A Note From Rick | It’s Not Over Yet!

October 14, 2022

By Rick Bogusch, Kathleen Kennedy

Bridge Gardens

Cooler temperatures, shorter days and low sun angles can make you think the gardening season is over. In some ways, that’s true. There are fewer tomatoes, peppers and eggplants; summer squash and cukes are mere memories; zinnias have bloomed their hearts out and given up the ghost.

BUT, dahlias are at their peak, winter squash, fall lettuce, broccoli, kale and collards are abundant and not far behind, are cabbages, cool-season greens like spinach and arugula, radishes, turnips and radicchio.

So, the season is far from over and it’s a great time to get outdoors and enjoy the bounty and beauty of autumn gardens and landscapes, not only here at Bridge Gardens, but also at many Peconic Land Trust properties throughout the East End.

Flowers are also abundant this time of year. Goldenrods, asters, nasturtiums provide welcome brightness, but now is the time to enjoy the colorful fruits of winterberry, bayberry and choke cherry among others, along with plume-like seed heads of grasses and brilliant fall foliage. In woodland gardens, it’s a good time to enjoy combinations of different leaf textures and all the shades of green from bronze to lime to steely gray.


Huge 'Natchez' thorn-less blackberries are ripe for the picking

Vegetable gardens are also a place to enjoy colorful leaves and interesting leaf textures. Besides being productive, they can also be attractive, colorful and as ornamental as any flower border.

Even though there’s still a lot of promise left in the season, and even though there’s still time to sow spinach, radish and arugula seeds, it is also time to start thinking about cutting back the gardens as they fade. At Bridge Gardens, we cut back selectively, gradually over time, leaving seed heads for birds to enjoy. Eventually, in December, we do cut back most everything, but because we either compost garden waste or dispose of it on perimeter brush piles, no potential food for birds or shelter for overwintering pollinators is lost.

Looking back at the season, one of its great pleasures was working with Ella Snow from the Bridgehampton Childcare and Recreation Center to bring after-school and summer camp classes to Bridge Gardens. Whether we picked and ate apples or learned how to use a scuffle-hoe or to plant tomato seedlings or rolled down the hill, we always had a good time. Thanks to a generous donor, Bridge Gardens is also working with Ella and the Center to develop an intergenerational gardening program, involving local teens and elders. Next year, we hope to expand and improve this year’s pilot program.

Bridge Gardens also hosted two visits by Aaron Goldschmidt’s Shine Studio summer camp. All involved enjoyed sampling in the vegetable and herb gardens, picking blackberries, art projects under the arbor, quiet times and lots of running about. Aaron and his staff provide their campers with a wonderful learning experience and it’s a pleasure to have them here.

We saw many children among our visitors this past season and we had many, many visitors. That continues even now, as the season winds down. I hope to see you among them soon.


~~~~~ Rick

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