Good Bye, Gardeners

HVGA.LogoBlogAboutHudson Valley Garden Association will cease operating as a regional garden organization as of November 2015. Co-founder, Laura Wilson, is relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area and we will not continue in her absence.

Now onto the good news! Hudson Valley Garden Calendar will remain an online resource for finding and promoting local garden events. Thank you to HVGA active member and founder of New Windsor Garden Club, Michele Lawrensen, for volunteering to keep this site alive! Info for submitting your organization’s events can be found here.

We are happy to have increased free garden programming this past season as a result of fundraising efforts, your generous donations and the contributions of our supporting members. This year’s Bulb Donation Program was a huge success, and in spring of 2016 details will be announced about the HVGA Garden Grant program which will disperse the remainder of the organization’s funds to the garden community.

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HVGA.HVGAHat150Message from HVGA co-founder, Laura Wilson

In life we are lucky to find something that stirs our soul, challenges our mind or unleashes our creativity, and if you’re truly blessed you discover something that delivers all three. I found that something in the garden. Then I was lucky enough to make a wonderful, garden-crazy friend to share it with. Together, we dreamed that we could turn our love for gardening and the fun we had in sharing our special interest – the beauty! the wonder of mother nature! the challenge! – with even MORE people. We didn’t care about how much work it would be or not making any money. We just wanted to help people love gardening as much as we did, and hopefully share that joy with others.

It’s impossible for me to write about the conclusion of HVGA from an impersonal, business-like point of view. (I tried, really!) For the past four years we have had the pleasure of turning our love of gardening into a organization that celebrated local gardens and gardeners, created an energetic platform to program events and disperse information, and most importantly – meet and share with all of you. And so it has been a very personal experience, and, for me that was the best part.

There are many people to thank for their support of this organization over the past four years.

It has been an incredible learning and growing experience to traverse the unknown waters of non-profitdom (you knew we’d never done this before, right?) with one of my very best friends. HVGA’s steadfast co-founder, Rebecca Glembocki, never once told me my ideas were crazy, or that we should slow down, or to shut up because she was sick of talking about gardening and could we do something else for once, please?  Not a week goes by that I am not thankful for the opportunity to be part of such a healthy, productive, creative partnership.

HVGA.MembersOur active members Michele, Kae, Amy, Suzanne, Anita, Pat and Barbara joined us from the very beginning and their friendship, time, effort and belief in HVGA means the world to us.

My husband, Todd, has been rocking out behind the scenes since day one with the design of and Thank you for your hours of late night computing, support and encouragement. He pushed us to always think even bigger and said yes to everything we ever asked for.

Most importantly, to the people who let us know they enjoyed what HVGA was doing and that it meant something to them, and those we have had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with – thank you. There were so many more of you than we ever expected. You motivated us to continue and grow, and made it all the more enjoyable!

I hope Hudson Valley Garden Association has inspired you to continue exploring the resources available to Hudson Valley gardeners, and to grow as gardeners. We end our brief existence as an organization hoping that you have been, and will continue to be, excited to do more, see more, and learn more in the garden.

I will miss you – Garden On!

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HVGA.RGNaumkeag2015BMessage from HVGA co-founder, Rebecca Glembocki

Dear Laura, HVGA friends and gardeners,

To those of you who have helped HVGA with all of our projects, thank you so much. We couldn’t have done Garden Fair and classes and had so much fun on outings without all of you.  To all our dedicated members and acquaintances, thanks for sharing and coming to our events and supporting our mission.  I hope to see you all often!

It is with such sadness and also immense gratitude that I say good luck (not goodbye) to my truly wonderful friend Laura Wilson as she starts on a new journey in her life. She brought me along with her on this adventure to get outside my own garden and celebrate this beautiful Hudson Valley and its amazing garden spaces and gardeners. We have had so much fun over the years! Good luck in California, Laura, where we will now have a special long distance friendship with your new garden experiences to share.

“Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.” – Thomas Fuller

Always keep in touch,

HVGA.LWandRGRebecca and I doing what we love best…touring gorgeous gardens together!

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Garden Visit: Jade Hill


This past July the Garden Conservancy was hosting yet another fabulous Open Days in Dutchess County, NY. We picked, planned and plotted which gardens to visit and in what order – the program allows this flexibilty to see one, all or a few of your choosing, genius!

Halfway through our day my instincts kicked and told me to stop. We didn’t plan to see Jade Hill, the Amenia garden of Paul Arcario and Don Walker, partly because it has long been on the roster and there were a bunch of new gardens showing that day. But I’d never been, and this was quite possibly going to be my last area garden tour…on a whim we switched gears and headed over. And I’m so glad we did.


Flashy foliage from trees, shrubs and potted specimens


 Numerous pools, fountains and water features add a layer of motion and
sound to an already textural garden


Jade Hill is named for the steep and rocky hillside the garden is sited on -
making for fun exploration and exceptional views


Art mixed with the colorful plantings create a vivid visual experience…

DSC_0062…and a hint of whimsy makes it fun and personal (I love this guy!)


My lovely garden tour companion and HVGA active member, Kae,
and I actually lost each other a few times in the paths among the mature plantings


Backlit lotus leaves contrast perfectly with the purple beech and nearby pine


One of my favorite dry creek beds I’ve seen in a garden – bravo!
Photo also shows creative use of downed trees, as edging along path.


Home owner, Don Walker, greeted us enthusiastically when we arrived.
He focuses on the hardscape and structures in the garden – like this Asian inspired pavilion – while Paul is the plant collector.

Don’s heartfelt welcome might have won me over before we even stepped foot into the garden. But after visiting, Jade Hill instantly became not only my favorite garden seen that day but one of my favorites in the region. Be sure to check it out if on the Open Days schedule in 2016.

Garden description from the Garden Conservancy Open Days Directory:
Starting as a rocky hillside that was mostly lawn, Jade Hill has grown into a stroll garden designed to be a tapestry of texture and color. Favorite plants went in first: Japanese maples, conifers, and a bamboo grove. Innumerable wheelbarrows of compost and mulch (wheeled uphill!) helped create beds of shrubs and perennials; hand-dug pools were put in for goldfish and lotus. The main bed along the driveway is anchored by golden barberries and purple smoke trees (coppiced each year)—with roses, peonies, Siberian iris, phlox, and other perennials filling in—and backed by a ‘Purple Fountain’ weeping beech. Jade Hill borders the wetlands that were once Lake Amenia, and our property is on the site of what was intended to become a lakeside community consisting of dozens of small lots. Over the years we were able to acquire some of the adjacent parcels, which quickly became new garden rooms. One addition was the rose garden, another was a gold-themed garden, viewed from a cantilevered “Oriental” pavilion meant to show off carved wooden window panels purchased at a flea market years ago. The garden was featured in the September 2006 issue of Better Homes & Gardens and the July 2007 issue of Hudson Valley magazine.

To receive emails about future Garden Conservancy Open Days in your area, sign up online here.

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HVGA Donates Over 11,000 Bulbs To Local Groups


Village of Tivoli Green Committee had a great volunteer turn out on planting day!


Millbrook Garden Club

Millbrook Garden Club

Hudson Valley Garden Association donated bulb packages to eleven eligible non-profit garden groups and civic organizations in the Mid-Hudson Valley (Orange, Ulster, Dutchess and Putnam county) for public planting this past fall as part of their Bulb Donation Project.

The 2016 bulb recipients were: Grace Smith House, Millbrook Garden Club, Tioranda Garden Club, Old Dutch Village Garden Club, Village

New Paltz Garden Club

New Paltz Garden Club

of Tivoli Green Committee, LaGrange Historical Society, CCE Ulster County Master Gardeners, New Paltz Garden Club, Monroe Woodbury Garden Club, Humane Society of Port Jervis and Chester Public Library.

Bulb Packages included:
- 50 Allium “Purple Sensation”
- 500 Grape Hyacinth
- 500 Daffodil “Dutch Master”

Girl Scout volunteers plant bulbs at Chester Public Library

Girl Scout volunteers plant bulbs at Chester Public Library

Program is co-sponsored by ADR Bulbs, Chester, NY.

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