Master gardeners prepare for plant sale

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BINGHAMTON, NY – The Cutler Botanical Garden is bursting with vegetation as its master gardeners are in the midst of their busy season.

The garden, located on the Cornell Cooperative Extension campus in the Town of Dickinson, was crawling with workers today.

80 active master gardeners were joined by another roughly 20 interns and assistants in planting, weeding, watering and mulching.

The master gardener program is a year-long process that begins each fall with course work.

The students then spend the following growing season working the Cutler Garden and visiting other gardens to learn all aspects of gardening, including plant science and the different types of soil.

Edie Johnson is one of 4 new master gardeners who graduated last fall.

She was helping to prepare day lillies for the garden’s annual plant sale.

Johnson has turned to gardening as therapy during her retirement.

“I have done it for a while and I do love it, and I learned a lot here because once I retired I started working with senior citizens and so I felt like I needed to learn more to help them out. I learned a lot about gardening to help out in the community,” says Johnson.

This is CCE of Broome County’s 41st year of the Master Gardener program.

The Cutler Botanical Garden will be holding its annual plant sale over the next 2 days.

Associate Director of Agriculture Brian Aukema says the sale is a popular event.

“So if you’re walking through our gardens, and you’re going through our gardens and you’re like ‘I really like that plant’ there’s a good chance that we will have a propagation part of it up in the plant sale that you will be able to purchase from there. We also have the hemerocallis or the daylilies, and we have a very unique daylily garden in the fact that we have some that are only found here at Cutler Gardens,” says Aukema.

The plant sale takes place at Cutler Botanical Gardens tomorrow from 4 to 7, and Thursday from 10 to 3.

To limit crowd size, Cornell Cooperative is asking people to pre-register online to guarantee a time to shop.

You can do so at CCEBroomeCounty/events.

However, walk-ins are welcome.

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