See gardens, vendors & more in Lewiston GardenFest

railroad in garden in Lewiston NY
A 2019 addition to the yard of Doreen and Bob Albee is this train layout that includes the waterfall at left and a tunnel at right. Tall plants around the train layout include a small Alberta spruce (which was used earlier as a Christmas tree), sumac, butterfly bush, ‘Vanilla Strawberry’ hydrangea, hibiscus and peony. “They all bloom at different times so we have color” at the back of the layout, Doreen said. Smaller plants include Irish moss, thrift and spring bulbs. You can see this landscape at the Lewiston GardenFest. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
penstemon in Lewiston
Penstemon is one of the perennials in the garden of Doreen Albee that bees love. The theme of the Lewiston GardenFest this year is “Bee Power: Our Friends in the Garden.” Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

“You pull into Lewiston and see all the flowers,” said Doreen Albee, second vice president of the Lewiston Garden Club. “It happens because of a dedicated group of 45 people.”

The club’s big projects, such as the plantings at town buildings, are supported by the vendor portion of the Lewiston GardenFest.

The Lewiston GardenFest will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 19 and 20 on Center Street from 4th to 7th Streets in Lewiston.

Activities include:

  • A free and self-guided garden walk. Pick up maps for the garden walk at 722 Center St., Lewiston. Albee is one of the seven private gardeners who will share her landscape. See photos of her yard throughout this article. There will also be community gardens on the walk.
  • More than 70 vendors selling flowers, plants, handcrafted art and garden essentials.
  • Representatives from Cornell Cooperative Extension in Hennepin Park to answer gardening questions and provide free soil sample analysis.
  • Kids’ crafts. Kids can decorate bumblebee rocks or create tissue flowers, both while supplies last.
  • Container garden contest. Adults and kids may enter. Prepare your arrangement in a traditional container or think outside the planter. Throughout the weekend, festivalgoers can vote for their favorite container garden. Prizes will be awarded to those containers that garner the most votes. See an entry form here.

The Lewiston GardenFest is outdoors, but to avoid having people gathering closely together, the speakers and butterfly release held in past years won’t be held this year. The organizers have also spaced vendors farther apart to help people keep a safe distance from others.

If you’re fully vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask. If you’re not vaccinated, the organizers recommend you wear a mask if you can’t keep social distancing. And if you don’t feel well, they ask that you not attend.

People will be asked to complete a brief form in the event that any kind of follow-up is needed.

“We need to take care of our gardeners,” Albee said. “We need them to be healthy!”

large shed in Lewiston, New York
When Bob Albee installed this large shed, he ended up with extra soil, which was used in a new hummingbird garden. Doreen has many plants that were given to her, including the trees in pots on the left side of the shed. The barrel is one of three rain barrels; an indent on the top provides a space for annuals. The statue of the angel at right belonged to Doreen’s late brother, one of the many items and plants from relatives. Notice how the many window boxes add appeal. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
garden under black walnut in Lewiston NY
It can be difficult to plant under black walnut trees because they release a chemical that is toxic to many other plants, yet Doreen Albee has a full garden around this black walnut. She has been successful with sedum, bachelor’s buttons, heuchera, comfrey, holly, thyme, daylilies and coneflowers. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
tree trunk is base of birdbath
This cherry tree was getting crowded out by the nearby black walnut, then succumbed to black knot disease. The tree was cut down, but the trunk looked artistic, so Doreen Albee left it in place. Now it holds a planter and a birdbath. Plants that birds and butterflies like draw visitors from the nearby Lewiston Plateau and Wildlife Refuge. Visiting birds include orioles, sparrows, catbirds, bluejays, starlings, purple finches, grosbeaks, goldfinches and red-winged blackbirds. She sees herons fly by, but none stop into her yard because there are no fish in their water feature. Judy Talarico, chair of the Lewiston GardenFest, added that she has seen bald eagles from her Lewiston home. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko
raised garden in Lewiston NY
Tomatoes get good sun in this raised garden while peppers thrive in the pots on the ground. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

4 Comments on “See gardens, vendors & more in Lewiston GardenFest

  1. Please publish the garden map on-line. We can then print our own copy prior to attending, Thanks

  2. Most of the gardens are within walking distance from activities on Center Street. Village streets are basically three blocks long. The whole Village I believe is in a one mike square area. Besides the private home gardens there are several public gardens located on Center St. and beautiful flowered hanging baskets on Center St.

  3. Hi!
    OK, How large of walking one would do to see ALL the gardens?
    Are the gardens All with in that 4th->7th streets? {I do NOT know Lewiston] so are these streets long blocks in each named streets? [EX: The street 7th is (20?), (5?), (?) number of blocks?] So if one is to walk all the gardens to see them, then one would have to walk: 3 streets with 20?, 5? blocks on EACH street = 60?, 15? Blocks in total?
    -Cosmo Kramer

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