Bud ‘n Bloom visits organic gardens

Marie Zambotti leads a tour of her gardens for her co-members of the Bud ‘n Bloom Garden Club.

It’s been a very busy and educational summer for the Bud ‘n Bloom Garden Club. In July, they visited the organic “Farm to Table” gardens on Temple Street in Fredonia.

Wendall Magitti is the owner and gardener. On a small property, he produces large amounts of vegetables. The group of ladies toured the rich, nutrient-dense, organic beds full of produce that he sells at the Fredonia Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and to his customers of the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Some of his rows of produce include three kinds of kale, Asian long eggplants, a variety of tomatoes and peppers, green beans, cucumbers and lettuce.

All of his gardens are covered with hoops and cloth to protect them from deer damage and winter, cold weather. They are uncovered each morning and recovered every night. Many of the rows are paired with green onions and/or basil to deter deer and insects.

He shared many gardening tips with the club. He does not pull tomato and bean plants, for example, at the end of the growing season. Instead, he cuts them off to keep the nutrients in the soil. He also cuts carrot tops and other plant waste and uses them for compost. He loosens the soil with a fork rather than tilling the rows to spare the plantings and to avoid bringing weed seeds to the surface.

He can be found every Saturday selling his organic wares in Barker Common during the summer. When the weather gets cold, they move indoors.

After the tour, the ladies went to the Big Dipper on Central Avenue in Dunkirk for an ice cream treat and to conduct a meeting. On behalf of the village of Fredonia, Michelle Twichell had sent a thank you note to the Club for planting flowers in the urns surrounding the fountains in the parks, near the Village Hall and around the monuments in the parks.

In August, the Garden Club was invited to an early morning tour of the colorful Brocton gardens of Marie and David Zambotti. A soft, much-needed rain did not deter the group. Following a new driveway and patio, the ladies gathered under a covered patio and relaxed on an outdoor wicker patio sectional sofa and matching chairs. A white linen-covered table held a selection of homemade muffins, coffee cake, three kinds of berries, juice, coffee and tea. White and peach-colored hydrangea blooms filled a vase at the center of the table with matching china and napkins.

Enjoying their breakfast treats, the view from the patio was breath-taking. With a row of pine trees as a background, the Zambotti gardens thrived with an assortment of different colored hostas, lilies, rudbekia and ferns. Seven baskets of bright pink New Guinea impatience, hanging from matching shepherd’s hooks, accented the green foliage below them. Hummingbird feeders, bird feeders and a collection of garden decor added to the view.

At the edge of the patio, 10 baskets of huge pink, white and fuchsia petunias nestled along urns of green and burgundy coleus and other greenery.

Using their umbrellas, the group toured the front and side gardens. Red mandevilla plants and spikes graced the outside of the patio area, on their walk.

At the front of the gray-shingled, split-level home, a huge collection of sun-loving, late summer flowers burst with color. Pink and white hibiscus; purple butterfly bush; pink, whispy anemones and lemon yellow and pink dahlias were some of the highlights.

Near the front and the side of the home were newly landscaped garden areas. All of the new plantings were chosen from a list that deer do NOT like. Decorative rocks added to the design.

In the rear of the property, there was a matching two-story “playhouse,” designed and built by David. The bottom floor is used for storage, while the second floor holds sleeping quarters for the Zambotti grandchildren’s “sleep overs.” A white veranda circles the upper level with a slide attached for a fun exit from the “playhouse.”

The early morning breakfast tour was a delightful sensory experience in spite of the constant rain.

The next meeting will take place in September. Club members were to meet at the Zambotti home at 9:30 a.m. for carpooling. They traveled to Lakeshore Hydroponics, Stan’s Garden Center and lunch at the Skunk and Goat Restaurant.

Members are reminded to start collecting milkweed pods for the craft arrangement in October at Nancy Kohler’s home.


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