News and Upcoming Events:

We have a couple of events coming up for fall and a Seed Swap for after the holidays; see below or FCGN-sponsored events on the left sidebar. We are working on talks for the late-fall and 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. 

Michael Hannen posted some pictures on his Facebook account of our September 23 plant sale at the Public Market. If you'd like to see them paste this address into your browser (sorry, website didn't want to imbed link):


Again, many thanks to those of you who donated plants and shopped at the sale.

FCGN Events:

New: Saturday, December 1: Seed Processing and Storage, 1:30-4 pm.Come 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 .

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

Co-Sponsored by FCGN and the Penfield Community Victory Garden:
Saturday, January 26: Seed Swap, 9 am-1 pm. Join us for a fun winter Saturday, a day all about gardening after the long holiday season! We’ll share seeds, 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 really neat methods for creating your own seed tapes and “square-foot” pre-seeded papers. Then after a break to check out the seeds, 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 seed-swap 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, but join us whether you have seeds to contribute or not – there will be plenty for everyone! Free and open to the public, pre-registration requested, email flowercitygardennetwork@gmail.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!

Cindy Cali will be offering Low Maintenance Gardening at the Henrietta Garden Club on November 14 at 7 pm. Cindy is a Certified Nursery & Landscape Professional, Master Gardener, a Certified Pesticide Applicator, and garden consultant. She has taught classes and given presentations since 2008. She worked for a landscaping company for six years before venturing out on her own in 2002 to create a Garden Design and Landscape Maintenance business which presently maintains 50 accounts, one of which is at left.  Cindy will discuss how to lower the maintenance in your existing gardens; what plants and shrubs are considered low-maintenance, and the care of these plants. She will also incorporate design ideas to lower your maintenance and pruning; tips and tricks on how to garden more efficiently and what you can do yourself to avoid spending money on professionals. Please bring your questions. Meeting takes place in the Department of Public Works building just southwest of the Henrietta Library at 405 Calkins Road. Refreshments and conversation begin at 6:30 and the meeting begins at 7:00 pm. Non-members are welcome for one free meeting.

Upcoming classes with Christine Froehlich:

In November Christine Froehlich will be teaching in Irondequoit Continuing Ed: 

November 1: Gardening With What You Have, 6:30-8pm

November 8 & 15: Landscape Drawing, A Plan for Success, 2-class series, 6:30-8 pm

Click on the links in the titles for more information.

Cindy Cali will be offering Low Maintenance Gardening at the Henrietta Garden Club on November 14 at 

Floral Design with Alana Miller

For those of us missing Alana Miller's beautiful and affordable everlasting floral arrangements, there's good news: Alana will be selling her floral creations at the L W Emporium Co-op at 6355 Knickerbocker Rd, Ontario 14519, open 10 am-5 pm Tuesday-Sunday.

Alana is offering three classes coming up at the Pittsford Library:

November 28: Demo - Make and Decorate a Garland, 7-8:30 pm.

December 11: Get Creative with Gift Wrapping Demo, 7-8 pm.

December 18: Wrap and Yap - DIY gift wrapping, wrap 2-3 gifts.

More information on our classes and events list (left sidebar).

: OK, not garden-related (till they start wrecking it), but who doesn't love 

puppies? Members Carolyn and Bob McKee have a whole bunch of new pure-bred Long Coat German Shepherd puppies! Four are still available. Their website is Spirit Shepherds (www.spiritshepherds.com)

Seed Swap: save your seeds, the Seed Swap is a go for late January, early February in collaboration with Penfield Recreation. Details are being worked out. This event has been so much fun, sharing seeds, a couple of fun talks, and getting together again – all about gardening after a long holiday season. Come whether you have seeds or not – there will be plenty for everyone.

Seed Saving Tips

Late summer to fall is the time of year to think about saving seed. Check around your garden for possibilities – if the seeds are worth saving, hold off deadheading until seeds are ripe.

Avoid: Seeds from hybrid plants, which don’t breed true or are infertile; plants which self-sow excessively – no need to pass on pests; seeds which need to be sown immediately after collection in order to sprout (e.g. many tree seeds); seeds from scarce wildflowers.

Steps in seed-saving: Seeds are ripe when pods turn brown and dry; if in a fruit or berry, it should be overripe. Just before seedheads are about to shatter, cut stems and lay indoors on a flat surface, or upside down in a paper bag. Seeds will be released as the pods dry. Clean out debris and spread seeds indoors on newspaper to continue drying for a few days; seeds may look dry, but there may still be interior moisture. To save seeds formed inside fruits, it is necessary to separate the seeds from the pulp: mash fruit, if small, or scoop seeds out of larger fruits. Then wash seeds in water and dry on newspaper. When seeds are dry, put in glass jar, prescription container, paper or glassine envelope, etc., and label with name, variety if appropriate, annual or perennial, size, flower color, and preferred habitat and growing instructions if you know them.

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 .


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.  

Flower City Garden Network is new group, the brainchild of a group of gardening educators and enthusiasts. Our aim is to create a network connecting gardeners to learn about gardening from experienced instructors, visit local gardens, share inspiration and information, and foster a sense of community. Gardeners of all levels are welcome.

We will add more information to our website and Facebook page as we develop.

Under our present structure, we will not offer classes directly but will provide a calendar with links to valuable educational and garden-related opportunities in our area offered independently through local Community Education programs, libraries, garden centers, NYS Cooperative Extension Service, etc. We plan in the future to have Flower City Garden Network (FCGN) sponsored social events in special gardens, as well as networking groups, community service groups, and committees, to support our desire for connection and service.

Our Resources pages will offer links to all of your favorite websites, blogs, online catalogs, local garden centers, community service organizations – any garden-related resources you’d like to share with our community. Our Forum will allow you to ask a question of our garden community, respond to other’s questions, and alert area gardeners to interesting or noteworthy information.

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