Master Gardeners renovate perennial garden for Makeover winner

Posted 22 August 2019 at 7:54 am

Provided photos: 2018 Master Gardener Makeover winner Sue Hill with some of the Master Gardener volunteers who helped to install her new garden.

Press Release, Katie Oakes, Horticulture Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County

ALBION –  A beautiful perennial garden was designed and installed by Master Gardeners at the home of Sue Hill in Albion this summer. Sue was the winner of the Master Gardener Makeover, a major fundraiser for the Master Gardener program at the Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Members of the public purchase $10 tickets at various Master Gardener events throughout the year. Their names are then entered into a drawing to win a 200-square-foot garden (a $1,000 value). The drawing is held during the annual Master Gardener Plant Sale in September.

Don O’Keefe, the Makeover chairperson, designs the garden with the winner, plants are donated from Sara’s Garden Center in Brockport, and the garden is installed by Master Gardener volunteers.

Sue Hill, the winner of the 2018 drawing, is the wife of former Orleans County CCE grounds maintenance employee, Buzz Hill. Buzz worked for the CCE office in the early 2000s. The Education Center portion of the CCE office is named for him in recognition of all of the contributions he made to the association over the years.

“Buzzy was meticulous in everything he did,” said Kim Hazel, Administrative Assistant and Master Gardener volunteer at Orleans County CCE, “He treated our building as an extension of his own home. He was a great worker and an amazing man.”

Master Gardeners hard at work clearing existing plants, weeds and stone from the new garden location.

Buzz suffered an accident while working with a tractor in 2007 and passed away due to injuries sustained from the accident. Since then, Sue Hill has donated beautiful flower pots each year to decorate the Extension office in memory of her husband.

“I was so excited when I found out Sue was the winner of the makeover this year,” Kim explained. “Buzzy gave everything he had to make our grounds look beautiful, and it’s as if Master Gardeners are repaying all of his hard work by making a beautiful garden for his wife.”

Sue was hesitant to accept the prize at first, intending her ticket sales to simply benefit a CCE program, she never imagined she would win.  After choosing a location near her home that had been troublesome in the past, she worked with Don to come up with a design and maintenance plan that fit her busy life.

In May, she met with Don at Sara’s Garden Center in Brockport to choose the plants that would be installed, and a team of eight Master Gardeners spent a day in June clearing the garden plot and planting the new garden.

“The Master Gardener Makeover is entering its eighth year and has been a popular fundraiser for the Master Gardeners in Orleans County, “ said Don O’Keefe, “We are certainly thankful for Sara’s Garden Center for donating all of the plants and materials for all those years, as well as for their ongoing and enthusiastic support.”

Tickets for the Master Gardener Makeover are on sale now at the Orleans County CCE office, 12690 State Route 31, Albion or at Sara’s Garden Center at 389 East Ave. in Brockport. The drawing will be held at the close of the Master Gardener Annual Plant Sale at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 14.

Tickets will also be available the day of the Plant Sale for purchase. The winner must live in Orleans County or directly adjacent town. Call Orleans County CCE for more details at 585-798-4265.

The garden makeover is finished at Sue Hill’s home.

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