This year’s winner grows all her family’s food and continues to educate herself and others about gardening

Angela Ingraham has worked in the retail gardening industry for years but doesn’t consider herself an expert. Rather, the 2017 recipient of the Doc and Katy Abraham Green Thumb Memorial Award considers herself a "Jill of all trades” who is still learning about every aspect of gardening and horticulture.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County recently announced Ingraham as this year’s winner of the award in honor of the late Doc and Katy Abraham. The annual award is presented to a person, business or organization promoting and enhancing "green" industry in the county, as well as horticultural awareness and education. Until January 2005, Doc and Katy Abraham’s Green Thumb radio show, syndicated newspaper columns, and talks throughout the region had scores of followers and gave insight into both the personal and practical side of gardening.

Ingraham received the award at the Master Gardeners Spring Garden Symposium held last month at Club 86 in Geneva.

In the green industry since 1978, Ingraham got her her first job gardening with a local lawn maintenance company the summer after high school. After several years at Gardener's Greenhouse in Henrietta, she worked retail for eight years at Agway Garden Center in Victor, followed by eight years in Landscape Design at Wayside Garden Center in Macedon. At Wayside Garden Center she began a 10-year partnership with the Genesee Fingerlakes Landcape and Nursery Association's spring show "Gardenscape." At Gardenscape, held at the Dome Arena in Henrietta, Ingraham and a few others developed the Children's Garden, a themed section of the show designed to provide education and entertainment for the children visiting the show.

In 1998, Ingraham returned to the retail garden industry and began a career at Bristol's Garden Center in Victor. She retired from full-time in 2014 to care for her mother-in-law and continued to work part-time in the center’s Perennial Department. Ingraham also ran, for many years, a Kids' Club to introduce children to the joys of gardening.

“She continues to enjoy helping out at Bristol's each spring for a few weekend days and seeing all her colleagues and beloved customers,” stated the extension in a release.

Over the years, Angela developed many relationships with local experts in garden clubs such as the Rock Garden Society, Hosta Society, Rose and Daylily Societies, and the Perennial Society. According to the extension, “one of the things Angela is most proud of is her desire to educate as many people as possible over her career on the use of organic methods of gardening and alternative controls for pests and diseases. This continues today, on her own farm, where she grows all of the family's food and continues to mentor others when called upon.”

For more on the award and to nominate future possible award winners, contact Russell Welser at the extension. 585-394-3977, Ext. 436