IN BLOOM — Visitors check out the plants and layouts of the Parker F. Scripture Botanical Gardens at Cornell Cooperative Extension in this file photo. The botanical gardens offer budding gardeners both inspiration and prime examples of the building blocks of good gardens. (Sentinel file photos by John Clifford)

Find beauty, inspiration at Parker F. Scripture Botanical Garden

Published Jun 10, 2018 at 9:00am

Dedicated in 1985, The Parker F. Scripture Botanical Gardens, honors a local nurseryman and former Oneida County Legislator, Parker F. Scripture.

The gardens surround Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County. Owned by Oneida County, the 15 acre parcel is located at 121 Second Street in Whitestown.

The Parker F. Scripture Botanical Garden is open every day from dusk to dawn, free of charge.

The Master Gardener Volunteer program decided in 1995 to develop the rose garden, the vegetable garden, a teaching pavilion, rock garden and beds for annuals, perennial garden, a shade garden and a butterfly garden.

The gardens are continually design and maintain by Master Gardener Volunteers as an outdoor learning environment that invites use by the general public and educational institutions.

Our programs utilize the vegetable gardens from Eat Smart New York in sharing information on healthy eating throughout our community. We also share information to the community on companion planting as the ‘Three Sisters’ bed.

The three sisters is a companion planting that was created by the indigenous people that is practice today. Corn, squash and beans are the three sisters: the corn is the base for the beans to grow up, the beans also increase the nitrogen in the soil and the squash vine covers the ground to smother weeds – a very companionable planting.

The herb garden features different garden beds, each with a practical use. As in the tea garden, we have signage, for example, herb teas were first used as medicines, and as such they are still brewed and consumed today. But they are also simply consumed and enjoyed as beverages. Not all herbs are suitable for making tea. Many herbs are wonderful for your health, but some can make you ill.

The custom of ‘Taking Tea’ began in the early 1600’s when the East India Company first offered the loose leaves for sale.

Another herb bed is the medicinal herb bed, which features plants that have been used for medicinal purposes long before recorded history.

Herbs have been treated as miraculous creations of Mother Nature, because of their high medicinal value. In the early 19th century, scientists began to extract and modify the active ingredients in plants.

Chemists began making their own version of plant compounds for medicinal purposes. However, taking herbs without consulting with your doctor could increases your risk of physical complications and adverse reactions.

You are invited to take a stroll among the fragrant herb beds. Not to mention walking, brushing the herbs with your hands to release the herb’s aroma. A very de-stressing activity.

A mid-summer walk in the gardens treats visitors to spectacular color as the plants reach prime time bloom especially in our perennial garden. 

Come visit the Parker F. Scripture Garden and if you have a garden question, come in and ask at the front desk or call our horticulture hotline at 315 736 3394.

You can also visit the CCE website at cceoneida.com/home-garden/gardening/parker-f-scripture-botanical-gardens.

On Saturday, June 16, we will be having our Herb and Flower Festival with classes throughout the day and vendors between
9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. rain or shine.