Monday, September 29, 2008

Late Breaking Events - The Wild Ones CNY

Submitted by the Habitat Gardening Club of Central New York (, the CNY chapter of Wild-Ones (

Meetings are at 2 pm at the LeMoyne College Falcone Library in the Special Activities room on the following dates and include invited speakers on habitat garden-related topics.

Meetings are free and open to the public!

DATE:Sunday, October 26
TOPIC: Rain gardens and rain barrels
SPEAKER: Amy Samuels from Cornell Cooperative Extension

DATE: Sunday, November 30
TOPIC: Native Plant Jeopardy (a fun way of educating ourselves on CNY native plants)

Submitted by the Habitat Gardening Club of Central New York (, the CNY chapter of Wild-Ones (

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Chautauqua Trip is in 2 Weeks

We have just a few seats left on our bus tour of Chautauqua County (leaving from Buffalo) on 9/27/08. It's going to be a great trip—Maria and I visited every stop this spring while planning the tour and we fell in love with the whole area. If you are interested in joining us, please click here for more information.

Have Your Party in a Castle

Here's Warner Castle, home of the Rochester Civic Garden Center. Did you know you can rent out the castle for (adult) parties? You can! Not only is the building gorgeous, the grounds are spectacular—Warner Castle is in Highland Park, right next to the sunken garden. (To rent the sunken garden, i.e. for wedding pictures, you have to go through County Parks: 585/753-7275.) By renting the castle, you get a great venue, and the RCGC, a not-for-profit organization, makes a little money. Everyone wins. 585/473-5130.

Containers for Fall

My photographs will not do them justice, but I was inspired by containers at almost all of my stops last week, and Van Putte's particularly stood out. I loved the textures and color schemes, and when I got home, I realized that several of my backyard containers were similarly styled and looking fine, whereas my big "splashy" container in the front was a little on the side of lame-o. So I switched them. Looks like a whole new front porch, and the ones now in the back can get some TLC 'til frost. Now I'm wondering, why not do this every year?

Below, two of the Van Putte displays. Note mellow colors and mixed-in perennials.

New Apple Tree Gift Shop Open

As I reported here, there's a new garden-themed gift shop, the Potting Shed, open behind the Apple Tree restaurant on Ridge Road in Clarkson. I stopped in recently and met Raquel Torres, one of the store's founders and a decorative artist. She's also a Boston Terrier lover. I liked her right away. 

There are some pretty extensive gardens on the property, but they've gotten a little out of control. Where there's been excavation, new borders and paths are appearing—it's really very cool. Raquel mentioned that if there were a nearby garden club or other group that was interested in helping unearth the pretty garden that lies under a few years' weeds, there might be a way to work a trade...say, for lunch. As I mentioned earlier, I've eaten at the Apple Tree, often, and if I were a local garden club, I would be jumping at this chance. Leave a note here or call 585/637-0220 if you are interested.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Two Upstate Gardeners in National Magazine

Pick up the latest issue of Garden Ideas & Outdoor Living—it's on newsstands now and features Jerry Kral's city garden, with gorgeous photographs by Andreas Trauttmansdorff, and Emily Webster's wonderful dried arrangements. Emily lives in Victor and is well-known for her hydrangeas; her garden was on the RCGC tour last year. I wrote the story on Jerry and worked the shoot, and it was really cold. You can't see the snow in the photographs because Jerry was furiously leaf-blowing the flakes as we set up the shots.

In the story, Kral shares his tips on landscaping smart and creating texture. If you've been to Jerry's garden, you know he's a genius and you'll want to hear what he has to say. If you haven't, here's your introduction. There's scuttlebutt that another national magazine, which shall go unnamed, is shooting there this fall for a story next year.

If you have a local story idea, let me know.

Garden Ideas and Outdoor Living is available on newsstands for $6.99.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Attn Bonsai Lovers

Well! Here's an interesting image. Sometimes my phone does chops pictures up and makes them look like weird little puzzles. But the post did have a point! There's a new place in Avon only open on weekends: Hollow Creek on Rte. 5. I was very surprised by the extensive bonsai gear, especially the container selection. The building doesn't look big enough to house all that. Lots of neat stuff on this round of deliveries -- I'll try to put more up.