See you in Ithaca?


by Kathy Purdy

I’m very excited the Region I meeting will be held in my “neighborhood”—Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. As the Cooperative Extension (land grant) university for NY state, Cornell is very horticulturally oriented, and Cornell Botanic Gardens is widely recognized as one of the best public gardens in the United States.But I’m not going to tell you about the botanic gardens; you’ll see them when you get here. I want to show you one of the many gardens tucked into the campus proper: Minns Garden. The garden is named for Lua A. Minns, Cornell’s first female floriculture faculty, who established the garden on its original site west of Garden Avenue in the 1910s to teach students hands-on horticulture. It’s right outside the Plant Science building now, which is where I go to attend meetings of the Adirondack Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society.

Minns Garden is intended to showcase flower and foliage plants from snow melt through late fall. When I visited in March, only the winter aconites were blooming. But there was plenty of structure providing interest despite most of the plants were still dormant.espaliered apple trees_previewHave you ever seen apple trees espaliered on arches? You will at Minns Garden. This living sculpture is echoed in the Apple Gate of Minns Garden.12.jpgPretty cool, huh? There are seven different apples incorporated into the Apple Gate, which are described in this blog post by Craig Cramer. Craig is a fellow member of the rock garden society and an employee of Cornell.

Even the ground plate is decorative:21

There’s another gate by metal artist Duran Van Doren in Minns Garden, which I neglected to take a picture of. But don’t worry–Craig describes the Floral Gate in another blog post.

On the way to my car, I stopped by the east entrance to Bradfield and Emerson Halls to check out the soil painting pictured at the top of this post. Yes, that’s right–paintings made entirely from soil-derived pigments. Learn more about soil painting here.

There’s lots of cool, plant-geeky stuff tucked into Cornell’s campus, which you can check out here.

Have I whetted your appetite for the wonders of Cornell? The early registration deadline is May 24, 2018, so hurry on over and get signed up! You’ll find my list of other things to do in the Ithaca area on the sign-up page, and there’s additional information (maps, food, etc.) here.

One thing that’s not on that list is my personal garden. I am an hour east of Cornell, and I’d love to show you my garden either the Wednesday before (June 20th) or the Friday after (June 22nd) the regional meeting. Message me via Facebook or look me up in the GWA Directory and let me know if you’re interested.

Looking forward to seeing you at Cornell!

Meet the Author


Kathy Purdy is an award-winning writer, contributing articles and photographs to numerous gardening magazines, including The American Gardener, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, and Upstate Gardeners Journal. She has been blogging at since 2002, and was on the panel discussion that first explained blogging to garden writers at the Oklahoma City symposium in 2007. She gardens in Oxford, NY.

Author: GardenComm

GardenComm, formerly known as GWA: the Association for Garden Communicators, provides leadership and opportunities for education, recognition, career development and a forum for diverse interactions for professionals in the field of gardening communication. GardenComm members includes book authors, bloggers, staff editors, syndicated columnists, free-lance writers, photographers, speakers, landscape designers, television and radio personalities, consultants, publishers, extension service agents and more. No other organization in the industry has as much contact with the buying public as GardenComm members.

One thought on “See you in Ithaca?”

  1. Thanks so much! I have visited Cornell Botanical Gardens (Plantations) several times, but was not aware of the garden you describe here. I will check it out on my next visit.


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