Recently members of the Bud 'n Bloom Garden Club visited Turnbulls Nursery in Collins. Located on Versailles-Plank Road, the family-run business is a major wholesale and retail supplier of Bare Root Stock for both the local area and out of state.
Before a formal presentation, the ladies were encouraged to check out the huge selection of trees and shrubs on display. Each specimen had a colored photograph of the plant in full bloom attached to it along with the maximum height, optimum planting conditions and necessary instructions. Those that are deer sensitive were highlighted also.
The plants are dug up in the fall and winter after they have gone dormant and are shaken free of soil. They are then stored in a very cold storage area to keep them dormant. Rows of perfect plants were on display offering a huge variety to choose from - some were starting to grow green buds. Because the plants are bare root, they have to be watered every day to keep them from dying. Because the plant material has not been planted in soil and pots, they are much lighter for transport and much more cost effective for the grower.
The subject of a 60-minute presentation was the preparing, planting and pruning of Bare Root Plants. Members watched as different plant materials were hacked and snipped to size. Questions were gladly answered and two handouts were supplied. One referenced sample fruit gardens and four landscaped gardens suggesting plant material for a butterfly garden, a moist garden, a shaded garden and a native plant garden.
The other handout gave details for the handling, planting, pruning, staking, watering, mulching, fertilizing and transplanting of bare root stock. Each of these subjects were explained carefully.
Several members purchased plants. The choice was to take them home and put them in soil in two days or to leave them at the nursery for care until planting time. One member purchased a very tall tree for her yard and she was offered a free pruning. Members sat transfixed as the purchased tree was pruned down to size to its optimum size for better growth and so no staking would be needed.
A dinner meeting was later held at the Sunset Bay Inn in Irving with Vice President Judy Wilcox presiding. A final financial report was given by out-going treasurer, Audrey Parker. The newly-elected treasurer, Bev Barnes, collected dues and gave an update on finances. Penny Deakin gave a report on the May 17-18 Plant Sale to be held at Deakin's Barn on Route 20 in Portland for the benefit of the Literacy Volunteers of Chautauqua County. Colorful flyers, designed by Sallie Muscato's daughter Kristin Britz, were distributed noting that annuals, unusual perennials, succulents, vegetables, herbs, and planted containers and arrangements will be offered. Raffle tickets for five flowering shrubs, donated by local nurseries, were also available.
The group's next meeting will be a pot luck picnic at Deakin's Barn on May 14 at 4 p.m. to prepare for the plant sale. Members are reminded to bring their green aprons, a hand-sized notebook and a sharpie pen to better assist customers.
Members of the public can Friend the group on Facebook @budnbloomgardenclub.