There’s something special growing in the gardens at the Cooperstown office of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schoharie and Otsego counties, and the public will have a chance to see it next month.
The growing areas at 123 Lake St. were recently chosen as one of a select group of public sites in the All-America Selections Display Garden program. The first blooms are starting to appear, one of those involved said. The public can see the outdoor gardens anytime. An open house will be held at the gardens from 4 to 6 p.m. on July 30.
All-American Selections was founded in 1932 and continues as the oldest independent plant testing organization in North America, according to a media release. The selected gardens give the public a chance to see the latest varieties chosen by professional horticulturists.
This is the only such display garden in the area, said Annette MacLeod, a master gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension.
“It’s a very big honor,” because it requires a selection process through the national organization, she said.
It will help make the Cooperative Extension and the master gardeners’ efforts known, while giving area horticulturists an opportunity to see the new varieties, she said, and provides people an opportunity to see if the new varieties are something they would like to see in their yards.
Currently growing are varieties of petunias, zinnias, marigolds, peppers and tomatoes. There are about 40 varieties of plants and vegetables grown from seeds at the Cooperstown location. They are available through catalogues and other retail outlets.
AAS display garden coordinator Macie Zorn said the Cooperstown site is one of about 180 such gardens around the country. The applicants at the location had to meet certain criteria and be approved by judges to be selected. This includes having the proper set-up in a high traffic area with access to greenhouses. The master gardener program was also important in being approved, Zorn said.
“It is a group of people that will do a good job of growing and displaying the winners,” Zorn said.