With the established industry of flour milling and multiple transport options of the river, canal, and lake, the fertile grounds of Rochester soon provided a new emerging trade: plant nurseries and seed dispensaries. Fruit trees, hardwoods, evergreens, vegetables, ornamentals, perennials, annuals, and even some exotics were all nurtured and grown for shipment across the country, from multiple nurseries like Brown Brothers Continental Nurseries in the present day Browncroft neighborhood, Crosman Seed company in Upper Monroe (which still exists to this day), and, at one point, the nation's largest nursery and greenhouse grower, Mt. Hope Nursery. German and Irish immigrants George Ellwanger and Patrick Barry combined horticultural forces to create one of the most successful agricultural companies in Rochester.
A present day time-capsule of our floral history, the Lamberton Conservatory highlights plant life from multiple climates, and is part of a larger green space known as Highland Park. The grounds of the park were donated by Ellwanger and Barry, curated and designed by Frank Law Olmstead, and provide a welcome respite from urban life. The park hosts numerous regional events, the largest being the historic Lilac Festival, which showcases one of our more colorful city residents.
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