dog is Santa's Little Helper!

Here's the garden that has shaken out to be my favorite as I've reviewed my images about 53,000 times over the past 4 years: The Octopus's Garden. Can't wait to see what's in store this year.

Have a wonderful week and Memorial Day Holiday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Odyssey to Ithaca

We still have a few seats left on the Ithaca shopping extravvvvaganza.
Don't miss out! Call Judy over at the RCGC: 585/473-5130.

It's where I found these fabulous terra cotta orbs!

I visited Dan at the Plantsmen last week, and he only had a few left....

Palmiter's Friday

The gardens look great, as ever. Here are some pictures. I didn't know what the yellow-flowered, fuzzy-looking thing was, but Marla clued me in: Saruma (like Asarum, only different) henryi. I shocked myself by remembering this all the way home. In fact, I concentrated so hard on remembering it, I forgot to bring with me the very thing I had gone to Palmiter's for in the first place, not to mention paid for beloved Fafard 52 mix.

Monday, May 14, 2007

More Trouble in the 'Hood

Please allow me to dispense some garden wisdom. If by chance you should sell the property housing your current garden and move across the street, never ever look at that garden again. Approach your new home from the other direction. If you must drive by, avert your eyes. Do whatever it takes to shield yourself from witnessing the inevitable carnage that will occur.

I have absolutely nothing against my new neighbor; in fact I met her briefly at a party a few weekends ago and she was lovely. I frankly could care less what she does to the house; I let go of that attachment years ago. I don't even care what she does to the garden. I just want to get my stuff out first.

Another neighbor, Mike, asked me why I didn't take these things when I moved in the first place. I didn't take them because I didn't think it was right. You don't move from a place and take with you every living thing in the ground! It's actually against the sale contract. You're not supposed to take light fixtures, either. I did move many, many special plants, but who transplants a big old suckering bottlebrush buckeye? Well I did, yesterday, but I'm getting ahead.

So. Yesterday started like any Mother's day would. I wandered out into the garden with absolutely no agenda but to let my short attention span guide me through the day. Bliss! I was happily puttering when my neighbor Judy from across the street wandered in to return some items from the aforementioned party (we do a lot of this kind of wandering from yard to yard on my street). She then asked if I'd noticed that all the plants had been ripped out of the front yard of the house across the street and were sitting in garbage bags. Well, I hadn't, but I tore over there like a maniac, and she was right.

In a previous post I talked about rescuing the hellebore from that same garden, but I was under the impression that everything that was left after that first cleansing session was to remain intact. I had also heard that I was welcome to go get out the prized (expensive!) hostas from that bed, but, my own fault, I hadn't gotten around to it. I forgot, actually.

Judy helped me load up the garbage bags into her cart and we dragged the whole thing into the way back of my yard to sort through it all. Judy wanted a few lily-of-the-valley pips of which there were thousands.

We dumped these bags into the cart, which worked perfectly for sifting.

I wasn't prepared, though, for what I would find in the bags. I thought there would be, you know, plants. Plants that had been dug up. In the case of the hostas, maybe plants that had been chopped a bit in trying to get them out of the ground. I was not expecting pulverized plants. It was as if my neighbor had some kind of a personal vendetta against the hosta.

Neighbor: "
My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
Hosta: "..." (Speechless.)

Upon further reflection, I can only assume that there was a rototiller involved. Anyway, we dumped out the bags, and this is what we got:

Can you tell which are the lily-of-the-valley, which are the bloody cranesbill and which are the sought-after hosta?

After about an hour of sorting (Judy gave up on me), I ended up with a gallon container of shredded, tiny bits of hosta. About 30 bits.

Since the leaves are all torn off, I can't tell which is which, so I'm going to pot them up and grow them on for a year, then find them suitable spots in the garden.

And so I've learned my lesson. If I had been a day or two earlier, I could have saved myself���������and the hostas���������a lot of pain. If I had chosen to ignore the situation, well, ignorance is bliss, right? One thing's for sure: I wasn't going to see this happen to the 5 x 5 bottlebrush buckeye I planted in the back 10 years ago, or my lovely, mature asparagus patch, or the 100-year old peonies I rescued when another neighbor put up a fence....

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Jody Mills Joins Birchcrest

Submitted by Birchcrest Tree & Landscape

Jody Mills has joined Birchcrest Tree & Landscape as staff horticulturist. In the newly created position, Mills will work with the company’s Plant Health Care technicians on diagnosing and prescribing treatment for diseases and insects, answer technical questions posed by customers and the media, and research and distribute current technical information. She will also be responsible for the company’s marketing program.
For the past 10 years, Mills has been a horticulturist for Broccolo Tree & Lawn Care. Before that, she was a researcher in the Department of Plant Pathology at Cornell’s Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva.
Mills, who lives in Penfield with her husband Len, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and worked in graphic arts for 10 years before going back to college at Finger Lakes Community College to earn a degree in ornamental horticulture.
Mills, a Certified Arborist and a Certified Nursery & Landscape Professional, is co-chair of the New York State Nursery & Landscape Association’s Region V certification committee. Region V is also known as the Gardenscape Professionals Association.
Birchcrest Tree & Landscape, headquartered in Webster, is one of the fastest growing, full service tree, lawn and landscape companies in the area. The company has been servicing residents and businesses in Rochester’s eastern suburbs for more than 25 years.

Heirloom tomatoes at Urban Roots

Submitted by Urban Roots

Urban Roots Community Garden Center is pleased to offer a wide variety of heirloom and unusual vegetable plants to the area���������s gardeners. Through partnerships with regional organic growers, Urban Roots is bringing customers vegetable varieties that are otherwise unavailable to the area.

This year continues Urban Roots��������� special sale of a selection of heirloom tomato plants. In 2006 Urban Roots offered these plants through a special grass roots sale. This year, the heirloom tomatoes and other vegetables (see page 2 for varieties) are available for purchase at out retail garden store located at 428 Rhode Island Street, three blocks west of Richmond Avenue.

The tomatoes you buy in your average grocery store were chosen for shelf appeal ��������� not flavor. When you eat an heirloom tomato, you won���������t believe what you���������ve been missing: The flavors. The colors. The textures.

We have a limited supply of these tomato plants, so pre-ordering is advised to reserve your plants. Further information and rder forms may be found at, or may be made over the phone at 882-1923, by May 19. All heirloom and unusual vegetable plants will be available for purchase between May 25 and June 3, 2007.

Urban Roots Community Garden Center is also offering a greater variety of tomatoes than we did in our special 2006 sale. We have five selections with four different plants in each selection, suitable for a city garden.

��������� Selection #1 ��������� The Unusuals: Zapotec Pleated (earthy flavor), Japanese Black Trifele (purplish-brick color, very rich), Black Krim (rich & sweet), & Carbon (best tasting 2005)
��������� Selection #2 ��������� Small-Medium: Green Zebra (chartreuse w/ stripes), Rouge d���������Irak (finely flavored), Thai Pink (pink, grape shaped), & Egg Yolk (yellow orbs, rich, fruity flavor)
��������� Selection #3 ��������� Cherry: Peacevine (flavor begins tart, finishes sweet), White Currant (superb flavor, very sweet), Black Cherry (unique and delicious), & Fox (perfect for salads)
��������� Selection #4 ��������� Beefsteak: Brandywine (benchmark for flavor), Persimmon (deep orange, juicy), Black Pineapple (giant multicolored fruit), & Yellow Brandywine (rich flavor)
��������� Selection #5 ��������� Paste: Olga���������s, Amish Paste (ultimate paste tomato), Principe Borghese (for sun drying and sauce), & Orange Banana (fruity sweetness)

Other heirloom and unusual vegetables plants being offered:

��������� Hot Peppers: Cayenne Purple Long, Bulgarian Carrot, White Habanero, and Thai Red Chili.
��������� Sweet Peppers: California Wonder, Red Mini Bell, Sunrise Orange Bell, and Nardello Sweet.
��������� Eggplant: Thai Long Green, Rotunda Bianca Sfumata di Rosa, Turkish Orange, and Ping Tung
��������� Basil: Genovese, Lime, Lemon and Red Rubin
��������� Greens: Sorrel, Arugula, and Amish Deer Tongue
��������� Mixed Lettuce: Tom Thumb, Flame, Red Batavian, and Gentilina

Urban Roots Community Garden Center is a consumer cooperative retail business whose mission is to provide quality products for gardening in the City of Buffalo and be an active and enriching member of the community. Our mission is to offer affordable, unusual heirloom, organic and local plants and gardening supplies; to foster a working relationship with the greater neighborhood in order to encourage beautification and urban renewal; and to engage the community through education, employment, outreach, expertise and volunteering efforts.

<-- Thai pink

What's in Bloom Today?



Norway maple

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Greece Garden Club Plant Sale

Huge Plant Sale
When: May 19
Where: Grounds of Greece Historical Museum, 595 Long Pond Road,
Time: 9:00 am until 12:00 Noon
Contact: 227-3135

Four Greece Garden Clubs- Lakeview, Shorewood, Wildwood and Woodside will hold their Seventh Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 19th. It will be held on the grounds of the Greece Historical Museum, 595 Long Pond Road, Greece, NY. Perennials, annuals, dahlias, hostas, houseplants, and garden related items will be on sale from 9:00 am until 12:00 Noon(or until sold out), rain or shine. In event of severe weather, the sale will be postponed until Sunday. For more information please call 227-3135 or e-mail

Open Garden - Painted Post

This listing arrived too late for the May-June UGJ:

Open Garden

Bill & Jane Plummer’s Woodland Garden
10 Fox Lane East
Gang Mills
Painted Post
Sunday May 20th
NOON– 5:00 PM

An award winning native plant garden under mature oaks, pines and hickories featuring Trilliums, Bloodroot, Virginia Bluebells, Jack-in-the-Pulpits and many other wildflowers planted in masses. As you enter, the driveway is lined with Epimedium rubrum. Numerous paths wander throughout both front and back woods allowing close-up views of the plants. There are scores of ferns, both native and exotic, scattered throughout the woods and along a Pteridophyte Ptrail. Bill has planted numerous understory trees including Dogwoods, Redbuds, Silverbells, a Paper Bark Maple and various striped Maples. The shrub border consists mostly of native plants and provides privacy as well as obscuring the deer fence. A large collection of Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Mountain Laurel provide bloom from April into July. A half dozen stone walls provide sunny sites for rock garden plants and shady sites for shade lovers. A perennial bed in front is filled with Hellebores, spring bulbs and a host of perennials. The flagstone patio is ringed with flowering shrubs and trees and allows a view of the back woods. A flower bed off the flagstone patio in back contains more shade plants. Still another bed is home to a collection of Epimedium and Astilbe providing color both in spring and in summer.


From the South: Take Exit 3 from Rte 15. Follow Rte 417 into Gang Mills to the 3rd light at Beartown Road. Take a left on Beartown. In a mile the road will swing to the left. Go straight on Swan Lane and take an immediate right on Badger Lane. Proceed through the next intersection (Chatfield Place) and bear right at the Yield sign (Fox Lane). Go straight at the next intersection (Weston Lane). We are the third house on the right.

From the North and West: Take Exit 44 toward Gang Mills (Do not take Rte 15 to Williamsport). Turn right at the flashing red light and left at the traffic signal at the foot of the ramp (Canada Rd). Turn right at the next light (Robert Dann Drive) and left at the light onto Chatfield Place (The entrance to Home depot and Wal-Mart will be to your right). In one mile turn right on Weston and an immediate right onto Fox Lane. We are the third house on the right.

From the East: Take Exit 44 toward Gang Mills (Do not take Rte 15 to Williamsport). Turn left at the traffic light at the top of the ramp. Turn left at the light at the bottom of the ramp (Canada Rd). Turn right at the next light (Robert Dann Drive) and left at the light onto Chatfield Place (The entrance to Home depot and Wal-Mart will be to your right). In one mile turn right on Weston and an immediate right onto Fox Lane. We are the third house on the right.

Note: Should you inadvertently take Rte 15 proceed to Exit 3 and follow the first set of directions.

Please park head in on the grass strip by the road!

Syracuse - rose fest - date change

June 20: Rose Day, E. M. Mills Memorial Rose Garden, Thornden Park, noon – 3 pm. This celebration is co-sponsored by the Syracuse Rose Society and the City of Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs. For more: Don Magaro, 315/457-4351

Please note: this is a NEW date. The roses weren't going to be ready for the 13th.

What's Blooming: Caledonia

Spring in S'ville

I spent a few hours over at Richard and Jim's last week, where things are looking fantastic!

Friday, May 04, 2007

News: Erie Co. Soil Testing Clinic May 9

Soil Testing Clinic
May 9th
Clarence Town Park Clubhouse

Starting at 1:00 and continuing until 3:00pm, Erie County Master Gardeners will be on hand for soil testing. Gardeners can bring in samples and obtain results while waiting. Interested gardeners should bring in at least 1⁄2 cup of dry soil sample from garden area following the below recommendations for obtaining a soil sample from Cornell Cooperative Extension.
The results of soil tests for nutrients and pH are valuable only if the soil sample is representative of the soil layers from which the plants draw their nutrients. It is essential to obtain uniform slices or cores of soil from the top to the proper depth. A spade, an auger or a special soil sampling tube can be used.
~ scrape away any debris, mulch and 1⁄2 to 1” of the surface layer.
~ take a slice (core) of soil all the way down to 8”10” from each of these spots.
~ mix the dried soil again and remove any remaining debris or stones.
~ save only about one cup of the dried soil in a clean, not metal or galvanized, container like a plastic bag or jar and label the container with your name and the area your took the sample.
~ a service fee of one dollar will be charged by the Erie Co. Cooperative extension to defray soil testing costs.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Freaking Out

The person who bought the house I used to live in, which is across the street from me, has torn up the front garden I so lovingly designed and planted. This is why it's best not to live across the street from your old house. Really the only thing bothering me a lot is the purple hellebore actually removed WHILE BLOOMING. OMG. OK. I have to calm down. There are some black plastic bags in front of the my hellebore in there? Can I look? Should I leave a note? If it's garbage, can I take it?

Out & About: Sara's

Delivering magazines this weekend, I was disappointed to find not too many shoppers. Especially on Sunday with its good weather. The exception was Oriental Garden Supply, which was rockin'.

Sara's in Brockport had, as always, great stuff going on in their display gardens.