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.

Organics 102: The Art of Soil Building
Sunday, July 1, 2018, 10:00 am – 11:00 am
136 North Ave Rochester, NY 14626 (Map it!)
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.

Past Events


Hands-on Pruning Workshop
Sunday, September 24, 2017, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave., Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: $10 – received back in store voucher

– A Hands-On Workshop –

A beautiful landscape relies on its trees and shrubs for structure.  We like to think of them as the woody, perennial heart of your garden!  In this hands-on workshop, you will go out into several areas of our 5-acre tree & shrub nursery to learn the ins, outs, dos and don’ts of tree, shrub & perennial pruning.

The workshop begins with a short discussion of the different pruner styles and sizes, and how to keep this most important tool in tip-top pruning condition.  Then we get you right outside for lots of hands-on practice and real-life examples!  Observe demos of both deciduous and evergreen tree & shrub pruning methods paired with our handy tips of the trade.  Then put what you’ve learned to work by practicing on some of our trees & shrubs before heading home to make sure your own landscape is healthy and ready for its winter rest this year!

To help you through your new adventures in pruning, all participants will receive the cost of the workshop back ($10) in a Van Putte voucher toward pruners, trees, shrubs, or anything else you might need from the garden center!

This workshop is now full.  Please join our e-mail list to receive invites to future events!


  • There is no rain date for this workshop.  If it is lightly drizzling, please wear a rain jacket.  If there is lightning, we will contact you by phone to refund the cost in the original form of payment.
  • All participants will receive a $10 voucher at Van Putte Gardens to use on anything in the nursery or garden center (expires 12/23/17).
  • Please bring your own pruners (and gardening gloves if you would like to wear gloves during the workshop).  It will be to your benefit to use the same pruners you’ll have at home during the workshop.  If you don’t have a set of pruners yet, we will have a brief discussion at the start of the workshop on pruner styles so you can purchase a set then, or we will have a few extra sets participants can practice with.

Seed-Starting is Simple! – FULLY BOOKED
Saturday, March 17, 2018, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave. Rochester, NY 14626
Admission: FREE

This event is now fully booked, you may call to be added to a wait list.

– An Interactive Garden Talk & Demonstration –

Calling all garden enthusiasts and green-thumbs alike! Learn our best tips and tricks to get a jump start on spring by starting your seeds indoors. Both novice and experienced gardeners will leave better equipped to grow a bountiful garden.

Gardeners know that there are great reasons to start a garden from seed. Maybe it’s getting that early start so you can taste the first home grown tomato in your neighborhood, planting a bigger garden without breaking your budget, or getting the kids involved in a fun garden activity. Whatever the reason is, we hope you’ll join us for a great seminar where we’ll cover everything you need to know for growing vegetables, herbs and flowers. Topics covered will include seed selection, materials, techniques, proper care and how to prepare your seedlings for transplant.

Our greenhouse manager Steve has been with Van Putte Gardens for 30 years and oversees the thousands of seedlings that we grow onsite every year. He will explain how we start seeds for our large-scale operation, and then break down the process into simple steps for the average home grower. He will demonstrate each step so you can see exactly how to replicate the process at home.

You will leave with a seed starting reference chart that we have tailored throughout our 70 years of growing and the confidence to get started.  You will also receive a 25% discount on all seeds and seed starting supplies valid the day of the class. No preparation or prior experience is needed; just be sure to bring your questions and a willingness to get growing!

There is no cost to attending this event, but reservations are required. So grab a friend and call (585) 225-7770 to reserve your seats today.


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.


  • 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!

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.


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.


How To Grow Vegetables Talk
Thursday, May 17, 2018, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Van Putte Gardens
136 North Ave Rochester, NY 14626
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 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.


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!


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.