Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Time to re-up

It's that time of year. Time to (join or) renew your membership.

2011 membership form.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

October newsletter

You can find the October ACNARGS newsletter online here: http://www.acnargs.org/newsletter/201010.pdf

Sunday, September 26, 2010

October 16 program: 'Vertical Gardening'

Elizabeth Zander, program chair of the Berkshire Chapter of NARGs, will speak on 'Vertical Gardening at our October 16 meeting.

“Most alpines in nature grow wherever the wind takes the seed,” she observes. “Many times this can be in a vertical crevice or a slope with loose scree. In these places there is less competition and great drainage.” Zander will explore how this translates to crevices and screes in the garden. She will also share construction techniques of her Goshen, Conn., garden – including the raised saxifraga bed built by Zdenek Zvolanek.

Zander directed the NARGS Seed Exchange from 1994-96, edited the Berkshire Chapter NARGS Newsletter for many years and served as president of the chapter.

We'll meet in 404 Plant Science Building (Whetzel Room) on the Cornell University campus. Brown bag lunch at noon. Program begins at 1:00 p.m.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Plant of the Month

From John Gilrein, Plant of the Month coordinator

Since our September speaker will be talking about rocks, rather than plants, our September Plant of the Month wasn’t dictated by the topic. One of our members, Harold Peachey, grows a lot of plants from seed, and I was able to obtain a nice, diverse assortment of plants. There may be a few surprise additions, but the current mix includes:
  • Gentiana depressa (1),6-10”x18-24”, nice green mound after blooming, purple flowers, good looking foliage.
  • Primula japonica (2), flowers in various pink shades, red, or white.
  • Aquilegia, early blue (3), low growing, blue flowers.
  • Aquilegia frangrans (3), the only fragrant columbine, purple to light yellow flowers.
  • Allium x 'Mt. Everest' ,18”, late blooming (now) white flowers (3)
  • Veronica alpina (3), mat forming, blue flowers.
  • Ruellia ciliata f. depressa (3), very small plant with purple leaves with white flowers.
  • Cheilanthes lanosa (3) (hairy lip fern, these are still small), lip fern is a versatile fern for sunny areas or woodland edge-even a cave man could grow it!
Key to cultural recommendations (numbers after plant names above):

1 – Sun to part shade, good well-drained soil.
2 – Part shade to sun, damp to moist soil.
3 – Sun to part shade, well-drained to very-well-drained soil.

As usual, the plants will be a good deal for our members. Thanks Harold for the interesting selection from your private nursery!

September newsletter

The September newsletter is online at http://www.acnargs.org/newsletter/201009.pdf

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Updated: Members only plant sale August 21 - Set up starts at 11 a.m.

From David Mitchell and BZ Marranca, plant sales coordinators

I hope you've been enjoying the hot summer. Please think about potting up plants now for the sale in August.

Plans are set for this year's members plant sale to be held at Ken Post Lab on the Cornell University campus. (View google map.)
  • 11:00 a.m. Arrive, get your plant sale number and help with sale set-up.
  • 12:00 noon Lunch break (bring your own, this is not a dish-to-pass meeting)
  • 1 p.m. Plant sale begins.
As in past years, we'll very democratically allow those who arrive first to get "first dibs" at purchases. So it pays to arrive early and sign in. For the treasured and special plants, we will have a silent auction table. Note this is our only members-only sale and we should have some real gems.

You may join for 2010 at the meeting for $10 ($15 for families). It's still a great value since we have half of our program year ahead of us.

Dan Snow to speak Sept. 18

Dan Snow, the author of: "In the Company of Stone: the Art of the Stone Wall," will give a talk at our September program on "Dry stone construction: a 'fitting' medium for the rock garden." He believes that: "The earth is alive and continually tries to take back what it has given up." Snow’s walls and artwork always embody this dynamic between the earth and the structures he creates.

Save the date, details will follow. Meantime, visit Dan's website:

And here's Dan's bio:

Dan Snow is a designer of outdoor spaces in stone, and an art maker specializing is dry stone constructions. He has been building with stone since 1972 when he worked on the restoration of a 13th century Italian castle. His career as a professional dry stone waller began soon after, in his native Windham County, Vermont, with retaining wall and field fence reconstructions. He apprenticed with Scottish “dry stane dyker” Dave Goulder in 1986 and on return to Scotland in 1994 passed the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain, Level 2, Craftsman Certification Test. Snow became a DSWA certificated Mastercraftsman in 2000. His dry stone constructions have included stock-proof fences, pillars, stiles, staircases and arch bridges. Utilitarian works have expanded to include garden follies, grottos and grandstands as well as environmental art and non-functional, abstract and figurative works of sculpture.

In 2001 Snow authored “In the Company of Stone”, published by Artisan, with photographs of his work by Peter Mauss. “Stone Rising”, a film by Camilla Rockwell, released in 2005, captures the spirit of Snow’s constructions and chronicles the process of their creation. Snow’s second book “Listening to Stone - Hardy Structures, Perilous Follies, and Other Tangles with Nature”, was published by Artisan in October 2008. His work has been the subject of articles in “This Old House” and “Vermont Life” magazines, and the “New York Times.”

Dan Snow has instructed many workshops in dry stone walling and lectured on the craft across the USA, Canada and Great Britain. In 2003 and 2007 he taught environmental art workshops for the University of Art and Design, Helsinki. In 2008 and 2009 Snow worked with Kansas State Landscape Architecture students rebuilding pioneer homestead walls and creating a permanent sculpture for the grounds of the Beach Museum of Art. As a DSWA Examiner he has organized test venues and tested dozens of applicants in the craftsman certification scheme.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Day trip to Seneca Hill Perennials!

From Carol Eichler:

Chapter members are invited to tour Ellen Hornig's wonderful gardens on Friday, June 18th. Rather than trying to coordinate a caravan from a central starting point, anyone wanting to go should plan to arrive at her place about 10 a.m. Ellen's website has good directions: www.senecahillperennials.com. For those going to White Pine Camp that weekend this will be an "on-the-way" stop. As a courtesy to Ellen, I'd like to let her know how many of us to expect. Please email me if you're planning to go. ceichler@twcny.rr.com

Plants, help needed for May 15 plant sale in Stewart Park

From David Mitchell and BZ Marranca, plant sales coordinators

Now's the time to have your plant donations potted up so that they'll have time to recover and look great for the May plant sale. The sale will be held on Saturday, May 15, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at a new location, Stewart Park. We will set up on Friday afternoon from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Our booth will be located inside the large pavilion nearest the lake.

My driveway is available for dropoffs anytime before the day of the sale if you can't make it to Stewart Park. The driveway is on the Washington Street side of the corner of Washington and Esty Streets (402 Esty Street).

Now more than ever it is important that you have your plants labeled. An idea of the value of your plants would also help with pricing.

We need volunteers for setup Friday, day of sale setup, cashiers, plant advisers during the sale, and cleanup. Remember, members receive a discount on purchases at the sale. Please arrive early to help with late donations or jump in any time to help. Every pot should have a label and a price stick before the sale starts.

My phone number is (607) 342-3660 should you have any questions about the sale. Tompkins County Cooperative Extension can be reached at (607) 272-2292.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Garden Conservancy Open Days

This year's Garden Conservancy Open Days for Tompkins County will feature:
  • May 8: Hitch Lyman's Garden
  • June 12: Der Rosenmeister, Lion Garden, Myers Garden
  • July 31: Lipari Garden, Bassuk/Trowbridge Gardens, Nancy Ridenour
For more information, visit: gardenconservancy.org/opendays/

Delaware Valley Chapter at the Philly Flower Show

From Carol Eichler.

The Delaware Chapter always had an exhibit at the Philadelphia Flower Show and it was well worth seeking out. This year they truly (in my opinion) outdid themselves so I wasn't surprised when they received "Best in Show for Plant Societies."

I took a lot of photos that I'll plan to show at one of our meetings. However in the meantime their website has posted some with comments here: www.dvcnargs.org/flowershow.html. It also has their plant list with over 80 species and cultivars. I spoke briefly with the member who was tending the exhibit. He said a retired architect designed the exhibit and they were really scrambling to get it built and planted up to the last minute. I can only imagine the work.

Work weekend at White Pine Camp June 18-20

From Carol Eichler.

I'm organizing another working weekend at White Pine Camp in the Adirondacks for the weekend of June 18-20, with an emphasis on adding plants to the garden.

Anyone who is interested in going this year should contact me by April 17 - our April meeting. Space is limited. Priority will be given to people who have not yet been there. We will stay for 2 nights - Friday and Saturday. It is a working weekend so we will plan to spend about a half day on Saturday working - doing fun stuff like weeding, planting, watering, mulching, etc. Between White Pine Camp and the George's we have a budget of $150 to spend on plants. Hopefully we can supplement this with plants from our own gardens and the seedling exhange or other donations. I'll gather together our notes on what seemed to do well. Last summer we found many plants survived that shouldn't have been hardy because of the heavy snow cover.

On the way up on Friday we will take a side trip to Seneca Hill Perennials for a tour of Ellen Hornig's wonderful gardens. (But the nursery will not be open so we can't buy plants.)

If you're interested in the trip or have questions, contact me: ceichler@twcny.rr.com or 607-387-5823.

Thanks to 'seed pickers'

From BZ Marranca, treasurer

A special thanks go out to all the members who helped with the Round 2 Seed Exchange this year. We filled 249 orders in 11 days. Thirty one people invested approximately 222 hours in the process. As I write this, I'm still waiting for any orders that were mailed from overseas for the final count. But so far we've picked 16,483 packets and received orders for $4,098. Some of the top workers were Susanne with 26 hours, Marcia with 17, Rosemarie 11, Karen Hansen 8, David Mitchell and Bill Plummer with 6 each and the rest with 5 or less. After will fill the final orders, we'll then spread the rest of the seeds over 33 chapters and pack up the supplies to ship back to various places.

April Seedling Exchange and May Plant Sale New Location: Stewart Park

From David Mitchell, plant sale coordinator.

In addition to our fabulous speaker, we’ll have our annual seedling exchange at our April meeting. Bring in your seedlings to share. I’ll have some pots and potting soil on hand. Potted divisions will also be accepted and priced for sale or held for the May plant sale. I’m hoping the seedlings will find good homes and that some will show up on our tables at the May and August plant sales. The seedling exchange is a great way to learn about what plants are easy to grow from seed and to learn from other’s experiences in growing them on.

The May plant sale will be held on May 15, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Due to Ithaca High School construction, the plant sale will be held at Stewart Park. We will not be able to set up on Friday afternoon, so please come early on Saturday to help. Change of plans. We will be able to set up on Friday afternoon. Our booth will be located inside the large pavilion.

My driveway is available for dropoffs any time before the day of the sale if you can’t make it to Stewart Park on Saturday morning. The driveway is on the Washington Street side of the corner of Washington and Esty Streets (402 Esty Street). My phone number is (607) 342-3660 should you have any questions about the sale. Tompkins County Cooperative Extension can be reached at (607) 272-2292.

Dwarf Conifers – April Plant of the Month

John Gilrein, Plant of the Month coordinator

Our April POM will be dwarf conifers from Evermay Nursery. These will be small plants, at great prices, suitable for a rock garden, perennial border, or trough.

The beauty of dwarf conifers is that they always look good. Though there’s no flush of gorgeous color, they have no season of blackened, withered foliage or otherwise looking worn out. Dwarf conifers may grow slowly; these will stay small. The plants will generally be less than 12 inches high when mature, except ‘Little Jamie’, which will grow to around 2 feet.

The supplier recommends well drained soil, though some are native to wet soils in nature, and recommends no more that a light dose of fertilizer. They should do well in full sun or part shade in soils that are not excessively acidic or alkaline. For planting in troughs that will not receive winter protection, a plant 2 zones hardier than your USDA hardiness zone is the general recommendation.

Our selection will include some of the following [approximate shape]:

  • Abies balsamea ‘Nana’ (balsam fir), from Northern North America, is hardy to zone 3. [cushion]
  • Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana’ (Hinkoki cypress), from Japan, is hardy to zone 5. [globe]
  • Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Tsukumo’ (Sawara cypress), from Japan, is hardy to zone 5. [globe]
  • Chamaecyparis thyoides ‘Little Jamie’ (Atlantic white cedar), from the Eastern coastal US, is hardy to zone 4. [cone]
  • Picea abies ‘Little Gem’ (Norway spruce), from Europe, is hardy to zone 3. [globe]
  • Picea mariana ‘Nana’ (black spruce), from Northern North America, is hardy to zone 3. [mound]
  • Thuja occidentalis ‘Hetz midget’ (American arborvitae), from Northeastern North America, is hardy to zone 3. [globe]
For additional information, check the Everymay Nursery web page for dwarf conifers, or the book Rock Garden Plants by Baldassare Mineo.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

'Seed picking': Great progress!

From Susanne Lipari:

Thanks to the 31 members who have come in over the last two weeks to pick seed for the seed exchange. This afternoons, we completed the last few order we had in hand. There will be more coming in over the coming week, and at the end we will have a big push to pack and mail out the remaining seeds to the chapters and to mail back the supplies. But for today and the next few days – no need to come in and pick. BZ will let us know when enough stragglers have come in to make another seesion worth it.

Thanks you all!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chapter Summer Trip June 5-7

From Susanne Lipari, membership coordinator (sel3@cornell.edu):

On Saturday, June 5, we will be heading down to Stonecrop to visit that lovely Cabot garden in its early summer glory. People wishing to also visit the sculpture garden at Storm King can do that afterwards and then join the rest of the group at the lodging (TBA).

On Sunday, June 6, we will be given a tour of the rock garden at NY Botanic Garden by garden’s curator, Jody Payne. After the tour, we can explore the rest of the garden or visit Wave Hill, not far away. We will meet at the East Norwich Inn in Oyster Bay on Long Island. There will be a cocktail hour in the courtyard of the lovely Chelsea Mansion, one of the Gold Coast mansions, followed by dinner in a local restaurant (TBA).

On Monday, June 7, we will visit Planting Fields Arboretum, with its synoptic garden, newly established Daphne collection, the rose garden, heather garden, late flowering rhododendrons…. Leaving Planting Fields, we can stop in at Martin Viette Nursery and – most importantly - stock up on goodies at Trader Joe’s. Return to Ithaca whenever you have had enough of Long Island.

Please let me or BZ know if you will join us for the trip, and if you will need us to make lodging arrangements for you and for which nights (the individual events – except Planting Fields - can be done as day trips for those who cannot spare more than one day).

May 8 deadline for NARGS awards nominations

From Lee Curtis, Chair NARGS Awards Committee (buzz.curtis@netscape.com):

The North American Rock Garden Society is seeking nominations for six prestigious awards, the Award of Merit, the Marcel le Piniec Award, the Edgar T. Wherry Award, the Carleton R. Worth Award, the Marvin E. Black Award, and the Linc and Timmy Foster Millstream Garden Award. For information about the awards and nomination details, see the Rock Garden Quarterly, Winter 2010, page 52-53. Or check the NARGS website, http://www.nargs.org/ Click on Board and Committees at the bottom of the page, and under Committees you will find Nomination procedure and lists of past recipients.

Please review the various awards. I’m sure you and members of your chapter know of individuals who meet the criteria and richly deserve recognition. As the Chairman of the Awards Committee, I invite you to consider submitting a nomination. The deadline for submitting the necessary letters and documentation for consideration is May 8, 2010, but the sooner you submit nominations, the more time you (and I) will have to garden when the weather warms up.

NARGS Board nominees

From Alice Nicolson, Chair, Nominating Committee (taxonomy@verizon.net):

On behalf of the NARGS Nominating Committee, I present the list of nominees for the three upcoming positions on the Board of Directors for 2010-2013. They will be voted on at the NARGS annual meeting in Colorado in July 2010.

Jane Grushow--Pennsylvania
Philip MacDougall--British Columbia
Anne Spiegel--New York

Brief Biographies:

Jane Grushow has been a member of the Delaware Valley Chapter of NARGS since 1980 and the Mason-Dixon Chapter since its creation in 1999, and she has been chair of both. She has a large garden and grows plants large and small, but dearest to her heart is a small rock garden, tufa, and sand beds. Jane is a retired photographer specializing in garden photography. Now most of her photography is underwater as her new addiction is scuba diving.

Philip MacDougall is an RN working at the BC Cancer Agency. He's also studied plant biochemistry and has a lifelong commitment to gardening. On one-half acre in Surrey, British Columbia, it's always sad to discover a plant has been pushed beyond its climactic tolerances. Program chair and Vice President of the Alpine Garden Society of Vancouver and program chair of the Rhododendron Society of Vancouver, he occasionally lectures on botanizing in many of the
world's diverse habitats.

Anne Spiegel has been a member of NARGS over 25 years and is a charter member and past President of Berkshire Chapter. She's spent many years botanizing in the Northeast, the Rockies, the Southwest, the Northwest, and more recently in the Alps. A dedicated rock gardener, she has spent almost 30 years building a rock garden on a very challenging site. Her plant interests are too numerous to list but any such list would be headed by the "glorious peas" (Fabaceae). She has numerous degrees from the University of Trial and Error and
is the owner of a large plant cemetery.

Exotic Plant Order Anyone?

From John Gilrein, Plant of the Month coordinator (basecamp@alum.syracuse.edu)

Two years ago a small group of Adirondack Chapter members placed a collective order to Janis Ruksans’ Bulb Nursery in Latvia. Ruksans was a speaker at one of our chapter meetings and is also a well-renown author of a book on bulbs. He has had access for years to areas formerly behind the iron curtain (the USSR) and other areas of Central and Eastern Asia (inaccessible to Americans in the past), and has collected seeds from many exotic areas.

His nursery has available many bulbs available either exclusively from him, or at least not widely available in the trade. Bulbs available vary from $2 Alliums to $80 Trilliums, and from easy to grow bulbs to some requiring very special conditions. The catalog includes a large selection of Alliums, Corydalis, Crocus, Iris, and Tulips.

Is anyone interested in working on a group order to Ruksans’ Nursery? I’m volunteering to help, but not to be in charge of the order.

Mr. Janis Ruksans
Bulb Nursery
LV-4151 Cesis distr.
Telephone: ++371-29-41-84-40, 641-00-326
Fax: ++371-641-64-003
E-mail: janis.bulb@hawk.lv
Catalog: US$5.00

More seed starting resources

Member Lynn Purdon Yenkey (visit her blog, Sin City to Slaterville) passes along two helpful seed starting sites:
Also, a great article in the WSJ on seed exchanges, including NARGS.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

'Seed picking' update: We need your help!

From Susanne Lipari:

We have decided to do the seed picking for the NARGS Seed Exchange Part 2 in the basement of KPL (outside BZ’s former office). This allows us to leave everything set up rather than having to move all the trays at the end of the workday when we are exhausted.

To get there, go down the stairs at the end of the central greenhouse isle. At the foot of the stairs, turn right and you will see us.

We really need help from you all. There were 6-7 of us yesterday, and it wouldn’t work well to have too many more at any one time. But it’s pretty hard work, and if people were willing to coordinate with BZ when they want to come in, we could do 2 hour shifts, making it much more tolerable.

We will be working today from 10 AM on until some time in the afternoon. Check with BZ (mmm10@cornell.edu) for work times tomorrow (Sunday). Next week, we will be working about 5 PM, but people who have been trained can really come in any time to work for some hours during the day.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

NARGS Seed exchange - Time to pick!

From Susanne Lipari:

Our Chapter will be in charge of the 2nd round of the NARGS seed exchange. You are all encouraged to help, you do not need to be a member in NARGS National.

Why would you do that?
  • Because those working on this project have the right to pick up to 100 seed packets ( $5 per 20 packets) right at the start with a good chance of getting the seeds we want.
  • Because you get to hang out with a fun bunch of people and get fed and pampered to keep you in a good mood.
  • Because it‘s something that needs to be done.
The first seed picking session will start this coming Friday (3/12/2010) at 5 PM. There will be other sessions on the weekends and in the evenings until all orders have been picked. We will be in the seminar room working at KPL. (Parking on the Cornell campus is free after 5 PM and on weekends.)

Please send BZ (mmm10@cornell.edu) an email to let her know that and when you can help.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March Plant of the Month: Cyclamen

From John Gilrein, Plant of the Month Coordinator:

Our March 2010 Plant of the Month is Cyclamen. Our plants will be from Ellen Hornig, one of our members, who has a nursery, Seneca Hill Perennials, in Oswego County, NY. We will have Cyclamen hederifolium and Cyclamen purpurascens, which are both hardy in our area.

C. hederifolium is a fall blooming Cyclamen, and is summer dormant. C. purpurascens is an evergreen, summer blooming Cyclamen. Leaf shape and silver markings on leaves are variable. The leaves can be extremely attractive, even without flowers. A mature C. hederifolium can have a dinner plate sized tuber and hundreds of flowers. The flowers are smaller than florist’s Cyclamen (non-hardy C. persicum), but make up for their smaller size with sheer abundance.

These Cyclamen will perform best in part shade in a humus rich, well drained soil, with a near neutral or alkaline pH. They are tolerant of lower pH conditions, evidenced by growing under Rhododendrons shown in the Cyclamen article (see March newsletter). Cyclamen are tolerant of root competition but intolerant of poor drainage. C. hederifolium should be planted where it will not be disturbed during its summer dormancy. Cyclamen tubers should be planted near the soil surface and mulched. C. purpurascens prefers to stay moist during the summer. Our Plant of the Month will be from a cold greenhouse, so it will need to be acclimatized before planting outside.

Additional cultivation information can be obtained from the Cyclamen Society’s website:

Next month’s Plant of the Month will be dwarf conifers.

Camille Doucet to speak on Botanical Illustration & Painting

From Rosemarie Parker Gardener.Parker@gmail.com:

The Finger Lakes Native Plant Society Present a slide show & talk by Camille Doucet, Painter, Botanical Illustrator, Watercolor Teacher, & President of the local chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators:

Botanical Illustration & Painting

In conjunction with the Living Light art show at the Tompkins County Public Library, Camille Doucet, one of the invited guest jurors, will present a different side of botany than we usually hear at FLNPS meetings. Camille will speak about the business of being an artist and art teacher, using slides of her work to discuss painting from photos and from live specimens. Her love of nature, of science, and of gardening is evident in her detailed images. Be ready for a visual treat!

Thursday, March 18, 2010
7:00 to 8:30 PM
at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County
615 Willow Ave., Ithaca

All are welcome!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Flower bulb expert, author to speak at Cornell

Horticulturist and best-selling author Anna Pavord will speak on “A Luxuriance of Bulbs” at 11 a.m., Saturday March 20 at the Statler Hall Auditorium on the Cornell University campus. The talk is free and open to the public.

Pavord has been the gardening correspondent for The Independent (UK) since 1986 and has written eight books, including the international bestseller The Tulip and 2009’s Bulb.

“Of all the different plants in the world, bulbs intrigue me the most,” says Pavord. “As a gardener, I appreciate the way they mark the seasons. Bulbs are not just a spring thing. In this talk I introduce some of my favorites and suggest how they might be used in a garden.”

Pavord is also the author of New Kitchen Garden, Border Book, and Plant Partners. She was one of the founding editors of Gardens Illustrated and wrote and presented Flowering Passions for BBC Channel 4 television. She has lived in Dorset for almost forty years. After restoring the garden of an old rectory, she recently moved to a new garden, which she is filling with bulbs.

After the talk, Pavord will sign copies of her new book, Bulb, which will be available for sale.

NARGS seed exchange featured in WSJ

A nice article on seed exchanges in the Wall Street Journal, A Growing Obsession: Rare Seeds, explains the allure of swapping seeds in winter.

Spring in the Netherlands: A Festival of Flowers Feb. 27

From Pat Curran:

Travel to the Netherlands with Chris Cerveny of Cornell's Horticulture Department, at a Garden Travel Slide Show offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, Saturday, Feb. 27 at 2 pm.

Holland is gorgeous in April! This presentation will take you on a pictorial journey to the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens, and provide an overview of field production of flower bulbs. Chris traveled to the festival of flowers in the Netherlands in April 2008. This presentation will take place Saturday afternoon February 27, 2-3:30 pm, at the Cooperative Extension Education Center, 615 Willow Avenue, Ithaca. Refreshments and time to socialize will follow the talk. Suggested donation of $3 helps support the Horticulture Program. Please call 272-2292 for more information.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Feb. newsletter

The Feb. 2010 newsletter is online in .pdf format here:



Seed exchange deadline extended to Feb. 15

From Joyce Fingerut, director, NARGS Seed Exchange:

The deadline for receiving Seed Exchange orders has been extended to Monday, February 15th, giving NARGS members an extra weekend to pore over the Seed List and send in their requests.

View the 2009-2010 Seed List and ordering instructions at:

There are still many desirable seeds available. Please be sure to indicate whether you would also like to receive the list of Surplus Seeds, which can be ordered in March, and send a self-addressed, self-adhesive mailing label.

Chapter Chairs: Please remind your members that the Seedex is on-line this year. Those chapter members who do not yet belong to NARGS (national) may join now and be eligible to order seeds.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Your input needed for spring trip plans

From Susanne Lipari:

BZ Marranca and I took on planning a spring/summer trip. We had a couple of thoughts regarding this trip:

  • More visiting than driving.
  • An itinerary that allows members with jobs to participate as much as they like.
  • Inspiring gardens and fun plant shopping.

Below is a suggested tour. Please give us feed-back to let us know if we should get down to more detailed planning, or if we should look at an altogether different itinerary. If you tell us to abandon this one, please suggest alternatives. (sel3@cornell.edu or mmm10@cornell.edu)

The center point is a visit to the rock garden at the New York Botanical Garden with hopefully a tour given by Jody Payne, the curator who gave a presentation to the chapter in October 2008. Surrounding this are several other locations and combinations of locations that would allow different people to take part in all or just some of the visits.

Day 1: Stonecrop - If people feel strongly about attending the NARGS sale, the trip would would have to start on Saturday, April 24. However, on our last visit there, some of us thought that the end of April was too early for a visit there and the garden would be more beautiful a couple of weeks later. Since Stonecrop (www.stonecrop.org) is open to the public on the 1st and 3rd. Saturday of the month, that would mean May 1 or June 5, since the third weekend in May is the high school plant sale and we can't plan a trip then. In any case, the visit to Stonecrop could be followed by a visit to Storm King (www.stormking.org) and a night spent at a motel somewhere north of New York City.

Day 2: New York Botanical Garden (www.nybg.org) - Guided tour. After that, people interested could either spend more time there or visit Wave Hill (www.wavehill.org), which is fairly close, also in the North Bronx. Return to Ithaca afterward, or drive to Long Island to spend the night in an Inn near the next day's destination:

Day 3: Planting Fields Arboretum (www.plantingfields.org) and after that head back to Ithaca.

What we like about this trip that people could either go along for the whole trip, or join for any one of the events that fit into their schedule. If this trip appeals to the membership, we will find some nurseries on Long Island to visit.

Seed starting info

From Susanne Lipari:

The Ontario Rock Garden and Hardy Plant Society has a very informative germination guide to over 6,000 species. The ones I had not found anywhere else were represented:


Art to drive away your winter blues

Here are two Ithaca art exhibitions worth checking out:

Living Light: A Celebration of the Finger Lakes Flora
- Tompkins County Public Library through March 26. Juried art show organized by the Finger Lakes Native Plant Society features 50 artists celebrating the beauty and diversity of our region's wild plants and fungi in a wide array of media and styles.

Chronicling Brief Lives: Botanical Portraits in Water Color
– Mann Library, Cornell University through February 24. Showcases the award-winning botanical illustrations of milly archarya, a long-time Ithaca resident.

NARGS Eastern Winter Study Weekend

March 19-21
Eastern Winter Study Weekend, Devens, Massachusetts.
More info.

Want to share transportation? Contact: John Gilrein, basecamp@alum.syracuse.edu, 315-492-0844.

Designing with Native Plants Symposium

March 5-6:
Ithaca's 2nd Annual Designing with Native Plants Symposium
More info: www.cayugawaterfronttrail.com/

2010 program plans

Updated 8//2010.

Here's our tentative program line up for the rest of 2010.

Plans for local and long-distance garden tours and other programs are in the works.

  • September 18: Dan Snow, www.inthecompanyofstone.com, “Dry stone construction: a 'fitting' medium for the rock garden.”
  • October 16: Elisabeth Zander, Berkshire Chapter-NARGS, “Vertical Gardening.”
  • November 20: Program to be announced.

ACNARGS people