A Note from Rick | Busy Days at the Garden

July 1, 2020

By Rick Bogusch

Bridge Gardens

Balancing old business and new business is tricky this time of year. By that, I mean planting and maintaining existing gardens takes so much time, it’s difficult to find time to install new plantings and start new projects.

Happily, the herb garden and annual borders are planted, at least for now. Along with the vegetable and community gardens, they just need weekly weeding, watering and pest control. Planting is always on-going in the vegetable garden, but I’m starting to reserve certain rows for fall crops that prefer the cooler temperatures of late summer and fall — crops like fennel, cabbage, escarole and other greens.

So, I think we’re at the stage where we can start planting all those pots lined up in the nursery. Most are natives, some are trees and shrubs, many are perennials and grasses.

Over the months, look for new plantings of Carex or sedge, goldenrods, white wood aster, American ginger, golden star (Chrysogonum), bottlebrush buckeye, basswood, Atlantic white cedar, beach plum, plus many more.

Planting these will really expand our native plant collection and create displays that will encourage others to plant natives, too.

It will take a while for those new plantings to achieve full-size glory, so for now, you may have to look closely to find them. In the meantime, you can enjoy Bridge Gardens’ existing gardens and plantings:

  • Roses are past peak but still going strong.
  • The Herb Garden is at its seasonal peak right now, abundant with feverfew and foxgloves.
  • Early-blooming hydrangeas will be in flower in the coming weeks. One of my favorites is Hydrangea arborescens ‘White Dome,’ a lacecap cousin of ubiquitous ‘Annabelle.’
  • Virginia sweetspire and spiny Acanthus make a striking combination greeting you at the Inner Garden’s entrance.
  • And don’t miss Calycanthus ‘Hartlage Wine’ and ‘Venus’. These hybrids of the native and Japanese sweet shrubs are respectively covered with white and red magnolia-like blooms and are colorful additions for areas of full sun and part shade.

There’s much to see now and there will be throughout the coming months. As plants go out of bloom, others start flowering. As crops are harvested, new ones are planted. So, you can visit again and again and always see something new.

Or, as many do now, just visit to enjoy the overall landscape of Bridge Gardens and its many welcoming outdoor spaces. Last week, we had a family from Staten Island visit for a leisurely picnic and then a long stroll around the property. I was pleased to see how much they enjoyed their time here.

And I will be just as pleased to see you when you visit and enjoy this wonderful public garden. I hope to see you soon!

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