Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Garden Walk Buffalo Beautification Grant Application deadline approaching

Image: Sixteenth Street Block Club Garden Walk Banners

Submitted by Garden Walk Buffalo

Garden Walk Beautification Grants have helped to fund 52 garden beautification projects for a total of more than $20,000 in last six years. Deadline is December 30, 2009. Applications can be found at www.GardenWalkBuffalo.com.

Award amounts are based on the overall project cost and the eligible projects were required to include matching funds from government, private contributions or volunteer sweat equity. These award projects will be highlighted during this year's Garden Walk.

"Garden Walk Buffalo is very pleased to once again partner with block club and neighborhood groups who are working on various community garden and beautification projects that help to provide a catalyst for redevelopment in our neighborhoods," said Beautification Grant committee chair, and GWB treasurer, Jeffrey Tooke.  "Projects like these, performed by regular residents in the neighborhoods, are contributing to the rebirth of our urban neighborhoods in the City of Buffalo."

Current and past GW Beautification Grant recipients can be found here.

Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest garden tour in the U.S., is held the last weekend of July each year. In 2010, the free event will be Saturday and Sunday, July 24 & 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than 340 residences and businesses throughout the west side of Buffalo open their creative urban gardens for tens of thousands of visitors from around the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.GardenWalkBuffalo.com.

High-resolution, print-worthy, professional photography of Garden Walk Buffalo is always available in the Garden Walk Press Kit, found here.

Submitted by Garden Walk Buffalo

Thursday, December 03, 2009

2010 Philly Show

RATS! I can never go to this, because I'm sooooo busy at this time of year my husband becomes a single parent. If I could go, however, I would go with the charming and knowledgeable Michael Warren Thomas. Details below.

Submitted by Michael Warren Thomas

The 2010 Philadelphia Flower Show Tours

Passport to the World is the theme for the 2010 show,
also visit Longwood Gardens & the Brandywine River Museum

March 3-4 (Wed.-Thurs.) or March 6-7 (Sat.-Sun.)

The Philadelphia Flower theme for 2010 is Passport to the World. For more details, please visit www.TheFlowerShow.com. The Show will transport visitors to dozens of destinations covering the globe. Among the most impressive will be India, which will come to life amid a shower of flowers in an Indian wedding scene. The Netherlands will be portrayed in a floating flower market filled with over 100,000 blooms. The natural wonders of South Africa will be depicted by the vivid colors and patterns of Zulu costumes. The Amazon jungle of Brazil will unfold in a canopy of sparkling waterfalls, tropical flora and exotic wildlife. Singapore, the “Pearl of Asia,” will have a tribute to the orchid, and New Zealand will feature the wild flora and traditions of the native Maori.

In addition to Longwood Gardens, we will also visit the Brandywine River Museum which highlights the artwork of N.C. Wyeth and his family. The museum is along the banks of the river and beautifully displays the famous original paintings from books like Treasure Island. We last visited this museum on the 2007 tour.

Please pass this info on to your garden club, as well as friends and neighbors that enjoy gardening. Send your deposit as soon as possible to reserve your place. In sixteen years of leading this tour, no one has ever lost a deposit because they had to cancel their reservation – even the night before. Bring family and friends for a two days of flowers. We have even had three generations attend together!

First Day – Philadelpia Flower Show
7:30 Depart Bristol’s Garden Center in Victor, bagels & cream cheese in their greenhouse
11:30 Lunch included near Scranton, PA at The Inn at Nichols Village
3:00 Arrive Philadelphia Flower Show
9:00 Leave show for Hampton Inn in Wilmington, Delaware, 9:45 arrival at hotel.

Second Day – Longwood & Brandywine River Museum
8:10 Leave for Longwood Gardens (continental breakfast at hotel)
9:00 Arrive Longwood Gardens (lunch included – the mushroom soup & cornbread are fabulous)
12:30 Leave for the Brandywine River Museum
2:30 Leave the Brandywine River Museum for dinner in Scranton.
5:30 Arrive at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel for an elegant closing dinner
11:00 Return to Bristol’s Garden Center

The 2010 price is $395 per person (double) includes everything except dinner at the Flower Show. Add $55 for a single. A deposit of $50 per person will hold your place, remainder due by January 10, 2010. Call Michael at 585-328-8300 if you have any questions. Please send a check payable to Michael Warren Thomas, 19 Trafalgar Street, Rochester, NY 14619.

Michael Warren Thomas, Host & Producer
“Naturally Green,” “For the Love of Food,”
“Discover the Finger Lakes,” “Savour Toronto” & “The Grapevine”
19 Trafalgar Street, Rochester, NY 14619 (585) 328-8300 www.SavourLife.com

Submitted by Michael Warren Thomas

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Mourning the loss of a dedicated environmentalist

Christine Sevilla was incredibly intelligent, passionate, and talented. The community has lost something really special.

Here is a cover she did for us in '06. I loved her scanner art, and could never quite duplicate the technique.

Here is a blog post I wrote about her calendars a few years ago. This year she had gone back to the original theme, and the new work is beautiful. I'm trying to figure if there is some way the existing stock (I'm sure she had a few) could be sold, still, to benefit her favorite environmental charity. Happy to hear thoughts on this.

For more on Christine's work, visit luminguild.us.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Help Wanted: Working Foreman

Submitted by Town of Perinton Recreation and Parks
Job Posting Announcement
Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Town of Perinton Recreation and Parks Department is currently taking applications for the position of full time Working Foreman in the parks division. The Working Foreman is a non-competitive civil service position. The position hourly rate may range from $ 19.33 to 22.97 per hours (annual salary range estimate is $40,000 to $48,000 per year). Benefits are included with this position.

Attached is a job description of requirements for this position. Ornamental and Turf (3A) NYS Pesticide License, NY State Commercial Drivers License class B and Certified Playground Inspection preferred.

Anyone interested in applying should submit a letter of interested accompanied by a resume and employment application to James A Donahue, Commissioners of Recreation and parks, 1350 Turk Hill Road, Fairport NY 14450. Applications must be submitted by Friday December 4, 2009.

If you have questions please contact Commissioner Jim Donahue at 223-5050

Submitted by Town of Perinton Recreation and Parks

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vendors Wanted for Plantasia Show, Buffalo

Submitted by the Plantasia management

Vendors wanted to sell garden merchandise ie., plants, flowers, statuary, gardening books & tools, pots, bird feeders.  Plantasia, WNY’s premier landscape & garden show, March 25 - March 28 at the Agri-Center at the Fairgrounds in Hamburg. Contact 716-741-8047.

Submitted by the Plantasia management

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

An afternoon with Chuck

I spent the afternoon with Chuck Eblacker checking out some of his new work and visiting an installation I've been wanting to see for quite a while.

Chuck is currently creating a dry-laid stone wall at the Harley School in Brighton, and is instructing a course on the subject this semester as well. This is Chuck's project:

This is the students':

The kids' wall looks great, and what a good skill to learn! Part jigsaw puzzle, part weightlifting, part physics, all Zen.

Next, we moved on to a storied Pittsford property to view a few installations Chuck has worked on over the past few years.

There's the moongate, best known and very cool in person:

There are a few less-complicated projects around the property as well.
A stream crossing that keeps feet just above water:

A li'l cairn thingie:

And extra stones, piled just so, that the homeowner asked him just to leave as is.

More pix here.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper to give away rain barrels

This looks like an excellent opportunity for the WNY crowd: 

Submitted by Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper

Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER is able to give away, thanks to a grant from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, 161 rain barrels to high-visibility sites in the Buffalo and Niagara regions. These sites include, but are not limited to, community gardens, low income residential communities, public buildings, government offices and schools.

Local municipal combined sewer systems are overwhelmed during storm events and the overflow dumps raw sewage into our sources of drinking water--the Niagara River and all its tributaries and Lake Erie--four billion gallons a year from Buffalo alone! Using a rain barrel is one way that individuals can help to clean up area waterways.

Once a rain barrel donation request form is submitted (they can be found on the website, www.bnriverkeeper.org/programs/rain-barrels/) and reviewed for eligibility, the barrels are available for immediate delivery to the site with instructions about installation, maintenance, and frequently-asked questions.

Rain barrel workshops, informing the community about the uses and benefits, will be held:

Wednesday, October 14th, 6:00-7:30p.m., at RIVERKEEPER offices, 1250 Niagara Street, Buffalo
Friday, October 23rd, 10-11 a.m., 75 Michigan Street, Lockport, 14094
Tuesday,November 3rd, 1-2 p.m., 5777 Lewiston Rd., Lewiston, 14092

To learn more about rain barrels, Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER, and the workshops, visit the website.

Submitted by Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper
We’ve always thought that we controlled them.

But what if, in fact, they have been shaping us?

“We don’t give nearly enough credit to plants,” says Michael Pollan. “They’ve been working on us, they’ve been using us, for their own purposes.”

THE BOTANY OF DESIRE, airing nationally on PBS on Wednesday, October 28th at 8PM, brings Michael Pollan's provocative best-seller vividly to life, showing how human desires are an essential, intricate part of natural history.
The program explores the natural history of four plants – the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato – and the corresponding human desires– sweetness, beauty, intoxication and controlling nature – that link their destinies to our own.

The two-hour special begins in Michael Pollan’s garden, and roams the world, from the potato fields of Idaho and Peru to the apple orchards of New England, from a medical marijuana hot house to the tulip markets of Amsterdam.

One of the great conceits of human civilization is to put ourselves outside nature – sovereign, constantly shaping and re-shaping the wild for our own purposes; people as subjects, and plants as objects. Taking these plants’ eye view of the world will help viewers understand the need to restore human activity to its proper place in the matrix of nature.

Click here to see a clip from the show.

Late Breaking Event: Rose Workshop

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is pleased to host a free workshop on the selection, planting, and care of roses, Thursday October 22nd. The workshop will be held at the historic Delaware Park Rose Garden and Marcy Casino (199 Lincoln Pkwy) from 6:30 - 8:30 PM. Dave Swanka, the Conservancy's rosarian, will guide you through selecting, planting, fertilizing, and caring for your roses with an emphasis on using environmentally friendly procedures and products. Please join us for coffee, snacks, and an informative evening. Come early to tour the rose garden. For further information or to RSVP, please contact Dave Swanka at 833-5549 or dswanka@roadrunner.com.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Job Opening: Web Administrator (Ithaca)

The Northeastern Integrated Pest Management Center is hiring a web administrator. The position is part-time (benefits-eligible) and will be based at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

General job description: Oversee the functionality of the Northeastern IPM Center's website, which educates people about integrated pest management (IPM). Support the Center and the region by enhancing site usability and navigation, improving design, and editing and updating content. Implement a content management system and assist staff in using it. Manage conversion of databases to new formats and migration of the website to a new server.

Details about the position are provided at the application link below and in the full position description.

Applications must be made through Cornell University's Human Resources website. The job number is 11327. http://www.ohr.cornell.edu/jobs/index.html

The closing date for applications is October 23.  If you have questions about the position, please contact Carrie Koplinka-Loehr, ckk3@cornell.edu, 607-255-8879.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Perennial Plant Association

The Perennial Plant Association is offering scholarships for horticulture students. Check it out here: Perennial Plant Association

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Victor Garden Club presents: "Native American Plants"

Submitted by the Victor Garden Club

Master gardener and member Chris Benard will present a slide show program illustrating how Native Americans lived in harmony with nature and preserved natural places.

October 14, 2009
7:00 PM
Victor Free Library
Main Street
Victor, NY 14564

Submitted by the Victor Garden Club

Poster Contest for GardenScape ’10 Open to Student Artists Age 16-20

Submitted by the GardenScape Professionals Association

Student artists, age 16-20, are invited to participate in a contest to design the poster for GardenScape 2010, the 19th annual Rochester flower and garden show set for next March 11-14 at the Dome Center in Henrietta.

At the event, the Rochester area’s most creative landscapers will take up the challenge as they interpret the theme: “Eye of the Garden." Visitors will be treated to some 20 artistically landscaped gardens that combine color, beauty and an almost mystical aura in this show produced by the GardenScape Professionals Association.

One poster will be selected for the 2010 GardenScape show. The winning poster will be featured in the media campaign to promote GardenScape 2010. The winning artist will receive media recognition and a $500 scholarship. Posters will be judged to determine the most creative, relevant interpretation of “Eye of the Garden."

The Eye of the Garden theme is drawn from trompe l'oeil, an art genre that involves creating realistic images to effect an optical illusion; causing the two dimensional illustration depicted to appear three dimensional. Inspiration is also derived from the works of M.C. Esher, Salvador Dali and others. Imagine the energy, excitement and charged atmosphere of a powerful storm, then suddenly the sky seems to clear for a brief instant and serenity is restored. This year's show is all about that "Hmmmm...Ahhhh" moment.

Each entrant should complete the poster contest application form found on the GardenScape website www.rochesterflowershow.com/gardenscape/show-poster.php. The winning poster will become the property of GardenScape and offered for auction at the GardenScape Preview Reception,” A Taste of Spring”, proceeds to benefit the Epilepsy Foundation. The winning artist awarded the scholarship at the “ A Taste of Spring,” which benefits the Epilepsy Foundation.

GardenScape is a not-for-profit organization, and proceeds from the show help support public and educational projects such as the Epilepsy Foundation, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Ronald McDonald House. For more information on the show, including ticket pricing, go to www.rochesterflowershow.com or call 585-265-9018.

Submitted by the GardenScape Professionals Association

A prior year's GardenScape poster (Laurel McManus) 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Orleans County CCE Master Gardener Training Course

Submitted by the Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension

Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension is now accepting applications for the new Master Gardener Training course which will begin on October 7 at 9:30am. This popular course provides people with excellent gardening knowledge through a series of 10 weekly, 5 hour daytime classes. Attending all of the sessions will equip the registrants to share their knowledge by volunteering their time to Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension. Through this process you can become a certified Master Gardener.

The training will be coordinated by Vicki Jancef, Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator. Call the office at 585 798 4265 x26 and speak with Vicki or Kim for more information or for an application form. There is a fee for the course to cover materials and speakers. This is a great way to increase your gardening knowledge and to be a part of an exciting volunteer group helping people to put gardening knowledge to work in Orleans County.

Cornell Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.

Submitted by the Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fall “Hands on with the Harvest” Series Announced

Submitted by the Genesee County Cornell Cooperative Extension

BATAVIA, NY – Cornell Cooperative Extension will be offering the popular Coffee and Dessert Series again this Fall. Participants enjoy a cup of coffee or tea along with desserts homemade by the Master Gardeners.  This season programs will run from 6 to 8 pm at the Extension Center in Batavia and will include:

September 28 – Putting Your Garden to Bed.  Your gardening tasks do not end with that killing frost.  There are many things you can do in your garden to assure gardening success next spring.  Let Maud Charpin, a certified Master Gardener, share her knowledge and tips with you.

October 14 – Creating a Back Yard Habitat.  Join birding expert Jan Beglinger as she shows you the basics of creating a backyard habitat and helps you to create the right conditions to invite a host of birds, butterflies, and other species to your backyard.

October 28 – Growing Culinary Herbs at Home.  Would you like fresh herbs through the winter?  Find out how to grow them on your windowsill.  Master Gardener Paul Saskowski will also be covering what herbs are good for cooking and how to incorporate herbs into your landscaping.

Cost is $10 per class and limited to fifteen participants per class. Pre-register by stopping by the Extension Center located at 420 East Main Street in Batavia, visit the website at www.genesee.shutterfly.com, or contact Amy at 343-3040, ext. 106.

Submitted by the Genesee County Cornell Cooperative Extension

Documentary film HOMEGROWN - Free Admission

Robert McFalls documentary HOMEGROWN (www.homegrown-film.com)
will be shown for free on October 3rd at the Westcott Community Center,
826 Euclid Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13210

Playtimes will be at 10:30 am and again, at 12:30 pm. Film running time is approximately 50 minutes.

A Documentary About Modern Day Urban Homesteaders

HOMEGROWN (2008) follows the Dervaes family who run a small organic farm in the heart of urban Pasadena, California. While living off the grid, they harvest over 6,000 pounds
of produce on less than a quarter of an acre, make their own bio diesel, power their computers with the help of solar panels, and maintain a website that gets 4,000 hits a day. The film is an intimate human portrait of what it's like to live like Little House on the Prairie in the 21st Century.

For a short film trailer, see:


Following each showing there will be a panel discussion featuring questions from the audience, reaction to the film, and talk about ongoing activities and projects in Syracuse and the CNY region. The panel will be hosted by The Alchemical Nursery with representatives from the Syracuse Permaculture and Homesteading Guild, Syracuse Grows, and Habitat/Edible Gardening CNY.

For up-to-date information and screening venue visit:

Home Composting Information Day

Submitted by Monroe County CCE
Home Composting Information Day
Saturday October 17th 2009

9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Auditorium

249 Highland Avenue
Rochester, NY 14620

The Master Gardeners of Monroe County CCE will host a morning of composting information in the Auditorium and at the Composting Demonstration site at 249 Highland Avenue.

The public is encouraged to come and see the variety of methods used to create a useful soil amendment out of yard and kitchen waste. The fee is $5 per person or $10 per family to cover the cost of materials. CCE is an equal program opportunity organization. Handicap Accessible.

Please call 461-1000 ext. 225 to reserve your place or register online at mycce.org/monroe.

Submitted by Monroe County CCE

Monday, September 21, 2009

September Splendor Tour a Great Day!

We had an absolutely gorgeous day Saturday for our annual fall bus tour from Buffalo. The first stop was Palmiter's Garden Nursery, where there are some beautiful new plantings. Everyone wanted to know what this shrub is:

It's lespedeza, a fall-flowering pea that grows to about 6' and prefers full sun. A real beauty.

From there we drove up to Sara's Garden Center in Brockport in our luxury motor coach. Sara's was (is) having their annual 40% sale, and the bargains were pretty impressive. They were also having a dry-laid stone wall building seminar, and we got to see some wall building action.

From Sara's we headed up to Hurd Orchards in Holley, where we were treated to a fantastic lunch. It started with a fruit salad (the fruit having been picked that morning): plums, peaches, blackberries, and apples, with a creamy raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

After that, there was a puff pastry with chicken and Gruyère, plum apple sauce, tomato stuffed with herbed cream cheese, and black cherry chutney. Yum.

The meal ended with "razzleberry" pie and cinnamon ice cream.

Our final stop was Leonard Oaks winery in Medina. I didn't take any pictures there; I must have been too busy sampling the Cayuga white. Everyone had a great time. Thank you to all who attended! For the full set of pictures, visit the trip's flickr page or facebook.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Congrats to Kyle Van Putte...

... president, landscape division manager, Van Putte Gardens, Rochester (Greece). He's been named one of the Rochester Business Journal's 40 under 40.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Out and About: Palmiter's

Check out these beautiful peppers I picked up at Palmiter's in Avon. As Sheila pointed out, they are perfect for filling in spots in containers that need a little extra color—and I do have a few of those spots.
I love the colors.

I almost left with a kitten. They were adorable. The little orange guy definitely wanted to come home with me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Shooting a beautiful garden ...

... today and tomorrow, in Pittsford, for Garden Ideas and Outdoor Living, with my pal Andreas.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Rochester’s Flower City Garden Contest Deadline Extended

The deadline for entering the City of Rochester’s Flower City Garden Contest has been extended to August 7. The efforts of hundreds of City gardeners have been recognized over the last 18 years through the contest which is part of the Flower City Looking Good Program which focuses on urban beautification, environmental stewardship and healthy lifestyles.

Any gardener may nominate his/her own garden or a neighbor’s garden. Recognition and prizes are awarded in the following categories: best container garden, best use of a water feature, best educational garden, best community garden, best wildlife/butterfly garden and new this year best urban farm.

Call 428-6770 or go to www.cityofrochester.gov for more information or to access the garden contest entry form.

Late Breaking Event news: Restoring Ganondagan's Native Beauty (Hike)

Hike Explores Addition of Indigenous Grasses, Reveals Site of Ganondagan's New Arts and Education Center
VICTOR, NYAugust 2, 2009-- On Sunday, August 16, Ganondagan State Historic Site will present "Ganondagan's Native Grasses," part of Ganondagan's Savor the Summer Outdoor Recreation Series. On a hike lead by Ganondagan's Site Manager, G. Peter Jemison, participants will learn about the recent sowing of indigenous grasses and discover how Ganondagan would have looked in the 16th and 17th Century. Participants will also get a sneak preview of where Ganondagan's Arts & Education Center will be built.
"Earlier this year, we planted grasses that would have been indigenous to this region. Although it will take several seasons for these grasses and plants to be as abundant as they'd have been in the 1600s when Ganondagan was inhabited by 4500 Seneca, participants will learn what we're doing to restore the land to its original native beauty and how that may influence other aspects of the environment."
"Ganondagan's Native Grasses" will start at 9:30 a.m., leaving from the Visitors Center at Ganondagan State Historic Site, located at 1488 State Rte. 444, Victor, NY. Participants are advised to allow about 2 hours, wear hiking shoes and bring a bottle of water. There will be some hill climbing and uneven surfaces on the trail so this walk is appropriate for adults and older children.
Non-members pay the Ganondagan State Historic Site fee of $3 for adults and $2 for children. It is free to Friends of Ganondagan Members, who show their membership card. For more information, visit www.ganondagan.org or call 585.742-1690.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mine never looks this good.

Kniphofia at Cornell Cooperative Extension, Ithaca

Bedlam: way more organized than it sounds

I visited Deb Lampear at Bedlam Gardens in King Ferry a couple of days ago. Everything looks good, but the hot border is stunning.

More pictures are here:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hostas. And More!

The RCGC garden tour on Saturday was great, but it rained for most of the day, so I compressed my visits and cut out those closest to home, hoping I could re-schedule. On Sunday I got my wish in the form of an email from Sue Buckner suggesting that I stop by, and I did, Monday morning.

Sue Buckner's Hosta's 'n' More is not two miles from my house, and I ride my bike past it a dozen times a year at least. I've stopped before and looked over what's on the tables out front, and she has some great stuff. But in viewing the sales area, there is no way to know what is held in the three and a half acres just beyond—and what's back there is pretty amazing.

Right in Caledonia NY, my humble hometown, is a collection of plants so extensive that there were a few neither Sue nor I could identify. Case in point: Syneilesis aconitifolia, a true stunner for shade, full shade, that was sending up all kinds of flower stalks on not one but several specimens. (Sue had temporarily misplaced the label, but she came up with it later on, just when I had also made an educated guess via Google.)

So pretty!

As its name would suggest, Buckner's property is home to plenty of hostas, and she
specializes in minis.

Sue was kind enough to share with me a few pieces of some of the plants I found really striking, and I'll certainly return the favor -- if I ever let her see my garden, which is sadly inadequate in comparison. If you are in or around Caledonia, definitely stop in and check this place out. 446 Middle Rd., Caledonia NY, 14423. And while you're at it, visit Quackenbush Daylily Gardens, right around the corner at 557 Sand Hill Rd. A further report on that nursery will follow.

For more pictures of Sue Buckner's Hostas 'n' More, click here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Trip Planned for September

September’s Splendor
A Harvest Tour

Saturday, September 19, 2009, please join the Upstate Gardeners’ Journal in our continuing tradition of an autumn tour of beautiful upstate New York countryside. Departing Buffalo in our luxury motorcoach, we’ll travel east to just south of the quaint village of Avon, for a stop and shop at Palmiter’s Nursery—definitely a destination for those in the horticultural know.

Next up is Sara’s Garden Center in the college town of Brockport. Sara’s is known for its remarkable perennials selection, and as a special treat, we’ll have a chance to see masters of dry laid stone masonry in action.

For lunch (and much more) we’ll be pulling in to nationally recognized Hurd Orchards in Holley for an exquisite meal prepared just for our group and featuring seasonal produce straight from the farm. We’ll have an apple tasting, too—Hurd’s grows 65 varieties!—and a demonstration on autumn flower arrangements.

Our trip home wouldn’t be complete without a visit, and some tasting,
at a local winery, and maybe an antique shop along the way.
Coach departs from Eastern Hills Mall in Buffalo.

Only $70/person. Sign up today.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


This is a straight-up press release, folks --

Surveys and Monitoring in Cattaraugus County Area To Help
Delineate Spread of Invasive Beetle

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker and Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis today announced the discovery of an Emerald Ash Borer infestation (EAB) in Randolph, Cattaraugus County. The EAB is a small but destructive beetle that infests and kills North American ash tree species, including green, white, black and blue ash. This is the first time it has been detected in New York.

New York has more than 900 million ash trees, representing about seven percent of all trees in the state, and all are at risk should this invasive, exotic pest become established. This is just the latest in a series of terrestrial and aquatic invasive species detections across New York State, including the Asian Longhorned Beetle, Sirex woodwasp, didymo, zebra mussels, and Eurasian water milfoil. This has prompted the state to strengthen regulations, increase educational outreach, and encourage ways of limiting the unintentional spread of these potentially devastating pests throughout the state.

Commissioner Hooker said, “While this is the first reported finding of the Emerald Ash Borer in New York State, it is not surprising. This beetle has been detected on either side of Lake Ontario for several years now and there is little that can be done to stop the natural spread of this devastating pest. That being said, we will work diligently to learn more about the infestation and try to limit the artificial spread of the beetle here in New York through regulations, surveys and public education.”
Commissioner Grannis said, “This is yet another wake-up call for all New Yorkers that invasive species pose a grave threat to the health of our natural resources and ecosystems, and ultimately, our economy. Tough but practical measures, such as quarantines, firewood ” regulations, public education and other regulatory actions will continue to be needed if we are to limit the damage from EAB and other invasives.”
In 2008, New York adopted regulations that ban untreated firewood from entering the state and restricts intrastate movement of untreated firewood to no more than a 50-mile radius from its source (http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/28722.html). This was done as a precaution against the introduction and spread of EAB and other invasive species because of the documented risk of transmission by moving firewood.

Commissioner Carol Ash of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said, “If not contained, this pest may cause significant ecological and economic harm.  Working with our partners, OPRHP will do all we can to protect Southern Tier forests, and in particular, Allegany State Park. We strongly encourage park patrons to join us. Please do not bring firewood to our state parks.  Buy it locally and burn all that you buy”

The infestation was initially reported to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets on June 15, 2009, by Rick Hoebeke, an entomolologist at Cornell University, after two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service employees recognized damage to some local ash trees just off Exit 16 of State Route 17/I-86.  After receiving the report and conducting an initial inspection, an adult beetle from the infested area was submitted with the identification confirmed by the USDA's Systematic Entomology Laboratory at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Photographs depicting the infestation will be posted to ftp://ftp.dec.state.ny.us/dpae/press/  Approximately 30 trees are infested or highly suspected of being infested to date.

Jonathan Staples of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said, “The detection of the Emerald Ash Borer will have a profound effect on the state’s landscape given the huge number of ash trees located throughout New York. Exotic invasive species such as this need to be closely monitored not only for its potential to spread naturally, but also, the potential for artificial spread through firewood movement and other regulated articles.”


 The EAB has metallic green wing covers and a coppery red or purple abdomen; it is small enough to fit easily on a penny (photos: http://www.agmkt.state.ny.us/CAPS/pdf/Emerald%20Ash%20Borer%20Poster.pdf and
http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7253.html). Damage is caused by the larvae, which feed in tunnels called galleries in the phloem just below the bark. The serpentine galleries disrupt water and nutrient transport, causing branches, and eventually the entire tree, to die. Adult beetles leave distinctive D-shaped exit holes in the outer bark of the branches and the trunk. Other signs of infection include tree canopy dieback, yellowing, extensive sprouting from the roots and trunk (called "epicormic shoots") and browning of leaves. Infested trees may also exhibit woodpecker damage from larvae extraction.

Since its discovery in southeastern Michigan in 2002, the EAB is responsible for the destruction of over 70 million ash trees in the U.S. The beetle has been moving steadily outward from its first discovered infestation in Detroit, Michigan, and has now been found in 13 states and two neighboring Canadian provinces. The primary way this insect spreads is when firewood and wood products are moved from one place to another. Many of New York State’s forests and parklands, including Allegany State Park which is near the recent EAB finding, are high-risk areas due to firewood movement.

    New York State has been actively surveying for EAB since 2003, inspecting declining ash trees and setting traps in Western and Eastern New York, Long Island and New York City. Up until this discovery, no signs of EAB were ever detected in the state.


A cooperative effort among USDA and New York State staff will conduct a thorough survey of trees and deploy a more intensive trapping effort in the surrounding area to assess the extent and age of the infestation. Information from this survey will help determine the response strategy, which could range from tree removals associated with eradication and safety concerns, to ash product quarantines. DEC’s firewood regulations prohibiting out-of-state transport of untreated firewood and intra-state movement of untreated firewood more than 50 miles remain in effect and are an extremely important tool to contain this damaging pest.


New Yorkers are urged to take the following steps to keep EAB from spreading to other areas of the State:

·    It is best to leave all firewood at home - please do not bring it to campgrounds or parks.
·    Get your firewood at the campground or from a local vendor - ask for a receipt or label that has the firewood's local source.
·    If you choose to transport firewood within New York State:
o    It must have a receipt or label that has the firewood's source and it must remain within 50 miles of that source.
o    For firewood not purchased (i.e. cut from your own property) you must have a Self-Issued Certificate of Source, and it must be sourced within 50 miles of your destination.
o    Only firewood labeled as meeting New York's heat treatment standards to kill pests (kiln-dried) may be transported into the state and further than 50 miles from the firewood's source.
·    Watch for signs of infestation in your ash trees. If you suspect your ash tree could be infested by EAB, go to the websites below for more information. If damage is consistent with the known symptoms of EAB infestation, report suspected damage to the state by calling 1-866-640-0652 for appropriate action as time and resources allow.

Troy Weldy, Director of Ecological Management for The Nature Conservancy, said: “The Emerald Ash Borer will have significant economic and environmental impacts, the likes of which western New York hasn't seen since the Chestnut Blight or Dutch Elm Disease. This discovery emphasizes the need to establish a national early detection network around major ports of entry so we can intercept these pests before they become established. It is also important for citizens to understand that these pests are easily transported in firewood. We ask everyone to do their part by only burning wood close to where they buy it.”

For more information, visit the following web pages:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pet rock

Look at this cute rock Maria had made for me at Christmastime by Erik Jewelers. I'm actually not sure how she got it in her car since it weighs a TON. It's very sweet. Thanks!

Late Breaking Event: Open House at DerRosenmeister, Ithaca

Der Rosenmeister, a specialty rose nursery, will hold its annual open house from 4-7 p.m. Friday, June 19 at 190 Seven Mile Drive in Ithaca, about 3 miles southwest of the Commons. The event is free and open to the public and features colors and fragrances of hundreds of roses in full bloom.

The nursery specializes in hardy, disease resistant roses for zones 4 and 5 and all the information needed to grow them. It has extensive display beds featuring antique, and modern roses - shrubs, climbers and ramblers.

The nursery is on the grounds of the home of owners Lee Ginenthal and Renate Schmitt. Directions/information:

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Odyssey a Big Hit

We had perfect weather, wonderful hosts, and a great bus driver. Pictures are here:

Friday, June 05, 2009

Event Reminder—Rochester Area—Tomorrow

WEED WALK  June 6, 2009  9:30 am
Free and open to the public
Contact:  phone- 585 586 6085  email- invasive@luminguild.us

Horizon Hill Conservation Area of the Perinton Crescent Trail.
Meet at parking area, .25 mi from Harris Beach offices at 99 Garnsey Road.

-Learn  to recognize six of the most significant invasive plant species affecting Monroe County on a walk of  Horizon Hill. 
-Experts will participate to answer questions and the pocket guide on invasive plants of Monroe County, Garden Villains, will be distributed to participants.
-To request the pocket guide, Garden Villains, call Cornell Cooperative Extension at 585-461-1000.
-Text content of Garden Villains is online at www.luminguild.com/invasive/invasivebrochure.htm.

Why invasive plants?
Non-native plants have been introduced everywhere for erosion control, as fences, for medicinal uses, to recreate a homeland environment, and for their exotic beauty. Many also arrived by accident. Lacking the natural controls that checked their growth in their native landscape, these non-native plants are able to grow in a variety of conditions, spread quickly, to displace native plants, and alter ecosystems. We need to take action to preserve a diverse ecosystem. We can start in our own back yards.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Buffalo --> Ithaca trip update

Just a few seats left!

June 6: Odyssey to Ithaca, 7:30 am – 7:30 pm. Join the Upstate Gardeners’ Journal for this day-long luxury motor coach tour. Highlights include: a leisurely visit to Cornell Plantations, truly one of the most inspiring gardens in New York State; delicious herbal lunch and shopping at Bakers’ Acres, an incredible array of perennials; shopping at The Plantsmen nursery, known for its natives and beautiful setting; more shopping at BedlamGardens, a tiny nursery with huge display gardens offering the rare and unusual. $68, lunch included. Optional box dinner available for purchase. 716/432-8688; 585/538-4980. UpstateGardenersJournal.com

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Rain barrels for sale to benefit Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper

Here is a very cool project we're working on at the UGJ. We're offering our very own rain barrels (in conjunction with Riverkeeper). ALL proceeds go to Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper to support the stewardship of WNY rivers and Lake Erie. A great product, a great price and a great cause! See details here.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Flowering currant

Not sure I've ever seen one of these in person before today. At
Grandpa's in Sodus, $24.99 for a 5 gallon.

Love this comfy and cool-looking garden furniture

Chair, $109.99
Table, $54.99
Loveseat glider, $209.99
Also in green (you can see a tiny hint of it at the top of the image)
At Van Putte Gardens in Greece.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Debbie and Jane's Big Adventure

The May-June UGJ safely up on the presses, calendar editor Debbie Eckerson and I decided to venture out for a little much-needed R&R last Thursday. Since I published this blog post in February, the two of us had become increasingly obsessed with the idea of visiting jeweler Karen Dettinger in Clarence, and also we needed to celebrate Debbie's birthday (it was in February), so off we went.

Karen's shop, DKD Studio, turned out to be just as wonderful as we had imagined, and how often does that happen? She makes beautiful silver charms based on old jewelry, buttons, coins, etc. You can buy her jewelry off the rack, but it was a lot more fun to sift through the thousands of choices she had at the ready and let her make something custom. We both wanted one of everything.

Here are just a few. 
I had gone in not sure I would buy anything for myself (yeah right!) but wanting a gift for my mom (she reads this blog, so I won't way what, if anything, happened with that). But if I were to buy something for myself, I knew I wanted a charm with my initial. Anyway, this is what I ended up with. 

I love it. Debbie's is very similar, but her initial is, logically, a "D," and her other little charm is a little teeny tiny bee. And her little stone is ... something else, clear. Anyway we're both besotted and look like total dorks when together now, because we match.

While we were there, Karen was putting together an order for Craft Co. No. 6. Check it out when in Rochester.

We were practially giddy as we left, and hungry, so we went up to Noveltea Bistro, based on a couple of Internet reviews and Karen's recommendation. It had not occurred to me that one would need a reservation to have lunch in a tea room in what appeared to be a not very heavily populated area, but I thought the hostess would sever both of our heads when we asked to be seated—gasp!—without one. She did find a table for us though, and that was a good thing, because lunch was wonderful. But the scones we had for dessert, now those were beyond wonderful.

Here is my white chocolate cranberry scone, with cherry jam and clotted cream. Wowza.

And here is the sign outside Noveltea, which I did not believe going in, but did believe going out.


In case you cannot read it, I will tell you that is says "The Best Scones in the World. No, Really... The World," which I think is a very cute and clever little tag line. Attached to the restaurant is a high-end kitchen supply store where you can also buy scones, quiche, etc., to go.

Isn't this a gardening blog? OK, well our final stop was at Akron Tree Farms, which was purchased a few years ago by my good pal Ed Dore. He and his crew are doing a great job there, and the place looked wonderful. Ed is growing some harder-to-find things like stewartia and American beech.

We got the full tour, and learned all kinds of things about chicken poop, Marxism, marathon running, raw foodism, and of course, trees. Here are Ed and Deb.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Learn about Organic Gardening in Genesee County

Submitted by the Cornell Cooperative Extension-Genesee County

County Vegetables should be part of everyone's diet. If you don't want to spend a little bit more for those organically grown and sold in the supermarkets, perhaps you should consider planting your own garden. It is very easy, fun, and can even be a great project for children
Join, Consumer Horticulture Educator, Gail Culver as she presents a back by popular demand second Organic Vegetable Gardening program on Thursday, May 7, at Cornell Cooperative Extension- Genesee County, 420 East Main Street, Batavia. Not only will you learn the "ins and outs" of growing vegetables organically, but you will also be treated to homemade desserts made by the Genesee County Master Gardeners. Tea and coffee will also be served.
Don't miss this exciting opportunity to learn about how to grow produce organically. To register for this program, please call Gail Culver at 343-3040, ext. 132, stop by our office or check out our website at htttp://genesee.shutterfly.com.

Submitted by the Cornell Cooperative Extension-Genesee County

Late Breaking Event: Wildflower Walk

Wildflower Walk at Crowfields: Sunday, April 26, 2 p.m., rain or shine. Join Carol and Dave Southby to explore a wooded drumlin filled with spring wildflowers on this privately owned land of Steve and Mary Aman in Arcadia(just outside of Newark), and leased to Sanctuary at Crowfield, a not for profit organization. The land is also protected by a Genesee Land Trust conservation easement. Directions: From Route 31 in Newark, turn north onto Route 88, go 3.5 miles, turn right onto Pulver Rd for 1.5 miles, turn left at Arcadia Zurich Road, just past 3rd house on right, look for "Sanctuary Parking" sign.Walk includes steep trails at times.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rest in Peace, Maha Atma Singh

It's with a very sad heart I report that Maha Atma Singh, a.k.a. Charles Oesterly, left us this past Saturday night. He had battled (valiantly!) cancer of the esophagus.

Any of you who knew Charles knew he was a strong man with a big heart and a great passion for his gardens, his precious Boston terriers, and his family. I will certainly miss him very much.

My daughter also loved Charles. Here they are feeding ducks in his garden in the fall of '06.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Late Breaking Event: Earth Day April 25 Clean Up

Submitted by Urban Roots

Urban Roots Community Garden Center will welcome in the season with an Earth Day neighborhood clean up of the "Five Corners" or "Five Points" area 2 blocks west of Left Bank, at Rhode Island Street, Utica, and Brayton.

Community Gardens, which were planted in 2004, will be tended, mulched and planted.  Litter will be picked up, and the Urban Roots lot will be raked and planted.

Urban Roots Community Garden Center
428 Rhode Island Street
10 am – 1pm, Saturday, April 25, 2009
Brink a rake, shovel or broom and gloves

Urban Roots is a community owned cooperative business.  Our retail business opened in April of 2007 at 428 Rhode Island Street, in the building we purchased.  We filled two lots with plants and trees, brought in exceptional soil and amendments, and are refurbishing two storefronts.  The vision for Urban Roots was planted in 2005 by a group of West Side neighbors, and grew through grass roots organizing, plant swaps, the sale of heirloom tomatoes, and the labor and enthusiasm of the Buffalo community.  An additional two lots were purchased by the cooperative in order to expand this year in March 2008. A well was dug during the summer of 2008 in order to sustainably maintain our plants. In April 2009 Urban Roots has more than 450 Member-Owners.

Urban Roots Community Garden Center is a consumer cooperative 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.

Submitted by Urban Roots

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Garden Walk Buffalo garden applications now online

Garden Walk Buffalo invites gardens, and their gardeners, from the Peace Bridge to Main Street and Erie Basin Marina to Forest Avenue/Rumsey Road to be part of the 15th annual Garden Walk, to be held Saturday and Sunday, July 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Share your garden and show your pride in our neighborhoods and city.

Enter by May 15, 2009.

Enter online at GardenWalkBuffalo.com. If a mailed, paper application is preferred, a printable .pdf application can be found here.

Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest garden tour in the U.S., is held the last weekend of July each year. In 2009, the free event will be Saturday and Sunday, July 25 & 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than 300 residences and businesses throughout the west side of Buffalo open their creative urban gardens for tens of thousands of visitors from around the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.GardenWalkBuffalo.com.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Late Breaking Event: African Violet & Gesneriad Society of WNY Judged Show and Plant Sale

African Violet & Gesneriad Society of WNY
Annual Judged Show and Plant Sale
Walden Galleria Mall - Lower Level
May 2nd. 12:00 pm - 8:30 pm
May 3rd.  10:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Free Admission

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Submitted by Cornell Plantations

Ithaca, NY -- The effects of global warming may be evident right in your own
backyard, and Cornell scientists need your help.

You are invited to join Project Budbreak -- a "weather-spotters" network for
plants -- to observe and record the first day of flowering for certain
plants in your backyard. Last year over 150 people from all over central New
York recorded more than 500 observations. The project welcomes both new and
returning volunteers this year.

Some facts:

- The annual average temperature right here in the northeastern United
States has increased by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 30 years and is
expected to continue to rise.

- Because of the temperature increase, lilacs have been flowering up to one
week earlier than they did a few decades ago.

- Increasing temperatures are affecting many of our native plant species.

Climate change may be impacting our native plants by changing the timing of
bud break, leaf emergence, flowering, fall coloration, and leaf drop.
To find out whether increasing temperatures are causing detrimental
ecosystem changes, Cornell researchers are asking people to join their
plant-spotter network.

The project is being coordinated by David A. Weinstein, in the Department of
Natural Resources.

"Recording this information is easy and fun, and takes only a few minutes a
week," says Weinstein. "We've made it possible to quickly enter your
observations into an easy-to-use website, including videos you can watch
that demonstrate how to make observations. We'll be putting all kinds of
information, maps, and tools on the website about what is happening to
plants here in central NY, so you'll be able to learn as we learn."

Once you've signed up, simply pick one, two, or more plants growing outside
your house and start watching each day for the first signs of flowers
beginning to form, branches greening up, and leaves starting to spring
forward. You'll begin to see a whole new world emerging right before your

To join Project Budbreak, please visit the projects's website at

For more information, contact David Weinstein by email at daw5@cornell.edu; or by phone at 607-351-4214.

Submitted by Cornell Plantations

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Garden Walk garden in Garden Ideas and Outdoor Living magazine

I'll let Jim Charlier do the talking here, but want to point out that a few of our friends were involved in this story: photographer Andreas Trauttmansdorff, Garden Ideas and Outdoor Living editor Luke Miller, and—of course—Garden Walk! Way to go.

Garden Walk garden in Garden Ideas and Outdoor Living magazine

Update on Odyssey Trips

Due to popular demand, this year we're adding a Buffalo route to our Odyssey to Ithaca tour on SATURDAY, JUNE 6. This is in addition to the ever-popular Rochester route. For more info, click here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Help Wanted -- Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is hiring for the following seasonal park and golf course positions:
Zone gardeners,
Turf crew,
Golf course rangers,
Golf course starters,
Concessions workers,

Hours of operation are weekdays, weekends and evenings.
Experience and valid driver’s license required.
More info: www.buffaloolmstedparks.org

Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy
Parkside Lodge
84 Parkside Ave
Buffalo NY 14214

Email: info@buffaloolmstedparks.org

Deadline: 4/15/09
EOE. No calls please.

Late Breaking Event: Vegetable Gardening Information Night

April 20th, 2009, Monday, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

An information night for beginner and experienced home vegetable gardeners.  Come and learn about how to amend your soil, the best way to plant, and the tried and true vegetable and herb varieties for our area. The evening will end with a roundtable discussion. Hosted by Monroe County Master Gardeners.  Cost is $5.00 per adult, children of participants (under 18), FREE. Space is limited; please call 461-1000 x 225 to reserve your place.