CANANDAIGUA – This September, Dr. Allan Armitage, Professor of Horticulture at the University of Georgia, will visit Canandaigua to present gardening seminars at Sonnenberg Gardens and Finger Lakes Community College. Dr. Allan Armitage is the author of thirteen gardening books, including Armitage’s Garden Perennials – 2nd Edition (2011) and the classic Herbaceous Perennial Plants, considered the “bible” of perennials. Dr. Armitage has given lectures around the world and appeared on The Martha Stewart Show. Numerous awards have been presented to Dr. Armitage throughout his career, including the Golden Trowel Award for his book Allan Armitage on Perennials from the Garden Writers of America; the Distinguished National Educator Award from the American Horticultural Society, the highest award for teaching in the country; the Medal of Honor, the highest award possible from the Garden Club of America, and many others.
Dr. Armitage will present an all-day gardening seminar in Sonnenberg’s Carriage House on Saturday, September 29th from 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM. Topics for discussion will include “Tales from the Garden,” perennials, annuals, and “Crazy Plants for Crazy Gardeners.” Preregistration is required for this seminar which costs just $60 per person or $50 per Sonnenberg member. His trip will conclude with a presentation and book signing at Finger Lakes Community College on Sunday, September 30 at 1:00 PM in Stage 14 on the second floor of the main campus. The FLCC event is free and open to the public. Details about these events are available at www.sonnenberg.org or 585-394-4922.
If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Allan Armitage, visit his website, www.allanarmitage.net, where you can also find more information about his fascinating work in the Trial Gardens at the University of Georgia. Discover the research gardens where new plant material from most of the flower breeders in the world is evaluated.
Dr. Armitage’s visit has been made possible in part by support from Tesselaar, Inc., Finger Lakes Community College’s Horticulture and Conservation Clubs, BioWorks, Renaissance Goodie II Shoppe, Wegmans, Sonnenberg Garden Club, Miller’s Nursery and Canandaigua Surgical Care-Paul Whitehead.
Don’t miss this memorable weekend with the engaging Dr. Armitage.
Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park is one of America’s longest surviving estates from the Victorian Era. The elegant Queen Anne-style mansion was built in 1887 in Canandaigua by New York City financier Frederick Ferris Thompson, and his wife, Mary Clark Thompson, as a summer home. Between 1901 and 1920, the widowed Mrs. Thompson and her staff created the nine formal gardens seen today. The grounds are open to the public from May 1 through October 31 each year. Sonnenberg is a non-profit organization dependent upon the support of members and sponsors and its dedicated corps of volunteers. For more information on the revival of the grand estate on the “sunny hill,” contact Development & Marketing Manager Lisa Scott or Executive Director David Hutchings at 585-394-4922.
A couple of weeks ago I had a little bit of a scare during breakfast. I was fixing a South of the Border quiche and was nervous that the center wasn’t setting. As I let it cook, it began to set and I was feeling quite relieved. Well, that feeling of relief quickly turned into panic when I realized after letting it cool, that it hadn’t set. So, I went to Plan B. The Guests, all of them, were quite understanding and loved the scrambled eggs. I felt a little bit better but quite frankly I was just a tad frightened of making another quiche. Seems silly as I have been making quiches for years.
So, this past weekend, it was time to overcome that fear and conquer quiche again. I got new quiche pans. Got a thermometer for the oven (I have long suspected that the 25 year old Viking is not heating to the correct temperature… and I was right). I adjusted for temperature and made my Mediterranean quiche… feta, spinach, onion, seasoning. Served all 10 guests with two pieces left over for Juli and me. I wish I could say it was a complete success. The quiche set, looked beautiful and was delicious, but the crust wasn’t as cooked in the center as I would have liked it (even with mozzarella spread across the bottom). I think I figured out what happened though and will try, try again.
For years I’ve been looking for new chairs for the Angell Room. Not too big. Just the right color. Comfy. Matching. And the list goes on… But, I’ve never been able to find the ones I want. I have two chairs and beautiful, expensive fabric that I purchased a while back sitting in my office. The plan has always been to have new slip covers made. But, I can’t find anyone to sew them. So, I thought I would take on the task myself. How hard could it be, right? I plow the driveway in the winter, clean out the gutters, re-screen windows, do minor repairs, sew curtains and draperies for the canopy beds… I can surely sew slipcovers. Then, just when I’m not looking, I find the perfect chairs. Yeah, I’ve heard that one before.
A HUGE thanks to Amanda for helping me paint the outside of the Inn by the Hotchkiss Room! When the house was painted last fall there was a climbing hydrangea on a trellis that covered the wall. This spring my landscaper took the trellis down and removed the plant. Painting that last bit of the Inn has been on my list of things to do for what seems like forever. Today, I get to check it off.
I feel so very fortunate to have the staff working with me that I do. I couldn’t do this without them… Amanda, Kristen, Juli, Judy, Donna and Carson. And even though technically she doesn’t work with us anymore… Audrey. Thanks Ladies!
While we have many fabulous restaurants within 10 miles from the 1795 Acorn Inn, I was reminded last night about Friday nights at Wegmans, our fabulous grocery store. They have an outdoor BBQ and live jazz. It’s hard to beat the food and atmosphere. Last night my meal consisted of a wonderful glass of Pinot Grigio, perfectly grilled Mahi with grilled papaya and mango and crunchy jicama slaw. Yum.
I thoroughly enjoy making new friends! In my current profession as an Innkeeper, I do it daily. And, I am fortunate enough to have many repeat guests. That feels even better. But, there is nothing like the feeling of meeting an old friend again… no matter how well you knew each other in the past. Thank you Sheila for visiting and for thinking of me. It was wonderful to see you again and to meet your beautiful family. I have a feeling we will do it again before 30 years go by. 🙂
Guess who is going to see Lady Antelbellum at CMAC this Sunday? Check it out… There are some great concerts coming up this summer.
Oh boy do I feel silly. Here I was worried about the flowers and debating whether to put the plow on or not to put the plow on…
I woke up this morning to pine trees outside my bedroom window heavily draped in snow. Really pretty, right? What was varying shades of green yesterday was today completely devoid of color. I can appreciate that beauty and severe change even if at the end of April. So, I stepped outside and started taking pictures and noticed how everything seemed to be sweeping the ground. So pretty. And I wondered how something to strong and hard could bend what seemed to be so easily.
I started to walk my path in the woods, I immediately noticed I couldn’t get through. Almost like a Secret Garden, branches ladened with snow covered the opening, as if to say, “Do not enter.” So, I went around. I started to notice how deep my feet were sinking. More than I thought they would. As I got further along the path, I maneuvered around bending branch after bending branch and just barely escaping falling bombs of wet snow… almost as if they were trying to tell me something.
Finally I noticed the devastation around me. I began to see limb after broken limb and worse yet, entire trees on the ground. Sad really. It was then I heard the bending trees and falling clumps of snow saying, “Get out of here you idiot!” Or, it could have been the ominous cracking sound limbs and trees make before falling to the ground that did it. If you haven’t heard it, it’s a very strange sound. So the city girl ran out of the forest and came to the Four Diamond Acorn Inn.
As I drove into the Inn parking lot, I was quickly taken aback by how low the beautiful, blooming trees were hanging… actually laying in the dirt. A few large branches already broken and on the ground. I walked into the gardens and was shocked by how different it looked less than twelve hours ago. The only bit of comfort was that Robin, that’s the type of bird and her name as well, was sitting on her nest on the light fixture above the office door.
I walked around taking pictures and wondering how these plants would ever survive. What could I possibly do to help them. I put my camera down and started shaking limb after limb. As soon as I shook a little, the branches stood up. It’s difficult to explain, but I actually think they were trying to thank me for lifting their burden.
I had just finished and was admiring my cleverness when my contractor, Brian, shows up with a long pole. He’s come to shake the higher limbs. Brilliant!
But, it’s still snowing and hard. Clumps of snow continue to fall and leaves drip like rain. And, although it’s above freezing now… if it freezes tonight, we’ll be in trouble. It’s been over twenty years since the “great” Ice Storm in 1991, but folks here still remember. So far, I still have power. A lot of people lost power hours ago. But, rest assured, all should be back to normal and cleaned up before guests arrive on Thursday. The woods behind my house, well that will take a while. Thanks Steve for getting my chainsaw working again. I think I’ll be needing it.
Do I see bonfires in the future?
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March 19. The crocus are blooming. The hyacinth have buds. The day lilies are already six inches high. The tulips and daffodils are next. Hard to believe it was April 8 last year when I blogged about spring arriving in upstate New York’s Finger Lakes. It really did hardly feel like we had a winter though.
Well, check out our Packages Page for great values in April, May and June. In my opinion, May and June are two of the best months to visit the area. The weather is usually sunny with a cool breeze. It’s not too crowded. And the flowers are in full bloom. I hope to see you soon at the 1795 Acorn Inn.