Blocks in Bloom banner

Blocks in Bloom

The Blocks in Bloom program aims to bring communities together in the City of Rochester by providing free “tough as nails” perennials to resident participants. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County's Master Gardeners volunteers educate residents in preparing, planting, and maintaining their front yard flower gardens. 

Blocks in Bloom Wins Community Greening Award from the American Horticultural Society!

Read the Press Release (PDF)

Read the March 2020 Special Edition Newsletter (PDF)

We've been featured in the Democrat & Chronicle!

Read the Article on the D&C Website

The program is a wonderful outreach for building community, enhancing property values, promoting safe neighborhoods, and encouraging healthy living. Residents build a sense of ownership and pride in their homes and their community relationships grow stronger through gardening.

Sixteen blocks in NW, NE and SW Rochester with a total of 130 households are participating. Twenty-nine Master Gardener volunteers are participating in the project with two Master Gardener volunteers mentoring each block. The program has generously received plant, compost, and mulch donations from Lowes, City of Rochester, garden clubs, including the Rochester Garden Club, and the 1st Unitarian Church plant sale. 

Since 2015 Blocks in Bloom has served an average of 15 blocks per year. In the last 4 years, 71 blocks and 665 households have been positively impacted by this program. To see map of Rochester with garden block locations since 2014, click here.

The basic steps are simple:

  • Identify city blocks where at least 6 households want to start a front yard flower garden
  • Match it with a pair of Master Gardener “mentors”
  • Visit each yard to see where the gardener wants to plant, and assess light and other characteristics (while teaching a few gardening principles)
  • Schedule a time for each block to prepare their garden beds
  • Gather donated perennial plants
  • Hold a work-day where gardeners plant with advice from Master Gardeners
  • Master Gardeners visit periodically throughout the growing season to mentor

If you are interested in participating in Blocks in Bloom, contact Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County HERENew gardens must be located within the City of Rochester, in one of the zip codes/areas designated eligible for the program.

If you are a Block Mentor or Block Captain, resources and messages are located HERE. You must be authorized to use the Wordpress Blocks in Bloom site. Please contact Sue Magee (contact info below) to be added as an authorized user.

Blocks in Bloom in the News

Connections 9/4/2019 


13WHAM 5/27/2017


 Upstate Gardeners' Journal Nov/Dec 2015

Last updated May 18, 2020