Ear to the Ground

From the Publisher: September-October 2020

by janem on September 8, 2020

Hello, friends—

I have a group of girlfriends—we call ourselves the Bettys—who have all been close for more than a decade. We started out biking and skiing together, and although I am more of a tennis player these days, I still love them with my whole heart and jump at any chance to get together. 

Like with everything else, the pandemic situation has limited our opportunities to socialize. We can still ride bikes, sure, but the big dinner at a restaurant afterwards has been out of the question. Usually we’d get together for a happy hour now and again someplace in the city of Rochester, but that’s all been on hold, too. It’s been sad. 

But a few weeks ago, one of these women, a neighbor of mine, came up with a great idea. There are three of us that live in close proximity (walking distance). What about a progressive garden party? It’s outside, everyone can keep her distance, and we won’t be staying in any one place for too long. Perfect!

Nuts, cheese, crudités, and wine at my place. Delicious sate, corn salad, and wine at Michele’s. Then dessert (and a little more wine) at Ann’s. We bumbled along, chatted, and laughed like we always do, two on bikes and the rest walking. It was good to be together! And it would not have happened without our precious gardens, all three beautiful and unique.

COVID-19 has not brought a lot of good into most of our lives, I’d posit. But two very good things it has delivered are more newly minted gardeners and more commitment and passion from people who were gardeners already and now have more time on their hands. 

Our gardens are giving us plenty in return.    

Jane

Jane Milliman, Publisher

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From the Publisher: July-August 2020

by janem on July 1, 2020

Dear friends, 

Summer is upon us, and New York is starting to open up—for now, anyway. (If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we really can’t predict the future.)

While the past few months have certainly been trying, at least most of us have had some extra time to garden. And interest in gardening has, unsurprisingly, spiked—especially gardening for food. The not-so-great part is that while new gardeners are being minted every day, most of the wonderful events we enjoy all summer are canceled. The tours, the lectures, the plant sales … all gone. This is the smallest calendar we can remember publishing. Many of these happenings are now online, but it’s just not the same. So far, no one has invented smell-o-vision. 

So as we cross our fingers and hope that the “new normal” eventually resembles the old one, we want to be here for you, our readers, to answer questions, help source plants … whatever you need. You can email any time (jane@upstategardenersjournal.com), reach out on social media, or call the office at (585) 413-0040. If we can’t help, we’ll find someone who can, or try our hardest. 

Thank you for your loyal support and readership, and as always, please do visit our advertisers—they make the UGJ possible!

Jane

 Jane Milliman, Publisher

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From the Publisher: May-June 2020

by janem on May 4, 2020

Dear friends, 

For the past month, I’ve been saying “Spring isn’t canceled!” to anyone who will listen. Though I’m afraid that might have backfired slightly, as the weather in April was, for the most part, ghastly. And right when we wanted to get out into our gardens the most. (Maybe those April showers were exactly what everyone needed to stop us from planting too early.)

We’ve been cooped up and we’ve been anxious. But now we are really, truly in the beginning of the growing season—and it feels so good!

Of course, all of our local nurseries, garden centers, and purveyors of fine plants are doing the best they can to serve you safely during the COVID-19 PAUSE and beyond. They all have new procedures in place, and many have alternate hours, so if you are venturing out, please call ahead or check websites and social media accounts to make sure your trip is fruitful. And please do visit our advertisers—they have been working harder than ever to make sure their customers have great selection and quality this year, all while staying six feet apart from one another and probably wearing masks. 

Didn’t expect to get this issue in the mail? We decided to send the print edition to our entire mailing list, even those whose subscription ran out years ago and subscribers to our sister publication, (585). Why? We owe it to our advertisers to get this magazine into as many hands as possible, and, with current restrictions, not everybody can pick up a free one at the local garden center. And we owe it to our loyal readers to make the print publication as accessible as we can. You can also read every issue free of charge on our website, upstategardenersjournal.com. 

These are trying times, but the worst is behind us (or so I believe, as I am an optimist and also possibly a denialist). Have a safe and a happy spring. 

Jane

Jane Milliman, Publisher

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