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.

TITLE
How To Grow Vegetables Talk
Thursday, May 16, 2019, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
136 North Ave Rochester, NY 14626 (Map it!)
Admission: FREE

– An Interactive Garden Talk –

Never grown vegetables or herbs before but ready to get your hands dirty?  Then save yourself time, money and confusion by attending this FREE interactive garden talk before you start!  This informative presentation hosted by Van Putte Gardens Center Manager, Rick Stecher, will cover all the basics of vegetable and herb gardening, from seeds to plants to harvest.  You’ll leave with clear, simple answers to questions like:

  • What do I need to start a vegetable garden?
  • What should I grow?
  • Where should I grow it?
  • What’s the deal with “organic”?
  • What if _________ happens?!? (solutions to common problems)

and more!  Rick will introduce some new, fun space-saving vegetable options we have for those with limited room to garden, and there will be plenty of time for questions!  We’ve been gardening in Rochester for over 70 years, so come learn our time-tested tips and be successful in your own vegetable garden this year!

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

TITLE
Celebrate Van Putte Gardens Day!
Saturday, June 15, 2019, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave., Rochester, NY 14626 (Map it!)
Admission: FREE
We are now in our 71st 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 $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!

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!

TITLE
Make-Your-Own Rain Barrel Workshop
Wednesday, June 19, 2019, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave., Rochester, NY 14626 (Map it!)
Admission: $40

– A Hands-on Workshop –

Rain barrels are a useful, thrifty, and eco-friendly addition to the home landscape and the community at large.  Rain barrels collect water and store it for when you need it most to water plants, wash your car, or to top a swimming pool.  Garden and lawn watering accounts for 40% of residential water use during the summer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Thanks to a rain barrel’s water catch, the typical gardener can save 1,300 gallons of water during the growing season.  They also reduce the amount of water that needs to undergo expensive sewage treatment by reducing stormwater runoff to storm drains by collecting rainwater runoff from rooftops.

Join us for a hands-on interactive workshop where you will learn the benefits of rain barrels, and how to install and use one in your own backyard from our expert instructor.  Then it will be time to put together your own 55-gal rain barrel to take home! Don’t worry if you’re not super handy — we will have plenty of help on-site to assist you with the construction if needed.  Attendees can then connect their rain barrels to a gutter downspout at home.

This workshop is subsidized by a state grant to educate the public on water quality and is sponsored by the Stormwater Coalition of Monroe County.  The instructor is Caroline Kilmer M.S., a stormwater consultant who has over 17 years of experience in the area of water quality and has helped design and construct many local rain gardens, and Tim Cawley from the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

Reservations and pre-payment are required. Space is limited and this event will fill quickly, so don’t delay and RSVP by calling (585) 225-7770.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • RAIN DATE: This workshop will be held outside, weather depending.  Rain date is Wednesday, June 26 at 6:30 p.m.  All efforts will be made to hold the workshop on the original date, but attendees should be available to attend either time.  If we are rained out both days, workshop fees will be refunded in the original method of payment.  There will be no refunds offered if the workshop is held on the rain date instead of original date.
  • YOUR VEHICLE: We will have staff on hand to assist you with loading your vehicle.  Please make sure to leave space in your vehicle to transport your barrel home that night.

Past Events

TITLE

Kids Grow Club Spring Meeting – Grow a Magic Beanstalk!
Saturday, March 24, 2018, 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 how seeds grow! All kinds of plants start growing in the spring, and this year kids will be able to watch their very own magic seed grow, Grow, Grow! After we learn the about germination and demonstrate the various stages of how seedlings grow, kids will roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty!

Each child will be able to grow their own Magic Beanstalk by placing special ingredients in a clear jar. With some water and sunlight at home, they can watch as the roots develop and stem grow from the seed. We will also provide additional seeds for everyone to plant in their own garden when the time is right. In addition, each child will be given a seedling to place in our community planter. The planter will be displayed for the kids to watch as it grows bigger each time they visit Van Putte Gardens this 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. An adult should also plan on staying for the meeting.
  • 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!
TITLE

Lawn Care Talk
Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE

– An interactive Garden Talk –

It can be intimidating to tackle your lawn after a long, cold winter, but you can make your neighbors envious this year by letting us show you how easy it is to grow a healthy, green lawn!

Visit us for an interactive talk at the perfect time to jump start your lawn for the spring season. Mike Wallace, our Rochester Turfline Lawn Care expert, will guide you through the ins and outs of lawn maintenance, explain the advantages of a 4-step program, and introduce you to the correct products for your specific lawn.

Turfline products are locally manufactured (specifically for our soils) in Monroe County, and getting started in April is the easiest way to a green, healthy and grub-free lawn. Mike is great at diagnosing problems, so if you have any specific issues or have questions on the best maintenance program for your lawn, this is a great opportunity for free, quick, and knowledgeable answers!

This event is FREE, but reservations are required. Call (585) 225-7770 to reserve your seats today.

TITLE

Earth Day Celebration
Sunday, April 22, 2018, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE
Van Putte Gardens is celebrating Earth Day this year in a sup’herb’ way for Rochester nature-lovers!

We will be offering BUY 2, GET 1 FREE herb plants, along with our best Green Thumb tips to help you grow delicious herbs at home. Don’t worry if you don’t have any experience growing. They are super easy plants to care for, grow happily in containers, AND they reward your efforts with fresh herbs all season long!

We will have plenty of Green Thumb staff available all day to answer your questions on all things green and Earth-friendly, so come by, say hi and celebrate Earth Day with us!

Drop-in during our open hours on Sunday April 22 – no RSVP necessary!

Limit 3 free herbs per customer.

TITLE

Celebrate Van Putte Gardens Day!
Sunday, June 17, 2018, 9:00 am – 5:00 am
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE
Bring the family for a day full of ladybug fun!  We are celebrating our 70th year in business, and we get a kick out of celebrating it with special pricing, giveaways and activities. This year, our event is ladybug themed and includes an organic seminar, ladybug release, and kids decorating pot and plant activity! Plus, the first 100 customers will receive a FREE package of Ladybugs with any purchase.  Limit one per family while supplies last.

Organics 101 (Interactive Talk) – 10:30AM

Rick Stecher, our garden center manager and resident horticulturist will be giving his introduction to organics talk at 10:30am. This will be an informative session where you will learn everything you need to know from building soil health to problem-solving using organic products and techniques. Sustainable gardening is certainly a trend and a healthy alternative to traditional ways. Whether you are looking to be healthier, live a more sustainable lifestyle, or just learn more about the organic trend, join Rick at 10:30 a.m. for all things organic.

Ladybug Release – NOON

Join us for a day of education and fun as we release hundreds of ladybugs on the Van Putte Gardens property in honor of our 70th anniversary. We will perform the release and demonstration at noon. Ladybugs are considered beneficial insects and a great natural solution to destructive insect pests. Plus, the first 100 customers will receive a FREE package of Ladybugs with any purchase.  Limit one per family while supplies last.

Kids Activity – 10 – 2 PM

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. stop by with the kids to enjoy our VPG Day activity! We will provide a pot that your child can decorate with foam stickers (ladybug themed of course!), and then plant a sunflower in their new pot. Children are encouraged to wear red, pink & black and come dressed as a ladybug. This is entirely free and fun for families.

Lunch – 11 – 1 PM

No need to worry about grabbing a bite before you come as we will be serving hot dogs, chips and beverages for a nominal fee from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

All Day

We will have tons of in-house one-day-only sales on plants and garden supplies, including discounts on our Van Putte Gardens-exclusive products (15Plus Fertilizer, Countryside grass seed, Van Putte Premium Potting Mix and Port Bay Gold Compost), drawings for Van Putte gift cards and a contest to Enter-to-Win a $150 Van Putte Gardens Shopping Spree! 

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!

TITLE

Organics 101: An introduction to Organic Gardening
Sunday, June 17, 2018, 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE
Join us on Sunday June 17th for Van Putte Gardens Day and take advantage of our FREE Organics 101 seminar at 10:30 a.m. Our Garden Center Manager, Rick Stecher, will be guiding this class as we dive into the wonderful world of organics. Rick has over 30 years’ experience as an organic practitioner, including accreditation as a NOFA landscape specialist. Rick will be educating on what the benefits are to your health, pets, and the environment. Whether it be how to organically grow vegetables, manage your yard or pest control, Rick will have the answers to get you started.

This event is free to attend, but registration is required, please call (585) 225-7770 to RSVP.

If you’re already an organic practitioner or this is your first exposure to organic gardening, we will be offering an Organics 102 seminar that will focus on our key topics in more depth. View our upcoming events for more information.

TITLE

Organics 102: The Art of Soil Building
Sunday, July 1, 2018, 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE
Join us on Sunday July 1, 2018 for an Organics 102 seminar at 10 a.m. Our Garden Center Manager, Rick Stecher, will discuss the basics of healthy organic soils and pest management.  Rick has over 30 years’ experience as an organic practitioner, including accreditation as a NOFA landscape specialist. He will be educating participants on organic soil building as it is perhaps the most important aspect to a healthy, productive, and sustainable garden. Rick will also discuss how to handle general gardening practices organically such as preventing and controlling common garden pests.

This event is free to attend, but registration is required, please call (585) 225-7770 to RSVP.

TITLE

Edible Berries Garden Talk
Sunday, July 29, 2018, 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE
There’s nothing like picking your own fresh berries from the garden! Learn how easy and simple it can be to enjoy your very own edibles in the landscape. Join us for a FREE interactive garden talk with our Green Goods Buyer & Manager, Jenna Holzschuh, where she will discuss the ins and outs of harvesting your own berries. This informative presentation will cover all the basics of edible fruits you can enjoy at home, benefits of planting and harvesting your own berries, how to grow common berries and how to avoid disease and pest problems. Jenna helps maintain over 5 acres of nursery plants at Van Putte Gardens including small fruit and fruit trees. With a Master’s degree from the College at Brockport in Environmental Science & Biology, Jenna has been giving expert advice to our nursery customers for over 3 years. She is excited to share her wealth of knowledge on edibles so be sure to get signed up for this interactive garden talk.

This event is free to attend, but registration is required, please call (585) 225-7770 to RSVP.

TITLE

Drop-in Clinic: Pest/Disease Identification
Sunday, August 12, 2018, 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/Garden Center Manager/all-around-plant-guru’s Steve & Rick will be available to diagnose your lawn, vegetable, flower, tree, and shrub problems, and then offer easy organic and non-organic solutions! Want to see whats really eating your plants? Check out Rick’s handy-dandy microscope with TV display for a great view of whatever issues you have.

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 we can see the extent of the damage.
  5. Bring your notes, pictures and sample to Steve/Rick during the clinic, and they 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 & Rick are great resources!
TITLE

Kids Grow Club Meeting – Make your own Wind Chime
Sunday, August 19, 2018, 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE

Our 10 a.m. class is now full. We have opened a 1 p.m. class to accommodate additional participants. Space is limited, only a few spots remain.

Join us for a fun, hands-on meeting to make your own wind chime! Kids Grow Club members ages 5-12 will get to express their artistic side by painting a pot and stringing colored beads. Children will use paint to decorate their clay pot, string beads on ribbon and assemble all the parts to take home their very own musical wind chimes. Hang your hand crafted wind chime outside and enjoy the random melodies your wind chime creates as the moving air passes by.

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 is only one meeting time at 10 a.m. (RSVP early to reserve your spot) Our 10 a.m. class is now full. We have opened a 1 p.m. class to accommodate additional participants. Space is limited, only a few spots remain.
  • Please remember to dress in play clothes for this free, fun, educational event!  (Please wear clothes you don’t care about as we will be working with paint.  Smocks will be provided but there’s always a chance paint 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 25 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!
TITLE

Perennial Gardening for the Birds
Sunday, August 26, 2018, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE

– An Interactive Garden Talk –

Enjoy your own backyard sanctuary by creating a perennial garden for the birds! Gardening with flowers beautifies your home and creates spectacular wildlife habitats. Join us and learn how easy and simple it is to create not only a magnificent landscape, but one that caters to our feathered friends. This FREE interactive garden talk with our Green Goods Buyer & Manager, Jenna Holzschuh, will teach you how to create the perfect habitat. With the right mix of native plants, water and food, you’ll be sure to keep your birds coming back year after year. Jenna helps maintain over 5 acres of nursery plants at Van Putte Gardens which includes perennials, shrubs and trees. With a Master’s degree from the College at Brockport in Environmental Science & Biology, and a concentration in avian migration, Jenna has been giving expert advice to our customers for over 3 years. She also is an avid birder and volunteers as a songbird bander at Braddock Bay Bird Observatory.

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