Saturday, July 19, 2008

Today's Column...

Is about a Man and his Giant Geranium. For visual reference, here's a picture Karl sent me:

And here are some of the plants I reference that have the big tuberous roots & stems and little tiny leaves. I'm not exactly sure how to point to pictures on another site, and that's what I'm trying to do, and I certainly hope I'm not breaking any copyright laws! They are Pelargonium crassiscaule and P. antidysentericum. I don't talk about this in the column, but traditionally, these plants have been used medicinally as well as for perfumery and flavoring. I have to assume that the latter species was at some point used against dysentery. These pictures are from

The column should be up at the Democrat & Chronicle Web site.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Visit to T'Burg

Several years ago I was lucky enough to make the acquaintance of a woman named Deirdre Cunningham, who was at the time the landscape curator at the George Eastman House here in Rochester. She's done a number of really interesting things since then, including marrying marinepaleomicrogeologist Bill Chaisson (ok, I know what's not what you call it, but it's all I can ever remember), and now the two of them run a funky B&B in Trumansburg, NY, called the McLallen House. Deirdre and Bill the best kind of very smart people: the kind who make you feel smarter, as opposed to dumb and drab by comparison. They're wonderful hosts. I love to visit them when I can, which is not often, but Wednesday night I got my chance: Kieley and I crashed there after a day of delivering magazines in Syracuse and before the Ithaca rounds.

It was the night before the Grassroots Festival opened, and the inn was full. Trumansburg was hopping (I think it's always hopping, actually). We first stopped at the Trumansburg Farmer's Market (I never know where to put the apostrophe in "Farmers Market" so I go with whatever the market itself uses), which Deirdre currently runs. There were violent storms passing through and around the area, so about half of the vendors had packed up, but there was still local comb honey, which I've been looking for for months, and sausages made that same afternoon by The Piggery, and delicious Cuban dinners. I could go on and on about all of this, but Deirdre actually wrote an article that mentions many of these people in the latest UGJ. I hope to post it on the site at some point, but it won't be in the next two weeks, I can say for sure. Please pick one up and read the story; if you can't find a copy, leave a comment here.

After we settled in, we headed down to the Pourhouse, where the entire town seemed to be hanging out. There was music, and a hundred kinds of beer, and they had falafel...paradise. Eventually we straggled off to bed. Our room had a brand new king-sized bed, which Kieley managed to take up entirely herself by sleeping diagonally. Clever! There's a gorgeous new tile shower too, and Kieley kept saying how she just wished she could move the whole unit to our house in Caledonia.

In the morning we evesdropped on the festival-goers while feasting on Deirdre's strawberry-almond French toast, pictured above.

If you're going to be visiting the Ithaca area and are in need of lodging, look no further. I should point out, though, that you don't really need a reason to go to Trumansburg. There's the Cayuga Wine Trail, and there are gorgeous waterfalls and awesome hills for biking. Best of all, maybe 15 miles away is Cornell Plantations, and as a gardener, if you haven't been there, you owe it to yourself.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Late Breaking EVents: Mystic Meadows Open Garden Dates

Submitted by Mystic Meadows

Open Garden, Saturday July 26th from 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday July 27th from 11 am to 4 pm. 

Submitted by Mystic Meadows

Late Breaking Event: Webster Village Garden Tour

Submitted by a reader. 
Saturday, August 16, 2008 (1-4 PM)
Enjoy a self-guided tour of eight Webster village gardens.  The tour is free.  Donations may be made to the Webster Museum.  This event is sponsored by the Webster Village Historical Preservation Commission and Webster Village Days.  Visit and click on Garden Tour 2008 for addresses, photos and garden descriptions.  Maps and tour information will be available at the booth in front of the Webster village hall on August 16.

Submitted by a reader. 

Late Breaking Events: Western New York Herb Study Group

Submitted by the Western New York Herb Study Group

July 19th  Garden Walk @ country Cottage  Darien NY $ 15.95 per person
Lunch will be served @ 12:15 PM

August 14th  Annual Field Trip

1st stop 11:00 Canandaigua Spice Co.
2nd stop Sonnenberg  for Afternoon Tea  meet at the gate @ 12:30 PM
Tea, Scones, Tea Sandwiches, and dessert will be served.
$17.50 per person

Submitted by the Western New York Herb Study Group

Late Breaking Event: Black Rock Riverside Tours

Submitted by Sharon Adler

The Black Rock Riverside 4th Annual Tour of Gardens with 70+ gardens will be held Sat., Aug. 2nd & Sun., Aug. 3rd from 10 am - 4 pm. There is also the popular Starry Night Garden Tour to be held Sat., Aug 2nd from 8 pm - 10 pm at illumined gardens in the area. This is a free event and showcases the best efforts of our historic community. We will also have a free bus ride provided. See our website, for maps or call 716/877.2740 or 716/875.7497 for additional information.

Submitted by Sharon Adler

GRPS Plant Sale July 27

Submitted by the Greater Rochester Perennial Society

Don't Forget Our GRPS Plant Sale!
Sunday, July 27th 10:00 am- 2:00 pm
Tell Family, Friends, Garden Buddies

Please drop off plants by 9:00 a.m. that morning

(no hostas, irises or daylilies for our sale, however, if you have plants or items that the other groups are selling, please bring them, they would welcome the donation!)

Joining us will be the Iris Society (they will sell irises & daylilies), the Hosta Society (hostas), the Rock Garden Society and the Master Gardeners (gently used garden & other items)

If you can not make it to the sale & need to drop off plants beforehand, for plant babysitting there are several of us volunteering, find a plant baby-sitter nearest you!

Plant Baby-sitting:  If unable to deliver plants the morning of the sale (before 9:00), deliver them ahead of time to: Laurie Burtner, 597 Chestnut Ridge Road, Chili, 889-4864, Irene Kusmiez, 40 Brentwood Lane, Fairport, 377-7817 or Sue Magee, 69 Fairview Crescent, Irondequoit, 467-1678.

Submitted by the Greater Rochester Perennial Society

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

New from Garden Walk Buffalo

Submitted by Garden Walk Buffalo

Garden Walk Buffalo introduces Garden Talk Buffalo

Considering Composting? Need the hows of hostas? Rainbarrel requests? Are these the days of whys and roses?

Area gardening groups, plant societies and  "green" non-profits will be on hand, in Bidwell Parkway, across from the Buffalo Seminary Garden Walk headquarters, to answer visitor's questions and share information on gardening, recycling, sustainability, and conservation during Garden Walk Buffalo (Saturday and Sunday, July 26 & 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

The groups listed below will be offering information, distributing printed materials and presenting demonstrations both days of Garden Walk Buffalo. Also, on Saturday, the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmer's Market will be selling locally-grown produce from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Buffalo Area Daylily Society
Buffalo Niagara River Keeper
Buffalo Reuse
Carvings for a Cause
City of Buffalo/Erie County Recycling & Composting Program
Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo
Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo
WNY Hosta Society
WNY Land Conservancy
WNY Rose Society
WNY Sustainable Energy Association Trust

For more information on these groups and Garden Talk, please visit the web site.

Garden Walk Buffalo is a free, self-guided tour of more than 300 Buffalo gardens, the largest garden tour in America. Held annually on the last weekend of July (in 2008, Saturday and Sunday, July 26 & 27), Garden Walk has become one of Western New York’s most anticipated summer happenings. Tens of thousands of visitors join us each year, as we show off our city’s beautiful homes and gardens. For more information about Garden Walk Buffalo, please visit

Submitted by Garden Walk Buffalo.