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buffalo - ithaca - rochester - syracuse

Everything Winter: Winter Photo Contest Winners Winter Containers Winter Sowing


Volume Nineteen, Issue Six November-December 2013

upstate gardeners’ journal - 1140 Ridge Crest Drive - Victor, new york 14564


Tis the Season We sell fresh cut Christmas trees, one of our most renewable resources. For every tree harvested, three seedling trees are planted in its place. For the next 10 years or so they cycle your air, provide shelter for assorted creatures and control soil erosion. Our fresh trees also provide all of the great smelling greens we use to hand craft our own wreaths. We are making fresh wreaths everyday throughout the season to ensure the longevity of your holiday decorations. There are a wide range of sizes, from petite individual window wreaths, to the estate size you’ll want to hang on the barn. Our traditional door size wreaths are lush and full and can be purchased as is or custom decorated. Fresh trees are also purposed for custom, green decoration indoors; wonderful arrangements, mantel pieces, garlands, door swags and more. All of these are biodegradable and can be safely thrown in your own compost to continue the cycle. Want to do one simple thing to be green this season? Shop local and get a real tree and wreath! Bring in your copy of the Upstate Gardeners’ Journal and we will give you $5.00 off any “living material” purchase valued over $20.00 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year with a special thank you to all of our loyal customers, we are ever so grateful and will continue to do our best for you each season. —Steven & Kathy Kepler and the Staff at Sara’s

30+ year Mission!

It is our greatest desire to provide our customers with top quality, well-grown plant material at a fair and honest price. We will strive to provide an unmatched selection of old favorites and underused, hard-to-find items, along with the newest varieties on the market. We will eagerly share our horticultural knowledge gained from years of education and experience. Lastly, we offer all this in a spirit of fun and lightheartedness.

Sara’s Garden Center | 389 East Ave. | Brockport 14420 | 585-637-4745

Contents Almanac........................................................................4

Publisher/Editor: Jane F. Milliman Art Direction: Dean S. Milliman Managing EDITOR: Debbie Eckerson Graphic design: Cathy Monrad Technical Editor: Brian Eshenaur Proofreader: Sarah Koopus Western New York Sales Representative:

Maria Walczak: 716/432-8688

Ear to the Ground.......................................................5

Contributing Writers:


Marion Morse | Michelle Sutton | Trudi Davidoff Pat Curran | Christina LeBeau

Natural Selections: . Winter Containers................................................. 8-10 Seasonal Stakeout: . Winter Sowing.....................................................14-17 Calendar...............................................................20-24 Recipe:. Vegetable Curry........................................................ 24 Rooted:. You can't tell that to a kid....................................... 26 2012 Winter Photo Contest winners..................... 27

1140 Ridge Crest Drive, Victor, NY 14564 585/733-8979. e-mail: The Upstate Gardeners’ Journal is published six times a year. To subscribe, please send $15.00 to the above address. . Magazines will be delivered via U.S. mail and or email (in PDF format). We welcome letters, calls and e-mail 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 2013, Upstate Gardeners’ Journal.

Never miss another issue! Get the UGJ delivered to your door six times a year for just $15.00. It’s our area’s guide to everything gardeners want to know. To give a gifT, simply enclose a note with the gift recipient’s name and address. We’ll send a notice and start the subscription. subscribe!

NeW! Subscribe, renew or order back issues using your credit card by phone—585/538-4980—or on our Web site. We have back issues! Copies are $2.00 each, which includes 1st class postage.

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1140 Ridge Crest Drive Victor, NY 14564 585/538-4980


What to do in the garden in November and December NOVEMBER

This is your last chance to make maps of your plantings and take notes about what needs to be moved/divided/replaced next year. If you are a risktaker, or live in the milder areas, you can still plant a few hardier perennials or woodies, early in the month. Although the usual recommendation is to mulch after the soil freezes, I mulch plants right after planting to allow more root growth before the soil cools off too much. Save your leaves and consider collecting leaf bags from your neighbors! I have a special compost bin for leaves. I leave them in the bags (plastic preferred) until the leaves turn into “leaf mould”, which is my main organic soil amendment. Most leaves are wet enough and ‘dirty’ enough that they will compost right inside the bag. Any bags that are really light contain dry leaves, and these I set aside for use as mulch in the veggie garden the next season. Clean up all the old plants and debris from the vegetable garden. Although most recommendations are to dispose of this debris in the trash, I have too much to do, to do that. Instead, I put it in a longterm inactive compost pile, so I’m isolating diseases and pests that the debris may hold. It’s probably too late to plant a cover crop in the veggie garden in most areas. I try to sheet-compost there instead (flattened cardboard covered by leaves). Time to finish planting your bulbs outside! Look for sales at nurseries and garden centers, too. You can also start potting up the hardy spring-flowering bulbs you want to force (you can finish this task in December). Be sure to protect potted crocus and tulips from mice if your garage is not mouse-proof. (Are any of them mouse-proof??) Now is a good time to clean up around your perennials and shrubs. Cut down dead stalks (except for mums, Japanese painted ferns, kniphofia, and semi-woody plants like lavender, sage, Russian sage, and butterfly bush, which overwinter better with the protection of the old stalks). Pull those winter annual weeds that have sprouted! If you see little clumps of circular white objects resembling tapioca, those are snail or slug eggs. Get rid of them (not in the compost). I apply more mulch where necessary; this is 4 | september-october 2013

my best opportunity because my flower beds are full of bulb foliage by early spring. Consider using anti-desiccant sprays especially on young evergreens, or installing a burlap screen to keep the winter wind and sun from drying out the foliage. If it’s been dry, give this year’s new plantings a last drink, especially evergreens. Pick up fallen fruit and bury it in a long-term compost pile, so that disease organisms aren’t wintering over under your plants. Applying fresh mulch will help isolate disease organisms. Be sure to protect fruit tree trunks up to 4 or 5 ft. above the ground from nibbling wildlife. Protect vulnerable plants from deer, rabbit, and rodent damage­—with fencing, hardware cloth, plastic tree protectors, and/or repellents. DECEMBER

For disease prevention, I prefer to prune in late winter or early spring when woody plants are about to resume growth, but we all make an exception for holly that can be used in holiday decorating. Consider cutting off the fronds of Christmas ferns and the leaves of hybrid Lenten hellebores and using them as well. For many of us, they are battered eyesores by March anyway. It’s time to finish potting up the hardy bulbs you are forcing this winter. For a 2-page factsheet on forcing hardy bulbs, and what to do with them later, e-mail me, Pat Curran, at This is also a good time to clean up gardening tools and organize the toolshed before it gets too cold. If you just disconnected the hoses earlier in the fall, gather them up now and store them out of the sun. Houseplants near windows are mostly in semidormancy. Don’t fertilize and don’t overwater, but do look out for scale and other insect problems. Be sure not to leave them too close to window glass, where it can get a lot colder than you think. Try fluorescent lights and your African violets will probably bloom.

—Pat Curran, Tompkins County Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners Program

Ear to the Ground Rich Finzer’s article on invasive woody species in the last issue caused quite a stir. One reader questioned whether Mr. Finzer was really talking about Russian olive, Elaeagnus angustifolia, or if he meant autumn olive, E. umbellata. Below, another reader disagrees with two native plants being lumped in with invasive aliens. Keep those letters coming. We love them!


We ask… you answer? This issue, we’ve decided to turn the tables and ask you the question. Can you name this plant? The first reader to guess correctly will win a lilac from Lilac Hill Nursery. Submit answers to or by calling 585-733-8979.

Dear Ms. Milliman, I have just read the article “Invasive Species” in the SeptemberOctober 2013 issue. Clearly it was written by someone who manages his land with some environmentally unsound practices, as noted by the interjected editorial comments. One can only imagine how much compaction of the soil and carbon emissions Mr. Finzer has contributed with his pickup truck. He does have some valid points about the invasiveness of alien species and how they have filled the niches of native plants that provide habitat for wildlife. However, while he initially seems to promote biodiversity, he does not discuss replacing these alien species with competitive native plants. I am bewildered that on his eighty-acre farm, he cannot tolerate the native staghorn sumac, an attractive succession shrub or tree, that provides nourishment for many birds in the dead of winter when few other food sources are available. According to [native plants expert] William Cullina, sumacs are the larval host food of the red-banded hairstreak butterfly. I could not find any references online or in books that state that rabbits consume the fruit and are the primary dispersers of the seeds. Sumacs retain their fuzzy, red fruit throughout winter at the tips of their branches, making them accessible only to birds and climbing mammals. Rabbits mainly gnaw on the bark and nibble off young shoots, so they may actually help curb the spread of sumacs. Mr. Finzer describes the wild grape as a “bane of landowners everywhere” and I do not agree. It too, is a native that is a natural source of food for wildlife and can be controlled without the need for complete eradication. Without the hardy, robust rootstocks of Vitis riparia and other native grapes, viniculture might not be possible in North America. In my opinion, these two native species should not be lumped into the same category as Japanese honeysuckle, Russian olive, multiflora rose, and giant hogweed. It appears that Mr. Finzer has based his article largely on personal experiences and less on scientific research. I hope that in the future, your publication will improve its refereeing and the content of the information presented to the public.  Sincerely, Judy Bigelow, M.S., D.V.M., Master Gardener CCE Monroe County U P S T A TE G A R D E N ER S ’ J O U R N A L | 5

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Natural Selections

Woodies, Pots, and Winter: Why and How Story and photos by Michelle Sutton

R LEFT: Junipers are among the hardiest of the evergreens and coveted for their drought tolerance as well. RIGHT: Just as in the larger landscape, a containerized pine can be expected to shed some needles in the fall.

ecently, I visited several small artsy towns seeking to photograph woody plants that are overwintering in pots or elevated planters in front of restaurants, galleries, and yoga studios. I had the impression that many of the successes were happy accidents; someone had a boxwood or dwarf Alberta spruce, they stuck it in a pot, and the little champ survived the winter outdoors. The most striking example was a catalpa tree (Catalpa speciosa), fifteen feet tall and several inches in caliper, somehow flourishing in a tiny concrete container in a veterinarian’s parking lot. When they’re set off in some way, such as marking both sides of a passageway, potted trees and shrubs give us a sense of order and rightness. You can do this with a pot of pansies or impatiens, but the effect isn’t quite as soaring.

8 | september-october 2013

Besides marking entrances, there are other reasons to use woody plants in pots. There is the sensual pleasure of having woody plants nearby, the focal points they create, the portability, and the deer thwarting. In pots close to your house, deer-vulnerable shrubs like arborvitaes enjoy a safe(r) haven. You can also festoon potted trees near the house with holiday lights. One of my clients kept three trouble-free junipers (Juniperus chinensis ‘Hetzi Columnaris’) for holiday lights in pots on the porch for five years before transplanting them out into the landscape, where they now make a beautiful buffer between neighbors. In densely urban situations where there is often a sea of concrete, a potted tree or a planter with multiple woodies bring welcome islands of green. There are functional challenges pots can rise to. Another client had a deck beyond which was a hillside

of tangled ground cover that neither of us had the hubris to try to clear. Instead, we brought trees and shrubs into her living space on the deck. She wanted to have the feeling of a multi-layered garden (trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals), but with a clustered collection of pots. We thought the woody plants in the deck garden should return each year for a good many years to justify their expense. The trees and shrubs we picked for her had to be tough characters, because they might not get watered enough by this busy lady. So they had to be species that are tolerant of dry conditions. The woody specimens also had to be sufficiently cold hardy to overwinter in their pots outdoors. We didn’t want to have to move these heavy pots indoors every fall, nor did we want to be bothered with wrapping things up in ugly burlap. We tried out everything from hydrangeas to elderberries, with a high rate of success. Our first limiting criteria: winter hardiness. Cold Considerations

You can see your USDA Hardiness Zone at I live in Zone 6a, which means that the average extreme minimum low in the winter is -10 to -5 F. A woody plant’s stems are just as hardy in a pot as in the ground, but a plant’s root systems are significantly less cold hardy than its aboveground parts. When you plant in pots, or any planter that rises above the ground, the roots are exposed to colder ambient temps. In the earth, roots enjoy the temperature moderation provided by soil. A rough guideline is that your plant selections for pots or elevated planters need to be hardy to at least two zones colder than your USDA zone. So in my case (zone 6a), in general, I’d want to use woody plants that are hardy to at least Zone 4a for any pots that I want to overwinter outdoors. Here are some evergreen and deciduous woodies that have worked well for me in overwintered pots. They are all hardy to at least Zone 4a. It’s helpful to buy trees that have been propagated and grown in your region, by the way, because their local provenance ensures that they are adapted to your winters. Evergreen

Boxwood (like Buxus ‘Wintergreen’, which some sources cite as hardy to zone 4, others to zone 5 only), arborvitae (like Thuja occidentalis ‘Little Giant’), junipers (Juniperus spp), and spruces (Picea spp). Deciduous

Dwarf rugosa roses (Rosa rugosa) Elms (dwarf) (Ulmus spp) Baldcypress (dwarf) (like Taxodium distichum ‘Peve Minaret’) Elderberry (like Sambucus ‘Black Lace’) Ninebarks (like Physocarpus ‘Summer Wine’) Black locust (like Robinia ‘Twisty Baby’ with awe-

some contorted branches) Hydrangea paniculata (like ‘Limelight’) Lilacs (not all, but many—check the label for hardiness zone) Upright buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula ‘Fine Line’) Here are some woodies I’m looking forward to trying in overwintered pots: ‘Northlight’ dwarf dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) ‘Robusta Green’ juniper Dwarf ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba ‘Troll’) Purple beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma) (hardy to 5a) Knockout roses (zone 5) ‘Golden Spirit’ smokebush (Cotinus coggygria)

ABOVE: There must be an interesting backstory as to how this catalpa tree came to grow in this container—tree-tocontainer proportions not recommended…

You may have areas around your home that are microclimates where you can get away with using potted plants a half or whole zone less hardy—in my case, plants with hardiness only to Zone 5a or 5b. Like all U P S T A TE G A R D E N ER S ’ J O U R N A L | 9

facets of horticulture, testing winter hardiness limits can be regarded as an experiment and an adventure! Mixed Media

LEFT: While dwarf Alberta spruces have some liabilities, they are very hardy for containers. RIGHT: Boxwood for containers can be risky in terms of winter hardiness, but you might give it a go if you have a protected spot and a notably hardy variety.

Cornell Urban Horticulture Professor Nina Bassuk says we should choose soil-less potting mix over “topsoil” or field soil of any kind. (She points out that simply calling something “topsoil” is a meaningless designation, by the way—anyone can call their product that, even if it’s junk.) Soil-less media like those using peat or coir (ground coconut hulls) are highly porous and designed to allow water to drain freely out of pots, while field soil in containers perches—i.e., hangs on to water too tightly. A good mix will feel light and friable in the bag. Don’t be surprised that it’s actually a bit hydro-phobic at first: it takes a certain amount of water saturation to penetrate all that pore space. Once your trees and shrubs are potted up, water them deeply once or twice a week during the growing season. Less frequent but deeper watering is more effective than frequent shallow watering. Smaller pots will need to be watered more often than larger ones. Bassuk says that the pots should be watered well before going into the winter. For one thing, well-hydrated woody plants are less prone to desiccation by winter winds. At the beginning of winter, she recommends moving the pots as close to the house as possible and ganging them together so the sides are touching. “The

10 | september-october 2013

warmth of each pot insulates its neighbor,” she says. “You could also stack straw bales around them to further insulate them.” The best containers for overwintering are saltglazed pottery and plastic. Ceramic, lightweight foam, and terra cotta pots are the most likely to crack under the freeze-and-thaw pressure of our winters. Time to Move Out

If a tree or shrub is well cared for in its container, it may outgrow its space. This will take a long time in the case of dwarf woodies. (By the way, “dwarf” means grows very slowly, but doesn’t necessarily stay small— for plants that stay little, see the “miniatures.”) You can prune the stems of shrubs and multi-stem trees to keep top growth in check, but this is not advisable for trees with one central leader. For smaller potted plants whose roots have fully colonized the pot and clearly want to break out, you can transplant them into larger pots. More brutally, you can prune an outer rung of roots and then replant in the same pot, but this kind of root reduction is stressful on the plant. For vigorously growing woodies, I transplant into successively larger pots and then at some point make the decision to move them into the landscape. Often this is after many years of service as a containerized woody element of a mobile, elevated, and elegant pot garden.

124 Pittsford-Palmyra Road • Macedon, NY 14502 • (585) 223-1222

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For Garden Clubs and other groups. Contact Trish: (585)223-1222, x100 or


oin us for a garden fix in the dead of winter, with two fun and informative talks and an opportunity to swap seeds and houseplant cuttings with fellow enthusiasts. Beat the winter blues and get a head start on spring.

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Winning Container Gardens with Jane Milliman, President RCGC Board of Trustees and Publisher, Upstate Gardeners’ Journal 10:30-11 am: Seed and Houseplant Exchange; refreshments 11:00 am-12 noon: I’m Cuckoo for Kokedama! with Trish Gannon of Wayside Garden Center 12 noon-12:45: Questions, exchange, refreshments at Warner Castle, 5 Castle Park 9:30-10:30 am:


$15 includes both talks, the swaps, and refreshments. You are encouraged to bring seeds and houseplant cuttings to swap, but they are not required, and there will be plenty for everyone to take some home. Register online at, by calling 585-473-5130, or by mailing a check to: RCGC, 5 Castle Park, Rochester, NY, 14620. Proudly co-sponsored by Upstate Gardeners’ Journal


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Seasonal stakeout

Winter Sowing, a Gardener’s Delight

Story and photos by Trudi Davidoff

A LEFT: Use paring knife to make several drainage slits near base of container. CENTER: You can label the side to reduce confusion when sowing the seed. RIGHT: Snap on lid to hold it in place and make several slits for ventilation—one slit about every three or four inches.

bout ten winters ago, I began sowing seeds outdoors as a practical solution to the problem of lots of seeds and no place to sow them. I had become an avid seed trader, and I haunted seed trading forums and exchanged open-pollinated seed saved from my own garden for other people’s offerings. Seed traders are often generous folk and send an extra bonus packet or two along with what’s been agreed upon, and in a few months’ time I had enough accumulated to fill a popcorn tin. There were annuals and perennials, shrub seed, grasses, vines, veggies and herbs. It was wonderful, except that I live in a cottage and don’t have room for an indoor light set-up, and the cat owns the windowsills so there can be no trays of soil and sprouting seeds there to be warmed by streaming sunlight. One day I was out on my patio just about stomping my feet in frustration when I had a thought: Mother Nature sows her seeds outside in winter, and I could do the same. But I also knew that direct sowing had iffy results because the seeds could be eaten by birds, bugs and critters, wash out in a storm or dry up and fail to sprout. I could sow the seed into containers instead of direct sowing. I was a new homeowner then and like any new homeowner I didn’t have two nickels to rub together, so I could not afford new nice special sowing containers. I was going to have to rough it and

14 | september-october 2013

scrounge and make do with what I had on hand, which was lots of recyclable kitchen containers. I would make my sowing containers from milk jugs, takeout containers, soda bottles, or plastic clamshells that held salad or cookies; I could be imaginative, creative, save some bucks because I’m not buying the containers, and experience that good feeling of getting a second use out of something that was being taken to the curb for collection. Here’s how it works. Seeds are sown into vented containers that are placed outside in winter. They will experience everything that seed sown naturally, dropped from plants or blown in on the breeze, will experience. They get rain, snow, sleet, wind, hail and lots of sunshine too. But these seeds are protected from the environment. The lids shield them from dislodging downpours and the vented lids let in some rain or melting snow to keep the soil moist and just as important—they allow air that has been warmed by the sun to escape. Winter sowing containers are like mini-greenhouses or cold frames. Here we are working with seeds from temperate climates—regions with distinct different seasons— spring, summer, autumn and winter. The method does not work with plants from tropical regions that are steadily warm or hot. It’s easy to choose what to sow: Often a common plant name will include an environ-

ment or climate from the natural world—these are all good clues. Some names include brook, canyon, field, lake, meadow, mountain, plains, prairie, river, valley, etc. Some examples are: bog laurel, queen of the meadow, streambank fleabane, marsh mallow, mountain larkspur, plains coreopsis, prairie clover, and river birch. Some names might include locations from temperate climates like: alpine, American, Canadian, Chinese, polar, and Siberian. Some examples are: Arctic daisy, alpine aster, American star thistle, Chinese wisteria, German iris, Japanese maple, Oriental lily, polar willow and Russian olive. Seed packets, catalogs and websites often include plant habit and germination advice—words to look for indicating a variety could be good for winter sowing might include: Pre-chilling— freeze, refrigerate or stratify for any amount of days, will colonize, self-sows, reseeds, sow outdoors in late autumn, sow outdoors in early spring while nights are still cool, sow outdoors in early spring will frosts may still occur, hardy seeds, seedlings can withstand frost, can be direct sown early, wildflower or weed; the plant name itself could contain weed, such as butterfly weed, Joe Pye weed or jewel weed. Take a walk around your own garden and neighborhood, visit a local botanical garden and see what plants seem to be reseeding in the wilder unkempt areas. If a plant reseeds in your garden then you can try that species with winter sowing. Plants that reseed in wild areas as well as regional wildflowers are all good choices. For flats I like to choose containers that will hold at least three inches of soil in their base, as shallower containers can dry out too quickly from strong sun or breezy days. My favorite flats are foil take-out pans with clear plastic lids, whipped topping containers, two-liter soda bottles and clear or translucent gallon jugs that held milk, juice or water. I’ll mention at this time that I choose to sow all my veggie and herb seeds in containers that already held food—I know that this material is safe for food; I don’t want concerns about toxins from unsafe plastics leaching into the container soil and being taken up by the roots of the seedlings. For ornamental plants that won’t be eaten I am not so worried and will sow seed in whatever is on hand that I can make into a container. When preparing a foil base container I wash it well in hot soapy water and rinse well. I take a small paring knife and pierce the corners near the base to make some drainage slits. All containers need drainage or seeds can sit in muddy soil and rot--rotted seeds won’t sprout. I turn over the container, wipe it dry with a towel, and on the bottom I add piece of duct tape long enough to write the name of the seeds I’m sowing in that container, I use an industrial strength waterproof marker to write the name. I like a label on the bottom because under the container it can’t be bleached out by the sun. Add some soil to the container filling to about

an inch from the rim, moisten with water—I like to sow at my kitchen sink and use the sprayer to gently water the soil in the container. You want the soil to be moist but not muddy, then let any excess moisture drain away. Sprinkle the seeds over the top of the soil, spacing as best suited, and gently rub or push into the moist soil until they are just covered. For the lid, take the paring knife and add a few slits to the top of the container—about once every four or five inches. These slits will vent away heat and let in rain and fresh air. Put the lid on the container, secure it around the sides with duct or strong packing tape and place it outside in safe location where it will stay for the winter until warmer days come and the container germinates. For whipped topping tubs, use a sharp paring knife and poke three or four drainage slits into the bottom of the tub, add a label to the bottom of the tub, add soil to about an inch from the top, moisten the soil, then sow the seeds. Use the knife and poke a small hole in the center of the lid. Then take scissors and entering at that small hole cut out the center of the lid, leaving about an inch inside the rim. Place a piece of clear plastic wrap over the sown tub, snap on the lid which will tightly hold the plastic wrap in place. Take the knife and add a few slits to the plastic wrap for ventilation. With gallon jugs and soda bottles, cut around the middle of the container almost all the way through without severing top from bottom. Add drainage slits, label the bottom, fold back the top, add soil, moisten and sow with seed. To close the container fold the top back into place and secure with duct or strong packing tape. Remove and discard the cap. The spout of the bottle vents away sun-heated air and will let in moisture and fresh air. Looking through the spout of the bottle is a great way to check on soil and seedlings after they emerge. You will find it very exciting to peer in and see your first green seedlings. Though I’ve been winter sowing for many years, it still thrills me when I see the first sprouts of the season. Outside, the seeds are protected in their flats. The lids keep birds and critters out of the soil, in a heavy downpour the lids will soften the brunt of it and the seeds won’t be dislodged and washed away in a deluge.

TOP: Use a paring knife to pierce soft wall of container by base and make four drainage slits. CENTER: With scissors, cut info lid entering at knife slit. Cut a circle from the center leaving about an inch inside the brim. BOTTOM: Snap on lid and pierce plastic wrap 'window' six or seven times for ventilation. Place outside.

U P S T A TE G A R D E N ER S ’ J O U R N A L | 1 5

LEFT: Cut around the middle of the jug, but do not cut through the label which functions as a hinge. CENTER: Label base with duct tape; write name with permanent marker. RIGHT: Moisten soil, sprinkle seeds over top, add soil to just cover seed, and gently pat down and firm soil. OPPOSITE: Tape completely around container to seal and place outside after sowing.

Any seeds that have been loosened often are floated to the sides of the container and will survive to sprout near the edges. Throughout most of the winter the soil is frozen and you don’t have to worry about it drying out, and when weather warms and there is a thaw you can check for soil moisture. Remove a lid and look at the soil—dry soil looks like brownie mix just out of the box and is light in color, and moist soil looks more like prepared brownie mix about to go into the oven. When my dog was young I couldn’t place a container on the ground in the yard or she would think it was a toy, grab it, shake and destroy it. I had to keep the containers on the picnic table where she couldn’t reach them—they were safe up there. As the years went by the dog didn’t bother the flats anymore and I put them on the ground again but my son and his college friends would come home late at night and stumble over the containers as they made their way through the yard. And, if well hidden under snow, the containers could be mangled by my husband or me when we are digging out from a bad snow storm. I know my own yard best—I have to keep the containers up off the ground. If your yard is safe from dogs, big boots or snow blowers then your containers will be safe on the ground. Otherwise, get them up onto a table where they will safely pass through the season without being disturbed by dogs, critters and people. Close to the end of winter season you may begin to see the first of the seedlings. Typically, those that sprout early are hardy annuals or perennials that remain semi-evergreen in winter; cold-season veggies sprout early too. Look for alyssum, centaurea, dianthus, malva, pansies, rudbeckia and violas to be among the first flowers and cabbage family, onions, chard and spinach to be some of the earliest sprouting vegetables. Germination in any flat can be staggered as not all seedlings germinate on the same day or even the same week. My picnic table gets nearly full sun during winter and in spring; when the sweet gum above it begins to leaf out, the table gets filtered shade. The filtered shade, especially at midday when the sun is strong, helps keep direct overhead sunlight from burning new seedlings, and I don’t need to water the flats often. The more sun that shines on the flats the

16 | september-october 2013

more soil evaporation you get. When I cannot be home to mind the flats I move all of them into shade and also set up a sprinkler attached to a spigot timer and water the flats during midday, this way I don’t have to worry about them drying out in hot mid-spring sun or making arrangements to have someone reliable come by and water my seedlings. Sometimes after germination the weather turns bitter and a frost is predicted. I don’t worry about seedlings of hardy annuals and perennials but tender annuals can be nipped by a frost. I can move the seedlings to an unheated room or the trunk of my car for the time the frost is predicted, or I can drape an old comforter over the flats and remove it the next morning. I do not bring sprouted flats into a warm house—the warmth fosters fast top growth which may not be as cold hardy as the seedlings that sprouted outside in early spring weather. If you must protect your seedlings give them tough love, no coddling. Sometimes a few seedlings will falter and die, but those that survive grow on to be hardy plants. Transplanting should be done while seedlings are still small, usually less than an inch tall. I do not thin out flats but instead pry out an inch hunk of soil and seedlings, taking care not to tear roots, and plant this hunk into a prepared bed, spacing the hunks about every six inches or so. I let Ma Nature thin out the weakest seedlings on her own as the little plants grow and fill out. This hunk-o-seedlings method works great with wildflower blends that grow and flower together to create a natural border. Or sow a few packs of annual alyssum into a large flat, and then divide the seedlings into dozens of inch hunks to make an easy and inexpensive edging for your borders. After the seeds begin to sprout I increase the lid vents a bit to help get them used to more fresh air each week. Winter sown seedlings don’t grow very quickly above the soil, but they develop wonderful roots, and do grow quickly once planted in the ground. With the winter sowing method you can grow zillions of climate-ready seedlings—they are tough, have great roots and survive cold spring soil better than purchased transplants. I usually begin my winter sowing around December 21st and I continue sowing flats throughout winter, only stopping when the weather is so warm at night

I no longer need a jacket, and usually by that time I am already transplanting my earliest sprouts. I like to plant out the flats a few weeks after they sprout, getting the seedlings established with light watering and taper off as I begin to see new growth. Seedlings should be fed lightly at transplant and then increase feeding strength as they grow. Winter Solstice in usually on December 21st and it marks the shortest day of the year. Solstice sowing is a meaningful ceremony you can participate in by sowing seeds that represent remembrance, life, Mother Nature, and faith. Seeds of remembrance should be seeds of flowers that remind us of someone we knew

and loved but is now gone from our lives forever. Seeds of life should be seeds of plants that make fruit or nectar and invite birds and butterflies to our gardens. Seeds of trees should be sown to honor Mother Nature. Seeds of Faith can be seeds for plants from a zone that is beyond our own in warmth. It will help us to remember that Ma Nature is capable of miracles. I live in zone seven and will “Solstice Sow” seeds of plants that are hardy to zone eight. I encourage you to give winter sowing a try. Cautious beginners should try wildflowers and cold-hardy veggies their first season—these are usually easy and successful choices. The method is adaptable. Make containers with what you have on hand, use your favorite sowing medium, sow seeds of plants that thrive in your own region—the cost of producing lots and lots of seedlings from winter sowing is a fraction of buying any plant for your garden.

Trudi Davidoff is the president of WinterSown Educational: Visit the site for FAQs, seed lists, pictures, and more, and check and Facebook for winter sowing groups.

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Calendar BUFFALO REGULAR CLUB MEETINGS 8th District Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, Inc. Maryann Jumper, District Director. November 16: Luncheon, Fashion Show & Floral Show Club Competition, 11 am, $25 advance only; 716/662-6997; 716/983-3764. 716/435-3412;; African Violet and Gesneriad Society of WNY meets the third Tuesday of each month, September June, at 7:30 pm, LVAC Building, 40 Embry Place, Lancaster.; gesneriadsociety. org/chapters/wny. Alden Garden Club meets the second Wednesday of the month (except July & August) at 7 pm, Alden Community Center, West Main Street, Alden. New members and guests welcome. Plant sale each May. 716/937-7924. Amherst Garden Club meets the fourth Wednesday of the month (except December, March, July & August) at 10:00 am, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Main Street, Williamsville. New members and guests welcome. 716/836-5397. Buffalo Area Daylily Society. East Aurora Senior Center, 101 King Street, East Aurora. 716/ 649-8186; Garden Club of the Tonawandas meets the third Thursday of the month at 7 pm, Tonawanda City Hall, Community Room. Garden Friends of Clarence meets the second Wednesday of the month at 7 pm, September – June, Town Park Clubhouse, 10405 Main Street, Clarence. Hamburg Garden Club meets the second Wednesday of every month at noon, summer garden tours, Hamburg Community Center, 107 Prospect Avenue, Hamburg. 716/648-0275; 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 Avenue, Buffalo. Orchard Park Garden Club meets the first Thursday of the month at 12 pm, Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, 4369 South Buffalo Street, Orchard Park. November 7: David Swarts, President & CEO, Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc. President: Beverly Walsh, 716/662-7279. Silver Creek-Hanover Garden Club meets the second Saturday of the month at 2 pm, First Baptist Church, 32 Main Street, Silver Creek. Sue Duecker, 716/9347608; South Town Gardeners meets the second Friday of the month (except January) at 10:30 am, Charles E. Burchfield Nature & Art Center, 2001 Union Road, West Seneca. New members welcome. Western New York Carnivorous Plant Club meets the first Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm, Menne Nursery, 3100 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst.; Western New York Herb Study Group meets the second Wednesday of the month at 7 pm, Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo. Western New York Honey Producers, Inc. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County, 21 South Grove Street, East Aurora. Western New York Hosta Society. East Aurora Senior Center, corner of Oakwood & King Streets. November 17: Olga Petryszyn, hosta breeder and 20 | september-october 2013

hybridizer, 1:30 pm. 716/941-6167; h8staman@aol. com; Western New York Hosta Society Breakfast Meetings, a friendly get-together, first Saturday of the month at 10 am, Gardenview Restaurant, Union Road, West Seneca.

November 16: Anticipate the Holidays, 10 am – 4 pm. Door prizes, drawings, refreshments, preview holiday gift introductions. LOCK

Western New York Iris Society meets the first Sunday of the month in members’ homes and gardens. Information about growing all types of irises and complementary perennials. Shows. Sale. Guests welcome. Pat Kluczynski: 716/633-9503; patrizia@

November 16: Nature’s Gathering, 5 – 8 pm. Enjoy regional wines, cheese and hors d’oeuvres. Nature-themed artwork will be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit Friends of Reinstein Nature Preserve. Knights of Columbus Hall, 2735 Union Road, Cheektowaga. Registration required. Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew. 716/683-5959;

Western New York Rose Society meets the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm, St. Stephens-Bethlehem United Church of Christ, 750 Wehrle Drive, Williamsville.

November 16 – 17: Holiday Open House, 10 am – 4 pm. Holiday displays, sales, refreshments. Johnson’s Nursery, 11753 East Main Street, East Aurora. 716/652-8969. Facebook: Llenroclandscaping.

Wilson Garden Club generally meets the second Thursday of each month at 7 pm, Community Room, Wilson Free Library, 265 Young Street, Wilson. Meetings open to all, community floral planting, spring plant sale, local garden tours. 716/751-6334;

November 18 – December 9: Adult Watercolor Classes, four Mondays, 8:45 – 10:15 am. Open to all ability levels. Series: $58 members; $64 nonmembers. Single session: $16 members; $17 nonmembers. Registration required. BECBG

Youngstown Garden Club meets the second Wednesday of every month at 7 pm, First Presbyterian Church, 100 Church Street, Youngstown.

Frequent hosts BECBG: Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14218. 716/827-1584; BMAC: Beaver Meadow Audubon Center, 1610 Welch Road, North Java, NY 14113. 585/4573228; 800/377-1520; COOP: Chicken Coop Originals, 13245 Clinton Street, Alden. 716/937-7837; LOCK: Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark Street, Hamburg, NY 14075, 716/649-4684; MENNE: Menne Nursery, 3100 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst, NY 14228. 716/693-4444; SEN: Seneca Greenhouses, 2250 Transit Road, West Seneca, NY 14224. 716/677-0681.

CLASSES / EVENTS • Indicates activities especially appropriate for children and families. Ongoing through November 27: East Aurora Farmers’ Market, Wednesday & Saturday, 7 am – 1 pm. Local vendor-produced/grown products. Aurora Village (Tops) Plaza, Grey Street, East Aurora. • November 9 – 30: Art Classes for Kids, three Saturdays, 9 – 10:30 am. Multi-media; a work of art will be completed at each session. Ages 5-15. Series: $30. Single session: $11. Registration required. BECBG November 14 – 17: Christmas Open House, 10 am – 5 pm. Antiques, Christmas ideas and hand-painted originals. Refreshments. COOP November 16: New Volunteer Open House, 10 – 11:30 am. Help Beaver Meadow in their quest to promote appreciation and enjoyment of the natural world through education and stewardship. Registration required. BMAC

November 21 – 24: Christmas Open House, 10 am – 5 pm. See description under November 14-17. COOP November 23: Bird-friendly & Seasonal Wreath, 10:30 am. Sally Cunningham and Marge Vogel will guide participants in making their own evergreen wreath. Includes bow, cones, corn, seed treats and other natural materials. $35. Registration required. LOCK November 24: Thanksgiving Centerpiece Workshop, 1:30 pm. Learn about floral design as you create your holiday centerpiece using dried, natural and fresh materials. $45. Registration required. LOCK November 25: Fresh Thanksgiving Arrangement, 6:15 pm. Create your own fresh floral arrangement. $30 members; $35 non-members. Registration required. BECBG • November 29: Junior Botanist Day Camp, 9 am – 3 pm. Kids will spend the day exploring the Gardens learning about plants, playing games and other fun activities. Each participant will take home a plant of their own. Ages 5-12. $18 members; $20 nonmembers. Registration required. BECBG November 29 – January 5: Poinsettia Show, 10 am – 5 pm. $9 adults; $8 seniors & students; $5 kids 3-12; free members & kids under 3. BECBG November 29 – January 5: Garden Railway Exhibit, 10 am – 5 pm. Presented by Western New York Garden Railway Society. Included with admission. BECBG November 30: Creative Composting, 10:30 am. Learn about red wriggler worms and how to use them to start composting indoors. Includes worm kit. $2 members; $4 non-members. Registration required. Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew. 716/683-5959; • November 30 – December 1: Visit with Santa, 1 – 4 pm. Children are welcome to bring their list for Santa. Parents, bring your camera. Donations to Alzheimers Association gratefully accepted but not required. Free. MENNE December 3: Basic Evergreen Wreath Workshop, 6:30 pm. Make your own outdoor wreath using fresh greens. Includes bow. $28. Registration required. LOCK December 7: Holiday in the Park. Sale of holiday designs made by members of Orchard Park Garden Club. Held in conjunction with other community activities. Proceeds go to beautify Orchard Park. December 7: Decorated Boxwood Tree, 9 – 11 am. Design your own unique boxwood tree. $25 members; $30 non-members. Registration required. BECBG

December 7: Breakfast with Santa, 9 am – 12 pm. Registration required. BMAC


December 7: Winterberry Wreath, 10:30 am. Make a fresh wreath with winterberries, cones, a bird and bow. $40. Registration required. LOCK


December 7: Fresh Conifer Wreath, 12 – 2 pm. Create a fresh and fragrant 14” conifer wreath. $25 members; $30 non-members. Registration required. BECBG December 7: Christmas Pine Table Arrangement Workshop, 2 pm. $35. Registration required. COOP • December 7 – 8: Visit with Santa, 1 – 4 pm. See description under November 30-December 1. MENNE • December 7 – 8: Kids’ Gingerbread House, Saturday & Sunday, 1 pm. Supplies included. $40. Registration required. SEN • December 7 – 21: Art Classes for Kids, three Saturdays, 9 – 10:30 am. See description under November 9. Series: $30. Single session: $11. Registration required. BECBG December 8: Decorated Boxwood Tree Workshop, 1:30 pm. Make a classic 16-inch tabletop tree using fresh boxwood and decorate it with your choice of natural or faux ornaments. $45. Registration required. LOCK December 9: Christmas Wreath Decorating, 6:30 pm. Includes fresh wreath. $50. Registration required. SEN

Adirondack Chapter, North American Rock Garden Society (ACNARGS). Meets in the Whetzel Room, Room 404, Plant Science Building, Cornell University, Ithaca. Free and open to all. acnargs.; Windsor NY Garden Group meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 10 am, members’ homes or Windsor Community House, 107 Main Street, Windsor. windsorgardengroup.suerambo. com.

Frequent hosts

African Violet Society of Rochester meets the first Wednesday of each month, September – May, at 7 pm, St. John’s Home, 150 Highland Avenue, Rochester. All are welcome. Bob or Linda Springer: 585/413-0606;

CLASSES / EVENTS • Indicates activities especially appropriate for children and families.

November 16: Winter Garden Tour, 1 – 2 pm. Enjoy a guided walk through the Mullestein Family Winter Garden. Meet: Nevin Welcome Center. Free. CP

• December 14 – 15: Kids’ Gingerbread House, Saturday & Sunday, 1 pm. Supplies included. $40. Registration required. SEN December 15: Floral Vase Arrangement, 1:30 pm. Create a unique seasonal vase filled with greens, twigs, flowers and designer glitz. $45. Registration required. LOCK December 18: Christmas Centerpiece Workshop, 6:30 pm. Design a holiday table centerpiece using evergreen and seasonal plant materials. $45. Registration required. LOCK December 21: Walk at Knox Farm State Park – Tree Tales, 9 am. Learn how to read bare trees’ bark, buds, twigs and scars. Registration required. BMAC December 21: Fresh Holiday Arrangement, 9:30 am. Design your own arrangement for your holiday table. $30 members; $35 non-members. Registration required. BECBG December 26: Old Growth Forest Hike, 10 am – 12 pm. Enjoy a guided hike through some of the old woods at the preserve. Registration required. BMAC December 29: Dollar Day, 10 am – 5 pm. $1 admission. Free for members & kids under 3. BECBG


CCE/TOM: Cornell Cooperative Extension, Tompkins County, 615 Willow Ave., Ithaca, NY 14850. 607/272-2292;;

December 11: Williamsburg-style Wreath, 6:30 pm. Create a classic American wreath using fresh and faux fruit and natural material, suitable for indoor or outdoor use. $50. Registration required. LOCK

• December 14 – 15: Visit with Santa, 1 – 4 pm. See description under November 30-December 1. MENNE

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

November 9: Vote for Worms, 10 am – 2 pm. Learn about vermicomposting, an indoor composting system. Participants go home with a working worm bin. $10 per household. Registration required. CCE/ TOM

December 14: British-style Kissing Ball, 10:30 am. Make a doorway or porch ornament using greens, cones, bows and baubles. $38. Registration required. LOCK

December 21: Plants of the Winter Solstice, 2 – 5 pm. Discover the cultural and natural history of plants such as oak, holly, ivy, mistletoe and evergreens. Tour the Mullestein Winter Garden, make a simple evergreen wreath to take home, participate in traditional Wassailing and a simple solstice ceremony at the outdoor fire pit. Refreshments and materials provided. $30 members and Cornell students; $36 non-members. Registration required. CP

CP: Cornell Plantations, 1 Plantations Road, Ithaca, NY 14850. Inquire ahead for meeting places. 607/255-2400;

December 10: Basket of Beauty, 6:30 pm. Design a welcoming arrangement of greens, twigs, cones and berries, bow included. $45. Registration required. LOCK

December 13: Christmas Arrangement Workshop, 10 am or 2 pm. Table-top arrangement. $35. Registration required. COOP

$4 children under 12. Registration required. Bakers’ Acres, 1104 Auburn Road (Route 34), Groton. 607/533-4653;

November 24: Seed Swap, 10 am – 3 pm. Bring homesaved seeds or surplus purchased seeds to share with other gardeners, learn to clean and store seeds. Free if you bring seeds to share, otherwise $5. CCE/TOM December 6: Evergreen Wreath-Making Workshop, 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Fresh-cut greens, ring, wires and ribbons supplied. Bring any decorating materials desired to personalize your wreath. Oriented towards those who have participated before; beginners should sign up for the December 7 class. $18. Registration required. CCE/TOM December 7: Evergreen Wreath-Making Workshop, 10 am – 12 pm. Session geared for beginners, includes how-to instructions. See description under December 6. $18. Registration required. CCE/TOM • December 7: The Joy of Ginger, 10 am – 12 pm. Kids will learn about the ginger plant, grate some ginger root to smell, snack on candied ginger slices, ginger cookies and ginger-ale, and decorate a ginger-bread shape to take home. Grown-ups will take home ginger recipes and information about the plant and its uses. Ages 5 and older with an accompanying adult. $20 members; $24 non-members. Registration required. CP December 7: Designing Habitat on Your Property, 2 – 4 pm. This workshop will cover site analysis, site design and creating a master plan combined with information on using native plants and lessons from nature to create a native habitat. $20 members & Cornell students; $24 non-members. Registration required. CP • December 8: Holiday Workshop, 1 – 3 pm. Make your own holiday decoration: evergreen wreath, boxwood tree, evergreen center piece, evergreen/ boxwood kissing ball or holiday fairy garden centerpiece. Materials for each project extra. $8 adults;

Big Springs Garden Club of Caledonia-Mumford meets the second Monday evening of the following months in the Caledonia-Mumford area: September – November, January – May. New members and guests welcome. 585/314-6292; Bonsai Society of Upstate New York meets the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Brighton Town Park Lodge, Buckland Park, 1341 Westfall Road, Rochester. 585/334-2595; bonsaisocietyofupstateny. org. Fairport Garden Club meets the third Thursday evening of each month (except August and January). Accepting new members.; Garden Club of Brockport meets the second Wednesday of every month at 7 pm, Clarkson Schoolhouse, Ridge Road, east of Route 19. Speakers, hands-on sessions. Kathy Dixon: 585/4310509; Garden Path of Penfield meets the third Wednesday of the month from September through May at 7 pm, Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road, Penfield. Members enjoy all aspects of gardening; new members welcome. gardenpathofpenfield@ Genesee Region Orchid Society (GROS) meets every month from September through May at the Jewish Community Center, 1200 Edgewood Avenue, Rochester, on the first Monday following the first Sunday of each month (dates sometimes vary due to holidays, etc.). The GROS is an Affiliate of The American Orchid Society (AOS) and of The Orchid Digest Corporation. Genesee Valley Hosta Society meets the second Thursday of the month, April – October, at Monroe County’s Cornell Cooperative Extension, 249 Highland Avenue, Rochester. 585/538-2280; Genesee Valley Pond & Koi Club meets the first Friday of the month at 6:30 pm, Cornell Cooperative Extension, 249 Highland Avenue, Rochester, except in summer when it tours local ponds. Gesneriad Society meets the first Wednesday of each month, September – May, at 6:30 pm, St. John’s Home, 150 Highland Avenue, Rochester. All are welcome. Bob or Linda Springer: 585/413-0606; U P S T A TE G A R D E N ER S ’ J O U R N A L | 2 1

Calendar ROCHESTER continued

the month at 7 pm, Holley Presbyterian Church. 585/638-6973.

Greater Rochester Iris Society meets Sundays at 2 pm, dates vary, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County, 249 Highland Avenue, Rochester. Public welcome. 585/599-3502; eschnell@rochester. Greater Rochester Perennial Society (GRPS) meets the first Thursday of each month at 7 pm, Monroe County Cornell Cooperative Extension, 249 Highland Avenue, Rochester, except in summer when it tours members’ gardens. November 7: Get a Big Bang from Hardy Bulbs with Colleen Plimpton. December 5: Dahlias in the Garden with Gerald Kloc. January 3: Perennials - The Latest & Greatest with KC Harvick-Fahy & Phil Perry. 585/889-4864;; Greater Rochester Rose Society meets the first Tuesday of the month, April through November, at Cornell Cooperative Extension, 249 Highland Avenue, Rochester. July & August meetings in members’ gardens, December meeting at a member’s home. 585/377-0892; 585/621-1115; info@; Henrietta Garden Club meets the third Wednesday of the month (except July & August) at 6:45 pm, Riparian Lecture Hall at Rivers Run, 50 Fairwood Drive, Rochester. November 20: Propagation Using Softwood Cuttings with John Colagrosso. January 15: Herbs with Vicki Hakes, Wayside Garden Center. Open to all.; Holley Garden Club meets the second Thursday of

Frequent hosts

Ikebana International Rochester Chapter 53 meets the third Thursday of each month (except December and February) at 10 am, First Baptist Church, Hubbell Hall, 175 Allens Creek Road, Rochester. 585/872-0678; 585/586-0794. Kendall Garden Club meets the first Wednesday of the month at 7 pm, Kendall Town Hall. 585/659-8289;

Rochester Dahlia Society meets the second Saturday of most months at 1 pm, Trinity Reformed Church, 909 Landing Road North, Rochester, except in the summer, when it tours members’ gardens. Visitors welcome. 585/249-0624; 585/865-2291; gwebster@;

Valentown Garden Club meets the third Tuesday of each month; time alternates between noon and 7 pm. Victor. Kathleen Houser, president: 585/3016107.

RCGC: Rochester Civic Garden Center, 5 Castle Park, Rochester, NY 14620. 585/473-5130; RPM: Rochester Public Market, 280 North Union Street, Rochester, NY. 585/428-6907;;

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

Rochester Herb Society meets the first Tuesday of each month (excluding January & February) at 12 pm, Rochester Civic Garden Center, 5 Castle Park, Rochester. June-August garden tours. 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: meetup. com/rochesterpermaculture.

BRI: Bristol’s Garden Center, 7454 Victor Pittsford Road, Victor, NY. 585/924-2274; customerservice@; & Facebook.

CLASSES / EVENTS • Indicates activities especially appropriate for children and families. November 9 – 10: Holiday Sale, 9 am – 5 pm. Fully decorated and lit trees, tabletop to 6.5’, wreaths, swags, centerpieces and more. Also handmade purses, notecards, Rochester photography, etc. Free. RCGC November 12: Plant an Indoor Winter Herb Garden, 6:30 – 8 pm. Sue Lang and Sheryl Roets will guide participants in creating an indoor herb garden, followed by a demonstration of creative ways to use herbs in cooking presented by Dick Minoia. Materials included. $65. Registration required. RCGC November 16: Advanced Certificate – Sympathy Arrangements, 9:30 am – 3 pm. Instructor Alana Miller will focus on free-standing easel sprays, large one-sided arrangements for visitation and altar, religious and theme wreaths. Students will take home

two chicks and a rooster 732 AURORA STREET, LANCASTER, NY (716) 864-8209 • Call for hours “JUST WHAT YOU WANT, NOT JUST WHAT OTHERS HAVE”


Nov. 29–Dec. 1 & Dec. 6-8

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all arrangements created during class. Prerequisite: Intermediate Professional Floral Design or floral shop experience. $150 members; $225 non-members. Registration required. RCGC November 16: Holiday House Tour. Presented by 7th District Federated Garden Clubs. 7thdistrictfgcnys. org. November 20: Create an Autumn Centerpiece, 6:30 – 8 pm. Use fresh greens and flowers to create an autumn centerpiece that will last through the holiday season and into January. Materials included. $50. Registration required. RCGC November 20: Landscaping with a Purpose – Plantings that Earn Their Keep, 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Landscape designer Marcella Klein will share ideas on how to use plants to make your entrance more welcoming, enhance home security, reduce heating and cooling bills, improve privacy and livability of outdoor spaces and make lawn maintenance easier. $22 members; $32 non-members. Registration required. RCGC November 21: Annual Meeting, 5:30 – 8 pm. One Great Idea . . . One Hundred Years Forward. Program, exhibits, silent auction, local foods supper. Free. Reservation required by November 15. Cornell Cooperative Extension Auditorium, 249 Highland Avenue, Rochester. 585/461-1000; November 23: Thanksgiving Centerpiece, 11 am. Made in oasis, these centerpieces will last through the holidays. $20. Registration required. BRI December 1: Holidays at the Market, 9 am – 3 pm. Holiday trees, wreaths, fresh garlands, art, crafts, decorations, holiday foods, gift items and stocking

stuffers. Visit Santa; horse-drawn sleigh rides. RPM December 3: Outdoor Holiday Welcome Arrangement, 6:30 – 8 pm. Sue Lang and Sheryl Roets will guide participants in designing a custom arrangement for a front entrance using fresh greens and decorative materials in a holiday pot. Materials included. $65. Registration required. RCGC December 4: Make an Everlasting Wreath, 6:30 – 8 pm. Sue Lang and Sheryl Roets will guide participants in creating a large everlasting wreath using a base of salal (lemon leaf) and baby’s breath (depending on availability). Choose from a selection of dried, fresh and silk floral materials to embellish your wreath. Materials included. $65. Registration required. RCGC December 4: Holiday Arrangement Workshop, 7 – 9 pm. Floral designer Charles Lytle will guide participants as they create a long-lasting arrangement using mixed greens, dried and fresh flowers, pinecones, candles and holiday ribbon. $35 members; $45 non-members. Registration required. RCGC December 5: Make a Knock-out Holiday Wreath that Lasts All Winter, 6 – 8 pm. Horticulturist Nellie Gardner will walk participants through the process using an assortment of mixed greens embellished with natural materials including herbs, chili peppers, rose hips, pods, dried flowers and cones. $38 members; $48 non-members. Registration required. RCGC December 7: Holiday Centerpiece, 11 am. Create your own display using fresh greens, winter berries, twigs, etc. Made in oasis, these centerpieces will last through the holidays. $20. Registration required. BRI

Chicken Coop Originals Three country gift, garden & herb shops featuring   hand-painted primitives, country artwork,   herbal wreaths & holiday arrangements,   holiday gifts, oldtiques & collectibles

Fall and Christmas arrangements  & watercolor workshops Christmas Open House Nov 14-17, 21-24—10-5 13245 Clinton St., Rte. 354 Alden, NY 14004

We are open   Thursday-Saturday, 11-5  

December 7: Holiday Wreath, 1 pm. Choose from a wide range of materials to create a one-of-a-kind door wreath. $25. Registration required. BRI December 7 – 8: Christmas Open House. Poinsettias, holiday plants, fresh greens, fresh cut trees, holiday decor, ornaments, candles. Visit with Santa. Refreshments. BRI December 8: Holidays at the Market, 9 am – 3 pm. See description under December 1. RPM December 10: Boxwood Topiary, 6:30 – 8 pm. Sue Lang and Sheryl Roets will share how to make a topiary using fresh boxwood greens and discuss how to dry them so they will last a number of years. Add your choice of fresh, dried and silk floral material. Materials included. $65. Registration required. RCGC December 11: Create a Fairy Garden, 6:30 – 8 pm. Sue Lang and Sheryl Roets will guide participants in creating and planting an indoor garden for any age. Materials included. $65. Registration required. RCGC December 14: Holiday Centerpiece, 11 am. See description under December 7. $20. Registration required. BRI December 14: Holiday Wreath, 1 pm. See description under December 7. $25. Registration required. BRI December 14: Bedecked for the Holidays, 3 – 5 pm. See avid gardeners Carolyn and Bob McKee’s home in Avon decorated for the holidays. There are several trees and every room in the lower floors is decorated with its own theme. Enjoy refreshments and holiday ambiance. $12. Registration required. RCGC

Bee in the Garden • GIFT SHOP •

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Unusual Ornamentals

Trees, Shrubs, Grasses, Perennials

Holmes Hollow Farm 2334 Turk Hill Rd, Victor, NY 14564 • (585) 223-0959 •

Cast Iron Cookware Woodstock Chimes Ibis & Orchid Floral Vases & Candles Decorative Flags for the Holidays Mailbox Covers & Yard DeSign Grilling Accessories, Cookbooks & Sauces....

Genesis EP-330 assorted Models now on Display

Located at

MILEAGE MASTER CENTER “The Grillmaster’s Mecca”

2488 Browncroft Blvd. 586-1870 We have a great selection of wood chips & charcoal year ‘round Directions: from Turk Hill turn on Whisperwood, go 100 yds, turn R on gravel rd, L past greenhouse and down hill.

HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 9:00am-5:00pm; Sat. 9:00am-4:00pm Extended hours for the Holiday Season

Calendar ROCHESTER continued December 14 – 15: Christmas Open House. See description under December 7-8. BRI December 15: Holidays at the Market, 9 am – 3 pm. See description under December 1. RPM

SYRACUSE REGULAR CLUB MEETINGS: African Violet Society of Syracuse meets the second Thursday of the month, September – May, Pitcher Hill Community Church, 605 Bailey Road, North Syracuse. 315/492-2562;; Central New York Orchid Society meets the first Sunday of the month, September – May, St. Augustine’s Church, 7333 O’Brien Road, Baldwinsville. Dates may vary due to holidays. 315/633-2437; Gardeners of Syracuse meets the third Thursday of each month at 7:30 pm, Reformed Church of Syracuse, 1228 Teall Avenue, Syracuse. Enter from Melrose Avenue. 315/464-0051. Gardeners in Thyme (a women’s herb club) meets the second Thursday of the month at 7 pm, Beaver Lake Nature Center, Baldwinsville. 315/635-6481; Habitat Gardening Club of CNY (HGCNY) meets the last Sunday of most months at 2 pm, Liverpool Public Library. HGCNY is a chapter of Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes; Meetings are free and open to the public. 315/4875742;

Koi and Water Garden Society of Central New York usually meets the third Monday of each month at 7 pm. See web site for meeting locations. 315/4583199;

Classses / Events

Syracuse Rose Society meets the second Thursday of every month (except December and February) at 7 pm. Public welcome. Reformed Church of Syracuse, 1228 Teall Avenue, Syracuse. Enter from Melrose Avenue. Club members maintain the E. M. Mills Memorial Rose Garden, Thornden Park, Syracuse.;

November 17: Discover the Pine Bush, 1 – 2:30 pm. Discover the natural history, seasonal surprises and transformations of this inland pine barrens. One-mile guided hike over rolling sand dunes. $3 individual; $5 family; children under 5 years free. Registration required. PINE

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

Classses / Events November 24: Update on the Emerald Ash Borer in CNY, 2 pm. Jessie Lyons, natural resource educator from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County, will discuss the current status of EAB in the region, the challenges brought by this beetle and possible solutions to reduce its damaging effects. Sponsored by Habitat Gardening in Central New York. Free. Liverpool Library, 310 Tulip Street, Liverpool.;

• Indicates activities especially appropriate for children and families.

November 21: Deer Management in New York Addressing Ecological Impacts of Deer, 7 – 8 pm. Jeremy Hurst, Big Game Biologist at New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, will discuss efforts of the NYSDEC deer management program to monitor and mitigate negative ecological impacts of deer populations. Free. Registration required. PINE • November 29: Nature’s Gifts, 12:30 – 2:30 pm. An afternoon of craft making will include twig coasters, pine cone picture frames and leaf prints. All ages. $3 individual; $5 family; children under 5 years free. Registration required. PINE

& BEYOND Frequent host PINE: Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, the best remaining example in the world of an inland pine barrens. 195 New Karner Road, Albany, NY. 518/456-0655;

Deadline for Calendar Listings for the next issue (January-February) is Friday, December 20, 2013. Please send your submissions to

From the garden

Vegetable Curry Serves 4-6 1 T. olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 cup water 3 large tomatoes, chopped 1 large apple, peeled, . cored & chopped ½ cup celery, chopped 3 T. fresh ginger root, peeled & . chopped (about 2 large pieces) 1 ½ T. curry powder 1 ½ T. flour Salt and pepper to taste ¼ cup cold water for paste 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen 24 | september-october 2013

1. In a large non-stick sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté onions and garlic until lightly browned. Watch carefully to avoid burning. 2. Add water and bring to a boil. 3. Add tomatoes, apple, celery and ginger. 4. Blend flour, salt, pepper and curry powder with enough cold water to make a paste. Add to boiling mixture. 5. Blend well, cover, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, 20-30 minutes. 6. Add peas and cook 5-10 minutes more. 7. Serve over hot rice. Options: Add chopped, cooked lamb or beef meat balls or serve with cut up chicken breast that is added during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking. May be frozen. Recipe courtesy Marion Morse, Allyn’s Creek Garden Club.

Christmas Candlelight Gathering Friday, December 6th, 6pm-midnight Saturday, December 7th, 10am-5pm Sunday, December 8th, 12-5pm

Visit with Santa on Saturday, 12-3pm If you’re makin’ your list and checkin’ it twice, come shop our wide variety of primitive antiques and locally made merchandise. 381 Main St., Elma NY 14059 • 716/668-2655 (1/2 Mile from Clinton & Transit roads)

Regular Store Hours: Weds-Sat 10-5, Thurs. ‘til 8, Sun 12-5

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Specializing in Woodland Wildflowers

Special order holiday decorations welcome!

For free catalogue and information, contact: Amanda’s Garden • 8410 Harpers Ferry Road, Springwater, NY 14560 (585) 750-6288 •

Garden Center • Shrubs • Trees • Perennials

Landscape Design • Planting • Walks/Patios • Maintenance

Country Corners Nursery 6611 Rtes. 5 & 20 Bloomfield (585) 657-7165

3646 West Main St., Batavia, NY 14020 585/343-8352

CLASSIFIEDS 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. BUILDING A HOME? Why not build it in a garden featured on tours and in print? Mature established private lot with historic shed, fruit & vegetable areas, eclectic mix of plants. This garden is now an approved acre building lot in Scottsville in walking distance to high school and shops, with water, sewer, electric, gas, and cable. Contact owner Richard LeRoy (585) 576-0138 or


You can’t tell that to a kid By Christina Le Beau


e have a living-history museum nearby. One of those places with relocated old buildings and re-enactors who take you right back to the 19th century. During one visit, I was in the kitchen of a home churning butter with my daughter and chatting with another visitor, telling her we’d seen a pig-slaughtering pen being built at the village’s teaching farm. The museum, which used to sell its pigs every winter, had decided instead to start butchering them on-site. I mentioned how, initially, I’d blanched at the idea of a killing pen, imagining a hand-to-hoof struggle and log walls awash in blood. But then the farm interpreter explained the process: how the pen lets individual pigs get comfortable in a small space and lets handlers control the pig’s diet in its final days, until a farmer goes in and quickly kills the pig. As a vegetarian, I still found the process unsettling, but I could appreciate that it was humane, and that it had its place in teaching about 19th century agriculture. And that’s what I told the woman next to me at the butter churn. At this point, the interpreter in the kitchen jumped in, telling me that people in the 19th century didn’t have the “luxury” of being vegetarian, and that she regularly has to explain to school groups that early Americans didn’t have the choices we have today. “Kids come through and they say, ‘You shouldn’t eat meat. It’s mean to the animals,’ ” she said. “I tell them, ‘Well, they had to eat animals or their kids would starve.’ ” Yes, that’s true, I told her, but there’s also a big difference between how early Americans raised (or hunted) and killed their animals, and how most animals are slaughtered today. Perhaps she could mention that from now on as well? “Oh no,” she said, “you can’t tell that to a kid.” Hmmm. We explain it to our vegetarian 9-year-old, and have for years. Surely someone can explain it to an omnivorous 6th grader. Many of these kids watch violent movies. They play violent video games. They engage in mock battle. They know where meat comes from. So tell me again: Why can’t they handle the truth

26 | september-october 2013

about how most animals are killed for food? In an era where kids are inundated with factoryfarming propaganda from powerful groups like the dairy industry in schools and agribusiness lobbies at state fairs, our best defense is education. If we want to raise food-literate children, if we want them to think critically, to challenge the status quo — to make good choices when we can't choose for them — we have a responsibility to tell the truth so others don't co-opt them with fiction. And how do we do that? For starters, by exposing kids to the kinds of farms and conditions we want to support. Take them to local sustainable farms and involve them in conversations with farmers at local markets. Show them where your meat, milk and eggs come from. Then keep talking. Since Tess was tiny, we've talked about the “happy cows” and “happy chickens” that provide our local milk and eggs. The “happy” thing seems trite, I know (really, how do we know they’re happy?), but it’s an effective shorthand for explaining that we get our food from animals that live outside and eat what they’re meant to eat (i.e., grass and bugs). Of course this works pretty well with milk and eggs. Meat is trickier (since, um, the happiness ends), but even then I think kids are able to appreciate the difference between an animal that lived a good life and was killed humanely, and one that didn't/wasn’t. When I blogged about this topic previously, a reader told how she teaches her young son where meat comes from: "I make sure my son knows what animal he’s eating every time I serve meat. I think, if you do eat meat, serving it on the bone goes a long ways towards bringing home the idea that you’re eating an animal as well. ... We’re teaching them compassion as well as food literacy." Christina Le Beau lives in Rochester. She writes about raising food-literate kids at A version of this essay originally appeared on Spoonfed. For books, films and curricula to help teach kids about factory farming and sustainable agriculture, see the food-literacy section at

2013 Winter Photo Contest Winners GRAND PRIZE (on cover, top) Untitled by Mary Shelsby Prize: A $50 gift certificate from Wayside Garden Center, where you can get anything from large-caliper trees to the new rage in houseplants, kokedama. WINNER: SCENES CATEGORY (on cover, bottom left) Untitled, University of Rochester campus By Corinna Vannozzi Prize: a $35 gift certificate to the Asa Ransom House Country Inn in Clarence, a B&B that also serves up elegant dinners. WINNER: PLANTS CATEGORY (cover, bottom center) “Last Season’s ‘Purple Peacock’ Broccoli” By Kimberly Burkard Prize: a $35 gift certificate to Higbie Farm Supply in North Chili, which has an amazing birding department and great garden accessories.

WINNER: ENHANCED CATEGORY (middle right) “The Outlet Swing Bridge at Lake Ontario and Irondequoit Bay” By Lora Ann Rothfuss Prize: Four tickets to Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion Historic Park in Canandaigua, a wonderful destination for touring formal and themed gardens, lunch, and the largest selection of New York State wines we’ve seen. WINNER: FACEBOOK’S MOST POPULAR (this page) Untitled, WheatlandLetchworth State Park By Elizabeth Harness Murphy Prize: a $35 gift certificate for QB Daylily Gardens in Caledonia, with over 1300 registered varieties of hemerocallis on display and over 700 for sale.

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U P S T A TE G A R D E N ER S ’ J O U R N A L | 2 7

November-December 2013 UGJ  

November-December issue of Upstate Gardeners' Journal

November-December 2013 UGJ  

November-December issue of Upstate Gardeners' Journal