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Gardening around town

Echinacea SUPREME Cantaloupe; photo courtesy Terra Nova Nurseries.

Want to be a wizard’s apprentice for a couple of days? Monroe County 4-H Youth Development is calling children ages five to nineteen who wish to be a wizard’s apprentice, complete spells from a wizard’s spellbook, and search for the Winter Wizard before the Sorcerer of Spring arrives and melts the winter wizard. Monroe County 4-H will host at least six outdoor challenges for kids and teens to complete in the Monroe County Parks. After completing each challenge, the young apprentice should submit their spell book sheet with photo evidence of completed spells to monroe4h@, or parents can share photos of each completed spell on social media, tagging @monroe4HonInstagram, or Monroe County 4-H Youth Development Facebook, using the hashtag #followthewinterwizard. By doing this the wizard apprentices get the chance to win prizes like gift cards to Wegmans, ice rink skate passes, board games, or gift cards from Just Games and gift boxes from Bristol Hills Lavender Farm

For those who want to get a head start on their spells, Monroe County 4-H will also host two free guided winter walks. For full information including the Follow the Winter Wizard registration link, contact info, and helpful resources visit the Cornell Cooperative Extension website at Hard copies of the Spell Book can be found at the CCEMonroe Office, 2449 St. Paul Blvd. The office is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.


Become a master gardener through the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County Master Gardener Volunteer Program. This program is all about environmental sustainability and food insecurity. Volunteers will be trained in horticulture and environmentally sound gardening techniques. From there, Master Gardeners will be able to lead programs like pollinator-friendly garden certification, seed to supper programs, and many others. Applications are offered biannually and can be found online at: CCEMG.

The application deadline is June 15, 2024. There is a $200 fee for the training, and partial scholarships are available upon request. The hybrid course will run October 2024 through April 2025. Completed applications may be returned via email to Master Gardener coordinator, Ashly Piedmont, at [email protected] or mailed to Cornell Cooperative Extension Monroe County, 2449 St. Paul Blvd., Rochester, NY 14617. 

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County is also recruiting interested students for the 2024 Landscape Technicians Training Program (LTTP). The LTTP has trained hundreds of Rochester-area residents over the courses of the last thirty years. With more than sixty instructors from the landscaping industry, the LTTP gives students the opportunity to explore careers in all aspects of landscaping.

Classes include topics such as plant and soil science, integrated pest management, landscape design, hardscaping, tree service, and entrepreneurship. All participants will receive an OSHA 10-Hour Safety Certification as well as the Basic Horticulture Certification through Cornell Cooperative Extension. 

Classes are held Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., in the Lower Level of Olmstead Lodge, 170 Reservoir Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620. Tuition is $1000 for the full six-week program, though a variety of scholarship opportunities are available. For more, contact Michael Kincaid at [email protected] or (585) 753-2574.


Gardens Buffalo Niagara is offering awards up to $1,000 through the Marvin Lunenfeld Beautification Grants. Gardeners are encouraged to draw up projects to help beautify Buffalo neighborhoods. Projects must be visible to the public and bring neighbors together. Money will be awarded based on overall project cost and matching funds from government, private contributions, and volunteer sweat equity. Applications are due by March 15, 2024, and funded projects must be completed by July 15, 2024. For more information and application link go to:, email grants@gardensbuffaloniagara. com or call (716) 247-5004 with questions. 


Global leader in plant breeding Terra Nova Nurseries announced its 2024 colors of the year plant list. The chosen colors correspond with the five most popular color predictors in North America paired with focus groups and color studies from the top paint brands in North America.

“The colors announced for 2024 showcase the balance of moody and uplifting color trends we’ve seen since the pandemic,” says Chuck Pavlich, director of new product development with Terra Nova Nurseries. 

Terra Nova paired its Lithodora ‘Crystal Blue’ and Brunnera ‘Alexandria’ with C2 Paint’s Thermal, a pale-yet-punchy-baby blue. Terra Nova believes the color in both paint and plant evoke restoration and calming feelings. Another great partner plant for the C2 blues is the Sedum ‘Marina’ and Pulmonaria ‘Moonshine’. Terra Nova has also paired Dutch Boy’s Ironside with Begonia SILVER ‘Lace’. The colors in both are meant to evoke a mysterious yet lovely, dark and earthy undertone. Terra Nova also recommends pairing Ironside with Heuchera LITTLE CUTIES ‘Shimmer’ and Aphelandra NOVA ‘Fuego’ and Heuchera ‘Hollywood’. For more plant and paint pairings visit

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