Co-op Garden Blooms with Shareholder's Love for Plants

An unexpected garden has sprung to life at Abundance Cooperative Market. Rare plants, like the "Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate" (Latin name: Persicaria Polyganum Orientalis), now grace the sidewalk alongside an otherwise ordinary parking lot fence.

The collection of flowers, herbs and vegetables was made possible through the generosity of shareholder Michael Hannen. With 15 years of experience, Michael runs a nursery with over 3000 plants and more than 800 varieties in a 0.2 acre plot behind his Rochester home just off of Monroe Avenue.

"People thought I was crazy when I said I was going to plant to attract hummingbirds in downtown Rochester," Michael explained, "but now I have eight different pairs of hummingbirds in my nursery every day."

Michael has a vast love and understanding of gardening. He decided to become self-employed and dedicate all his time to the cultivation of specialty plants in 1999, when he left his job at Kodak in Rochester. How the plants we grow--whether as gardeners or homeowners--impacts the wider ecosystem grounds Michael's approach. He brings this concern to his garden and landscaping design projects, working with clients to achieve different goals, whether it's a staggered, year-long blooming of flowers or to attract certain wildlife, like Gold Finches.

Sustainability is important to Michael, which is why he produces no waste and composts as much as he can. Moreoever, he chose to use the small urban piece of land to show the potential of spaces not often considered for commercial horticulture.

The Abundance Garden

Following our successful "bEARTHday" event last April, Michael was approached by Kathy Peters, Merchandising Manager, to create a garden unique to the co-op. Soon after, Michael had donated a number of interesting plant species that are now thriving in full splendor. Sweet Basil, sunflowers and Sweet Annie are just a few of the varieties anyone in the neighborhood can enjoy.

People aren't the only ones enjoying this addition to Marshall Street; bees are particularly attracted to many of the flowers that have bloomed along the sidewalk since May.

Growboy's Rare and Different Plants for Sale

To visit Michael's nursery, book an appointment by calling (585) 256-1124. To learn more about his nursery, visit his Facebook page.

Michael will be at the annual "Gathering of Gardeners" in Rochester on September 14, 2013. More info here. He will also be demonstrating his plants at the upcoming Greentopia Festival.

Pictures of the Garden

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