News and Upcoming Events:

See below (or "FCGN-Sponsored Events" on the left sidebar) for upcoming events. We are working on talks for the winter season - keep an eye on our website, or better yet be sure you are on our mailing list. To add your name to our email list or become a member, click on the EMAIL LIST & MEMBERSHIP link on the left sidebar. 

We had so much fun at our Seed & Houseplant SwapCo-Sponsored by FCGN and the Penfield Community Victory Garden oSaturday, January 26! Thanks so much to all of you who came and contributed to the fun, camaraderie and sharing of garden info, seeds and houseplants. Michael Hannen posted the following wrap-up on his Facebook page and it bears repeating here. For a full album of pictures chronicling the event, click here


  The Flower City Garden Network’s first seed swap, presented jointly with Penfield Community Victory Gardens, was a real success. We had 70+ people in attendance.

There was a wide variety of seeds brought by many in attendance. Michael Hannen donated seeds from his gardens, lots of unusual and useful plant material, which FCGN volunteers collected and cleaned. There was also a house plant swap and many many people contributed cuttings and plants from their own collections for participants to take home and enjoy.

We had three speakers; Nancy Marrer spoke first about methods and easily-acquired equipment for starting seeds indoors, as well has how to make homemade seedling pots using newspaper, and seed tapes and square-foot preseeded sheets that you can make up in winter using toilet paper (Scott’s is preferred because it is biodegradable) and paper napkins.

Next was Michael Hannen, who owns and operates a home-based backyard nursery in Rochester out of his .02 acre lot. Michael

described easy methods that anyone can use for starting seeds outdoors, the perfect soil mix for seed-starting, and information on what type of seeds are best started this way.

Last of all we had Christine Froehlich, who gave a wonderful demonstration on forcing flowering branches for winter bloom – how to trim branches from flowering trees and shrubs and the method for bringing them indoors to force blooms. She brought quince branches she’d started 3 weeks ago, demonstrated creating mixed arrangements with winter branches, and showed us how to create a lovely display by planting paperwhite daffodils in gravel in a tall, wide, clear vase and adding fresh-cut flowering branches. The paperwhites and the branches require the same conditions and time to 

come into bloom, and the flowers complement each other

During the breaks people swooned over the seeds and house plants – there was such a rich selection to choose from. Everyone seemed to go home happy!  ther while the branches support 

those floppy paperwhite stems.

What a glorious day was had by all who attended. We hope to make this an annual event that get’s better and better.

A big thank you to Jenny O’Shaughnessy for taking photos that did a wonderful job of documenting the day.

Upcoming Flower City Garden Network-sponsored Events:

Wednesday, March 6: Your Buggy Neighbors, 7-8 pm, with Jack KowiakYour closest neighbors are not the Jones's next door, but the thousands of insects that share your yard with you everyday. This talk will take a closer look at those interesting fellows under your feet and flying above your head. We will talk about friends and foes, surprising facts, and some popular myths regarding backyard insects. Free and open to the public, Gates Public Library. Preregistration appreciated, email flowercitygardennetwork@gmail.com  . You can also register through the Gates Public Library at flowercitygardennetwork@gmail.com You may also register through the Gates Public Library here: https://calendar.libraryweb.org/event/5040051

Thursday, April 11: Low-Maintenance Gardening 6:30-7:30 pm. Do you feel your garden has become more hard work than fun? Too much digging, weeding and watering? Cindy Cali, who has run her own gardening business for the last 16 years, will talk about professional methods for lowering the maintenance of your current gardens so that you will have time to relax and enjoy them! Some of the topics covered include your landscape plan, the lawn, trees and shrubs, plant choice, and planting low-maintenance containers; she will also bring her tried-and-true tools to show you. Free and open to the public, Fairport Public Library. Preregistration appreciated, email flowercitygardennetwork@gmail.com. After March 1 you can register with the library here: http://fairportlibrary.evanced.info/signup/calendar

Thursday, May 2: Spring Wildflower Walk at Harris Whalen Park, 10:30 am. Harris Whalen is a small, hilly, wooded park in Penfield, enclosed by Rts 441, 250 and residential neighborhoods. Because of its protected and undeveloped situation, the native spring ephemerals have flourished, resulting in a uniquely spectacular spring show. Join naturalists Carol and David Southby for a moderate hike to enjoy the flowers. Afterwards, if there is interest, we may visit a nearby nature preserve with a lovely display of march marigolds. Free for FCGN members. Preregistration required, please email flowercitygardennetwork@gmail.com. Please note that because the pathways are narrow and lined with wildflowers, and that this is a guided tour, we need to limit registration to the first 15 people.

Other News and Events:

Penfield Community Victory Garden Pasta Dinner and Raffle Fundraiser

Wednesday, February 27

4:30 till sold out

Penfield Community Victory Garden, in conjunction with Boy Scout Troop #230, will hold the first annual Pasta Dinner and Raffle Fundraiser on Wednesday, February 27, 4:30 pm until sold out, at Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road, Penfield. Eat in or take out! Tickets are $8.00 each, and kids under 3 are free. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Penfield Recreation department, or at the door. This event will raise funds for Penfield Community Victory Garden’s operating budget.

Penfield Community Victory Garden is run completely by volunteers, and is designed and operated to provide Penfield residents with an opportunity to grow their own ORGANIC based vegetables, flowers, and herbs for their own consumption or for the needy. The garden also provides for the development of the Penfield community by working together to improve the garden, sharing knowledge and techniques of organic gardening, and managing the garden through the PCV Garden volunteer committee. The garden is located on a 3.3-acre piece of town-owned property at 1748 Five Mile Line Road. Volunteers are always needed for many aspects of the planning and oversight of the garden, as well as manual labor. No experience necessary! For more information, or to purchase dinner tickets, please call Penfield Recreation at (585) 340-8655.

Ontario County Master Gardeners                                                                                                                                   24th Annual Spring Garden Symposium                                                                 Saturday, February 16, 2019                                                                                                                                       8:30-2:45

 Club 86                                                                                                                                                                               86 Avenue E                                                                                                                                                               Geneva, NY 14456

Presenters: Landscape designer Mike Volpe – Low Maintenance Landscaping, a Basic WorkMichael Hannen, owner and operator of a small sustainable perennial nursery in Rochester’s Upper Monroe neighborhood – Rare and Unusual PerennialsSarah Sorci, holistic herbalist and owner of Sweet Flag Herbs in Hamburg, NY – Medicinal Plants for the Home Garden. $40.00 per person, includes refreshments, hot buffet lunch, registration, and folder with presenters handouts.

For more information or to register, visit the Ontario County Master Gardeners' website here:    http://cceontario.org/events/2017/02/11/spring-garden-symposium

11th Annual Ithaca Native Landscape Symposium                                                   Friday and Saturday, March 1 & 2, 2019                                                                                                                 Cinemapolis Theater, Downtown Ithaca.

“Great speakers and diverse yet related topics, ranging from practical research on pollinator visits to examples of working educational native plant gardens, evolution and life cycles of our native flora, tools and strategies for enhancing the ecological value of landscapes, the burgeoning native plant movement in Western NY, and much more...” 

Presenters: Jacob Johnston (habitat.network) - Pollinator Response to Native Plant LandscapingAnnie White, PhD, ASLA (nectarvt.com) - How Native Plant Cultivars Affect Plant & Pollinator InteractionsKay McConnell (friendsbalt.orglakeroland.org) - Friends School of Baltimore Native Plant Teaching Gardens: Growing Into A Conservation Campus. 

For information and to register, visit ithacanativelandscape.com. Earlybird pricing until January 31st. 

Gardenscape 2019

Enchanted Gardens

Opening Night Gala Wednesday, March 13

Show dates Thursday, March 14-Sunday, March 17

Event website: https://rochesterflowershow.com/ 

Monroe County Master Gardeners' Gathering of Gardeners

Saturday, April 27, 8 am-4 pm

Speakers, vendors, auction. Brie Arthur will present 2 talks: The Foodscape Revolution and Perennial Combinations & Sizzling Succulents. Tim Boebel will present Today’s Hydrangeas. RIT Inn and Conference Center, 5257 W Henrietta Rd, Rochester. $55 advance tickets, $60 at the event. gatheringofgardeners.com

Marcy's Meadow: Here's a mid-September picture that Marcy sent of her 3-yr-old seeded native meadow along the canal - which many of us visited on August 1. The asters and rudbeckia are looking spectacular, as is the "Little Blue Stem" grass, not pictured but looking beautiful. Wow! Next year we'll have to go in September!

Email List and Membership: Add your name to our email to our email list for updates on all our events. To join us for the soirées, sign up for a membership by going to our Email List and Membership webpage (clink on link). Download the pdf membership form, fill it in, and mail as instructed, with your check for $20. Or simply mail a check for $20 to: FCGN, 11 Inverness Circle, Fairport NY 14450, including a note with all of your contact information. Be sure to include your email address, mailing address, and phone number.

Past Events:

Thursday, July 12: A Multilayered, Four-Dimensional Garden in the City: it was a beautiful evening in a magical garden. Thanks so much to all of you who came, you made it so much fun! It was great to meet you all, and we look forward to seeing you on a regular basis! And thanks so much to Marcy Klein and Rich Schaeffer for creating such an unusual and beautiful landscape.

Wednesday, August 1: Visit a Wildflower Meadow at this Peaceful Canal-side Retreat. Thanks so much to Marcy Kupchella for hosting us at her wonderful property. It was a lovely evening in the end, no rain at all, and the wildflower meadow was in full flower glory. And thanks to naturalists Carol and David Southby, who lead very interesting tours of meadow along with Marcy, and answered all of our myriad questions about the plants and the process. It was breezy and cool on the dock along the canal - just the place to be on a hot summer evening! 

Thursday, August 16: Webster Arboretum Tour and Get-Together, 6-7:30 pm. Join us for refreshments and a tour of the plantings at the Arboretum with Arboretum and FCGN board member Alana Miller, as well as some of the people who have designed and maintain the gardens. There are several formal gardens maintained by garden clubs as well as an herb garden, arborvitae maze, trails, and an extensive conifer landscape with many interesting varieties. Free and open to the public, registration appreciated. Kent Park, 1700 Schlegel Road, Webster  NY 14580

Monday, August 27: Jerry Kral’s Incredible Landscape in Late Summer, 6:30-8 pmJerry Kral’s landscape hardly needs an introduction for most of us – it is probably the most visited landscape in the area, and for good reason. Jerry’s utterly remarkable use of small and medium-sized evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs, in inspired combinations with perennials and annuals, linked by artful use of pathways and stone walls, is unsurpassed. Equally notable is the fact that the plants used are so extraordinary – Jerry seeks out the most superlative new plant selections from multiple sources, and you’ll get to explore some of what is unique in the world of ornamental plants for our area, as well as some very innovative types of rock gardens, including a slab garden tufa crevice garden and a pumice rock garden. FCGN members and a guest only, no charge. Registration required, please email flowercitygardennetwork@gmail.com. Directions will be emailed before the event. 

Saturday, September 22: Visit a Designer’s Garden in Sodus Point, 1:30-3 pm. Join us in garden designer and author Christine Froehlich’s garden. Chris has used structure – hardscaping, fountains, fencing and arbors – along with lush plantings of a wide variety of carefully chosen and choice annuals, perennials, flowering shrubs, trees and vines, to create a plant-lover’s haven of interest, beauty and privacy. Her ¼ acre landscape in Sodus Point is divided into several garden rooms, from the formally laid out (and wildly planted) entry garden, to a whimsical vegetable garden, a covered pergola fort in the shady back garden, the native plant border currently in development, and the dining patio with its bright red barbeque grill that presented a design challenge masterfully resolved. Enjoy refreshments, the company of fellow gardeners, and a chance to talk to Chris about your own design challenges if you like. Read more about Chris’s garden on her blog, gardeningwithwhatyouhave.com. FCGN members and a guest only, no charge. Registration required, please email flowercitygardennetwork@gmail.com. Directions will be emailed before the event.

Saturday, October 13: Fall Tour of Robin Hill Arboretum and Nature Preserve, Lyndonville NY, 10 am- 12 noon (or longer depending on the interests of the group). Join us for a tour of the trees and other plantings in this special place, about an hour west of Rochester, guided by naturalists Carol and Dave Southby. William A. Smith began to plant unusual trees in the 1940’s on this 40-acre property, and designed and built the lovely Medina sandstone house. Over 250 mature specimens, many rare, survive today, including 7 New York State Champion Big Trees (the largest example of a species in the state), including a 90’ giant sequoia. William’s daughter Marion Smith lived here for much of her 90 years, and Carol and Dave Southby were fortunate to spend an afternoon with Marion touring the property, including the many unusual nut trees the family grew and harvested. When Marion passed away, her nephew (and William’s grandson) Doug Pratt inherited the property. Doug maintains the estate as a nature preserve; he will meet our group and share some background information about the arboretum before we set off to explore. FCGN members and a guest only, no charge. Registration required, please email flowercitygardennetwork@gmail.com . Directions will be emailed before the event. See our Email List and Membership webpage (click on link on left sidebar) to become a member. 

Saturday, November 3: Seed Collecting Practicum, 1-3 pm. Join Michael Hannen in his home-based nursery in Rochester’s Upper Monroe neighborhood to tour what’s in bloom, and to help collect seed from his display gardens, which are planted with a huge variety of unusual and choice plants. You will learn about the proper timing for collecting seed from different plants, how to dry and process the seed, and how and when to plant it for good germination. The seed will be donated to the FCGN January Seed Swap, but you will have your pick during the workshop of seed of Michael’s outstanding varieties. Directions will be emailed before the event. Bring a portable chair if you think you’d like to sit, and paper and pen for taking notes. Two to three indoor seed-cleaning and processing sessions will be scheduled, dates tbd. Free and open to the public. Preregistration required, email flowercitygardennetwork@gmail.com .

Wednesday, November 14: Grand Landscapes of the Berkshires, 7 pm. In this slide show, presented by Christine Froehlich of her July 2016 trip, you will learn about two grand country estates, Naumkeag and The Mount, their owners Mabel Choate and Edith Wharton, and the very beautiful and very different landscapes that they created. The landscape at Naumkeag was designed by noted landscape architect Fletcher Steele; Edith Wharton designed the landscape at The Mount - in addition to being an author, she was a passionate gardener and an authority on European landscape design. Irondequoit Public Library, 1290 Titus Ave, Rochester, NY 14617; registration requested. Register with the library online here, or call the library at 336-6060, or email FCGN at flowercitygardennetwork@gmail.com

Saturday, December 1: Seed Processing and Storage, 1:30-4 pmCome learn how to process the seeds you’ve collected and dried from gardens – how to clean, package and store for best germination. And help us process the seeds that FCGN volunteers have harvested from Michael Hannen’s collection of choice and rare plants. We’ve got a great supply of many different varieties of seeds, and your help would be greatly appreciated. The seeds will be donated to the January Seed Swap but processing volunteers can have first dibs. Directions to the Greece location will be emailed before the event (this class will not take place at Michael’s). Free and open to the public, preregistration appreciated, please email flowercitygardennetwork@gmail.com .

Co-Sponsored by FCGN and the Penfield Community Victory Garden:

Saturday, January 26: Seed and Houseplant Swap, 9 am-1 pm. Join us for a fun winter Saturday, a day all about gardening after the holidays! We’ll share seeds and houseplants, enjoy some refreshments, hear a couple of fun talks, practice making our own seed-starting tools, and get together again to talk about our favorite subject. Nancy Marrer, Chair of the garden committee for the Penfield Community Victory Garden, will demonstrate seed-starting, making your own environmentally friendly paper pots, and a couple of ways to create your own seed tapes and “square-foot” pre-seeded papers. Then – after a break to check out the seeds and plants, enjoy refreshments and try our hand at making paper pots and seed tapes – instructor, garden designer and author Christine Froehlich (gardeningwithwhatyouhave.com) will present a slide-talk on winter forcing flowering branches. The event will take place in the Community Room at the Penfield Recreation Center, 1985 Baird Rd, Penfield, NY 14526, co-sponsored with the Penfield Community Victory Garden. Bring seeds you’ve collected or saved, and houseplants or cuttings that you’d like to share, but join us whether you have seeds or plants to contribute or not – there will be plenty for everyone! Free and open to the
public, pre-registration requested, email flowercitygardennetwork@gmail.com .


Thanks to Marcy Klein for her post on one of her favorites, 
Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Summer Snowflake’

Click on the left sidebar under "The Good" to read more about why it's a great choice for a flowering shrub.

New posts to the Gardeners' Forum: 

7/28/18 Interesting article from the Washington Post sent in by an FCGN member: Cycles of flood and drought are becoming the norm. How should a gardener respond? https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/after-the-flood-a-certain-smugness/2018/06/26/ffcd4184-73eb-11e8-805c-4b67019fcfe4_story.html?utm_term=.aa8514573fbb

7/3/18 Cindy Cali on FCGN FaceBook page (click on tab on left): What I am doing in the garden: Well, by now most of your pruning should be done, except what has yet to flower. I have been deadheading Dianthus, Basket of Gold and other flowers that are done; and cutting down plants that are done flowering to come back again like Bachelor Buttons. Most of the Salvia Nemerosa (Meadow Sage, etc.), I have cut down a couple inches from the ground, as it comes back and blooms again. The iris has been cut down and fanned out and the Siberian Iris has been totally cut down so as not to reseed. Jacob's Ladder has been cut down (and will come back but not flower). Bleeding hearts have been cut down totally to allow the plants underneath to show now. All the deciduous and tree peonies have been deadheaded (and tree peonies have been pruned). The dead browning stalks inside of hellebores have been removed, and many other garden tasks. Have a question about a plant? Ask away, and I will answer. Thank you. Cindy Cali (go to FCGN FaceBook page, tab on left, if you'd like to ask Cindy a question, or email it to Flowercitygardennetwork@gmail.com - Cindy loves questions!)

6/1/18 Viburnum leaf beetles. I haven’t seen any sign of these for years, but this past couple of weeks they have completely defoliated my mapleleaf viburnum. Very discouraging! I have heard that they have been defoliating a mapleleaf viburnum in Penfield for the last few years. Judy Hubbard

5/23/18 Giant Predatory Flatworms: this Washington Post article describes 1 ft-long Asian flatworms that have existed in France since probably at least 1999, but are only now being noticed by scientists. They live underground and are predatory on earthworms and other soil fauna.

5/9/18: Check out Mertensia Park in Farmington (close to Victor) - wonderful stand of Mertensia. Go now, they are probably just at peak bloom. Judy Hubbard

Cindy Cali posted to our Facebook page about a new invasive pest, the spotted lanternfly, that is causing damage in Pennsylvania and has been found in New York, Delaware and Virginia. It is a large white plant hopper with black spots and red hindwings. Its prefered host is Ailanthus (tree of heaven) but it feeds on more than 70 other species, including grapes, hops and fruit trees. This pest is believed to be hitch hiking to new areas, and with its tremendous potential for reproducing it is expected to be devastating. See our forum or facebook pages for a link to more information.

Some interesting info on offerings by the Garden Conservancy: they will premier a new film about Frank Cabot and the creation of his magnificent garden in Quebec, Les Quatre Vents. Also, they have scheduled 2 garden open days in Ithaca, the first one March 24 in a spring garden, and one in the Greater Rochester area June 10. 

Tom Jones sent a note about Dr. Edward Mott Moore, considered the father of Rochester's park system. 

Professional landscaper, CNLP, and master gardener Cindy Cali sent an update on what to do now in your gardenClick on the Gardener's Forum on the left sidebar - and keep our community posted on what's happening in your garden! Send us all your comments and questions using the form available ("Comments or Questions" on the sidebar) or email us at Flowercitygardennetwork@gmail.com.  

Welcome to the Flower City Garden Network of Rochester.

We are an entirely volunteer group of gardening educators and enthusiasts.

About once a month, we offer a talk, garden visit or guided walk in a natural area or at an arboretum.

On this website we share information about garden classes, talks and gardening events in and around Rochester NY.

See our website for a list of upcoming events, or better yet sign up for membership or for our email list so you will be the first to hear about what we are doing next. Don't forget to like us on Facebook.

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