Monday, September 27, 2010

Four Chances to See Amy Stewart This Week

Amy Stewart
As I reported in my column this Saturday, renowned author Amy Stewart, of Flower Confidential and Garden Rant fame, is making three appearances in upstate New York this week in support of her latest book, Wicked Plants.

The first, presented by Cornell Plantations, is at Statler Hall Auditorium at Cornell University in Ithaca, Wednesday, 9/29, at 7:30. Click here for more details.

Thursday, 9/30, Stewart will appear at FLCC in Canandaigua. Click here for more details.

Both lectures are free.

On Friday night, there's something else entirely in the works: a fund-raising "Wild and Wicked" dinner for Ganondagan from 6 - 9 pm. Jan Longboat, Mowhawk healer and herbalist, will join Stewart in a presentation accompanied by a meal of native foods. There will be a book signing and, of course, the opportunity to interact with both experts in the intimate environment of a beautiful private home in Mendon. Seating is limited. Tickets are $100 for non-members and $80 for members. For more information or to register, click here.

Saturday, Ganondagan will again present the pair, this time at the Victor Town Hall from 10 am - 2:30 pm. For details and to register, click here.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

GOG recap

I went to the Gathering of Gardeners here in Rochester yesterday—the morning sessions only—and thought I'd relate just a few things I found interesting from each of the two talks.

Bill Hendricks, of Klyn Nursery in Perry, Ohio, is a man who knows his shrubs.

It turns out I've been a little light-handed with one of my fall favorites, Callicarpa dichotoma 'Early Amythest'. The plant should be cut back hard in the spring, like a buddleia. This will keep it in check size-wise, and it does bloom on new wood (not all do, so check each other species). (My image.)

I've seen sorbaria growing in public gardens in England, and I've always found it very interesting, but I never remember to look it up when I get home. (Here it is, left, at Wisley.) It's also rather large, like a sumac. Bill had images of the truly dwarf 'Sem', however (see below), and I'd love to try that. I dig the tri-colored foliage.

Below that, we have Young Lady (TM) smokebush (cotinus), special in that in blooms on new wood. We also learned that the best yellow (or chartreuse) hops is 'Bianca', and that there's an elderberry that blooms early, has red berries and will thrive in sun or deep shade, Sambucus pubens.
Next up was C. L. Fornari, who was very entertaining and had these tidbits to share (among many others):

- One inch per week is the perfect amount of rain for the standard garden. A rain gauge is a good investment.

- Put used kitty litter in woodchuck holes to repel the rodents.

- Homemade rabbit repellent: 1 beaten egg, one cup milk mixed in 1/2 gallon water.

- Good deer controls: Wireless deer fencing and the Scare Crow motion-activated sprinkler.

- Did you know you can grow beautiful dahlias from cuttings? These are bigger and better, she claims, than her tuber-grown ones.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Dan Snow on Dry Stone Construction—September 18

Here is an opportunity to learn from one of the most respected names in dry stone walling, and it's entirely FREE.

Submitted by the Adirondack Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society

Vermont artist Dan Snow, the author of In the Company of Stone: the Art of the Stone Wall, will give a presentation on "Dry stone construction: a 'fitting' medium for the rock garden" at the September 18 program of the Adirondack Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society.
Snow has been building with stone since 1972 when he worked on the restoration of a 13th century Italian castle. His dry stone constructions have included stock-proof fences, pillars, stiles, staircases, arch bridges, garden follies, grottos and grandstands, as well as environmental art and non-functional, abstract and figurative works of sculpture. His work has been featured in This Old House and Vermont Life magazines, and the New York Times. For more about Snow and his work, visit:

The meeting is free and open to the public and will be held in 404 Plant Science Building (Whetzel Room) on the Cornell University campus. Brown bag lunch at noon. Program begins at 1:00 p.m.

For more information on this and other events, visit the ACNARGS website at

Submitted by the Adirondack Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society