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Perennial plant giveaway offered at VIC

July 13, 2011

The Paul Smiths College VIC is currently removing the perennial flower display from the center's dooryard flower garden, which is located at the main entrance to the lodge. Once the plants in the garden have been removed, the center plans to create a new garden, one comprised solely of plants from native plant communities within the Paul Smiths area.

The garden project is a combined effort of Paul Smith's College, PSC VIC, Adirondack Botanical Society, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Master Gardener Volunteer Program and Franklin County 4H youth. It is the intention of those associated with the project to include plants actually harvested from the site whenever possible, and to incorporate, among the selected species, several that will attract pollinators and birds, as well as ground covers and other plants, which will stimulate interest, even in the fall and winter months.

Instead of simply destroying the existing garden and throwing the varied and colorful planting away, the VIC staff, supporters and others associated with the project have decided to try to find new homes for as many of the plants as possible. They have, therefore, elected to give the plants away and would like to offer them to area gardeners for use in their own home and community gardens. Think of it as the plant adoption phase of the project.

On Saturday, July 23, starting at 9 a.m., the VIC will make the perennial plants currently in the garden at the entrance to the lodge available to the public on a first come,first-served basis. Visitors will be allowed to harvest plants in the garden throughout the morning or until all of the plants have been removed.

Gardeners are invited to come and examine the bed, which is loaded with native and non-native plant species. Among them are cranesbill, daylilies, lupines, sweet william, violets, Siberian irises, wild bleeding hearts, bee balm, wild columbine, bracken fern and others. All are available for the taking. Wow! Wouldn't some of those look good in your backyard?

Participants can take as many perennials as they like. But once the plants are gone, the giveaway ends. Gardeners taking plants are reminded to please sign in at the front desk in the lodge before removing anything and to note that while a select few of the available plant species will do well in partial shade, the current garden is both sunny and relatively moist.

Absolutely everything in the garden is up for grabs, and all area gardeners are welcome to come and dig them up. If you would like to remove and take home plants from the garden, you are asked only to please bring your own trowels or shovels and, since plants will need to be put in some kind of container for easy take away, pots and/or plastic bags. And if you have a few extra, please bring them too.

The event also offers area gardeners an opportunity to get together, exchange knowledge and share gardening stories. And, for those who have not tried to garden before, this is a chance for you to get your garden on. Fact sheets on planting and transplanting perennials will be available for free, along with free handouts on a variety of other gardening and resource conservation topics.

The VIC is also actively seeking donations of time and money to obtain native plants and seeds for propagation and inclusion in the new garden, slated to be planted in the spring of 2012. Donated plants will only be accepted for use in bedding out the new garden if they are regarded as relatively non-aggressive and not listed by the federal government as endangered species.


Mark your calendar

Paul Smith's College VIC Perennial Plant Giveaway

Date: July 23

Time: 9 a.m. until all are gone

Location: Paul Smith's College, Visitors Information Center,

State Route 30

(just north of State Route 86)

Paul Smiths



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