The Good Life
an international hosta society tour that
had British and Canadian hosta fans
visiting gardens in Michigan and New
York. Romance followed.
During times when I’ve been single,
I’ve found it’s just good mental health
to keep a schedule and have a place to
go with bright lights, people, and activity. I was an active Master Gardener volunteer before I became a Cooperative
Extension educator, and I can attest
that lasting friendships form when
you’re digging in a community garden
or setting up a meeting agenda together.
Some MGs are still dear friends today.
How to connect
Three general gardening news sourc-
es will help you find a group:
1. Upstate Gardeners Journal has a
directory issue that comes out in January and lists dozens of plant societies
and garden clubs as well as businesses.
Every issue (free in most garden centers and at Plantasia) has a calendar of
events. The website (
upstategardeners-journal.com) is comprehensive.
is an online magazine with valuable
regional gardening information, including event notices from the Niagara
Frontier Botanical Society, African Violet Society, and most others.
3. The Buffalo News’ “Garden
Notes” on Fridays publishes event list-
ings of clubs and horticulture groups.
Plant folks have a huge social media
presence as well. Most plant organizations maintain a website and/or Facebook page. If you have a plant interest,
from ivy to Arisaeum, look it up (
Facebook or Google), and you will find ways
I have heard individuals say they
feel intimidated about popping up at
a plant society meeting, even though
the announcements almost always say
“newcomers welcome.” The fear is that
a new prospect won’t know enough
about koi, roses, succulents, or other
specialties. Yes, you should have some
actual interest in the plant topic, but
members are thrilled to involve beginners.
Sally Cunningham has been a Master Gardener
Volunteer and friend of hundreds of “plant people”
She is also a CNLP (Certified Nursery & Landscape
Professional), author, consultant, and tour
director for Great Garden Travel of AAA.