Master Gardeners give homeowner’s yard an extreme makeover

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 11 June 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos by Kristina Gabalski – Orleans County Master Gardeners plant the island perennial bed while homeowners Dan and Jill Ryan look on. The Ryans are the 2015 winners of makeover contest by the Master Gardeners.

RIGA – Master Gardeners in Orleans County spent Saturday morning at the home of Jill and Dan Ryan, the winners of the 2015 Master Gardener Makeover Contest, installing a new perennial garden that will give their yard multi-season interest and color.

The Ryans live in a 100-plus-year-old home in the Town of Riga, Monroe County. They purchased their winning ticket last year at Sara’s Garden Center in Brockport.

“I’m blown out of the water,” Dan Ryan said of the new garden.  “It looks gorgeous.”

The Master Gardener Makeover Contest was created several years ago and Master Gardener Don O’Keefe says this is the first time a Monroe County resident has won. The winner receives design services, labor, and $500 in plants from Sara’s Garden Center.  The total value of the landscape makeover is $1,000.

Perennials were set in place before being planted. The Ryan’s home is seen in the background.

Square footage of the makeover area can be no more than 200 square feet and located either in Orleans County or in towns in surrounding counties. The winner is responsible for maintenance and a maintenance plan is supplied for the project by Master Gardeners and the Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator.

The Ryans’ garden on four acres of land with mature trees and a creek. They have developed a serene retreat in their yard which includes a gazebo, fire pit and koi pond. The couple said they have wanted to install a flower bed in their front yard for years and were very excited to have won the makeover.

They visited Sara’s with Master Gardeners a few weeks before the installation to select their plants. Jill Ryan said she was so pleased with their choices that “I almost cried,” when they left the garden center.

Orleans County Master Gardeners pose with Dan and Jill Ryan (far left) behind the completed perennial bed in front of the Ryan’s home in Riga, Monroe County.

Tickets for the 2016 Garden Makeover are $10 per entry and are available from the Orleans County Cooperative Extension office and Master Gardeners. There are no restrictions on the number of individual entries.

Entries are placed in a ballot box and the winner is selected at random during the annual Master Gardener’s Plant Sale on Sept. 10, 2016, at 11 a.m. in the Lartz Building on the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.