From the Publisher

From the Publisher: July-August 2020

by cathym 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 cathym 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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From the Publisher: March-April 2020

by janem on March 15, 2020

Twenty-five years ago this month, I published my first issue of Upstate Gardeners’ Journal. People have asked me since then what compelled me to do such a thing. I lived in the Park Avenue neighborhood of Rochester at the time and was studying ornamental horticulture at what was then Community College of the Finger Lakes. [Now Finger Lakes Community College. Rumor had it at the time that the name change was because the school kept getting mail addressed to “Community College of the Finger.”] There was a house with such a wonderful garden—it’s Vinnie Massaro’s garden and it’s still there and still wonderful—that I felt compelled to write about it. But then what? Shop it around? This was before the Internet got big, and getting published in local newspapers was more difficult than it is now. Also, I was working in my former grandmother-in-law’s business, which was … a local newspaper. But I was selling advertising, not having anything to do with the editorial side. 

That’s the background, but the part I usually tell people is about waking up in the middle of the night and exclaiming, “I’m going to start a gardening magazine!” Which is also true. 

But I wasn’t completely impractical, even in my early twenties. So I went around to some green industry professionals and asked, “If I do this thing, will you advertise?” And I got some loyal early supporters. That first year, Roger Powers of Powers Farm Market, Ken Hill of Rolling Hills Landscape, Duane Schenk at Country Corners Nursery, Ted Miller at Gardner’s Greenhouses, Sharon Coates and Steve Coates of Phoenix Botanical, and even Chase-Pitkin got on board! 

Since then, the UGJ has grown and grown. We’ve spread into Buffalo, Syracuse, and Ithaca, gone on lots of trips including two to the Chelsea Flower Show, made thousands of friends, and forged our own little company culture, mostly with everyone working remotely. It’s been a wonderful twenty-five years, and I’m looking forward, very much, to the future.

Thanks so much for reading, and have a wonderful spring!

Jane

Jane Milliman, Publisher

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