AROUND THE GARDEN
Let’s Rally ‘Round the Garden
By Chris Cohan
Pullquote: “It is getting late, but if you have not bought spring flowering bulbs, do. You can never plant too many.”
What happened to wearing short sleeves and complaining about the heat? It was a just a few days ago that I was picking okra and tomatoes. Now the leaves have wilted, darkened, and drooped. The okra pods are stunted, and remaining tomatoes are translucent greenish-yellow.
Though its cooler, arugula and Asters are perky. Native grass tassels glisten in the sunshine. They are hardy, handsome, require minimal care, and provide sanctuary for many birds and insects. Their leaves shish and sway in the wind as a reminder why we plant them.
The days are shorter, and the chores are longer. It’s time to tuck your gardens in.
Start by sharpening your hand pruners, hedge clippers, and loppers because you have a whole lot of trimming to do.
Caution is the operative word when pruning. When in doubt, don’t. Sadly, in earnest, many will shape Nikko blue and lace-cap hydrangeas into polite domes. This removes next year’s flowers. Healthy green mounds <sans> flowers they will be. For instance, lilacs, forsythia, and azaleas should only be clipped back in late spring after flowering. If you prune now, you will sadly face a flowerless spring.
Take butterfly bushes down by two-thirds. Cut all bee balm, phlox, and other mildew-prone perennials low. Make sure you remove infected material from the garden. Reduce all Annabelle hydrangeas by half to above nodes. Prune white hydrangeas as they bloom on new wood. Annabelle is the queen of shady gardens. Her blooms are massive, abundant, and white that light up shady corners. Usually they are deer-resistant as well.
It is getting late, but if you have not bought spring flowering bulbs, do. You can never plant too many. Friends of Rye Town Park planted over 1,000 spring flowering bulbs throughout the park. Those bulbs continue to multiply every year delivering smiles to all who visit the Park. One of the Friends’ many lasting contributions to a better community for all.
Outside the park wall more daffodils announce spring to all thanks to Mike Buccieri. Mike is the Johnny Appleseed of bulb planting in Rye. In addition to the park wall, he planted part of the Playland Parkway walking path, Crawford Park in Rye Brook, and around Water’s Edge.
Mike has a plan to grow the bulb-planting efforts all along Playland Parkway. He wants to do the same at all City school properties, and at our many houses of worship, and other highly visible places. Imagine a massive bulb planting campaign across our modest little burg.
I plan to lend a hand, a strong back, and donate funds to this campaign.
Some say let’s keep Rye, Rye. Well, I say let’s make Rye even more Rye. This isn’t about who is red, blue, or purple. Praise the plants, bury the politics. This is the campaign we need right now.
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