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120+ attend Floriculture Field Day

Alan Armitage, University of Georgia emeritus professor and best-selling author, points out overwintered pineapple lilies (Eucomis spp.) at Bluegrass Lane.

Alan Armitage, University of Georgia emeritus professor and best-selling author, points out overwintered pineapple lilies (Eucomis spp.) at Bluegrass Lane.

More than 120 greenhouse growers and retailers, florists, educators and others from around New York and the Northeast attended the annual Cornell Floriculture Field Day August 11. The day included morning presentations on campus followed by afternoon tours of flower trials at the Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Facility and cutflower and high tunnel research at Maple Avenue.

After a warm welcome from Kathryn Boor, Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, attendees were treated by a talk on What’s trending in annuals, perennials and edibles by Alan Armitage, emeritus professor at the University of Georgia and best-selling author. Armitage also demonstrated his new Greatest Perennials and Annuals app for the group.  They also heard from Cornell plant pathologist Margery Daugherty on greenhouse diseases, Cornell horticulture professor Chris Wien on high tunnel cut flower production, and Peter Konjoian, Konjoian’s Floriculture Education Services, on making the switch to greenhouse vegetables from ornamentals.

Donald Horowitz '77, Wittendale's Florist & Greenhouses, East Hampton, N.Y. took first place in the new Edibles Division in the 2015 Kathy Pufahl Memorial Container Design Competition. He also finished first in the Hanging Basket Division and third in the Open Division.

Donald Horowitz ’77, Wittendale’s Florist & Greenhouses, East Hampton, N.Y. took first place in the new Edibles Division in the 2015 Kathy Pufahl Memorial Container Design Competition. He also finished first in the Hanging Basket Division and third in the Open Division.

In the afternoon at Bluegrass Lane, attendees got hands-on experience diagnosing pests and diseases, toured favorite perennials, and viewed trials of annual flowers and container growing media and demonstrations of containers combining edibles and ornamentals.

The afternoon also featured the announcement of the winners of the twelfth annual Kathy Pufahl Memorial Container Design Competition. Pufahl, who founded Beds and Borders, Inc., Laurel, N.Y., was a staple on the horticultural educational seminar circuit, spreading her container ideas far and wide. It is her vision that changed the way the horticulture industry looks at the spring container business. Her influence brought back a bit of the art and beauty to the business. All proceeds from the contest — which has topped $10,000 since its inception — go directly to IBD research at Mt. Sinai Hospital, to help ensure a bright future for Kathy’s daughter and others like her, who have Crohn’s disease. For more information about the competition, contact: Karen Hall nysfi.org@gmail.com.

Horticulture chair Steve Reiners welcomes field day attendees to Bluegrass Lane.

Horticulture chair Steve Reiners welcomes field day attendees to Bluegrass Lane.

Attendees view demonstration of mixed vegetable/ornamental container plantings. "For many, the garden of the future will be on their deck," Armitage told the group.

Attendees view demonstration of mixed vegetable/ornamental container plantings. “For many, the garden of the future will be on their deck,” Armitage told the group.

Plant pathologist Margery Daugherty and entomologist John Sanderson help attendees identify insect pests and diseases on perennials at Bluegrass Lane.

Plant pathologist Margery Daugherty and entomologist John Sanderson help attendees identify insect pests and diseases on perennials at Bluegrass Lane.

Horticulture professor Chris Wien explains his cut flower research at the Maple Avenue research facility.

Horticulture professor Chris Wien explains his cut flower research at the Maple Avenue research facility.

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