Schoharie Region – Above and beyond the anxiously awaited signature Fall Plant/Book/Bake Sale at the Landis Arboretum on September 13 – 14, September signals the opening of classrooms everywhere.  The Arboretum opens its sweeping 548-acres outdoor laboratory with an array of programs to raise the bar on outdoor education and to keep visitors in touch with the natural world around them.

September 5, Friday, 8:30–10 pmCOYOTE HOWLThe coyote, beloved by some, despised by others, is the largest predator of our woods and fields. Learn about how this interesting animal fits into the ecosystem as we try to entice it to howl for us. Leader: George Steele, Science Educator. Suggested donation, $5. September 6, Saturday, 9 am -Noon. Native Plant Collection Walk Join curator Ed Miller for a tour of the Native Plant Collection at the Arboretum.  From the parking lot, the first stop will be at the bog garden, where participants will see all of the woody bog plants that they would have to drive hundred of miles to see in the Adirondacks. You will be up close and your feet will be dry. As a bonus there will probably be some non woody species such as the pitcher plant in bloom. From the bog garden, the walk will proceed toward the great oaks but turn off on the Willow Pond Trail for the Native Plant Collection. This trail is about a half-mile long, with a couple of benches for rest stops. Visitors will see many plants that are native to New York, yet unusual for our Capital Region. For instance we have three species in the Magnolia family, several species of shadbush, and even a persimmon tree.  More important than the rarities, the Arboretum has nearly all the more common species; so if participants want to compare the scarlet oak with the red oak, or the black birch with the yellow birch, for example, it is easy along the Trail.  They grow within a few feet of each other.September is a good time for this visit as the leaves of our trees and woody shrubs will be fully formed but not yet turned in color. Don’t expect flowers on the shrubs of the collection as they mostly bloom in the spring. However the trail is bounded on one side by brush-hogged fields so there should be lots of asters and goldenrods in late summer bloom. Participants will want to bring a camera and sensible shoes.  There are frequent stops to accommodate walkers of all abilities. Cost: free – although a $5/person donation is encouraged to help support the non-profit Landis Arboretum.. September 13–14, Saturday and Sunday, 10 am–4 pm ANNUAL FALL PLANT/USED BOOK and BAKE SALE FUNDRAISEROut of the ordinary trees, shrubs and perennials. Bake sale on both days. Volunteers always needed and welcomed. Free admission and free parking. (See details below). September 16, Tuesday, 6–8 pm CONFRONTING OUR CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGE: Soil Fertility, Carbon Pollution & Renewable EnergyMicro-organisms, the least of all life, created Earth’s atmosphere and gave us our climate. Reversing climate change means putting carbon back in the soil. Renewable energy produced from plant biomass yields a charcoal by-product that can sequester carbon in soil to hold water and minerals, and provide habitat for microbes. Gardeners, farmers, landscapers, and foresters can all help reverse global warming and create a foundation for sustainable society and food supply. Instructor: David Yarrow. $35 members, $45 non-members. To register, call the Arboretum. September 20, Saturday, 2–3:30 pm FALL FLOWER WALKGoldenrods and asters make up most of our fall flowers. We’ll study them and anything else that’s blooming as we walk about the Arboretum’s fields. Leader: George Steele, Science Educator. Suggested donation, $5. September 26, Friday, 8 pmSeptember 27, Saturday, 8 pm PUBLIC STAR PARTYAlan French and Albany Area AstronomersTHE ALBANY AREA AMATEUR ASTRONOMERS (AAAA) meet regularly by the Landis Arboretum Meetinghouse because of the vast dark sky and excellent horizons available at Landis. Visitors are welcome to join the club’s activities. There is no charge to enter the realm of the heaven. On warmer evenings, come early and have a picnic supper on the Landis grounds before the program.  To check if a particular star party is happening, due to cloudy skies, call 518-374-8460.  For more information about AAA, visit www.timesunion.com/communities/astronomy. FALL PLANT SALE ACCENTS QUALITY, COLOR As sure as autumn follows summer, the signature Fall Plant/Book and Used Book Sale/Fundraiser at Landis, the Capital Region’s Arboretum, has became an annual rite of passage for gardeners, plant lovers, and outdoor enthusiasts throughout the Northeast.  This year the event will take place Saturday and Sunday, September 13 and 14, from 10 AM – 4 PM.   There is no admission and parking is free.  The Sale takes place rain or shine. According to Procurement Committee Member Jeff Schworm, “Visitors always seem to enjoy the Fall Plant Sale. There will be many great buys and closeouts from several area consignors and possibly a few items that didn’t make our hillside plantings earlier this year.  Everyone connected with this event take pride in putting together the Fall display because the colors are so vibrant and energizing.” Mr. Schworm is President of the Arboretum’s Board of Trustees and owner of the Nursery at Liddledale Farm (Duanesburg, NY). Fall—A Great Time to Plan and Plant Longtime Landis volunteer and master gardener Cindy King offers her own perspective on this year’s signature event: “Thousands of choice plants will be available at the 2008 Fall Plant Sale, so it will be to your advantage to spend a few minutes before the sale to stroll or sit in your own garden and think about what you see. Answering questions like these before you come to the sale will guide your purchases:
  • What would you like to change about your garden?
  • What do you like best about it?
  • Does the garden have balance?
  • Are there gaps in groups of plants?
  • Is it practical to work in the garden areas?
The backbone of garden structure is tree and shrub planting. Structure created in the fall will make the spring planting easier in terms of design. Both containerized and balled-and-burlapped trees and shrubs fare quite well when fall planted and mulched. Both large and small shrubs and trees will be offered at the fall sale.  Other plants which lend structure and texture to gardens of all sizes are grasses. As you survey your garden before the sale, look for a place where you might place a clump or two of one of the graceful grasses that will be available. Do you need more color in your fall garden? Boltonia, asters, goldenrod, and Sedum are all wonderful for fall garden color. One especially nice Sedum that you will find at the fall sale is S. ‘Crazy Ruffles.’ New on the market this year, this Sedum features ruffled leaf edges and flowers profusely, about twice as much as other Sedum species. Bringing color to the shade is no longer difficult when you plant Heuchera, also known as coral bells or alumroot. While the flowers are often insignificant, the foliage on modern cultivars is dazzling all season long. A winter hardy plant in Zone 4, Heuchera provides color, texture and a globe shape that stands out whether planted singly or en masse. Among varieties available at the Landis Arboretum Fall Plant Sale on Saturday and Sunday, September 13 and 14 will be H. ‘Amethyst Mist,’ with larger, purple leaves with silver veins; H.‘Crimson Curl,’ vigorous with a distinct curly crimson leaf; H.‘Silver Scrolls,’ striking silver topped purple/green leaf; and H. ‘Snow Angel,’ with brilliant green and white foliage and pretty white flowers. These varieties also grow well in the sun! Many hostas and Astilbe will also be offered to tempt shade gardeners. “So go sit in your gardens. Take some time to look around.  Make a list of what you need. Jot down ideas of how you can build your garden to be even more beautiful!  “We will be delighted to help you achieve that beautiful garden at the 2008 Fall Plant Sale!” About Cindy King    Cindy King is a master gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Fulton and Montgomery Counties.  She also serves as a volunteer in the Cornell Master Forest Owner (MFO) program.  Cindy has been gardening and woodswalking for 50 years throughout New York State.  Cindy has extended her own native plant endeavors to the George Landis Arboretum to help expand their collections and plant sales.  She has initiated the Trillium Project designed to grow trillium at the Arboretum from seed and help to keep this beautiful, endangered wildflower from extinction. Abundance of BooksThe volunteer-driven and always popular Arboretum Used-Book Sale (under cover in the restored English Barn) will again offer thousands of books on all topics including horticulture, nature & science, cooking, philosophy, self-help, sports, mystery, science fiction and more. The annual Book Sale is made possible through the generosity of both individuals and popular book haunts such as The Owl Pen of Greenwich, The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, and Catnap Used Books on Cobleskill’s Main Street.   Volunteers clean and categorize the offerings – both hard and soft cover – and price them at levels that few can refuse. Home Baked GoodsVisitors also can expect the hallmark unusual and tasty baked cookies, cakes, pies and breads.  Donations of home-baked baked goods would be welcomed. Call 518-875-6935 for information.  Proceeds of the traditional bake sale are used to support the Arboretum’s perennial gardens. About the Sale   Plant Donations: Those wishing to donate plants for the sale should ensure that they are “sale ready” and clearly labeled; the Arboretum will price appropriately.  To donate plants, please call the office to make drop-off arrangements. Help wanted! 875-6935: It takes many hands to orchestrate the plant sale. An event of this size takes a major effort by staff and volunteers on a variety of activities: set-up, plant arranging and clerical, in the week preceding the sale and lots of clerical and informational help on the days of the plant & book sale.  Area residents who can help for a few hours or a day (or days), please contact our volunteer coordinator at (518) 875-6935. In a Nutshell• Starting times and dates for the sale are firm. Purchases may not be made prior to the sale.• Arboretum plant experts will be available all weekend to answer your questions and to provide suggestions and advice on plant selection, site requirements, and proper planting and care techniques. Landis cannot take orders or set aside plants prior to the sale.• Cars should be parked in the upper parking area next to the Meeting House.• Limited handicapped parking and drop-off space is available. Please inform the parking attendants of your needs.• Dogs are not permitted at the Plant Sale. (Dogs should never be left in cars because temperatures rise quickly inside vehicles.)• Restrooms and picnic tables are available for your convenience.• All purchased items must be removed by 4 pm, Sunday. Landis does not make deliveries and is not responsible for items left after 4 pm.• Please have your sales slip available to be hole-punched as you leave. Have your membership card handy for quicker checkout. (10% discount applies) Fun-for AllVisitors to the Landis Arboretum Fall Plant Sale are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets, bug spray, and to wear sensible shoes and attire appropriate for the natural terrain of the Arboretum. The Fall weather offers an excellent opportunity to walk the beautiful grounds of the Arboretum or to take advantage of its more than eight miles of walking/hiking trails and the riotous colors of the season.   For more information, call the Arboretum at 518-875-6935.  The Landis Arboretum is located 1.5 miles off scenic Route 20 in Esperance, NY. www.LandisArboretum.org. The Landis ArboretumWhere Mother Nature hits her high notes – everyday of the year.