HVGA Winter Lecture Series 2015





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ColorHiRes800Dreaming, Scheming and Theming with Color in the Garden
Saturday, January 17th, 2015; 11am-12pm
Marasco Community Center,
555 Union Ave, New Windsor, NY
Fee: $5 members/ $10 non-members
Register here
Learn how to create your own showstopping garden bursting with color from the maestro of Mohonk Mountain House’s annual display gardens, garden manager Andrew Koehn. Discover how thoughtful use of color – provided by annuals and bulbs – can create Andrewdramatic effect in the garden and extend your season of bloom.

With Andrew Koehn, Mohonk Mountain House Garden Manager. Andrew (aka Gartenmeister) has been avidly growing plants for 45 years. He brings a sense of humor to any botanical discussion along with a broad base of horticultural knowledge.

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Saturday, January 17th, 2015; 1:30-2:30pm
Marasco Community Center,
555 Union Ave, New Windsor, NY
Fee: $5 members/ $10 non-members
Register here

Winter Sowing is an increasingly popular method of starting hardy seedlings in mini-greenhouses made from recycled containers and placing them outdoors in the winter months to germinate as the weather warms. In this hands-on workshop you’ll learn which plants work well using this method and create your own mini-greenhouse in just a few easy steps.

With Michele Lawrensen, HVGA member & founder of New Windsor Garden Club

(Photo: The Sample Seed Shop)

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harvest800Three Season Vegetable Gardening
Sunday, February 8th, 2015; 10am-11am
Marbletown Community Center,
3564 Main St. (Rt. 209), Stone Ridge, NY
Fee: $5 members/ $10 non-members
Register here

Learn how you can enjoy fresh, home-grown veggies throughout three seasons and even into early winter. Succession planting is the key. We’ll also look at ways to warm up the soil in spring to get an early start as well as season extenders to keep your garden growing even as temperatures start to drop.

Barbara turning compost800With Barbara Bravo, Garden Coach. Barbara has more than 25 years experience gardening where the wildlife is plentiful and where she continues to learn peaceful co-existence. Her garden was featured on the Saugerties Secret Gardens Tour. She is a Master Gardener Volunteer, a Garden Coach, Coordinator of CCE Master Gardeners Garden Day, and has lectured on many topics. When not in the garden, she may be found working in her studio creating handmade tiles and nature inspired pottery.

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670px-Make-a-Tussie-Mussie-Step-2Tussie Mussie Workshop
Sunday, February 8th, 2015; 1pm-2pm
Marbletown Community Center,
3564 Main St. (Rt. 209), Stone Ridge, NY
Fee: $19 members/ $24 non-members (includes materials)
Register here

Discover the tradition behind creating tussie mussies, a small circular nosegay of flowers and herbs, gathered and arranged tightly, and designed to carry a message in the language of flowers. Also called “word-posies,” traditional tussie mussies are mostly composed of fragrant herbs and greens surrounding one central flower, often a rose. In this hands-on workshop, each student will design their own nosegay to relay a personal message. Often these can be dried, and kept. Herbs, flowers and ribbon will be provided, please bring own clippers or floral snips.

ELissaandFriendWith Elissa Cimino, Flowers by Elissa.
Elissa has created arrangements and environments throughout upper Westchester County and the mid-Hudson Valley for more than 30 years. She combines a visual arts background with an extensive education in horticulture and a deep love for nature and gardening.

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BECOME A MEMBER: Discounted lecture admission available when you join HVGA in 2015! Details here. Once your application is received, we’ll send you the members only discount code for online registration.

More classes to be announced shortly! To receive news updates from HVGA join our mailing list. All classes require pre-registration.

For more information email info@hvga.org.


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Over the Garden Gate: Kae Kotarski

DSC_0006What’s more fun than the chance to peek over the garden gate into a neighbor’s garden?

Kae's Garden 2014 049

This season HVGA members were invited to visit fellow gardener Kae Kotarski’s thirteen year-old garden in Gardiner, NY not once but twice – enjoying seasonal viewings and a generous Labor Day plant dig. An enthusiastic collector of both plants and discarded items, Kae marries the two throughout her garden with an artist’s eye and lyrical wit.

Kae's Garden 2014 023

All kinds of  materials become useful – and beautiful – in Kae’s garden


Creative container gardening ideas are everywhere you turn


When and how did you begin gardening?
When I was about 5, my beloved next door neighbor had endless gardens full of color and beauty. She had a tiny greenhouse made of old windows attached to her garage and a goldfish pond before anyone ever heard of koi! She kept my interest in all things growing because of her immense patience and countless hours spent with me over the next dozen years. She taught me much of what I know today. She was also the ultimate recycler.


Can you describe your garden style?
Limitless, as in the variety I have. There is so much diversity – from bonsai to miniatures to unusual specimens of conifer and Japanese maples. I could go on but you get the idea! Perennial gardens are a favorite.


Share three things that get your gardener blood pumping (in a good way!)
An interesting conifer, seeing beautiful native plants thriving in their homeland (it makes me want to capture the same feeling somewhere in my Zone 5 yard!) and the first green growth I see in spring. It never fails to literally make my heart beat faster, then I weep.

Kae's Garden 2014 064

Beginning to dabble in the whimsy of miniature gardens – but you’ll find NO fairies here.

Kae's Garden 2014 059

Best or latest acquisitions – both plant and object?
One of my very best is a cast iron mermaid I purchased several years ago and a serpentine weeping conifer.

Kae's Garden 2014 046Shrimp plant (Justicia brandegeana) is one of many large tender plants Kae successfully overwinters in her attached garage.


Tips, tricks or advice for incorporating found objects d’art into the garden?
I’m really not sure what my approach is…ha ha ha! Seriously, I find a rusted pail or a small enamel sink and I see planter, a hens and chicken garden and endless other ideas. Sometimes I have to slow down. Now I save metal for my future plan to learn to weld. I think old wrought iron gates and fencing can be used in any garden, it personalizes a place in the yard.

DSC_0029What is your approach?
The gardener’s personality should be present. I have a sense of humor and it shows up in subtle ways in my gardens. Don’t be afraid to try a rusty something, it blends in at bloom time and is nice to look at through the long winters.


What are you excited about for the upcoming garden season?
Getting back in the yard after winter and Hudson Valley Garden Fair!

Many thanks to Kae for sharing her garden with us. If you’d like to share your garden in an upcoming issue of the HVGA newsletter, email laura@hvga.org. We’d love to come peek over your garden gate!

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New at SUNY Orange: Devitt Center Wetland Garden

Contributed by Kirsten Gabrielsen, SUNY Orange Sustainability Coordinator


The Devitt Center for Botany and Horticulture wetland was installed in the spring and summer of 2014 at the SUNY Orange Middletown Campus. The constructed wetland illustrates a natural approach to pond filtration, mirroring the operation of natural wetlands. The wetland not only enhances the aesthetic value of the area; it also has environmental benefits and serves as an important educational component as the college continues to embrace sustainability topics in its curriculum.

B E F O R E . . .

IMG_0134. . . A F T E R !

Design and construction of the wetland was overseen by Garden State Koi of Warwick, NY, the path and viewing platform by McCarey Landscaping of Middletown, NY while landscape and plant design and installation was completed by Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County, Master Gardeners, and volunteers. The project was funded by the Devitt Family.

Volunteers during installation

This garden is part of  a continued effort by the SUNY Orange Sustainability committee to install educational garden spaces on campus – including a native woodland, xeriscape and rain garden. You can read more about their sustainable garden efforts in an earlier HVGA article here.


Cardinal Flower - Lobelia cardinalis
Blue Flag Iris - Iris versicolor
Copper Iris - Iris fulva
Swamp Milkweed - Asclepias incarnata
Purple Pitcher Plant - Serracenia purpurea
Marsh Marigold - Caltha palustris
Turtlehead - Chelone glabra
Hollow Joe-Pye Weed - Eupatoriadelphus fistulosus
Rose Mallow - Hibiscus moscheutos
Sweet Flag - Acorus americanus
Bog Bean - Menyanthes trifoliata
Water Willow - Justicia americana
Allegheny Monkeyflower - Mimulus ringens
Buttonbush - Cephalanthus occidentalis
American Hazelnut - Corylus americana
Northern Bayberry - Morella pensylvanica

IntTreeTourCampus grounds at SUNY Orange are open to the public and gardens are marked with informational “Campus Sustainability” signage. There is also a newly developed International Tree Tour. A walking map is available in the Library Lobby and additional information can be found here.

For grounds information and a comprehensive list of the campus plantings that can be discovered at both the Middletown and Newburgh campuses, please visit the SUNY Orange website.

If you have any question or would like additional information on SUNY Orange’s Sustainability efforts and Garden Projects, please feel free to contact kirsten.gabrielsen@sunyorange.edu.

 SUNY Orange - Middletown Campus
115 South St, Middletown, NY 10940
(845) 344-6222

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