Jerry attended Cornell University from 1958 to 1962 majoring in Agricultural Science. Two years of dairy farming in Wyoming County ensued. This did not do much for Jerry’s social life. Jerry slowly phased out of farming while attending Geneseo State University and obtained his Permanent Secondary Science Teaching Certificate. He taught High School Science at Hilton until he retired in 1993.
Jerry and his wife, Karen, purchased 900 Winton Road in 1993 and began “Jerry & Karen’s Garden”. Within 3 years Jerry was giving regular garden tours. He became a Master Gardener in 1996. He was on the originating committee of the very successful Gathering of Gardeners (GOG) Symposia and is still an active committee member. GOG has featured such luminaries as Dan Hinkley, Tony Avent and Michael Dirr.
Jerry is an active member of the American Conifer Society( ACS) and served as a member of their Board of Directors for 6 years. He currently organizes the ACS -NE Regional auctions and serves on the National Scholarship Committee of the ACS as its chair.
Jerry is also president of Rochester’s largest plant society (The Greater Rochester Perennial Society) with 150 members and entering its 17 year.
Acquisition and subdivision of surrounding properties continues and the garden is now almost an acre within the city limits of Rochester. Jerry & Karen’s Garden has been featured in the WXXI Show, The secret Gardens of Rochester, Upstate Gardeners Journal, The D&C, and The Conifer Quarterly. The 2008 Fall Issue of “garden ideas & outdoor living”, a national special media publication of Better Homes and Gardens, featured 10 pages of parts of Jerry & Karen’s garden. Fine Gardening has several photographs of Jerry’s Garden (Go to the FG web page, click on design, then click on shade or trees and the pics will be under the article, “Conifers For Shade”.)
Jerry & Karen actively support Cornell Cooperative Extension (GOG underwriting), Rochester Civic Garden Center (scholarships and symposia underwriting) and The Dutch Connection at George Eastman House ( “Dutch Connection” underwriting).
Jerry and Karen’s garden is considered the most visited private garden in the Rochester area. Over 600 people toured the gardens in 2013. The gardens consist of at least fifty garden rooms inter-connected by over a half-mile of stone pathway. Unique sculpture and other touches of whimsy greet visitors as they walk the paths. Fountains, fish ponds, waterfalls and giant hypertufa mushrooms add to the unique flavor of this garden. The garden features unusual “sitting nooks” with colorful polywood rockers, gliders and benches.
The “new Garden” has turned into a 12,000 square foot walk through rock garden featuring many unique styles of rock gardens from classic, to tufa crevice to just plain “edgy”. The emphasis is always on the aesthetic with over 300 conifer cultivars adding backbone to the many rock garden plants displayed.
Jerry has given many slide presentations to local and regional garden clubs including 2 presentations for the NARGS (Adirondack Chapter) at Cornell University.