Upcoming Events

Garden workshops, landscape & backyard projects, and other events

Our Green Thumbs just love sharing their gardening do’s & don’ts, so we hold a variety of garden events, garden workshops and interactive garden talks throughout the season. We hope you’ll join us soon!

If you’re looking for kids gardening projects and events, please visit our Kids Grow Club page.

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Black Friday
Friday, November 24, 2017, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
136 North Avenue, Rochester, NY 14626 (Map it!)
Admission: FREE
Don’t miss this Holiday decorating sale! Trees, wreaths, greens, roping, plants, gifts for the gardener, and everything you need to make your holiday home bloom!

Sign up here for an e-mail invite to our exclusive e-mail-list-only specials on Black Friday and throughout the holiday season!

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Small Business Saturday
Saturday, November 25, 2017, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
136 North Avenue, Rochester, NY 14626 (Map it!)
Admission: FREE
We are proud to be your local garden center! Stop by and say hello, and enjoy doughnuts and warm drinks while you shop.  Don’t forget to grab your free garden gift as our thank you for shopping small!  Sign up here to join our exclusive email list and receive a special “best deal of the season” coupon valid only on Small Business Saturday!
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Hands-on Wreath Workshop
Sunday, November 26, 2017, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave., Rochester, NY 14626 (Map it!)
Admission: $35

– A Create-Your-Own Workshop –

There’s nothing like the scent of fresh evergreen to make you start thinking “Christmas!”  Welcome in the Christmas season by decorating your own holiday wreath in this hands-on workshop!  We’ll start out by going over some basic design tips and tricks in our poinsettia-filled greenhouse, and then turn you loose to create your own one-of-a-kind fresh holiday wreath!

All instruction and materials are included in the price of this workshop:

  • 24″ fresh Fraser wreath (Fraser wreaths have long-lasting, dark green needles to last through the holiday season)
  • Additional mixed evergreen tips for accent
  • Natural holiday décor accents like berries, pinecones and white branches
  • Weather-resistant outdoor bow for the perfect finishing touch

Reservations and pre-payment are required by calling us at (585) 225-7770.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Please bring your own gardening gloves if you would like to wear gloves while working (some people are more or less sensitive to evergreen boughs).
  • We will be in the greenhouse and the temperature can fluctuate with the sunshine so please dress appropriately in layers.
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Christmas Open House
Saturday, December 2, 2017, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave., Rochester, NY 14626 (Map it!)
Admission: FREE
Celebrate the season by coming to our annual Holiday Open House, where kids can bring their list & visit with Santa from 11-2 p.m.  All will enjoy browsing our holiday gift shop and warm greenhouse full of poinsettias and other traditional holiday plants while enjoying a variety of complimentary holiday treats, popcorn, hot cocoa and coffee.  Let our Green Thumbs help you pick out the perfect Christmas tree and wreath… our Van Putte tradition of a free ornament with every tree purchase will help get your decorating started! Come home for the holidays to Van Putte Gardens.

Past Events

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Hands-on Porch Pot Workshop
Sunday, November 27, 2016, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave., Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: $40

– A Create-Your-Own Workshop –

There’s nothing like the scent of fresh evergreen to make you start thinking “Christmas!”  Welcome in the Christmas season by making your own homemade porch pot in this hands-on workshop!  We’ll start out by going over some basic tips and tricks for natural floral arrangements in our poinsettia-filled greenhouse, and then turn you loose to create your own one-of-a-kind holiday porch pot!

All instruction and materials are included in the price of this workshop:

  • 12″ diameter red plastic porch pot (plastic is ideal for winter arrangements since ceramic and terracotta crack more easily in cold temperatures)
  • Mixed evergreen boughs
  • Natural holiday décor accents like berries, pinecones and white branches
  • Weather-resistant outdoor bow for the perfect finishing touch

Reservations and pre-payment are required by calling us at (585) 225-7770.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Please bring your own gardening gloves if you would like to wear gloves while working (some people are more or less sensitive to evergreen boughs).
  • Please bring your own pruners if possible, or we will have a few sets of pruners available for use during the workshop.
  • We will be in the greenhouse and the temperature can fluctuate with the sunshine so please dress appropriately in layers.
  • There is another workshop held on this date — we will host a Make-Your-Own Wreath Workshop at 2 p.m.  If you would like to attend both workshops (there will be 2 hours between the workshops, so plenty of time to leave for lunch and return), please mention at time of sign up and take $5 off your total price (attend both for $70).  The porch pot and wreath designs WILL coordinate.
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Seed-Starting is Simple!
Saturday, March 18, 2017, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave. Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE

– An Interactive Garden Talk & Demonstration –

Be ahead of the game this year by learning our best tips and tricks for starting seeds indoors.  Whether you want to give seed-starting a try because you want to grow a new variety of vegetable plant, or it’s a thrifty way to get more plants for your buck, or you want to get your kids involved in healthy habits, or you’re just sick of gray weather and want to see something green, we’ve got you covered!

This talk & demo is appropriate for all experience levels and garden types (i.e. if you plan to transplant into containers, raised beds or in-ground gardens).  We will cover the basics for growing vegetables, herbs and flowers from seed, including seed selection, materials, techniques, care, and preparing the seedlings for transplant.

Our greenhouse manager Steve has been with Van Putte Gardens for over 25 years and oversees the thousands of seedlings that we start here at Van Putte Gardens each year.  He will explain how we start seeds for our large-scale operation, then break that process down into approachable, simple steps for the home grower, demonstrating each step so you can see exactly how to replicate the process at home.

You will go home with a Rochester-specific seed-starting reference chart developed by us, and will receive a 25% discount on all seeds and seed-starting supplies the day of the class.  No preparation or prior experience needed; just be sure to bring your questions and a willingness to get growing!

No charge, but reservations required.  Please call (585) 225-7770 to RSVP.

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Kids Grow Club Spring Meeting – Potatoes in a Bag!
Saturday, April 8, 2017, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave, Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE
Come and join in a fun spring project for Grow Club members ages 5-12 where we’ll learn all about germination!  All kinds of plants start growing in the spring, and this year we’re going to focus on how to grow one specific vegetable: POTATOES!  After we learn the basics about germination and take a tour through our greenhouse to see how our seedlings are growing, kids will roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty!

Potatoes have traditionally been grown in the ground and “hilled up” (adding soil periodically during the growing season to prevent sun scald), but in this workshop, we will make it even easier and plant in a bag!  Each child will first craft their own grow bag out of landscape fabric, then get to work planting multi-colored seed potatoes directly in the bag.  Take the bag home to a sunny spot, water periodically, and watch them grow!  Add more soil throughout the season (we’ll provide directions) and harvest your fresh, home-grown taters in late summer!

No charge, but reservations required.  Please call (585) 225-7770 to RSVP or e-mail kidsgrowclub@vanputte.com.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • There are TWO meetings – at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.  Please note which meeting your child(ren) will be attending when calling or emailing.
  • Please remember to dress for the great outdoors for this free, fun, educational event!  (Playclothes and a light jacket are suggested.)
  • We will send the RSVP invitation to current Grow Club members a week or so ahead of time.
  • The Kids Grow Club has been a Van Putte tradition for over 20 years, and is free for children ages 5-12.  If your child is NOT yet a member and would like to attend the meeting, please sign up here for the invite!
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Hands-on Succulent Planter Workshop
Thursday, April 27, 2017, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave., Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: $30

A Create-Your-Own Workshop

Tons of unique shapes and colors combined with their low maintenance make it easy to see why there’s such a craze for succulents.  On the other hand, we also know it can be daunting to get started with a new type of plant, so we’re here to make it easy to add these little beauties to your indoor space.

Join us for a fun and educational workshop all about succulents where you’ll learn about the basic varieties, care tips, and how to plant for a successful indoor dish garden.  Then, take what you just learned and put it into action by planting your own gorgeous succulent planter to take home!

All instruction and materials are included in the cost of this workshop:

  • 8″ modern gold succulent planter suitable for home or office (pictured)
  • 4 mini succulents (various types)
  • Soil, decorative rocks, sand, and moss accents

Please Note:

  • Please bring your own gardening gloves if you would like to wear gloves while working with soil.
  • We will be in the greenhouse and the temperature can fluctuate with the sunshine so please dress appropriately in layers.
  • Feel free to bring your own small accents or rocks if you have a particular piece or two you’d like to add.

Reservations and pre-payment are required by calling us at (585) 225-7770.

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Celebrate Van Putte Gardens Day!
Sunday, June 18, 2017, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave., Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE
The Town of Greece declared June 18 as Van Putte Gardens Day for our company’s 60th anniversary in 2008.  We are now in our 69th year, and we get a kick out of celebrating it with special pricing, giveaways and activities each year.

We will have tons of in-house one-day-only sales on plants and garden supplies, including 20% off our Van Putte Gardens-exclusive products (15Plus Fertilizer, Countryside grass seed, Van Putte Premium Potting Mix and Port Bay Gold Compost), a drawing for ten (10) $25 Van Putte gift cards and a contest to Enter-to-Win a $100 Van Putte Gardens Shopping Spree!   Plus, we’ll have free popcorn to snack on while you shop!

And don’t forget to bring the kids for our fun, FREE drop-in kids craft* where they will color an acrylic flowerpot to take home.  Purchase a plant to grow in it at home, or give it to the dad in their life for Father’s Day!

It’s our biggest store-wide one-day sale event of the year, so come visit and share your love of gardening with us — it’s the real reason to celebrate!

 

(*FREE flowerpot craft available on a first-come, first-served basis for the first 50 children starting at 10 a.m.  ’til 2 p.m.)

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Drop-in Clinic: Pest/Disease Identification
Sunday, July 16, 2017, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave., Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE
Summer is here and now that you’ve got your gardens planted, ’tis the season for animal pests, insects, and disease to become more visible, and more destructive — Mother Nature likes to give us all a challenge from time to time!

But never fear! Our Green Thumb staff have got you covered.  During this drop-in clinic, our resident horticulturalist/botanist/Greenhouse Manager/all-around-plant-guru Steve will be available to diagnose your lawn, vegetable, flower, tree, and shrub problems, and then offer easy organic and non-organic solutions!

Before You Arrive:

4 Easy Steps to Collect a Sample for Pest/Disease Identification:

  1. Observe your plant (or turf) in the morning and evening. Sometimes insects are only active at certain times of day and you don’t want to miss the culprit!
  2. Make a note of where the plant is growing, how long it’s been planted, and any other details (like if you’ve been away on vacation for a week, if any other plants have similar damage, etc.).
  3. Collect a sample of any insects you see, and a clipping from the damaged plant. Try to catch any live insects in a bag or sealed container, or bring a clipping of the transitional area (where the plant or turf changes from healthy to damaged). For turfgrass, cut a 1 foot square section that includes the transitional area.
  4. Try to take a picture of the entire plant/tree or lawn area so Steve can see the extent of the damage.
  5. Bring your notes, pictures and sample to Steve during the clinic, and he will determine the cause, then offer organic or other solutions per your preference!

Note:

  • Arrive any time between 1 and 3 p.m. – this is a drop-in event.
  • Please bring a sample and pictures of any specific lawn/garden problems, or just bring your general lawn and garden questions – Steve is a great resource!
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Wildlife Gardening
Sunday, July 23, 2017, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave. Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE, RSVP required

– An Interactive Garden Talk –

Join us for an interactive talk on how to turn your garden into a beautiful, functional and welcoming space for wildlife of all kinds.  We will start by discussing all the different wildlife that may visit your garden, from the smallest insects, butterflies and bees, all the way up to larger visitors like birds and deer.

We will discuss which plants are best to encourage certain wildlife, which plants will support pollinators, how to create wildlife habitats, and techniques to encourage wildlife to visit throughout the seasons.  Even the smallest garden can become a haven for wildlife – let us show you how!

This class will be taught by Jenna Holzschuh, Assistant Nursery & Perennials Manager here at Van Putte Gardens.  Jenna has a Master’s degree in Environmental Science & Biology, with a concentration in Terrestrial & Avian Ecology, and volunteers with the songbird division at Braddock Bay Bird Observatory in her spare time.

All attendees will go home with a Rochester-specific handout on wildlife-friendly plant options and wildlife gardening tips.

FREE, but reservations required (space is limited).  Please call (585) 225-7770 to RSVP.

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Pet-Safe Gardening Talk
Sunday, July 30, 2017, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave. Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE; RSVP required

– An Interactive Garden Talk –

Our pets are members of the family, so it only makes sense that we want to make both our indoor AND outdoor spaces safe and fun for them!  With so many different plants to choose from, how do you know what’s safe to plant or grow inside the home?  And what about all the different fertilizer, insect, and disease control products?  How do you choose?

Well, let us help!  Hope, a Van Putte Gardens assistant manager, has volunteered for Lollipop Farm twice a week since 2010 and has three cats of her own who love to play in her huge home garden.  During this fun, free interactive talk, Hope will discuss safe plant options for a pet-friendly lawn and garden (and houseplants), and explain which garden products are safe to use around your pets.  Plus, dispel a few common pet/plant myths (hint: poinsettias get an undeserved bad rap)!

Bring your questions, and photos of your furry friends to share! (Please leave actual pets at home.)

FREE, but reservations required (space is limited).  Please call (585) 225-7770 to RSVP.

Please Note: We will go over tips for BOTH dog and cat households!

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Kids Grow Club Meeting – Birds, Feather Quills & Natural Ink
Sunday, August 13, 2017, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave. Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE, RSVP required
Join us for a fun, educational, hands-on meeting all about birds!  A volunteer from Braddock Bay Bird Observatory will talk to us about the Observatory’s songbird banding research program that allows them to learn more about songbird migration, feeding patterns, socialization and more.  She will also teach us some simple tricks to identifying common birds at home.

Then, kids will get crafty by repurposing domestic turkey feathers.  Children will work in small groups to make ink out of natural materials, and then use a homemade feather quill to write with!  Children will help with the quill-making process and by the end of the meeting, each child will have a finished turkey feather quill to go home with, and instructions for making more natural ink at home.  We will have some time at the end of the meeting for kids to practice writing and drawing with their quill and the natural inks.

The workshop is FREE for Grow Club members ages 5-12.

No charge, but reservations REQUIRED (space & materials are limited).  Please call (585) 225-7770 to RSVP or e-mail kidsgrowclub@vanputte.com.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • There are two meeting times available, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., so please note which time your child(ren) want to attend when you RSVP.
  • Please remember to dress in playclothes for this free, fun, educational event!  (Please wear clothes you don’t care about as we will be working with non-washable ink made of berries & other natural materials.  Smocks will be provided but there’s always a chance ink will splatter.)
  • We will send the RSVP invitation to current Grow Club members a week or so ahead of time.
  • The Kids Grow Club has been a Van Putte tradition for over 20 years, and is free for children ages 5-12.  If your child is NOT yet a member and would like to attend the meeting, please sign up here for the invite!
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All About Beneficial Insects
Sunday, August 20, 2017, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave. Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE, RSVP required

– An Interactive Garden Talk –

Your yard and garden are home to all sorts of creatures, and this interactive garden talk will consider some of the smallest – insects!  Join Conor, our assistant greenhouse manager who has a Master’s degree in entomology, for a fun and informative discussion about the basics of beneficial insects, answering questions like:

  • What is a beneficial insect?
  • Why would I want (more) insects in my garden?
  • What is their role in a healthy garden ecosystem?
  • What are some common beneficial insects?
  • How can I protect the beneficial insects I have?

and more!

We will explain how a beneficial insect population can positively impact ornamental and edible plants and reduce your need for garden pesticides, as well as show slides of common beneficial insects so you can more easily identify them in your own home landscape.

FREE, but reservations required (space is limited).  Please call (585) 225-7770 to RSVP.

Please Note: All attendees will go home with a region-specific Van Putte Gardens handout on beneficial insect gardening tips!