Upstate Gardeners' Journal May-June 2024

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migrant birds
FREE Volume Twenty-nine, Issue Three May-June 2024
Leedy‘s roseroot
Rhubarb shrub
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MANAGING EDITOR: Christine Green



1501 East Avenue, Suite 201, Rochester, NY 14610



The Upstate Gardeners’ Journal is published six times a year. To subscribe, please send $20.00 to the above address. Magazines will be delivered via U.S. mail and/or email (in PDF format). We welcome letters, calls and email from our readers. Please tell us what you think!

We appreciate your patronage of our advertisers, who enable us to bring you this publication. All contents copyright 2024, Upstate Gardeners’ Journal.

On the cover: Wood hyacinths (Hyacinthoides hispanica) in Hamburg, NY by Bonnie Guckin

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Subscribe for: ❍ 1 year: $20.00 ❍ 2 years: $38.00 (6 issues) (12 issues) Send subscription to: Name Address City State Zip Phone Email ❏ This subscription is a gift from: Check enclosed for: M-J ’24 Thank you Contents From the editor 5 Gardening news 8–9 Stories from a livelihood 12–15 Leedy's roseroot 18–19 Calender ............................................................... 20–25 Nan Miller garden ............................................... 26–29 Rhubarb shrub ............................................................33 Crafty gardener 34
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row
—from “In Flanders Fields,” by John McCrae

Everyone knows the opening lines of this famous poem memorializing the fallen Allied soldiers of World War I, and since we are coming up on Memorial Day, poppies seem like an appropriate topic. Here’s a question: why were there so many poppies in Flanders Fields?

Poppies are good self-sowers, and they are especially prolific in disturbed sites—a plowed field, a construction zone, someplace there’s been a fire, or a battlefield, for example. Poppies are common throughout parts of Europe, including France, Italy, and, of course, Belgium, and when the soil was disturbed by artillery shells during the war, they had an opportunity to thrive.

Fast forward to today, and there aren’t nearly as many—not in Flanders Fields American Cemetery, anyway. The earth has healed where they once grew, and the opportunistic poppy no longer has its ideal conditions. But all across Europe, on roadsides and farmers’ fields, the common poppy still presents a stunning moveable memorial.

Thanks, as always, for reading—


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DAYLILIES. Daylilies are outstanding, carefree perennials. We grow and sell over 225 top-rated award-winning varieties in many colors and sizes in our Rochester garden. We are also an official national daylily society display garden. We welcome visitors to see the flowers in bloom from June to September. Call 585/461-3317.

From the editor PALMITER’S GARDEN NURSERY s s s s Phone: (585) 226-3073 s 2675 Geneseo Road, Rt. 39 Avon, New York 14414
Growing great gardens in the Genesee Valley for over 40 years!
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Gardening around town


Every garden is enhanced by a beautiful deck to relax on while you admire all your hard work. A new decking option to try is Pioneer Mill Works sustainable decking in the shade of Accoya. This decking is allnatural exterior wood that comes pretreated and ready to install. Accoya can withstand the harshest climates without any refinishing and includes a twenty-five-year warranty.

donors, that the garden was able to double its space to include the Farm Garden and collaborate with Gerard Place’s Community Kitchen to aid those suffering from food insecurity. These local gardens were just two of the twenty-six recipients to receive funding from the prize money totaling $445,600.

INSET: The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Pioneer Mill Works decking boards are immersed in a natural grey dye that penetrates the wood to the core, eliminating the need for any additional stains or finishes throughout its lifecycle. As these decking boards are made with acetylated pine, they are rot and moisture resistant. The desking is also temperature resistant, staying cool to the touch even in direct sunlight, so it's barefoot-friendly for those hot summer days when you can’t bother to put on socks. No need to worry about splinters, either, as the boards are dimensionally stable with a low propensity to splinter or warp.


The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens and Ithaca Children’s Garden won the Urban Agriculture Resilience Program Award (UARP) 2024 public garden partnership award. This award was funded by the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) and American Public Gardens Association, with the goal of promoting partnership and collaboration within garden communities to encourage urban agriculture programs and build up public engagement and education in urban food growing.

Buffalo is experiencing record food inflation and 30% of Buffalo’s population faces food insecurity. It was because of the Botanical Gardens’ generous

UARP’s program has awarded $1.57 million to eighty collaborations within thirty states over the past four years. The programs formed from these collaborations have blossomed and shared over 690,000 pounds of produce, distributed more than 260,000 seedlings, and provided more than 46,000 hours of urban agriculture training to students, interns, and trainees.

“The collaborations supported through this year’s Urban Agriculture Resilience Program demonstrate many creative ways that urban agriculture can connect people and plants through food,” says Dr. Susan Pell, USBG executive director. “We are thrilled to embark on a fifth year of supporting such vital urban food-growing programs across the country and to expand the existing Urban Agriculture Resilience Program community with these twenty-six new projects.”


Twenty-five years after its original creation, Bergen Water Gardens has just reopened its muchanticipated orchid showroom. This remodeling will allow visitors to have better access to the orchids for selection. Available orchids come from Florida, Hawaii, Thailand, Taiwan, and areas in South America. Though Bergen Water Gardens tends to focus on vandaceous orchids, it also offers cattleyas, bulbophyllums, dendrobiums, oncidiums, tolumnias, and various

Ear to the ground

leafless orchids. The main growing house, greenhouse #6, is still open for exploring.


Since the 1980s, the chief executive and cofounder of Light Bio, Keith Wood, has been working on creating bioluminescent plants. Early attempts at adding the luciferase gene (the same gene that causes fireflies to grow) were undertaken as a way to understand gene expression. The resultant bioluminescent plants gave off a low glow that needed to be maintained with special food to sustain the light.

gardens. Right now these plants are only available online, but some nurseries in Idaho may start stocking them this summer.

Wood continued to experiment with light-emiting plants. He and a team of twenty-six scientists spread across nine different organizations discovered a better approach to the bioluminescent plant—they utilized a group of genes from the bioluminescent mushroom Neonothopanus nambi. The result was a petunia that glows not only brighter but stays consistently lit. The mesmerizing Firefly Petunia is now available for spring

ABOVE: The new Firefly Petunia from Light Bio
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Attracting migrant birds to your backyard

The sounds of spring are in the air! Mornings are filled with the songs and chirps of birds as they try to attract mates and evenings are full of the chorus of frogs and toads. Grosbeaks, orioles, warblers, hummingbirds, and others are making their way back into the area where they will actively search out food and nesting sites. If you are an active birder, you are probably familiar with the different locations to go to catch a glimpse of these migratory birds, but there are also ways you can entice them to come into your backyard.

Not all birds will come to feeders or nest in a house, but they all need water. Birdbaths, especially birdbaths with a moving water element like a solar fountain, may bring in birds you don’t normally see in the backyard. Birdbaths with a deep reservoir are great for large birds like robins, blue jays, and even birds of prey. If you want the most diversity out of your birdbath, add some rocks or stones that will give the water varying depths. Small birds like chickadees and goldfinches won’t normally come to a birdbath if the water is too deep. During migration season, you may even see warblers and scarlet tanagers stopping by a water feature.

Another way to attract nontraditional backyard birds to your yard this season is to put out mealworms. Mealworms are full of nutrients, protein, and fat. These are important to birds in general but even more so during the nesting season. Parents will feed their chicks a lot of insect protein once they have hatched and will continue to do so until, and even after, they leave the nest. Mealworms are available in live and freeze-dried varieties. The freeze-dried worms are easy to store in any dry, cool area but the live mealworms should be kept in the refrigerator in order to prevent their development into beetles.

Baltimore orioles are a gorgeous orange and black bird that migrate into the area in early May. They can be easily enticed to stay in your yard by feeding them their favorite foods—jelly, nectar, and orange halves. The orioles’ favorite jellies are grape and “birdberry,” which is a mix of grape and blackberry. Make sure the jelly you feed them has no artificial sweeteners or corn syrup. In addition, oriole nectar can be purchased as a concentrate or as a ready-to-use option. You can also

make your own by using the recipe of one part sugar to five parts water. Make sure to boil the water before adding the sugar. Never add any dye to the nectar, as it may be harmful to the birds. Once Orioles are nesting, they start to become sparse in the yard. Around midJune, if mealworms are added to the backyard as a food option, it will entice the orioles stop by in the summer months.

Hummingbirds are a popular bird to attract and for good reason! These tiny birds migrate all the way here from Central and South America and arrive around Mother’s Day. Hummingbirds will make a tiny nest where they usually lay two eggs. Hummingbirds are easy to attract and will eagerly visit hummingbird feeders and tubular plants. Like oriole nectar, you can purchase nectar or make your own. The recipe for hummingbird nectar is one part sugar to four parts water. You can also grow plants that produce the nectar hummingbirds love! Some native plants they’ll appreciate include: cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), bee balm (Monarda didyma), wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), trumpet vine (Campsis radicans), and meadow phlox (Phlox maculata) are just a few of their favorites. On the east coast we have only one species of hummingbird, the Ruby-throated. These little birds are territorial and will actively defend food sources. The key to getting more hummingbirds in your yard is to put up multiple feeders that are out of sight of each other.

This is a wonderful time of the year when the garden is full of life—plant life and wildlife! By adding a few supplemental plants, water, or feeders to the backyard you may be surprised on what drops by.

Liz Magnanti is co-owner of the Bird House in Brighton.
ABOVE: Baltimore oriole

People, plants, courtyards, and expanses Stories from a livelihood

FABOVE: The late spring, irrigated hillside garden at Jack’s, a mixture of small flowering trees, shrubs, perennials, and bulbs.

rom 2001 to 2010, I worked as a freelance horticulturist for clients in communities in and around Rochester. Some of the best times were moving from courtyard to courtyard in communities of high-end town houses. I loved the cozy feeling of the courtyards and how just an hour or two of work could transform the space. Because each courtyard had a protected microclimate, I could engage in heady experiments with plant hardiness. On medium and larger properties, I enjoyed the freedom of open space, of seeing the moody big skies shift overhead while I worked. The clients were kind and pleased and told their friends about me. It was really fun to design new gardens and to get to do all that plant shopping for people. What a stimulating exercise it was to piece together the client’s preferences, the site conditions, and the appropriate plants.

It wasn’t all glamourous, of course. I had two incidents of heat sickness, a prolonged bout of plantar fasciitis— hard to get over when you work on your feet—and the workload was so compressed in the spring that by June I wanted to lay flat for the entire summer. But I’d rebound because I was young, stretched a lot, and lucky to be able-bodied. • • •

Working for someone in their garden can put you in a place of intimacy with them. Sometimes people needed to talk; there were certain themes that emerged from the time I spent with my clients. I explored my experiences by writing some poems, motivated in part by excellent classes I took at Writers & Books in Rochester.

Many of my gardening clients were dealing with the harsh realities of aging. In some cases, their wealth,

Seasonal stakeout 12 | MAY-JUNE 2024

social support, and good luck meant that they didn’t seem to let it get them down. But for others, their struggles were more openly talked about or observed. I felt sympathy but didn’t fully understand. Only now, as I age in intimate company with my eighty-yearold mother and my older husband, do I move toward empathy.


He watches me working.

I don’t mind—

he’s sitting where all the light comes in. He says that reading is all that’s left to him, ends his few sentences with while you still can.

His wife says the early bloom from bulbs I planted last fall cheers him. But just now, he lifts his cane to slide the glass door shut before I finish greeting him.

Another theme I picked up on was around couples not getting along, especially under the pressures of aging and its costs, like hearing loss. Some fought openly in my presence. I was mystified by that at the time, but as my husband and I age together, I have a better understanding of how the pressures can accumulate, taxing even the closest relationship.


A prickly pear cactus pad dangles from her finger, a spine snuck in around her metal tongs. See—she says, groaning— this is what happens leather gloves are useless. We’ve tried.

This is his collection.

She’d rather be coaxing bonsai out of volunteer redbud seedlings or potting up bright yellow hakonechloa divisions into tiny ceramic pots, azure blue.

In writing this, I am reminded that many of my former clients are gone now. Two (separate) clients with whom I became close, Bess and Jack, died in the past five years; I miss them. They were kind and gentle widowed people, each very community-minded, who were excited to learn about plants and try new things. (Jack also paid me to tutor him on using the internet and email; because he was so patient and earnest, it was endearing and actually fun.)

After I moved away from Rochester, when I went back to visit, I would stay with Bess. We’d do puzzles together, and with our hands busy, we tended to talk about some deep things. I’d go over and visit Jack so we could look at his landscape, and he’d show me his

• • •
BOTH ABOVE: The privacy border at Bess’s, looking north, right, and south, left.

BOTH TOP: Hellebores (left) and European ginger (right) were immune to deer browse in Jack’s shade garden.

BOTTOM LEFT: ‘Limelight’ hydrangea in Bess’s privacy border.


The beautiful native ninebark beetle loses food sources when native and non-native ninebarks hybridize, resulting in foliage it won’t eat. Photo from PA DCNR,

OPPOSITE: Stained glass elements of a pergola at Bess’s.

latest woodworking projects. They were dear people, and dear to me. I had been nervous to tell them that I was partnered with a woman at that time, unsure how open-minded they were in that regard. I didn’t want to lose their affection—or their business. They were both unfazed.

The biggest challenges on Bess’s medium-sized property were heavy clay soil, the aggressively invasive chameleon plant (Houttuynia cordata ‘Tricolor’), and a need for privacy between her and the neighbors. Oh, how I tried to tame the wily chameleon, but it was woven so tightly in between the lilacs, around the Japanese maple, all through the daylilies—having found so many cozy hiding places, it was there to stay. We found ways to make it make more sense visually, like adding large pieces of driftwood as naturalistic sculptures: a rustic piece of furniture over a colorful carpet.

The privacy project was more fun. Bess wanted to have a border between her and the neighbor that wasn’t a monolithic block of arborvitae. She wanted it to be varied and have seasonal interest for her and her neighbor. Some of the most successful plants

in the west-facing privacy border were Hydrangea ‘Limelight’, sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus), rugosa rose (Rosa rugosa), the narrow, weeping white spruce (Picea glauca ‘Pendula’), and red switchgrass (Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’). A ‘Diabolo’ purple ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) added some lovely burgundy foliage and white flowers, but I can’t recommend it now in part because of deleterious effects on the native ninebark beetle (Calligrapha spiraea), which happens to be gorgeous (see photo). (I learned about this from an excellent blog post, “The nativar dilemma: The case of my purple ninebark & the leaf beetle,” by Christa K. Carignan.)

At Jack’s place, a large property, deer were the greatest challenge to his gardens; the further from the house, the more vulnerable his plants were. (Closer to the house, the dog barking helped keep the deer away). Some tree species that avoided the jaws of ruminants were American fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus), katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum), American smoketree (Cotinus obovatus), Carolina silverbell (Halesia tetraptera) and Japanese snowbell (Styrax japonica). We planted these in garden beds close

14 | MAY-JUNE 2024

to the house. Shrub survivors at Jack’s included shasta viburnum (V. plicatum tomentosum ‘Shasta’), Cotinus coggygria ‘Golden Spirit’ (smokebush), and ‘Black Lace’ elderberry (Sambucus).

In terms of perennials, we created a shade garden close to the house that resisted deer with hellebores (Helleborus spp.), epimedium (Epimedium spp.), bear’s breeches (Acanthus spp.), Brunnera, Gray’s sedge (Carex morrowii), coral bells (Heuchera spp.), European ginger (Asarum europaeum), and variegated Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’). Walking around the gardens with Jack, or with Bess—to admire, and to plan—those were joyful times that I treasure.

Michelle Sutton is a horticulturist, writer, and editor.

The names of clients in this story have been changed.


Her fist hard against the kitchen window summons me.

Pitching my loppers to the grass I pull the crabapple branch from my pant cuff, prepare to sprint.

She fumbles for prescription bottles sobs Pacemaker stats into the phone, her wild eyes urge me toward the braided rug.

He lies on his back twitching African violets rain down around him, peat moss washes across his shoulders and speckles his thick silver hair.

I tuck a plaid cushion under his head grip his panicked hand. Time moves so slowly— a full season of pruning passes before the paramedics saunter in like they’re going fishing.

The violets are back in their tiered positions. I’ve sharpened my loppers three times since then, the crabapple sends out chaotic shoots in June and July. She goes to him every day, but he doesn’t return.

The big red maple, the purple clematis, the feathery flowers of the Joe Pye weed absorb, steady, abide.

• • •


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Cascadilla Gorge offers a safe haven for rare species

Thanks to a new conservation effort by Cornell Botanic Gardens, one of the rarest plants in the U.S. is now protected in the walls of Cascadilla Gorge.

Cornell Botanic Gardens staff has successfully established a population of the federally threatened Leedy’s roseroot and plans to foster a long-lasting population in the Cascadilla Gorge natural area.

Leedy’s roseroot, (Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. leedyi), exists only in five original sites across the U.S., including one along the west side of Seneca Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region. It boasts a lush redorange flower and elongated stem with waxy leaves extending throughout the length of the plant. It derives its name from the rose-like smell of its roots.

“With only one extant, original population in New York, there is always a risk of something happening and the plant becoming locally extinct,” says Todd Bittner, director of natural areas. “Establishing a second reproducing viable population is a key conservation strategy to help safeguard the species.”

To help conserve Leedy’s roseroot, Cornell Botanic Gardens staff and a cohort of interns traveled to Seneca Lake to carefully collect Leedy’s roseroot seeds by hand. The team propagated the seeds in the Botanic Gardens’ plant production facility and in 2022 transplanted them in Cascadilla Gorge. The plants were established on a cool, north-facing drip wall in the gorge that mimics its cool-habitat preferences. The location is similar to the Seneca Lake habitat and is

ABOVE: Leedy's Roseroot. Photo by F. Robert Wesley
Natural selections 18 | MAY-JUNE 2024

protected from slope erosion.

Of the twelve plants relocated, eleven survived, providing hope for the future of the plant. Leedy’s roseroot is particularly valuable to scientists studying ecosystems of earlier eras.

Described as a “living fossil,” Leedy’s roseroot dates to the Pleistocene era, more than 2 million years ago. By studying the plant, scientists can unlock past natural histories, such as identifying other organisms that lived at the time.

One reason for its federally threatened status is the perennial’s picky taste in habitat. The plant originated during a period when glaciers inhabited most of the continent, meaning it is adapted for cooler climates. Leedy’s roseroot prefers cool cliffs that mimic glacial conditions and supply the plant with the consistent moisture and cool temperatures it needs to thrive.

While the plant’s unique habitat is in part what makes it so special, its preference for cool conditions poses significant risks for its future. With global temperatures continuing to rise, the plant’s habitat is under threat, says Robert Wesley, a botanist specializing in rare species at Cornell Botanic Gardens.

“Climate change surely threatens a plant that requires a cool microclimate and is a more northerly plant,” Wesley says.

The team plans to propagate another round of Leedy’s roseroot in summer 2024. The ultimate goal is to foster what Bittner calls a viable population.

“We intend to sustainably collect seeds annually from Seneca Lake and propagate individuals at our Plant Production Facility in order to establish at least one viable, self-sustaining population in our campus gorges,” Bittner said.

In addition, staff have collected and banked seeds in cold storage to preserve the germplasm for extended use.

“This is an insurance policy against losing an entire population and its valuable genetic diversity, Bittner says. “It also preserves the opportunity to use these seeds in the future for other reintroduction efforts.”

Throughout this process, botanic gardens’ staff have gathered valuable information about the plant’s preferred habitat and growth habits. The team discovered that an expanded shale substrate works well for propagating and growing the plant. They also learned that the timing of the transplanting must be conducted with precision. If the plant is too small, it will not survive. However, if the plant is too big, it will have a harder time establishing since gorge conditions provide shallow soil unsuitable for planting larger roots.

“Doing a reintroduction is always a bit of a trial and error,” Bittner said “We hope to learn more about the species through the project that can help conservationists working on the species elsewhere.”


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Foundation Planting

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Excavation & Grading

Water Gardens

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Tree Planting

Tree Removal

Stump Grinding

Shrub Pruning

Theme Gardens

Perennial Gardens

Lawn Care

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Anna Hooper is a communications intern at Cornell Botanic Gardens. This article originally appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.
Delivery & Planting Services Available For an estimate please call (585) 244-1626 LANDSCAPE DESIGN MAINTENANCE Located near Ellison Park 485 LANDING ROAD NORTH (585) 482-5372


May 18: Silver Creek Hanover Garden Club Annual Garden Faire, Visitors can enjoy the plant sale, kids activity, artisan crafts, garden decor, local organizations, and food vendors from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. The village Square: Central Ave. & Main St., Silver Creek.

June 15: WNY Rose Society Rose Show at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Visitors can explore the fairy-themed garden, more than a hundred roses on display, activities, and displays for children. BECBG



African Violet & Gesneriad Society of WNY meets the third Tuesday of the month, September–August, at 7 p.m., Greenfield Health & Rehab Facility, 5949 Broadway, Lancaster.

Alden Garden Club meets the second Wednesday of the month (except July and August) at 7 p.m., Alden Community Center, West Main St., Alden. New members and guests welcome. Plant sale each May. 716-937-7924.

Amana Garden Club meets the second Wednesday of the month (except January) at Ebenezer United Church of Christ, 630 Main St., West Seneca. Visitors welcome. 716-844-8543,

Amherst Garden Club meets the fourth Wednesday of the month (except December, March, July, and August) at 10a.m., St. John’s Lutheran Church, Main St., Williamsville. New members and guests welcome. 716-836-5397.

Bowmansville Garden Club meets the first Monday of the month (except June, July, August, and December) at 7 p.m., Bowmansville Fire Hall, 36 Main St., Bowmansville. New members and guests welcome. For more information, 716-361-8325.

Buffalo Area Daylily Society. East Aurora Senior Center, 101 King St., East Aurora. The society is a friendly group who get together to enjoy daylilies. Plant Sales, May, and August. Open gardens, June–August. Facebook.

Buffalo Bonsai Society meets every second Saturday at 1 p.m. at ECC North Campus, STEM Bldg., 6205 Main St., Williamsville, NY 14221. 5/11, Workshop bring your own tree and preparing for the show; 6/1&2, Buffalo Bonsai Society Bonsai Tree Show at the Buffalo Botanical Gardens; 6/8, TBD; 7/13, Terry Monroe, (Pittsburg, PA) deciduous; 8/10, Picnic/Auction; 9/14, Ron Maggio (Rochester, NY) Suiseki; 10/12, Mark Arpag; 11/9, Indoor lighting Christine Wilkolaski

East Aurora Garden Club meets at noon on the second Monday of each month, except January. The clubs meets at Nativity Lutheran Church, 970 E. Main St., East Aurora, NY (just west of the 400 Expressway exit). The club’s objective is to stimulate, create interest, and promote education on horticulture, the art of gardening, flower arranging, and environmental conservation; and to promote the beautification of surrounding areas. For more information about the club or membership call 716-912-1589.

Federated Garden Clubs NYS–District 8. Nancy Kalieta is the director.

Forest Stream Garden Club meets the third Thursday of the month (September–May) at 7 p.m., Presbyterian Village, 214 Village Park Dr., Williamsville and other locations. Summer garden

teas and tours available. Ongoing projects include beautification of the Williamsville Meeting House, garden therapy at a local nursing home, youth gardening, and Victorian Christmas decorating.

Friends of Kenan Herb Club meets the third Monday of the month at 2 p.m. at the Taylor Theater. New members are always welcome. herb-club.

Garden Club of the Tonawanda meets the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m., Tonawanda City Hall, Community Room. Facebook.

Garden Friends of Clarence meets the second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m., September–June, Town Park Clubhouse, 10405 Main St., Clarence.

Hamburg Garden Club meets the second Wednesday of the month at 10 a.m. at the VFW Post 1419, 2985 Lakeview Rd, Hamburg, NY. Events include a June plant sale and summer garden tours. Guests are welcome. Contact

Kenmore Garden Club meets the second Tuesday of the month (except July, August, and December) at 10 a.m., Kenmore United Methodist Church, 32 Landers Rd., Kenmore. Activities include guest speakers, floral designs, and community service. New members and guests are welcome.

Ken-Sheriton Garden Club meets the second Tuesday of the month (except January) at 7 p.m., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 576 Delaware Rd. Kenmore. Monthly programs, artistic design, and horticulture displays. New members and guests welcome. 716833-8799,

Lancaster Garden Club meets the second Wednesday of the month (except January, July, and August) at 7 p.m., St. John Lutheran Church, 55 Pleasant Ave., Lancaster. All are welcome. Facebook.

Lewiston Garden Club meets the fourth Monday of the month. See website for meeting information, or contact at PO Box 32, Lewiston, NY 14092.

Niagara Frontier Botanical Society meets the second Tuesday of the month September through May at 7:30 p.m. (except April) at the Harlem Rd. Community Center, 4255 Harlem Rd., Amherst. Entrance is on the north side of the building. Meetings are open to the public.

Niagara Frontier Orchid Society (NFOS) meets the first Tuesday following the first Sunday (dates sometimes vary due to holidays, etc.), September–June, Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo.

Orchard Park Garden Club meets the first Thursday of the month (except July and December) at 11:30 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 4536 South Buffalo St., Orchard Park. Contact Diana Szczepanski at 716674-8970 for membership information. Guests are always welcome.

Ransomville Garden Club meets the third Wednesday or Saturday of the month at 5:45 p.m., Ransomville Community Library, 3733 Ransomville Rd., Ransomville. Meetings are open to all. Activities include community gardening projects, educational presentations, and June plant sale. bbonnie2313@

Silver Creek-Hanover Garden Club meets the second Saturday of the month at 11 a.m., Silver Creek Senior Center, 1823 Lake Rd. (Rte. 5), Silver Creek.

South Towns Gardeners meets the second Friday of the month (except January) at 9:30 a.m., West Seneca Senior Center. New members welcome.

Springville Concord Garden Club meets the second Monday of the month at 1:30 p.m. at the Concord Senior Center, 40 Commerce Dr., SPringville, NY 14141. Meetings feature guest speakers on a variety of gardening and related topics. Annual July Garden

Walk. Guests are welcome.

Town and Country Garden Club of LeRoy meets the second Wednesday of the month (except February) at 6:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 7 Clay St., LeRoy 14482. Prospective members and guests are welcome. Contact:; Facebook:

Town and Country Garden Club of Williamsville generally meets the second Thursday of the month from 2–4 p.m. at the Ransom Oaks Community Club House, 101 Ransom Oaks Dr., East Amherst. Some meetings are held off site for garden tours and special events. The club maintains a garden at the Clearfield Library, 770 Hopkins Rd. Membership brochures with program information are available in the library. For information, contact Lanscombe@

Tropical Fish Society of Erie County meets the third Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m., Lake Erie Italian Club, 3200 South Park Ave., Lackawanna, NY 14218.

Western New York Herb Study Group meets the second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m., Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Facebook.

Western New York Honey Producers, Inc. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County, 21 South Grove St., East Aurora.

Western New York Hosta Society. The WNYHS was formed to encourage members to appreciate hostas and to provide them with access to quality new varieties. The group meets three times a year at the East Aurora Senior Center, 101 King St., East Aurora NY 14052.

Western New York Hosta Society Breakfast Meetings are friendly get-togethers the first Saturday (winter months only) at 10 a.m., Forestview Restaurant, Depew.

Western New York Iris Society meets at the Julia B Reinstein Library, 1030 Losson Rd., Cheektowaga, NY at 1:30 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month

Western New York Rose Society meets the third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. St. StephensBethlehem United Church of Christ, 750 Wehrle Dr., Williamsville. Check the Facebook page or website for meeting content,

Youngstown Garden Club meets the second Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 100 Church St., Youngstown. Facebook.


BECBG: Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo, NY 14218. 716/827-1584;

CCE/EC: Cornell Cooperative Extension, Erie County, 21 South Grove St., East Aurora, NY 14052. 716-652-5400 x174;

DRAV: Draves Arboretum, 1815 Sharrick Road, Darien, NY 14040. 585-547-3341;

REIN: Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY 14043. 716-6835959;


F- Indicates activities especially appropriate for children and families.

S- Indicates plant sales/swaps.

T- Indicates garden tours.

O- Online event.

20 | MAY-JUNE 2024

First Wednesday of the Month for 2024: Free Community Nights, 5–8 p.m. Visitors can enjoy free admission the first Wednesday evening of the month. Sponsored by Assemblyman Pat Burke.


F Wild Wednesdays: October–June, (check quarterly program schedule for specific dates and times) Together, kids and their caregivers can enjoy a fun, hour-long outdoor activity. For children in grades K–5. Registration required 716-683-5959. REIN

O January 14–May 4: The Great Plant Sale Online. The horticulture team hand-selected unique plant varieties that buyers won’t find at a local nursery. Shoppers are invited to don some jammies, snuggle up on the couch, and shop for your dream garden!


May 4: Renovating and Maintaining Your Home Landscape Part 1, with Tim Richley. $12 per person. Event hosted by Draves Arboretum; register at: DRAV

May 4: Native Plant Event, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Westfield Nursery and the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy are teaming up to provide information on native plants along with the ability to see and purchase them. Visitors will learn from the Conservancy’s conservationist, Carol Markham, and the knowledgeable staff at Westfield Nursery what native plants are and why they are so important for a resilient landscape. 8320 West Main Rd. Westfield, NY 14787

May 11: Renovating and Maintaining Your Home Landscape Part 2, with Paulina Masalio. $12 per person. Event hosted by Draves Arboretum; register at:, DRAV

May 18: Silver Creek Hanover Garden Club Annual Garden Faire, Visitors can enjoy the plant sale, kids activity, artisan crafts, garden decor, local organizations, and food vendors from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. The village square: Central Ave. & Main St., Silver Creek.

May 18: Basic Tree ID Class, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. $25 per person. Event hosted by Draves Arboretum; register at: DRAV

S May 24–25: Master Gardener Plant Sale. First Presbyterian Church, One Symphony Circle, Buffalo, NY CCE/EC

S June 1: Friends of Kenan Herb Club Annual Herb and Plant Sale, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. The sale will be under the tent behind the Kenan House on 433 Locust St., Lockport, NY 14094.

June 1: Renovating and Maintaining Your Home Landscape Part 3, with Thomas Draves. $12 per person. Event hosted by Draves Arboretum; register at: DRAV

S June 8: Hamburg Garden Club Annual Perennial Plant Sale, 7:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Perennials from member gardens and previously loved gardening items will be available. Hamburg Farmers Market, Hamburg Moose Lodge #523, 45 Church St., Hamburg, NY

June 8: Renovating and Maintaining Your Home Landscape Part 4, with Josh Falker. $12 per person. Event hosted by Draves Arboretum; register at: DRAV

June 15: WNY Rose Society Rose Show at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Visitors can explore the fairy-themed garden, more than a hundred roses on display, activities, and displays for children. BECBG

June 15–16: Lewiston Garden Fest. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Venders, speakers, open gardens, and a container garden contest.

S June 29–30: The Garden Art Sale. The Gardens Buffalo Niagara Garden Art Sale in partnership with the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

presents live music, food trucks, plant society booths, and basket raffles while exploring vendors’ nature-themed creations. BECBG


July 13: Draves Arboretum annual open tour, $12 per person; for more information visit Dravesarboretum. org. DRAV

July 13–14: Hamburg Garden Club, 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. Gardners items for sale. Learn about club projects and how you can become involved. Union and Lake Sts., Hamburg, NY.

July 19–20: Ken-Ton Garden Tour Night Lights, 8:30–11 p.m.

July 20–21: Ken-Ton Garden Tour Day Tour, 10 a.m.– 4 p.m.

July 8-12, 22- 26, 29 to August 2, 5–9: Summer Nature Week, 10–11:30 a.m. For parents and children ages 2–8. Explore, discover, craft, play games and learn about nature. Friday sessions spent at the stream, for more information and to register go to

July 20–21: Garden Walk Buffalo, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Garden Walk Buffalo is the largest garden tour in North America and is produced by The Gardens Buffalo Niagara. Deadline to register to participate in May 15. Learn more at



Adirondack Chapter, North American Rock Garden Society (ACNARGS) Meetings are open to all. Check the current newsletter on the website for meeting location: or

Auraca Herbarists, an herb study group, usually meets the second Tuesday of the month at noon, Cornell Botanic Gardens, Ithaca. Brown bag lunch at noon followed by the program and herb of the month. Field trips during the growing season. All are welcome. Contact: Pat Curran:

Elmira Garden Club meets the first Thursday of the month, April–December, at 6 p.m., 426 Fulton St., Elmira. Annual plant sale, workshops, monthly meetings, local garden tours and community gardening services. Karen Coletta, 607-731-8320, Facebook.

Finger Lakes Native Plant Society meetings are usually on the third Tuesday of the month September to May. This is an organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation of native flora, holding free public field trips and indoor programs, and providing members a newsletter, seed exchange, native plant sale, and a December celebration of native plants.,

Windsor NY Garden Group meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 10 a.m., members’ homes or Windsor Community House, 107 Main St., Windsor.


July 14: Ithaca Fall Creek Garden Club Garden Tour, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. A free, self-guided annual tour to highlight a variety of urban gardens and gardeners. Garden hosts will be present to answer questions. pick up a map with garden locations and descriptions. Before starting, pick up a map with garden locations and descriptions at Thompson Park at the corner of Cayuga St. and Cascadilla Creek. While at the park, buy raffle tickets for prizes (drawing at 2:30 p.m.) donated by local garden centers. The garden club will also be selling colorful T-shirts featuring its woodcut logo.



7th District Federated Garden Clubs New York State, Inc. meets the first Wednesday of the month.

African Violet and Gesneriad Society of Rochester meets the first Thursday of the month September–November and March–May, 7–9 p.m. at Messiah Lutheran Church, 4301 Mt. Read Blvd., Rochester, NY 14616. December and June meetings are social events TBD location. Contacts: Douglas Burdick, 585-313-8674, Barb Festenstein, 585-461-1673,

Bloomfield Garden Club meets the third Thursday of the month at 11:45 a.m., Veterans Park, 6910 Routes 5 & 20, Bloomfield. Visitors and prospective new members welcome. Marlene Moran, 585-924-8035, Facebook.

Bonsai Society of Upstate New York meets the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Brighton Town Park Lodge, Buckland Park, 1341 Westfall Rd., Rochester. 585-334-2595, Facebook, bonsaisocietyofupstateny. org.

Canandaigua Botanical Society meets for in-person botanical events. See website for event schedule. Feb. 8 & 7 p.m.: Canandaigua Botanical Society Presentation to seed their Sesquicentennial year, Wood Library, 134 N. Main St., Canandaigua. 3/12, 7 p.m.: Gardening with Native Plants to Deter Invasive Species with Matt Gallo of Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (FLPRISM) at HWS canandaiguabotanicalsociety.

Color Pittsford Green meets on the third Wednesday of the month, 6:45–7:45 p.m. via Zoom. All are welcome.

Conesus Lake Garden Club meets the third Wednesday of the month (April–December) at 7 p.m., Chip Holt Nature Center, Vitale Park, Lakeville. Welcoming new members. Contact Dottie Connelly, 585-703-1748.

Country Gardeners of Webster This club is for those who like to dig in the dirt, smell the roses, learn about the birds and bees, take a walk in the park, eat, drink, and be merry, or live in Webster. They meet the second Monday of the month. Contact Elaine at 585-350-8270 to try this fun-loving club out.

Creative Gardeners of Penfield meets the second Monday of the month (except July and August) at 9:15 a.m., Penfield United Methodist Church, 1795 Baird Rd., Penfield. Visitors welcome. Contact 585385-2065 or if interested in attending a meeting.

Fairport Garden Club Meets the third Thursday evening of the month (except January, February, March, and August) in members’ homes or in the Perinton Ambulance building. Educational topics are presented through speakers, workshops, local tours, and community gardening i.e., Planter at Johanna Perrin School.,

Finger Lakes Daylily Society members garden in west-central NY, covering an area from Batavia to Syracuse and the Southern Tier. Meetings are held in Rochester or the Canandaigua area. There are generally four regular Saturday meetings held in February, March, May, and September. Visitors and prospective new members are welcome to attend. Contact Deb Lawrence for information, binxers1@

Friends of Ellwanger Garden meet all season long on Tuesday mornings. To volunteer at the garden, please contact Cindy Boyer at 585-546-7029, x12 or

Lotus Tubers Available! 7443 Buffalo Rd. Churchville, NY 14428 585-293-2860 Bergen Water Gardens and Nursery Splendid in Jiangnan Lotus NEW FOR 2024! LotusFest 2024 July 26–28 Orchid Showroom Top Quality Plants Grown in Our Greenhouses! Custom Planted Containers Giant Selection of Hanging Baskets NEW and Hard-to-Find A nnuals & Perennials Full-service Florist . Delivery Available 716.632.1290 118 South Forest Road (between Main and Wehrle) Williamsville, NY 14221 Stop in to see our budding Bonsai Collection. Visit Sonnenberg Nine Formal Gardens, Antique Lord and Burnham Greenhouse, Mansion, Bay House Gift Shop, Cafe OPENING DAY May 2nd! 250 Gibson Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424


Garden Club of Brockport meets the second Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m., Jubilee Church, 3565 Lake Rd., Brockport. Visitors can learn gardening tips from knowledgeable speakers, make garden ornaments through hands-on classes, and explore beautiful local gardens. For more info call or email Kathy, 585-431-0509 or

Garden Club of Mendon meets the third Tuesday of the month, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., Mendon Community Center, 167 North Main St., Honeoye Falls. Members work on community gardens and gather new ideas in a casual, social environment. 585-624-8182,

Garden Path of Penfield meets the third Wednesday of the month, September–May at 7 p.m., Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd., Penfield. Members enjoy all aspects of gardening, new members welcome. gardenpathofpenfield@gmail. com.

Gates Garden Club meets the second Thursday of the month (except July and August) at 6:30 p.m., Gates Town Annex, 1605 Buffalo Rd., Rochester. New members and guests welcome. 585-247-1248,

Genesee Region Orchid Society (GROS) meets the first Monday following the first Sunday of the month. Meetings in December, January, and February will be virtual. It is likely that meetings from March–May will be in person at the JCC. Please see the website for information,

Genesee Valley Hosta Society meets the second Thursday of the month, April–October, at Eli Fagan American Legion Post, 260 Middle Rd., Henrietta. 585-889-7678,,

Greater Rochester Iris Society (GRIS) is an affiliate of the American Iris Society, meets on a Sunday during the months of March, April, September, and October at 2 p.m., St. John’s Episcopal Church Hall, 11 Episcopal Ave., Honeoye Falls, NY. Public welcome. Plant Sales, guest speakers or location visits, Volunteer Opportunities. Honeoye Falls, NY. 585-266-0302, 3/10, 2 p.m., Program to be announced

Greater Rochester Perennial Society (GRPS) meets the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m., Twelve Corners Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1200 South Winton Rd., Rochester, except in summer when it tours members’ gardens. Lectures are held virtually, and garden tours are being scheduled. 2/1, Virtual meeting via Zoom. Perennial Collector’s Treasure Chest with Kerry Ann Mendez, Awardwinning garden educator. 3/7, Spring Into Action 2.0—Five Steps To Maintenance Free Gardening with K.C. Fahy-Harvick, Gardening Matters. Location TBD. See website or Facebook for updates. cap704@,, facebook. com/GreaterRochesterPerennialSociety

Greater Rochester Rose Society meets the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. on Zoom January, February, and March. Email for meeting link. Questions: 585-694-8430. Facebook: Greater Rochester Rose Society.

Henrietta Garden Club meets the second Wednesday each month (except May–August and December) at 6:30 p.m. A presenter will speak on gardening related subject at 7p.m. Guests and non-residents are welcome. Handicap accessible. Call 585-7810278. Lower level of the Henrietta Town Hall, 475 Calkins Rd, Henrietta. henriettagardenclub.

Holley Garden Club meets the second Thursday of the month at 7 p.m., Holley Presbyterian Church. 585638-6973.

Hubbard Springs Garden Club of Chili meets the third Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Chili Community Center, 3237 Chili Ave., Rochester.

Ikebana International Rochester Chapter 53 meets the third Thursday of each month (except December and February) at 10a.m., First Baptist Church, Hubbell Hall, 175 Allens Creek Rd., Rochester. 585301-6727, 585-402-1772, rochesterikebana@gmail. com,

Kendall Garden Club meets the first Wednesday of the month at 7p.m., Kendall Town Hall. 585-370-8964.

Klemwood Garden Club of Webster meets the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m. (except January and February) in members’ homes or local libraries. Accepting new members. 585-671-1961.

Lakeview Garden Club (Greece) meets the second Wednesday of the month (except January and February) at 7 p.m., meeting location varies depending on activity. Meetings may include a speaker, project or visits to local garden-related sites. New members always welcome. Contact, Darlene Markham,

Newark Garden Club meets the first Friday of the month at 1 p.m., Park Presbyterian Church, Newark. Guests are welcome.

Pittsford Garden Club Pittsford Garden Club meets the third Tuesday of the month at 10:30 a.m. at the Spiegel Center on Lincoln Ave. in the Village of Pittsford. The club usually meets in Room 18, but visitors should confirm at the front desk. New members are always welcomed. Annual plant sale on the third Saturday in May, parking lot behind the library.

Rochester Dahlia Society meets the second Saturday of the month (except August and September) at 12:30 p.m., Trinity Reformed Church, 909 Landing Rd. North, Rochester. Visitors welcome. See website for up-to-date information concerning meetings and shows. Tuber swap for members on April 13. 585-865-2291, Facebook,

Rochester Herb Society meets the first Tuesday of each month (excluding January, February, and July) at noon, Pittsford Community Center, 35 Lincoln Ave., Pittsford, NY. Summer garden tours and day trips. New members welcome.

Rochester Permaculture Center meets monthly to discuss topics such as edible landscapes, gardening, farming, renewable energy, green building, rainwater harvesting, composting, local food, forest gardening, herbalism, green living, etc. Meeting location and details: rochesterpermaculture.

Seabreeze Bloomers Garden Club meets the fourth Wednesday of the month (except January) at 7 p.m., location varies depending on activity. Meetings may include a speaker, project, or visit to local gardenrelated site. Monthly newsletter. New members welcome. Meetings are currently canceled, contact Bonnie Arnold with any questions. Bonnie Arnold, 585-230-5356,

Stafford Garden Club meets the third Wednesday of the month (except December and January) at 7 p.m., Stafford Town Hall, 8903 Morganville Rd. (Route 237), Stafford. Plant auction in May. All are welcome. 585-343-4494.

Urban Agriculture Working Group (UAWG) meets via Zoom on the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. UAWG is a collection of gardeners, community gardens, and individuals who garden/farm in the city or support such activities. UAWG offers a Spring Conference each year and sponsors the Urban Gardens ROC garden crawl in the fall. In addition, the group advocates for City policies that make urban gardening more accessible for people who want to grow fresh vegetables for themselves or their neighbors. If you are interested in getting on the email list, contact Mallory Hohl, mdh286@ You do not have to live in the city to participate.

Victor Garden Club meets the second Wednesday of the month (except January and February) at 6 p.m. New members welcome. Meeting and location details:, victorgardenclub. org.

Williamson Garden Club. On-going community projects and free monthly lectures to educate the community about gardening. Open to all. 315-524-4204,,


BGC: Broccolo Garden Center, 2755 Penfield Road, Fairport 14450. 585-424-4476;

CCE/MON: Cornell Cooperative Extension, Monroe County, 2449 St. Paul Blvd., Rochester, NY 14617. 585-753-2550; monroe.cce.cornell. edu.

CCE/ONT: Cornell Cooperative Extension, Ontario County, 480 North Main St., Canandaigua, NY 14424. 585/394-3977 x427;;

GCVM: Genesee Country Village & Museum, 1410 Flint Hill Rd., Mumford, NY 14511. 585/5386822;


F- Indicates activities especially appropriate for children and families.

S- Indicates plant sales/swaps.

T- Indicates garden tours.

O- Online event.

O May 2: Garden Talk: Hardscape in the Garden, noon, with master gardener Roberta T. Learn about hardscape and how to easily add stone elements to your landscape. You can attend via zoom or in person, but registration is required. 420 East Main St., Batavia, NY. For more information go to CCE/ONT

May 4: Composting (The Scoop on “Poop”) 10–11:30 a.m. Attendees will learn about the ins and outs of composting to feed the garden. Compositing is not only good for the environment, but good for organic veggie, fruit, and flower gardens. Includes instructions plus a section of fence you can use to make your own compost bin. BGC

S May 4-5: Rochester Dahlia Society Sale, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Elmgrove Auto, Gates.

T May 5, 12: Tours of the historic Durand Eastman Park Arboretum. 2–4 p.m., The tour routes will traverse moderate hills and wooded trails, so please dress accordingly. There is no charge, but donations to support the Extension’s Master Gardener Program will be accepted. Meet at the kiosk on Zoo Rd. (off Lakeshore) next to the park labor center. For information call or email: 585-261-1665 or bob.bea@ Monroe County Parks in conjunction with CCE/MON

S May 10–19: CCE Monroe County Master Gardener Volunteers Tent Sale at the Highland Park Lilac Festival 10:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Located in the vicinity of the Lilac Adventure Zone children’s playground, 249 Highland Avenue, Rochester. Featuring a variety of lilacs and specialty item teacups for sale. Plus, an opportunity to “Ask a Master Gardener.”

S May 11: Genesee Land Trust Annual Native Plant Sale, 8 a.m.–noon, Brighton Town Hall, 2300 Elmwood Ave., Rochester, NY 14618 GLT



F- Indicates activities especially appropriate for children and families.

S- Indicates plant sales/swaps.

T- Indicates garden tours.

O- Online event.

S May 18: Cornell Cooperative Extension, Onondaga County Annual Plant Sale, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. 303 Kasson Rd, Camillus, NY 13031. Perennials, herbs, ferns, and native plants will be available; all plants grown locally. Prices start at $3(come early for the best selection). Cash or personal checks only.


S May 21: Container Planting with Southern Hills Garden Club, 6:00 p.m. This meeting will take place at Plumpton Farms, 3990 Coye Road, Jamesville, NY 13084. Bring your own container, soil will be provided. Plants will be available for sale.

T June 14–15: Skaneateles Garden Club Presents Summer’s Splendor Garden Tour Tour 5 fabulous gardens in Skaneateles, NY. Luncheon (June 14), with musicians and floral designs. Purchase presale tickets for $40 or $45 the day of. Visit for more information.

T June 18: Garden tour with Jackie Roche. 6:00 p.m. Southern Hills Garden Club will meet at Lorenzo Cottage, 17 Rippleton Rd., Cazenovia, NY 13035 for a garden tour.


August 21–September 1: New York State Flower Show: “Together We Garden.” Gardeners interested in participating should call 315-430-8846 or 315-727-1030 or visit how-to-enter.

Get your club or event listed here for free! Send your submissions to Deadline for calendar listings for the next issue (May-June 2024) is April 12, 2024.

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Seasonal stakeout 26 | MAY-JUNE 2024

Blank canvas

Nan Miller’s garden is a botanic art gallery

Art dealer Nan Miller has been in the art industry for almost fifty years. She owned and operated the Nan Miller Gallery in Pittsford until 2017, and her work has taken her to art fairs around the world. She championed the careers of some famous artists and has been involved in organizing art shows and fundraisers for many worthy causes. In recent years, Miller has brought her love of beauty to her yard.

“My garden, to me, is just a blank canvas,” she says. She brings a true appreciation of visual art to her outdoor space, considering not only color and plant

types, but texture and depth. Because of this and because the garden features sculptures and artistic installations, Miller’s garden was designated the Artful Garden in last year’s Bushnell Basin Pittsford Kiwanis Club Garden Tour.

The garden is “organized but abundant.” To create more texture, she likes to use plants with contrasting foliage, often with variegated leaves. The main garden is filled with perennials, but the border is annuals, and she likes to use dahlias as accents, which she digs up year after year. The garden is always in flux,

OPPOSITE: The drainage area where Miller created the stone effect of a dry stream bed.

ABOVE: A view of the Miller garden in high summer.

28 | MAY-JUNE 2024

Miller says—she can’t walk through a plant nursery without buying plants and loves finding spaces for new acquisitions.

One of Miller’s favorite areas of her yard is the fairy garden, which she created soon after moving into the house to the delight of her granddaughters, who were “babies when we moved in,” twelve years ago. The girls enjoy arranging the fairies and decorations, and there are small plants growing alongside them including ferns and miniature hostas. “We usually get new fairies every year,” she says, and they all enjoy shopping for these treasures. Miller has also involved the girls in trimming back daylilies and other garden tasks and enjoys passing on her knowledge of plants. She also has a large turtle sculpture created by famous artist Romero Britto, whose wife is from the Rochester area. Miller says she feels calm when she is gardening and that it is a “sanctuary” for her. “If I’m feeling sad about something, or upset about something, I can drive out to a greenhouse,” she says. Walking through greenhouses makes her feel invigorated and excited, “inevitably I come home with a plant I don’t need.”

She loves many of the garden centers in our area. Mayflowers Nursery in Canandaigua is a favorite, and Oriental Garden Supply has been a great source of ornamental plants like unusual conifers.

Carolyn Sperry is a freelance writer who is happy to live in Rochester.


TOP LEFT: Another view of the garden near the house. TOP RIGHT: Succulents in a terra-cotta saucer adds height to the garden. BOTTOM LEFT: The back garden has a turtle by Romero Britto. BOTTOM RIGHT: Nan Miller's fairy garden.
The sculpture is by local artist, Paul Knoblauch.

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MAXSEA's natural brown granules turn dark seaweed green and have the fresh, clean aroma of the sea... a pleasure to use and completely safe for the environment.

Professional growers and home gardeners alike tell us our MAXSEA plant foods are the finest available anywhere. We're very proud of that.

Find a retail dealer location near you by visiting: Interested in becoming a dealer? Contact your Sales Rep: Tom Suffoletto / Toms Greenworks 716-225-6891 /

M A XSE A Solu b l e S ea w ee d P l an t Food s MAXSEA 16-16-16 ALL PURPOSE PLANT FOOD MAXSEA 3-20-20 BLOOM PLANT FOOD MAXSEA 14-18-14 ACID PLANT FOOD G OOD F O R YO UR P L ANT S AN D KI N D T O THE EART H Full service residential landscape design. Installation management, maintenance plans + garden coaching AVANTGARDENSDESIGN.COM AVANT GARDENS LANDSCAPE DESIGN Growin For Over 100 Years g 2722 Clinton Street West Seneca, NY 14224 (716) 822-9298 Annuals, Perennials Hanging Baskets Herbs & Vegetable Plants Gardening Supplies & More! Fresh From Our Greenhouses 124 Pittsford-Palmyra Road, Macedon, NY 14502 (585) 223-1222 Hours: Mon.-Fri.: 8-7 Sat. & Sun.: 8-6 Large Selection of Pre-planted Container Gardens  Many More MEMORIAL ITEMS for Loved Ones 200 Varieties of HYDRANGEAS coming into BLOOM! Like us Follow us
Caladiums Cana Lillies Elephant Ears For Sale - Wholesale - Retail Greenhouse Grown in WNY Find us at the Rochester Public Market! Joe Simms 447 Clinton Street, Cowlesville, NY 14037 716-983-3551 eenho Good Earth “ adve ntu res i n g ardeni ng ” Open April 24 thru June 12 Monday-Saturday 10-6; Sunday 9-3 877 LaRue Road Clifton Springs 9739 Ridge Rd W, Brockport, NY 14420 (58 5) 637-2600 • info @ Shop our wonderful selection of perennials to add color to your garden for every season. CSA (Weekly produce shares) Homegrown fruits & vegetables Antique room • Gift shop • Baked goods Local honey, maple syrup, jams Pick your own apples OPENMay1 thru Dec. 24 Kirby’s Farm Market, a farming family since 1878. Heart of Franklinville 28 North Main Street, Franklinville, NY 14737 • 716-676-5167 • • cell: 716-319-7536 Producer of Concrete Statuary Concrete Garden Statuary Amanda’s Native Garden 8030 Story Rd. Dansville, N.Y. 14437 585 750-6288 of na will bring beauty to your garden birdsong landscape dсign native plant design for the home garden noreen riordan (585) 402-4061 isa certified arborist ny-1164 a nysdec certified nursery and landscape professional The King of Ponds NEW LOCATION 11390 Transit Road East Amherst, 14051 716.688.9125 WE HAVE MOVED! HARRINGTON’S 4653 North Byron Rd. Elba, NY 14058 585/757-2450 Find us on GARDEN LOVERS: SUMMER JUST STARTED Visit Harrington’s Greenhouses Check out Faceboook for current events. We have a huge selection of sun & shade annuals and perennials, shrubs and containers.

Rhubarb shrub

When my daughter was a teenager, our favorite thing was to go to the Holloway House (now permanently closed) in Bloomfield on Sundays for the mid-day all-inclusive turkey dinner. At some point during the multicourse meal, a palate cleanser would be presented—fruit shrub. Though the Holloway House stopped making bespoke shrub and started using loganberry syrup at some point, the original rhubarb shrub recipe is included in the wonderful Holloway House cookbook (along with Sally Lunn bread, orange rolls, and cream of peanut soup!).

It wasn’t quite ready when I started experimenting with this recipe, but we were lucky enough to find a few pounds of frozen, cutup rhubarb in various gardeners’ freezers. To supplement, I bought large bags of frozen strawberries—because rhubarb and strawberries belong together—and used equal amounts of each fruit.


2 Ibs. cut-up rhubarb

1 c. sugar

1 c. vinegar—white, cider, balsamic . . . even raspberry will do the trick

Wash and cut up the rhubarb. Place in a saucepan with the sugar and vinegar and cook around 20 minutes until the rhubarb totally breaks down, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and pour through a sieve to remove all the rhubarb. Pour the resulting syrup into a jar and place in the refrigerator to mellow and let the flavors combine. To serve, add 2 tablespoons of the syrup into a glass and top with lemon-lime soda or club soda. You can also use it to make alcoholic cocktails. Let your imagination go wild.

—From The Holloway House: Remembering Great Food & Good Times, by Dawn Wayne. For more information or to purchase, email

N.B.: For my taste, this is too much vinegar. I have settled on about an eighth of a cup of high-quality balsamic when using strawberries, and I think apple cider vinegar would be very tasty with straight-up rhubarb shrub.

*Hundreds of hosta and other plants for sale

Rt. 20, Sheridan, NY

Open most days 11AM–6 PM Sundays 2 PM–6 PM 716 792-7581 or 969-1688

E-Mail: Web:

Lessons from Nature & Amanda’s Garden present:

• MAY 18 • 9 am - 2

Roberts Farm Market Annuals • Perennials • Hanging Baskets Herbs • Vegetable Plants • Mulch • Stones 11170 Maple Ridge Rd., Medina NY 14103 585-798-4247 • Open Mon–Sat 9–6, Sun 10–4 1-7 pm Friday, May 17 @ Ithaca Farmers Market 30+ Local Vendors | Free Admission Eagle Bay Gardens Eagle Bay Gardens Visit
See: 8 acres of gardens
Unusual perennials
Over 2000 hosta varieties Rare
& shrubs •
Restroom & picnic tables
the garden
Annual Native Plant and Perennial sale Come shop the largest selection of native perennials in the state Check out our websites: • 170 Pine St., E. Aurora, NY 14052 SATURDAY

“Sweet“ fakes

These faux strawberries are meant to trick birds— supposedly our feathered friends will try to eat the painted rocks and when they find the fakes inedible, they will leave the fruit alone when it ripens. Whether this works or not, they will sure be a cute addition to any garden.


Rocks shaped like strawberries

White primer

Red, green, and light yellow craft paint

Paint sealer


Assorted paint brushes

Fine tipped black pen or marker


2. Paint rocks with red as shown, leaving a zig-zagged area at the top for the calyx. Let dry completely. You may need two coats.

3. Paint rocks with green as shown. Let dry completely. You may need two coats.

4. Dip toothpick into yellow paint and draw small lines to mimic seeds as shown. Let dry completely.

5. Use black marker to trace one side of each seed to create a shadow.

Come visit us at COTTAGE GARDENS and see all the color and forms of our daylilies—more than 4100 cultivars

4540 East Shelby Road Medina, New York 14103


Open the month of July closed on Mondays and the 4th of July 10am–5pm or by appointment

email: Phone 585-798-5441

Web: We welcome garden tours • Gift Certificates available

Bring on Spring with our beautiful selection of annuals, perennials, hanging

CHRISTMAS IN THE CO T T AGE ROSS 2024 Imagine walking through fields
daylilies in bloom. Seneca Greenhouse 2250 Transit Rd., near Seneca St. West Seneca, NY 14224 716/677-0681
baskets and garden decor.
Paint rocks with primer. 6. Coat painted rock with sealer. Let dry completely. Lay rocks in your strawberry patch. Cathy Monrad is the graphic designer of Upstate Gardeners' Journal.
The crafty gardener
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