Celebrating flowers, friends ... and fathers this year
Lewiston GardenFest, presented by the Lewiston Garden Club, returns Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19. The 11th annual event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
Located along Center Street, the festival includes approximately 60 vendors selling flowers, plants, garden art and more, along with demonstrations from gardening professionals. A free garden walk highlights gardens of local Lewiston residents, while festivalgoers can showcase their own gardening skills in a container garden contest.
"Lewiston Garden Club is excited to host our 11th annual Lewiston GardenFest, offering something for gardeners of all skill levels," said Doreen Albee, Lewiston GardenFest chairwoman. "It's an event that both showcases and supports Lewiston's ongoing beautification efforts, while offering creative ideas to beautify your own outdoor spaces."
To officially open this year's event, Eastern Monarch Butterfly Farm will host a butterfly release in Hennepin Park on the corner of Center and South Fourth streets at 10 a.m. Saturday. David and Alexis O'Donnell from Eastern Monarch will be available to answer questions following the release. In the event of rain, the release will occur Sunday.
Stroll through several private gardens of Lewiston residents, which are open only for Lewiston GardenFest with a free garden walk. They vary in size and style and are located both within walking distance and also a short drive from Center Street. Pick up a map highlighting the featured gardens at one of the hospitality booths during the event.
Plan to attend one of the weekend's "Garden Talks." At 11 a.m. Saturday, Colleen Gaskill, a New York state-certified nursery and landscape professional and design specialist, presents "Putting in Garden Paths with Accented Borders," showcasing how to create garden paths using different materials and textures along with plants to accent a garden path.
At 2 p.m. Saturday, Bob Bracikowski, greenhouse coordinator for Opportunities Unlimited, demonstrates techniques necessary for his entertaining presentation, "Do for Dads with Buds and Blooms."
Then, at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sharon Belfry joins the "Garden Talks" from Grimsby, Ontario, and the Niagara Garden Club to demonstrate how to make simple and inexpensive centerpiece designs, along with suggestions for easy-to-find containers and uses for flowers in one's own gardens. Her presentation is titled, "Creative Flower Arrangements."
As Sunday is Father's Day, the Garden Club is debuting a "Lewiston Station" garden railway at the Gardens at Oxbow, located between Oxbow Lane and Mohawk Street.
Representatives from the Hosta & Daylily Society and the Bonsai Society are available throughout the weekend to answer gardening questions. In addition, Cornell Cooperative Extension is providing soil sample analysis.
Test out your own green thumb by participating in the container garden contest. Prepare a special arrangement in a traditional container or think outside the planter and find a more creative vessel. Bring your container entry and a stand for display to the container garden booth located at Fourth and Center by 9 a.m. Saturday. All who enter the contest will be in a drawing for two Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours tickets.
Festivalgoers can vote for their favorites throughout the weekend and prizes will be awarded to those who receive the most votes. Container garden contest applications are available at www.lewistongardenfest.com.
Lewiston GardenFest is free to attend with all proceeds used by the Lewiston Garden Club for civic beautification and scholarships. Lewiston GardenFest is sponsored by the Town of Lewiston, the Village of Lewiston, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, DiMino's Lewiston Tops Markets, Modern Corporation and dozens of local businesses.