The Quiet Beauty of Midwinter | A Note from Bridge Gardens

February 15, 2024

By Rick Bogusch

Bridge Gardens

A couple weeks ago, it was most gratifying to see every holly, winterberry and juniper berry on the property devoured by a flock of robins that have taken up residence in the neighborhood. All these plants were abundant with colorful fruits in early winter, but now, amazingly, are stripped bare. It made me happy to be able to provide this winter food source and made me want to plant more.

Now that we can garden almost year-round, it makes sense to use those sunny days to edge and mulch and prune and enjoy the quiet beauty of midwinter. When it’s rainy and too cold to be outside getting a jump on the season, that’s a good time to get ready for seed starting indoors, which usually begins in early March.

Now is a good time to clean your growing area and inspect lights and heat mats to make sure they’re in working order. Organize flats and insert trays, stock up on soil mix and sort through your seeds to select which to sow first and which later.


We usually sow cabbage and other cole crops in early March and start artichokes then, too. Tomatoes, peppers and eggplants can be sown any time after that, but we usually wait until mid-April for those.

As a general rule, we allow 6-8 weeks for all seedlings to grow large enough to harden off and plant in the garden. You may also want to set aside the first seeds you’ll sow directly in the garden, like spinach, arugula and radishes. It won’t be long!

If you have any fruit trees, now is the best time to prune apples, pears, peaches and the rest. You can prune raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and currants now, too, to maximize yields later this season. If you have pruning questions, join us for the upcoming Spring Pruning Workshop with Jackson Dodds on April 6 which will include fruiting plants, hydrangea and ornamental evergreens. Visit our calendar and call 631.283.3195 ext. 122 to register.


Pruning with Jackson Dodds

Not too long ago, the ground would be too frozen or snow-covered for weeding, too frozen for weeds to germinate, but that’s no longer the case. We’re seeing lots of weeds out there in garden beds, weeds like chickweed and hairy bittercress, and hope to get to pulling them soon before they become overwhelming.


Cheery snowdrops greet you along the brick path

The first crocus flowers are just starting to emerge. Winter jasmine and snowdrops are still going strong after a month of blooms and both vernal and Chinese witch hazels are at their peaks. So even though it’s midwinter, there’s still lots to see at Bridge Gardens. When you’re not being industrious in your own gardens, I hope to see you enjoying these winter delights soon.

~~~ Rick

P.S. Remember, we’re open every day year-round, with free admission. Winter hours are 10 AM – 3PM. See you soon!


Winter jasmine

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