​Landis Portraits: Floyd A. Guernsey III

By Nolan Marciniec

Floyd A. Guernsey III remem­bered tag­ging along when his father point­ed out a dwarf hem­lock, devel­oped and grown at their nurs­ery, plant­ed at the Arbore­tum. He was just a boy then, but that was his first of many vis­its to Lan­dis over the years.

Floyd Guernsey cel­e­brates the com­ple­tion of the Shan­ti Vun Gar­den with Cindy How­ell and Vijaya Luxmi

Floyd earned an associate’s degree in agri­cul­ture applied sci­ence from SUNY Cobleskill and con­tin­ued his edu­ca­tion, receiv­ing a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence degree in orna­men­tal hor­ti­cul­ture from Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty in 1987. He is the cur­rent own­er of Guernsey’s Nurs­ery in Schoharie, a fam­i­ly-owned busi­ness incor­po­rat­ed in 1889. He said that Guernsey’s Nurs­ery was work­ing on six gen­er­a­tions” now – his grand­son, Floyd A. Guernsey V, is just four. His sons, Floyd V and Braden, as well as his cousin, Ross Guernsey IV, are also in the fam­i­ly busi­ness. He hopes that his grand­chil­dren, Floyd V and Ade­laide Pop­py Guernsey, will car­ry on the legacy.

The Guernseys have a long­stand­ing rep­u­ta­tion for ded­i­ca­tion to the Schoharie com­mu­ni­ty. Floyd, like his father before him, serves in pub­lic office. He has been town coun­cil­man for 7 years now. His father was the may­or of Schoharie for an impres­sive 28 years, one of the longest may­oral tenures in New York State. Floyd is a stal­wart sup­port­er of vil­lage projects and events, includ­ing orga­niz­ing and main­tain­ing the com­mu­ni­ty ice skat­ing rink at Fox Creek Park since 2012.

As a source of qual­i­ty plant mate­r­i­al and pro­fes­sion­al land­scap­ing ser­vices, Guernsey’s has been a loy­al friend of the Lan­dis Arbore­tum. Floyd not­ed that, over the years, numer­ous trees and shrubs at the Arbore­tum came from Guernsey’s. The nurs­ery pro­vides plants for the Arboretum’s annu­al spring and fall plant sales. 

Most recent­ly, Guernsey’s designed and plant­ed the Arboretum’s new Shan­ti Vun Med­i­ta­tion Gar­den. It is his hope that gen­er­a­tions to come will enjoy the water­fall, the walk­ing path, stone gar­dens, and labyrinth as much as he enjoyed cre­at­ing them.

Does he gar­den at home? Floyd cit­ed the prover­bial The shoemaker’s chil­dren always go barefoot.”

Floyd views the Arbore­tum as anoth­er valu­able com­mu­ni­ty asset and is ful­ly com­mit­ted to its sup­port. The Arboretum’s sev­er­al hun­dred acres of large­ly unde­vel­oped green space pro­vide the pub­lic with a place to learn – a real way to under­stand ecol­o­gy,” he said. In addi­tion, Lan­dis offers the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion an oppor­tu­ni­ty to unplug from elec­tron­ic stim­u­lus” and plug into nature stimulus.” 

Donat­ing time and exper­tise to ben­e­fit the com­mu­ni­ty is in Floyd’s DNA. It is very much a fam­i­ly tra­di­tion, one span­ning sev­er­al gen­er­a­tions. Accord­ing to Floyd, his and his family’s ser­vice to the com­mu­ni­ty repays itself 1000 percent.”

Spring 2022

Volume 40 , Number 1

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