Growing up in the 60s and 70s I have a unique vision of the words: Flower Power. I remember the set of the popular Laugh In television show covered in large neon colored modern art flowers and the likes of Judy Carne and Goldie Hawn go-go (yes white boots and all) dancing with flowers painted on their bodies. What a flashback!
So when I first heard this term New York Flower Power being used locally, of course I was curious. This winter while attending a regional horticultural training workshop I learned the full scope of the association and found it blended well with my commitment to sustainability. I have since become a member of the organization and applaud their local roots and works in our horticultural industry.
New York Flower Power is an all volunteer lead, nonprofit organization whose sole mission is to strengthen New York’s horticulture businesses through marketing with the message: “Buy Local-Grow Local”. I long ago adopted that practice in all my garden installations and maintenance. It is part of our “Keeping Green Sustainable” business mantra. By choosing to purchase from small, local business owners versus the big box stores, you support the very core of your local economy. Not only are you helping to employ folks in your area, the money goes right back into your community in services and materials. A similiar program established many years ago in New Jersey called “Jersey Fresh” has data that supports the benefit to purchasing from small local green industry businesses. For every $1.00 spent on Jersey Fresh products, $54.00 is returned to the local economy…whereas purchasing from the big box stores yield only $3.00 return on every $1.00 spent (Ned Chapman President NY Flower Power). The current horticulture business in NYS generates $55 million in annual sales tax revenue! When we do our annual Go Green Community build each year for a local nonprofit organization, it is the local business owners who step up to the plate in materials and service donations to make the project successful. The local business contributions in this annual build generally equal $2.00 for every $1.00 of Grant money secured for the initiative!
If you are new to gardening or well experienced, it is your local greenhouses that will provide you with ideas, trouble shooting and regionally based expertise to make your gardening experiences successful. We know our plants and practices first hand…no computer terminal training for us…we are down in the dirt experienced!
Some of the beautiful flower displays you see in many local parks and historical sites are part of the organization’s Plants for Parks Program. My company, Chips Landscaping will be partnering with Dehn’s Greenhouses this season to enrich the gardens at the National Museum of Dance, in Spa State Park. So stay tuned to see the outcomes of this great collaborative program.
For the first time, NY Flower Power is organizing a Flower Trail Tour. It will be held the weekend of May 3rd and 4th (just in time for Mothers day) Fifteen NY Flower Power greenhouse members will host activities and specials at their sites that weekend. Go to nyflowerpower.org for more details.
The Garden Goddess has partnered with the oldest family owned greenhouses in the region (established in 1892) Dehn’s Flowers and Greenhouse @ 178 Beekman Street in Saratoga Springs for the Flower Trail Event. I will be presenting 2 workshops to “get your hands dirty” this season. On Saturday May 3rd 10:00 AM Container Gardening 101: Thrillers Fillers and Spillers will help you design gorgeous, functional container gardens. At 1:00pm on Saturday my second workshop:Going Vertical: The Art of Upcycling for Container Gardens will get you out of your container gardening comfort zone and embrace the new art of “upcycling”.
The workshops are free but space is limited so get there early. We can even help you select your container, will have some “upcycled” resources ready for the DIYER to take home and plant as well as guide you through plant purchases to meet your tastes and site needs at home. Should be lots of good learning and fun! Hope to see you on Saturday May 3rd!