Master Gardeners offering tours, party

The Franklin County Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners would like to invite you to join them, on three separate occasions during the 2013 gardening season, to learn about and enjoy the landscape gardening experience. Entayant Gardens is a privately owned assemblage of informal woodland and cottage gardens, hidden within the Adirondack forest, along the lakeshore of a picturesque Adirondack lake. Just being invited into a noteworthy, private landscape garden is an opportunity, especially when you consider the time and hard work that has gone into designing, preparing and maintaining these large, captivatingly beautiful gardens. Being invited to visit on three separate occasions, which allows you to experience the remarkable changes that occur over the season upon such strikingly unique environments, is nothing less than a privilege. And if one of those invitations includes a Victorian style garden party with music, a meal, and much more, well, that sure sounds like fun! Doesn’t it? How much more incentive do you need?


Sunday, June 23: Peony Envy

Sunday, Aug. 18: Garden Party

Sunday, Sept. 8: Grasses Bloom & Butterflies Zoom

Time: TBD

Registration is limited and you must register by calling 518-483-7403 or by emailing The cost for attending all three events, including the garden party with performing artists and catered buffet meal is $37, if you register on or before June 21; $42 after the Peony Envy event. Tickets, directions and additional information will be provided when we receive payment.

In my lifetime, and especially during my years at Extension, I have had the good fortune of meeting, getting to know, and working with many devoted gardeners who, limited only by their imagination and resourcefulness, have crafted some truly remarkable gardens. For many of them, including quite a few dedicated Master Gardener volunteers, nothing is more enjoyable than tending their gardens, except maybe talking about plants and gardening with fellow enthusiasts or helping novice gardeners succeed. Their love of gardening and for teaching gardening comes straight from the heart. And they remain a constant source of inspiration.

Like many of them, my knowledge of gardening comes from both books and experience. Also like many of them, I’ve had numerous opportunities to assist both friends and Extension clients, in some cases, expanding their gardening knowledge and ability, in other cases, by introducing them to gardening for the first time in their lives and helping to make them fully aware of the commitments and challenges (hard work, patience, critters, disease), as well as the satisfaction and serenity (fresh vegetables, cut flowers, critters [hummingbirds, butterflies]), associated with gardening.

I’ve always been fascinated by attractive flower arrangements, especially by picturesque arrangements of flowering plants growing in landscaped garden sites. And I’ve learned that there are two ways to create beautiful garden landscapes. The first is to spend your children’s inheritance right now, hire professional landscapers, and possibly still end up disappointed. The other is through hard work and patience.

Prudent, thrifty gardeners envision what they want to establish. They start small, persevere, and appreciate that the perennials, trees, and shrubs that they are planting, with a bit of maintenance and commitment, will continue to bloom and grow until eventually, an enjoyable, living work of art that compliments the home and is an extension of the gardener’s personality is produced.

Landscape garden projects are almost always completed in stages, using varieties of plants that create distinctively different environments that the gardener and garden visitors will be able to appreciate as they move from garden area to garden area. These gardens often appear under-planted at first and some may even require plantings of annuals to fill the empty spaces, for the first couple of years. But once things have grown in and more experience is gained, the up-and-coming landscaper will be ready to tackle bigger projects, with even more pleasing results.

Talk to someone in the know before starting a large, or even a small yard or garden project, especially if you are inexperienced. Every year I speak with someone faced with having to redo just about everything they’ve worked at. Some are just about praying for divine intervention. Learning from others, and especially from other peoples’ mistakes, can save novices a lot of time, hassle,and unnecessary expense. Even if you have a fair amount of knowledge and skill, you can always benefit from the experience and perspectives of others.

Once you become serious about this type of gardening, you’ll quickly come to appreciate how much time and effort successful gardeners devote to their park-like garden landscapes. You’ll also come to understand how landscape gardeners effectively use plants that, over time, become very low-maintenance, even maintenance-free, and how to use texture, color and form as design elements, in order to create attention-grabbing, eye-catching plantings that will remain attractive all season long, for years to come.

I want to thank the team of Master Gardener volunteers from Franklin, Clinton and Essex counties and the other volunteers who will join them to make this fundraising series of events, which will greatly benefit the Franklin County Master Gardener program, possible. During the course of these three events, Master Gardener volunteers will be available to answer any questions you may have about garden planning, choosing varieties, pH and soil testing, planting, caring for, or harvesting your garden. They can also address questions about lawns, garden soils, insects, possible disease problems, gardening in raised beds, late season vegetable crops, and extending the garden season with cold frames, row covers and mulches.

Through this type of education, community outreach, and participation, Cornell Cooperative Extension is living up to its mission of building strong and sustainable New York communities.