Horticultural mother-vessel | Gardening | Hudson Valley


  • Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.
  • This bulb maze was planted by Professor Cornell Bill Miller’s Herbaceous Plant Materials class in the fall of 2008. You can take a virtual tour online. Right: Cornell University’s Minns Garden, where students of all ages learn about landscaping and plant identification.

“Extension work is not an exhortation. in the localities. ”

—Liberty Hyde Bailey, National Cooperative Extension System pioneer, botanist, horticulturist, plant explorer, founder of Cornell College of Agriculture, first advocate of women’s education, tough guy

In August 2011, after Hurricanes Irene and Lee caused the Wallkill River to flood in our community garden, submerging the potential fall harvest under 10 feet of water for days, we are members of the board. from New Paltz Gardens for Nutrition had a lot of questions. When the water receded, was it safe to enter the garden in terms of exposure to bacteria? Were there any products (for example, root vegetables) that had not rotted safe for consumption? How quickly would it be safe to plant fall crops, if any? For example, could we plant garlic in October, as is the norm in our region, or would we be wise to skip a season?

We consulted a Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) publication published in the wake of these disasters, Coping with flooded vegetable fields, by Steve Reiners, to keep us informed. It gave us a lifeline of solid advice that we could pass on to our fellow gardeners. (We also did extensive soil testing and found the soil thankfully free of contamination.)

Every state in the United States has at least one land granting university, which means a university that receives federal and state funding earmarked for extension activities, extension its research results into practical advice for farmers, gardeners, small business owners and others. In New York City, our land grant institution and extension hub is Cornell, a humble beacon for gardeners in our state and beyond. It is a definitive source of information for everything related to horticulture, obtained through trials and patient research, often tedious. This is our mothership. I wish more New Yorkers could take advantage of CCE’s horticultural wealth. And I cringe when CCE experiences budget cuts; I know firsthand that extension teachers, agents and staff work really hard.

At Cornell, professors of horticulture often have a tripartite appointment to do teaching, research and extension. Their teaching is aimed at university students; they carry out original research and disseminate the results of their research to the general public through their popularization work, in particular by writing newsletters and giving lectures and training in practical fields.

CCE offers trusted and popular programs such as Master Gardener and 4-H Programs, Plant Sale, Garden Based Learning, Short Lawn Courses, and Plant and Insect Identification. He is constantly innovating new offerings, such as distance learning courses in botanical illustration, organic gardening and plant propagation. These are some of the Cornell horticultural resources that I use most often.

Gardening.cornell.edu is a site every New York gardener should bookmark. While not all of the resources available are popular publications, this site does serve the purposes of extending the knowledge of the university to the public. It is the hub.

Pruning: An Illustrated Guide to Pruning Trees and Shrubs by Rakow and Weir. The designs are excellent. You can also find a free PDF on the Cornell Gardening site. I also recommend the Planting guide by Good and Weir, with the Transplant guide by the Urban Horticultural Institute (UHI). All of the UHI publications have things to teach homeowners, as many of us have areas on our properties that are difficult in the same way as “urban” environments. The site is also ideal if you are looking to get more involved in community forestry.


  • Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.

The Cornell Woody Plants Database is a fantastic resource. It gives you a way to match an appropriate tree species to your site, often a difficult site. The database can also be used for the study of woody plants, as it presents a lot of cultural information and pictures for each species. There is a Plant Walk section, which you can use to find a series of plant walks across campus based on different criteria such as species or tolerances. I plan to take advantage of it the next time I visit Cornell.

Cornell Plantations (which receives a small portion of its state funding), located adjacent to the Ithaca University Campus, is a superb place to learn about excellence in garden design and various plant materials. . There are colorful and more manicured gardens, like the Young Flower Garden, and there are expressions that are more practical but no less beautiful, like the Ground Cover collection. Of the many arboreta and botanical gardens I have visited, I consider the plantations to be the pinnacle of skillful, practical and inspired horticulture. There is no admission fee.

There is a great Find-a-Plant feature on the Plantations website. Suppose you want to see what the underutilized and four-season beauty Korean rowan (Sorbus alnifolia) looks like your next visit to Plantations. Find-a-Plant shows two specimens of Korean rowan and provides maps for each.

There are many departments and websites of Cornell’s Horticultural Department that are worth checking out on a regular basis. I still love so much the seven-ring maze of 14,000 tulip, daffodil and grape hyacinth bulbs that was planted by Professor Bill Miller’s Herbaceous Plant Materials Course in the fall of 2008. You can do this. a virtual walk through the online maze. .

Miller also recommends a section on the Flower Bulb Research Program website that explores, in pictures, the optimal pairs of bulbs and perennials. For example, Narcissus ‘Ice Follies’ looks great next door Pulsatilla vulgaris ‘Papageno’ when they are both in flower, but then the fresh foliage of the second very effectively covers the dying foliage of the first.

I’m also thrilled with everything about the Cornell Living Sculpture website which includes many projects coordinated by Marcia Eames-Sheavly, Senior Associate in Extension, with students in her Horticultural Art class. These include turf sofas and other turf sculptures, a living willow dome, topiaries, and mowing / cultivation art. The Living Sculpture website provides instructions for simple activities you can use to build community and spark creativity and interest in plants.

Recommended LHB readings

Aspects of Liberty Hyde Bailey (LHB) ‘s amazing resume, including her key role in founding the nation’s extension system, were referenced earlier. In 1913 he wrote the following, which shows how ahead of his time he was: “I would not limit the entry of women into any of the courses at the College of Agriculture; on the contrary, I want all courses to be open to them freely and on an equal footing with men. In addition, I do not think it is essential that all teachers in home economics subjects are women, nor, on the other hand, that it is essential that all teachers in other sets of departments are women. men. . The person best qualified to teach the subjects should be the one who teaches them. I hope that at the time there will be as many women at the Agricultural College as there are men. ”

I highly recommend the book Liberty Hyde Bailey by Philip Dorf – one of my three favorite biographies – and the fantastic online exhibit on LHB by the Cornell University Library Rare and Manuscript Division: Rmc.library.cornell.edu/bailey.


Combinations of bulbs and perennials Hort.cornell.edu/combos

Light bulb maze Hort.cornell.edu/bglannuals/labyrinth

Extension of the Cornell cooperative Cce.cornell.edu

Cornell plantations Cornellplantations.org

Cornell Horticultural Department Blog Blogs.cornell.edu/hort

Gardening and garden-based learning Gardening.cornell.edu

Horticulture Distance Learning

Living sculpture Hort.cornell.edu/livingsculpture

Urban horticulture Institute Hort.cornell.edu/uhi

Woody Plant Database Woody plants.cals.cornell.edu/home


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