My story in horticulture starts with many of my earliest memories of growing up and working at the family’s greenhouse and nursery business in Windsor, NY; Urda Gardens. I credit my Grandma Mary with cultivating my connection with plants as a child.  Being brought up on a small homesteader’s farm in the lush Catskill forest also fostered a deep love for nature and the surrounding flora and fauna. I graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from SUNY Plattsburgh, but ultimately returned to school to pursue my passion and study Horticulture at SUNY Cobleskill – College of Agriculture. Since then my work and educational experiences have taken me far and wide. After gaining invaluable hands on experience at different greenhouses, nurseries and landscape companies in the Finger Lakes I went on to complete a horticultural internship at Claude Monet’s world renowned gardens in Giverny, France. This is still one of my most exciting achievements to date and I will forever cherish the opportunity to work in such a magnificent piece of history.

After returning from study and travel abroad I was hired as a horticulturist and zone gardener for the Cornell University Botanic Garden, formerly Cornell Plantations. The collections I was responsible for included the Groundcover Collection, Rock and Alpine plants garden, and the expansive Treman Woodland Walk gardens of the arboretum. It was here that I began my self-study and mentorship of herbs and medicinal plants under long time herb gardener, Pam Shade. After two years, I headed west to work as the lead horticulturist of the Herb and Medicinal plant collections and the Water Pavilion gardens at the stunning University of Utahs’ Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City. The experience and growth I achieved at Red Butte gave me the confidence to start realizing my dream of a business that encompasses more than just ornamental horticulture. My opportunities have continued to bloom and I am excited to see what this new chapter of my story brings as Francine’s Horticultural Services continues to grow and evolve.


Francine’s Horticultural Services started small with a little determination, some basic tools, and a 2005 Subaru Forester. Working for many years out of the back of my car the business grew through word of mouth and referrals from many satisfied clients. Continuing the family tradition of working hard, building positive relationships, and giving back to the community remains at the center of my business mission. Proudly serving the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions of Upstate New York for over 10 years and counting.


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