Doors will open at 9:00 am for refreshments and swapping, then presentations from Lucienne Nichols and Christine Froehlich will begin at 9:30 am. There will be a break between presenters with time for swapping, visiting and talking to presenters. Talks will end about 1:00pm.
About the presentations:
Christine Froehlich will present Imperfectly Perfect: How to Garden in Impossible Places
Every landscape comes with its own set of challenges. Success comes about when you figure out how to make it work in spite of them. At first glance, some sites can seem impossible, but damp boggy areas, dry shade, root ridden soil, deer and other planting nightmares don’t have to stop you from having a beautiful garden. Matching the plants to the site is the key to ensuring an attractive, sustainable landscape.
Garden designer Christine Froehlich has done a fair share of banging her shovel against rocks, roots, clumpy clay soil and trying to figure out what plants have a chance of surviving. Close observation of plants in their natural habitat and willingness to experiment have played an important role in her work. She’ll take you through the process of identifying the limitations of a site, working with it and choosing the appropriate plants. Her slide lecture shows the transformation of a variety of seemingly impossible spots into beautiful and sustainable landscapes.
Christine owned and operated her own business, Flowers Garden Design and Maintenance, in Kent, Ct. for 25 years. Her work as a garden designer and consultant inspired the freelance writing career she embarked upon in 2004 when she moved to upstate New York, and her articles have been published in The American Gardener, Country Gardens, American Nurseryman, Fine Gardening, 585 Magazine, Rochester Magazine and The Upstate Gardeners Journal.
For 10 years she served as both the executive director and an instructor at the Rochester Civic Garden Center in Rochester. She continues to share her knowledge by consulting and lecturing to area garden clubs and organizations. You can find out more about Christine and tune into her monthly blog, classes and lectures at Gardening With What You Have (gwwyh.com)
Lucienne Nicholson will talk about her gardening process, which promotes joy and healing. We visited Lucienne’s gorgeous garden this past August and were inspired by its color and exuberance. A highlight was the walled vegetable plot referred to as ‘the farm.’ Its design evolved from Lucienne’s childhood memories of her grandmother’s farm in Haiti, where vegetables, fruit, flowers and herbs all grew together. Plants of different heights and purposes meld together seamlessly. Managed wildness rules – things that pop up are welcome – even some of the weeds. Bright colors play an important role – arbors, raised beds and structures are painted every shade of the rainbow. Living walls of pole beans climb up trellises painted blue, green, orange and yellow. A trio of fuchsia-colored arbors, laden with tomatoes, takes center stage in the middle of the garden.
Joygiving and Healing is the “why” of gardening for her. She will ask you what your “why” is, and of course there are no wrong answers. For Lucienne, gardening fosters that crucial spiritual connection with the earth and its creatures. It’s also a source of liberation; growing up in Haiti “girls were girls,” and it was through nature that she found freedom. This continues to be true, as she believes in breaking the traditional rules of suburban gardening – plants tell us where they want to be, what they want to connect with - and the mixing of flowers and foods is part of the joy and beauty. Lucienne will show images of her glorious gardens and discuss how you can make your space meaningful, joyful and healing.
You can read more about Lucienne’s background and garden journey, as well as her work with her organization, Inclusive Woods and Us here. Through this organization she enables access to nature for poor, working class children living in urban spaces, particularly black children and children of color, who have been excluded from access to America’s wilderness and trails due to racism as well as economic hardship. Inclusive Woods and Us focuses on the children, because often they are the ones who get left behind. Nature heals. Now we have scientific studies that confirm the critical need for access to nature for all children. “Wherever I am in the woods, I want to experience our collective humanity. We are one in nature’s eyes…. The transformation is real and unforgettable. That first awe is priceless. And watching the bodies move from a restrained state to full freedom of movement is the greatest reward.”
If you are bringing seeds that you have collected, there is no need to split them into small packets ahead of time. Just bring each separate variety in one envelope or container. We will have small envelopes available that attendees can label and use to take home appropriate portions from the bulk envelopes. Also feel free to bring extra commercial seed packets that you'd like to share.
Label the seed samples you bring with as much of the following information as possible: name (scientific name if known), perennial or annual, flower color (if it's ornamental), height, preferred growing conditions, days to harvest (if it's a vegetable).
If you have houseplants that could use trimming, cut some good-sized pieces with one or more nodes (places on the stem where leaves are attached), wrap them in slightly damp paper towel and bring them in a labeled plastic bag. If you have a large overgrown plant, you can bring the whole plant for people to cut pieces from it, and then you can either give away the plant or take it home again.
Catalogs, gardening magazines, and sundry:
We'll have a table for items that are free to take--bring your extras of current and previous years' catalogs, as well as garden magazines and other items you think gardeners might appreciate.