Saturday, August 30, 2008

Today's Column...

Until I started doing the research for today's column, I had no idea that blueberry cultivation was as complex as it is. I grew up in Maine, in an area where wild lowbush blueberries grow pretty much everywhere. I learned a lot from the Cornell Guide to Growing Fruit at Home, which you can download yourself, in its entirety or by the chapter, in PDF form, here.

Here's a fun fact I didn't have room for: cranberries and blueberries are both members of the genus Vaccinium, but cranberries belong to the subgenus Oxycoccus, which some experts would like to be its own genus. With botanical classification, there's a lot of confusion, contention, and change. Wikipedia has fairly concise treatment of the taxonomy here.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Off Again

I was going to print this in the magazine, but I didn't want to be a downer. That fabulous autumn event in East Aurora, the Fall Garden Faire, will not be happening this year. I understand why -- it must have been a ton of work; there was always so much going on. [sniff]

On a positive note, Lockwood's Greenhouses in Hamburg, where Sally Cunningham now works (she was among the original organizers of the Faire), is hosting what they are refering to as a more modest Fall Garden Fest on 9/20. Looks like fun. Stop by. We'll be there.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Today's Column...

Just wanted to give you some links for today's column:

Old House Gardens
John Scheepers

I hated leaving out Brent & Becky's Bulbs, too. I've never met Becky, but Brent's been to Rochester before and he's a really sweet, wonderful guy in addition to being a bulb genius. Check out their site.

Friday, August 15, 2008

An Announcement from the Plantasia Show:

Business Opportunity
Vendors wanted to sell garden merchandise, i.e.: plants, flowers, statuary, gardening books & tools, pots, bird feeders. Plantasia, WNY’s only landscape/garden show, March 25 - March 29 at the Agri-Center. Contact 716-741-8047.

BudBud the Destroyer

Behold the adorable Redbud. Cute, right? Oh, he's cute alright, until he mercilessly tramples your garden! Here is a picture of what used to be a lovely stand of Solomon's seal backed by what used to be a clump of Acanthus mollis that was just having its first strong year of bloom—after 7 seasons in the ground here at 3200 East Ave. Argh!

IMG_8180.JPG, originally uploaded by Jane Milliman.

Shooting for Garden Ideas and Outdoor Living...

... a Meredith publication, at Betsy Knapp's place in Rochester, today and yesterday, with Andreas Trauttmansdorff. Big Fun! Watch for the story in about a year.

Here's Betsy getting ready to demonstrate how she plants up a trough.

And here's a neat thing - the Japanese painted ferns in her garden just sort of appear anywhere. Very cool.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This is good news!

The Apple Tree Inn, in Brockport, is opening a new gardening-themed gift shop, according to the Democrat & Chronicle (though one day later, I couldn't find the story online). This gives me a great excuse to visit one of my favorite lunch joints ever. I love especially to go in the fall, when there's a fire in the fireplace and everything is apples and winter squash. Also their quiche is amazing.

While you're in the neighborhood, check out Hurd Orchards and their high-end culinary items and dried flowers, arrangements, wreaths and especially swags. Holiday time there is fantastic. Also there are about a billion different kind of apples in the fall -- some don't even have names, just numbers. Experimental.

Don't miss Sara's Garden Center in Brockport. Our longtime friends the Keplers have great plants and Kathy has an incredible eye for container design.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Park Your Car and "LEAF” it Package

This is a straight-up press release, but I thought this was a cool enough package to just post it anyway.

Submitted by The Mirror Lake Inn

Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa is pleased to announce the Park Your Car and "LEAF” it Package, especially created for the green-minded foliage seekers this fall. With ever-increasing gas prices as well as a nationwide concern about carbon footprints, guests are encouraged to park their car and leave it, literally, for the weekend.

The inn, which is located directly on picturesque Mirror Lake and five minutes walk from downtown Lake Placid, created the Park Your Car and "LEAF” It Package to encourage guests to enjoy the natural beauty of the Adirondacks authentically, not from the inside of their car. With complimentary canoes and kayaks, walking distance hiking trails, a 2.6 mile sidewalk-lined lake to walk around as well as a lively downtown, guests just have to walk out the inn's front door to participate in a variety of activities. For those preferring to move a little less, take in the view from one of the inn's strategically placed Adirondack chairs, book a massage in the award-winning spa and/or enjoy your meals from one of the three onsite restaurants, all offering delicious cuisine and sweeping views of the lake and Adirondack high peaks.

Enjoy all that the Mirror Lake Inn and Lake Placid has to offer this fall without burning a gallon gas. In addition, for guests who manage to leave their car all weekend (scout's honor) a special thank you will be presented upon departure: a basket filled with the inn's signature chocolate chip cookies and ice cold milk for the ride home. The Park Your Car and "LEAF” it Package is available September 1 through October 30 and is $245 per couple per night. It includes accommodations in a classic room, a hearty Adirondack breakfast and a $50 credit towards a spa treatment or meal at one of the inn's three restaurants.

The resort was recently chosen by Travel+ Leisure magazine as one of the "Top 100 Hotels: Continental U.S. and Canada” in their August 2008 World's Best Awards issue. In January 2008, the resort was named to Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List as one of the "World's Best Places to Stay.” The resort was also chosen as one of 150 hotels in the Northern Hemisphere to be named to National Geographic Traveler's 2008 "Stay List,” in which hotels are recognized for their conscientious approach to resort living and their relationship with the community and the environment. For nine consecutive years, the resort's AAA Four Diamond restaurant, The View, has been awarded Wine Spectator's Dining Guide Award of Excellence, and in 2006, it won the Award of Distinction in Wine Enthusiast's restaurant awards issue. It is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. For more information on the inn call (518) 523-2544 or check out

Submitted by The Mirror Lake Inn

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Home Again

I'm back from two weeks in Maine, where I did a lot of...pretty much nothing. I didn't even go to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, which I 'most always do. But I did spot quite a few sea roses, yes sirree! This one was wedged into the tiniest of cracks along the spine at Pemaquid Point—a scary thing you don't really want to walk onto. You can see here I am looking down, not a good idea. The next moment I was crawling back on my hands and knees. Here's a link to someone else's picture of the spine.
The sea rose, Rosa rugosa, is everywhere you look, at least in Mid-Coast Maine. It can survive the harshest storms, gripping tenaciously to even the thinnest layer of soil. Its blooms smell wonderful, and it flowers continuously all season. The hips, only developing in this picture but a lovely red when ripe, just like a cherry tomato, don't taste half bad and—and this was important to those shipwreck survivors off Pemaquid Point—are an excellent source of the anti-scurvy, Vitamin C.