A Note From Rick | July - Enjoy the Beauty and Bounty of Summer!

July 18, 2022

By Kathleen Kennedy, Rick Bogusch

Bridge Gardens

It’s summer and time to enjoy the bounty produced from the light and warmth of this season. We just harvested 13 beautiful cauliflowers for the food pantry. Large, tight, pure white heads living up to their variety’s name, Snow Crown.


Snow Crown cauliflower

We also harvested our second sowing of beets and the last of the cabbage and snap peas, as well as the last of the lettuce, including a large bin of my favorite summer or Batavian lettuce, called Muir. And the summer squash harvest has begun!

Now that the peas are gone, they’ve been replaced by sowings of pole beans. In past years, we’ve had great yields of both round beans like Monte Christo and Monte Gusto and flat, Romano-type beans like Limka and Seychelles, so we’re hopeful this year will be no different. These pole beans remain stringless and tender, even when 8 inches long, and keep producing for a month or more. Until they’re ready, we’ll harvest dependably productive bush beans like Masai.


Beans ready for harvest

Third sowings of beets, carrots and cilantro have been made. Tomatoes have been staked and tied and are setting their first fruits. Peppers and eggplants are flowering, so we’re hopeful.

Always looking forward, we’ve started seeding fall crops like January King cabbage, various broccolis and radicchios. Collards and Napa cabbage will be started soon.

The Community Gardens have been producing well, too. I’m especially impressed by a new variety of artichoke I see in a couple plots, called Tavor. Started indoors last February from seed, plants have been producing several large heads for weeks.


Artichokes look good in a community garden plot.

So much is in bloom in the Herb Garden right now. Coneflowers, bouncing bet, black-eyed Susan, feverfew, blackberry lilies, black cumin, Mexican tarragon, Greek oregano, lavender. I could go on, but it’s better to visit and see for yourself. You can also check out our new plant labels.

Roses go in a slump in the heat of July. Ours will get their last fertilizing for the year this month, plus their regular care. With luck and good weather, we’ll get a second showing of blooms in September.


Red bee balm 'Jacob Kline' stands out.

There’s lots of interest in the borders right now, including some noteworthy near-natives that have been here for years. Queen of the prairie (Filipendula rubra) is a tall perennial for full sun with pink, cotton candy-like flowers that age an attractive bronze. Though it prefers moist, even wet soils, it also thrives in gardens of average moisture. Ours is growing with a couple other lofty sun lovers, a bee balm called ‘Jacob Kline’ and a mildew-resistant garden phlox called ‘Robert Poor,’ both native to eastern North America.


Queen of the prairie

Black cohosh or bugbane (Actaea racemose) is another tall native perennial, but it needs partial or full shade to grow well. Its wands of small, white flowers tower above finely-cut, fern-like foliage, an attractive feature itself. The flowers smell unpleasantly sweet and are said to repel insects. Bugbane roots were used by indigenous Americans to ease the pain of childbirth.


Black cohosh

When weeding the shade border yesterday, I noticed how delightfully fragrant oak-leaf hydrangeas are and how honey bees sure love them. Few native shrubs, or even non-native, have its four seasons of beauty.

As you may have gathered, July is a great month to enjoy the beauty and bounty of summer at Bridge Gardens. So much is in bloom right now. Acanthus, Clematis, butterfly weed, swamp milkweed and hydrangeas. Besides oak-leaf, we have H. arborescens ‘White Dome,’ with delicate lace cap-type flowers and a pink version of Hydrangea ‘Annabelle,’ called ‘Pinkerbelle.’ Just setting buds are Hydrangea ‘Fuji Waterfall,’ a hybrid of H. macrophylla and H. serrata. Plan your visit soon so you can see all these and more.

See you in the Garden,

~~~ Rick

Support the Peconic Land Trust
Peconic Land Trust needs your support to protect the working farms, natural lands, and heritage of Long Island.