THE PATCHOGUE GARDEN CLUB – “Come Grow With Us”
The Patchogue Garden Club was founded in November of 1996 by a group of enthusiastic Patchogue gardeners who wished to use their love of gardening in the service of their community. As part of our community beautification effort the club created and maintains the garden at the intersection of South Ocean Ave. and Terry St. This once unsightly, rubble-strewn lot, generously given by the Village of Patchogue and augmented in 2005 with a generous addition, has metamorphosed into a series of lovely gardens with walkways, benches, a gazebo, a flagpole and period lighting. 0ur Terry Street and South Ocean Avenue corner has been redesigned and our sign has been repositioned to make both more visible from the street.
Enter the park through any of the arbors. Depending on which one you choose, a different vista will open. Perhaps the first tree you’ll see will be a very large spruce tree and a large rectangular formal garden surrounded by Moonbeam coreopsis, Rose Glow barberry and boxwood. As you continue to walk on the brick path, you will enter the gazebo. As you look out from it, you will see flowering trees, several small garden areas, birdhouses and benches. An American oak surrounded by seasonal plantings is dedicated to the memory of those lost in the September 11th tragedy.
Climbing roses Polka and Colette work their way up the arbors as you enter the park-like area of the garden. The sculpture provides a focal point. The sculpture, designed by a local artist and constructed with found or donated objects from garden club members, and supplemented with purchased materials. On either side of the sculpture are two triangular beds bordered by175 ‘Wintergreen’ boxwoods and filled with ‘Lady Elsie May’ landscape roses.
The point of each bed is punctuated with ‘Graham Blandy’ boxwood, and fronting the parking area is a hedge of 20 ‘Rose Glow barberry’. Visitors can rest on benches at the intersection of the brick pathways.
Our neighbor to the east is Artspace, is a building occupied by artists and used as live/work space. Our entrances to the parking area have been extended and planted with two ‘Amanogawa’ cherry trees thanks to Artspace. We have underplanted the areas with red carpet roses and 1,000 spring flowering bulbs, including daffodils, scilla, and grape hyacinths.
From the club’s inception a two-fold mission was established: community education and beautification. In pursuit of the former we have regularly scheduled presentations by experts in their fields. We also organize trips to various public and private gardens and sponsor a scholarship for a local high school senior. Other activities include an annual “Think Spring” luncheon in March, this tour in July and our semi annual Christmas House tour in December. We hope this summer’s garden tour will encourage many people to enjoy and learn from the gardens and gardeners of Patchogue.
The Lap Garden, 49 Lee Avenue
Fifteen years ago, someone gave me a small pink hydrangea plant for Mother’s Day. I decided on a whim to make a garden spot in the front of my house to plant it. That was the beginning of a love affair with gardening that has been a constant in my life ever since. Working in my garden is one of the great passions of my life. It is a passion I never knew I had! I consider that passion a gift. It is a gift that fills me with peace, and frustration, satisfaction and angst. It is all consuming. I go to the garden and everything else falls away. It is the place I go to connect with the earth, and forget about the world. It is my sanctuary.
Murphy Garden, 125 Smith Street
“Gardens are inevitably a trade off of success and failures.” –Rebecca Rupp
I have been gardening here almost 40 years. For many of us“tropical storm” Irene and hurricane Sandy redefined what a truly salt water resistant garden is. The first thing you learn is flooding adds nutrients to the soil: then you learn what survives and what does not.
The front bed has lots of perennials – not by design- but happenstance. Whatever bargain comes my way is stuck in there somewhere. Daylilies are wonderful survivors thriving under the most severe neglect. I began collecting them from a grower on the north shore, a daylily farm in Vermont, garden club friends and a garden club member who had a national daylily display garden. At present, I have over fifty varieties.
Knock out roses are also survivors and extend the flowering season, perennials and annuals are planted among the daylilies. The front and west side beds are home to 2 wonderful quinces and 3 spireas (all survivors) and for fall color Montauk daisies, asters, golden rod, perennial ageratums, rosa rogusa and some mums, all provided a wonderful back drop for my daughter’s fall wedding. There are 2 shrub crepe myrtles, a stewartia and a shadblow.
Following the front flower garden is a flowering tree and shrub border. A path meanders through this border, an area that had once been overgrown with old Norway Maples and ivy. Privet now replaces the Leyland Cypress and climbing hydrangeas that were planted along the fence to provide privacy.
Beginning in February of each year with the first blooms of the witch hazel (#2), through May with over 1000 daffodils (survivors), azaleas (replaced), viburnums (survivors), a struggling forest pansy redbud, an eastern redbud and rhododendron (replaced), this border gives me a tremendous amount of pleasure during the late winter and the gray days of spring. I’ve also been sticking in more hellebores (survivors) here and there.
The vegetable garden is planted with tulip bulbs each fall and gives another splash of color in May. At the end of their bloom, they are recycled in the compost and the vegetables are then planted. The vegetable garden is no longer composted with seaweed from nearby beaches as the bay doesn’t produce much any more… So straw will have to do. I also house plant bargains or a hornbeam that needed a temporary home in this bed. The sunflowers dotting the landscape are all from seeds floating around the yard after the storms. The herb garden is located off the front deck for easy access. A small water garden in front of the porch provides tranquility and a diversion as one enters the side yard The stone path leading to the pool deck divides the shrub border from a shade garden that runs along the side of the house (survivors- hosta and Solomon seal).
Hydrangeas (survivors) welcome you to the pool area. A variety of hydrangeas, carpet roses and a dwarf willow shrub (survivor) are planted along the N and E side of the pool. Buddleia (replaced) and Montauk daisies follow the property line. The raised beds hold beach plums, blueberries, raspberries, a fig tree, rhubarb, and currants. A new lavender patch was started in the NE corner as the previous plantings along the pool deck did not survive.
The garden shed works best in the front of the house, as that is where the bulk of the work is. The privet hedge creates a “room” for my compost pile, firewood and things I need to hide. A small hedge of rosa rugosa creates some privacy and provides wonderful fall colors. The garden immediately in front of the deck is packed with daffodils, daylilies, a crape myrtle called “Velour”, a late summer blooming hydrangea, some small hollies and for winter interest a winterberry. The tree bed holds a purple plum and also stores 2 dwarf gingkos, 3 bavberries, a sumac, and a weeping beautyberry shrub( all survivors). I use Fantastic Gardens for all the plants in my pots and vegetable garden.
My garden expands by what I find on sale at Lowes and the Peconic Herb Farm. Some plants I have actually paid full price for, but only if I had to replace something I can not live without. Am on the hunt for an oak leaf hydrangea. Not all hydrangeas are survivors!
Gardening in spite of salt-water intrusion and occasional flooding are all challenges of a seaside garden.
Curtis-Bauer Garden, 370 Grove Avenue
Many years ago someone gave me a cell pack of pansies. I said “What do I do with it?”I planted them. They died. But a new passion bloomed.
This house in Patchogue has been home for 15 years. We started with a barren yard consisting of a baseball diamond, a round pile of sand from a past pool, and a small red leaf maple tree in a corner. The maple is taller now and shades the koi pond.
Over the years my husband would bring home interesting things and I would find a place for them in the garden. Neat rocks, gargoyles, old bricks. I would search the reject sections of local garden shops, bringing home sad looking plants and finding a place for them in my garden. A pathway here, a trellis there, and 15 years later I am out of room.
People think it must be a lot of work to maintain my garden but it really isn’t. I plant densely and mulch thickly so weeds are a minor problem. The biggest jobs now are thinning things out, and finding a spot for one more plant! Well, actually the deer have become a ‘problem’ in the front yard but I am working on replanting only what they don’t like so they will go elsewhere.
People also think I must know a lot about horticulture. Not really! I’ve learned a lot along the way, reading, trial and error…I just have fun ‘playing in the garden’ I enjoy the process. If something doesn’t work I try something else … everything changes.
I have not missed a Patchogue garden tour, and each year I’d get new ideas and say “I’m almost garden tour ready.” So now, ready or not here’s my garden! I humbly share it with all of you. I invite you to stroll along the pathways, sit by the pond or under the grape arbor. You’re welcome to join us on the deck-I’d love your input.
We learn from each other!
Thompson-Cuomo Garden, 19 Harbor Side Court
After a long winter, we are finally seeing the spectacular colors of the season throughout our Lawn and Gardens. With injections of color blocked borders utilizing annuals and other items; enhance our lawn and gardens every year, the display of our yard Gardens is always an anticipated sight for us.
When I was asked to write this Bio in April, I (at the same time) I silently wondered if spring was ever going to arrive? It was cold. It was rainy. The bulbs were barely poking their leaves out of the ground. But spring finally did arrive, even if very late.
On the bright side, this year ended up being one of our most spectacular seasons since Sandy, which devastated our lawn and gardens. Since spring was so late this year, some of our most delicate plants were not hit with a frost and with the late opening of the trees allowed the sun to fortify our plantings and beautiful blooms continue to shine throughout the Gardens.
After a long winter, we’re finally seeing spectacular color throughout the Gardens. With our color blocked borders of over 200 annuals each year, the display of the Flower Garden Walk is always an anticipated sight.
We’ve been here 8 years now and as the saying goes “sometimes you do not know what you have till it hits you in the face”. Well this was us; upon buying this property.
As avid boaters we saw this property as the perfect opportunity to live on the water and at first saw the wet lands barrier that we own and pay taxes on…LOL. as a nuisance and had wished for a long green lawn and bulk-head…LOL. Living here now, 8 years…boy-o-boy were we wrong…… But now very thank full for what we have today.
Living on what the area knows as Mud Creek, which is a very large inlet off the Great South Bay, being feed by fresh water and creating the brackish area you see directly towards the water, within the boundaries of our property. We sit here on a little over one acre of land, with one whole side being water front property. The trees and reed grass which we at first considered annoying, we now consider blessed with, as it creates a serine sense of privacy and an oasis for bird watching as well as many other natural habitat animals we can watch for. Animals such as: Osprey, Finch, Red Breasted Black Birds, Cardinals Doves, Swans, Geese, Owls and many more. Not to mention all the “Snapping Turtles” who just made their way thru our gardens and yard in June to lay their eggs, as well as box turtles. When the eggs hatch you get to see the new babies’ scurry their way back to the water. Our piece of paradise also includes many animals that are not as pleasant but yet needed for the” eco system” those being: snakes, raccoons, red fox, deer, possums and more.
So back to our gardens: We have tried to create a natural back drop to blend our lawn with the natural landscape given to us by Mother Nature herself, by utilizing native plants and perennials that enjoy a very sandy mix of soil and are wind tolerant. We have most recently added the addition of giant ferns which are from the hills of Pennsylvania and grow wild throughout the timber EST forest, which is also for the most part “protect lands”. We are hoping that they will grow and prosper and create the tremendous amount of beauty they are known for, after they take hold….LOL…..like three years from now. I have left a book out on the table for your review, if you’d like, called; “The Cooks Forest” a once privately owned area by a very, very wealthy family, which is now mostly State Park….but trust me the ferns were taken from my own private parcel of land which is adjacent this magnificent protect forest.
Both Michael and I are lovers of trees and have done our best to keep and preserve every one we can on our little acre of paradise; working with a local arborist that has enabled us to save many of the trees that are still here today. You will notice from the back deck, facing the water that many of the large trees, some small trees – have had their tops completely ripped off….which was the result of Sandy. Sandy pretty much devastated our back yard and gardens and it has been a long recovery trying to save what we could.
One of the most amazing parts of our gardens is what we call the sound of paradise; just stand quietly for a few minutes and listen to all the birds and sounds of nature. On a very calm day you may hear the occasional LIRR train go by or a car on South Country Road, but for the most part you do not hear anything but nature.
As a young man I worked as a Life Guard & Instructor for the State of PA and as a volunteer with the youth group for ECO Engineers. To this day I/we enjoy splitting plants, sharing and trading them with friends and local neighbors, which creates the gardens you see today. So our gardens’ are just like the Island we live on; which is an ever changing place…of what we call a work in progress.
So feel free to walk around our informal plantings and enjoy for a few minutes; what we enjoy every day.
There are refreshments and snacks located throughout the property. Please feel free to help yourselves.
A powder room is available upon request as needed.
Thank You – for coming to our home,
Jeffrey & Michael
O’Neill Garden, 185 Private Road
“It was a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season”- Kate Morton
I wasn’t born with a green thumb. My first undertaking at the age of eleven was to trim the balled Christmas tree my parents had planted in our yard in East Norwich. Needless to say, the poor evergreen did not live to see another Christmas! Still I had an interest and it’s been cultivating and enriching my surroundings ever since. I welcome you to my garden…
My Private Road home situated on 2.5 acres is almost 50 years old and I am the third owner. Massive Rhododendron, Sycamore and Holly line the circular drive. The Rhododendrons present a striking show of purple blooms in June. There are also two established Weeping Cherry trees, one in the front yard and another in back sharing a spectacular display. In bloom the Cherry trees are worthy of an artist painting. Six years ago when I moved to Private Road, the property was in neglect. Dead trees were raised others gave way to storms. The Rhododendrons were drastically trimmed back some were moved to new locations. Each year they are pruned of dead wood and now have a lot of new healthy growth. A sprinkler system was installed using a drip line on many of the plants.
My plant choices are always low maintenance. I chose varieties of plants that bloom throughout the season and enjoy mixing evergreens for landscape color. Every room in the house has a view of the gardens, the ‘exterior decorating’ in the yard brings life inside. The urns on the rear terrace with purple Sceavola need only water and they give an endless array of blooms from early spring to fall. The pots on the breakfast terrace and rose garden have canna lilies, potato vines, Lantana and Helichysum. Lantana is a favorite of Hummingbirds and they are a favorite of mine as well!
The ‘Lover’s Path’ was also of the original landscape design. This is ‘My Shade Garden’. Oak leaf Hydrangea, Lily of the Valley, Astilbe, Bleeding Heart, varieties of Hosta, Liriope and ferns line the path which leads to Abet’s Creek and phragmites. The yard is truly a nature preserve. Wildlife such as deer, red fox, swan, ducks, geese, turtle, raccoon, squirrels and birds add to the tranquility of the property. I erected a tower in hopes to attract Osprey. The deer population is growing and coupled with severe winters, the property has suffered a lot of damage. Ivy had blanketed many areas of the property but was ravenously eaten by the deer as well as the giant Yew. It’s an ongoing challenge to redevelop the gardens with deer-proof material.
Expressing my love for the South, I had to plant Crepe Myrtle, Southern Magnolia and potted Sabo Pine in the front terrace planters. The Sabo Pines get wintered at a local greenhouse. My Crepe Myrtle are very happy on the property and will be blanketed in pale pink blooms. Umbrella Pine, Kousa Dogwood, Burning Bushes, Weeping Hydrangea, Sweet William, Weeping Kousa dogwood are some of my personal favorites.
Thank you for coming to my garden.