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 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.”