Many gardeners and plant enthusiast came out to support the Patchogue Garden Tours 18th season. A total of 7 gardens were on display, each one showing a different take on gardening designs.
187 Roe Avenue
Roe Farm is not a gardener’s garden, more a setting for lively entertainments, outdoor feasting, solitary reading, a pool and recuperation from strenuous city lives. Looking into woodland and over Phragmites salt marsh gives a sense of expansiveness, and long axial vistas and some broad planting make Roe Farm seem larger than it is (X acres). There are nine lawns, some small. The garden is on free-draining sand prone to drought and plagued by deer. Roe Farm was built in the 1850s for Stephen Smith Roe and his wife Huldah Ramsdell, renovated c. 1920 and extended in the 1950s. It was bought from heirs of Norman Roe in 1980 by the present owners. The gardens were begun in 1989. They were intended from the start to invent a feeling of continuity and history, which were lacking, and to preserve the farm like rural atmosphere. The meadow was converted from rough lawn. Only a few of the heirloom trees remain, notably Norway Spruces planted c.1918, Horse Chestnut probably of the same date, and the failing Acer platanoides on the Big Lawn, c. 1850s. The Farmyard: rough and wild. Eleagnus x ebbingei (Silverberry) three Eleagnus angustifolia replacing sumac the deer ate, “Mammoth” sunflower, Aesculus parviflora (“Bottlebrush Buckeye”), Black-eyed Susan against the picket fence, “Blue Princess” holly hedge (being renewed). The Front Lawn: the only public view is angled; there’s no head-on view. Rather than foundation planting, trees and shrubs carry rooflines to the ground, to anchor the house. In the lawn a patinated steel sculpture by Richard Nonas. Paired Viburnum prunifolium above massed Itea virginica, Parrotia persica by the heirloom privet hedge, Liquidambar styraciflua by the driveway. The grass crosspath centered on Zelkova serrata leads to the Big Lawn. In the “apse” at the west end, Thomas Rivers’ Purple Beech (1991). Trees in the sunny border are Chimonanthus virginicus (“Fringe Tree”) and Cornus kousa: summer colors of silvers and blues. At the opposite end a view through tree trunks of salt-marsh. Through a gap in the bayberry hedge is the Grass Walk and Oval with the Silver Border. Fastigiate Carpinus betulus (2005) with the new clump of Cotinus “Royal Purple” balance the upright arborvitae and spreading Pfitzer Juniper at left. Cercidiphyllum japonicum (“Katsura”) beyond the grass Oval, underplanted with Japanese anemones. Against the house a very large pink-flowering Magnolia stellata (1989). Small herb terrace for secluded breakfasts. Follow the brick walk to the Stewartia Lawn (young Stewartia pseudocamellia, planted 2018), enclosed by the holly hedge.Down through the rough woods to the Lower Lawn. A border of Siberian Iris “Caesar’s Brother” with peonies and achillea. Nyssa sylvatica, Amelanchier canadensis, Juniper “Blue Arrow” (all 2017-18)
Through the weathered gate to the vegetable and cutting garden and the swimming pool. A screen of four white Crepe Myrtles. In the corner bed by the Milking Barn: Hydrangea quercifolia, Baptisia australis, common lilac, Vitex agnus-castis, Corylopsis pauciflora. Returning to the barnyard, through the fence is the Meadow with Asclepias tuberosa, seeded from an overgrown meadow formerly across Roe Avenue and goldenrods (Solidago spp). In the meadow, self-sown Red Oaks and an Eastern White Pine, with Pawlonia tomentosa. In the silo foundation, heirloom bearded iris. On the Cottage Lawn a pink Crepe Myrtle against Eastern White Pine.
The Hart Garden
105 Jayne Avenue
Our family moved to Patchogue almost exactly ten years ago, in July 2009. We had been living in a tiny apartment in Queens, which was great in many ways, but no longer viable for our growing family. Also, we were very excited by the prospect of having some land to work on!
Alex is a partner at a landscape architecture firm in Manhattan, so he was particularly interested in trying out various planting experiments. Ami has long been interested in growing fruits and vegetables. The kids wanted their own place to explore and play. We all wanted to be part of a community with other families, a great downtown, and walk able streets. Those attributes came together for us in Patchogue.
Our yard and garden are unquestionably a work in progress. Shortly after we moved in, we were delighted to learn that we would be welcoming twin boys to our family, which changed our design approach considerably (while also preventing us from making much progress on the yard for several years). Our original plans for lush botanical gardens in the back yard transformed into more active lawn areas, with a trampoline and a play set, known to the neighborhood kids as the So Big Fort. That hasn’t stopped us from planting wherever we could! One of our first moves was to create a new plant-heavy experience in the front and side yards. We didn’t love how the existing house walled itself off from the neighborhood with two-story hedges and a thin lawn. So we tore it all out except for two failing rhododendrons (Ami correctly predicted she could save them with Holly-tone) and one Chamaecyparis obtusa near the front door. These areas are continuing to evolve, but we feel our current design provides us with a good balance of privacy, openness, and interest from the plants. The yard between house and driveway, which we call the Near 40 in reference to Alex’s
childhood on a farm, has only recently seen any upgrades. Alex built the cedar fence along Cedar Grove Street from scratch, but in case that sounds like a boast, you should know that it’s taken him nearly five years to complete this project (This Old House claims it can be done in a weekend). Thank you, dear neighbors, for your patience!We added a couple of beloved Japanese Maples in prominent positions to the near 40, along withtwo of our latest experiments: several fruit trees and an experimental perennial garden. The perennials were based on a system described by a wonderful new book, Planting in a Post-Wild World. In short, we utilized inexpensive flats for a variety of plants, carefully chosen to work together, and intentionally planted a little too close together. The results have been surprisingly great so far. The plants have nestled together beautifully and crowded out weeds like magic. It didn’t even cost very much. And the bees and butterflies love it. We’re hoping to utilize this system in other areas around the property in coming years. In the Back 40, beyond the driveway, we balanced our love of gardening with the active spaces mentioned previously. We tend to focus on garden plants that make a big difference when they are fresh vs. store bought, such as berries, peppers, and tomatoes. Yields have been fantastic in our Long Island soil and climate, with enough produce to supply us through the growing months and typically through most of the winter, too. Keeping the lawn going with the heavy use of four kids plus all their friends has been a (pretty much impossible) challenge, but we keep that battle going along with our efforts everywhere else.
We love working in our yard despite all the shortcomings, and hope you can find something interesting here as well. One of our favorite parts about yard work is the interaction with our neighbors. We love to enjoy our neighbors’ work and compare notes.
So thanks very much for stopping by!
Ami, Alex, and family
The Prendergras Garden
41 Cedar Grove Street
The Second Hand Garden
Since I bought this Cottage in 2007, this garden has been my “Therapy”. When I am working in it I forget about everything, time melts away, responsibility fades and I am content. My Garden is an accumulation of gifts and hand me downs from many people over the years, friends, family and clearance items purchased with love. So it is affectionately called the “Second Hand Garden”. Examples include the Hydrangea from my first home, a holly tree from a neighbor that was going to be discarded. A smaller holly from a family property out East, the Queen Elizabeth rose that was given to me to celebrate the birth of my niece (Elizabeth) and has traveled in a pot with me from residence to residence. As you approach the Cottage, Annabelle Hydrangea’s grace the east perimeter with their massive blooms, awaiting my neighbor’s shears and to be proudly displayed on her dining room table.
Two noble Newport Boxwood’s yielding perfect scale and shape stand like sentries at the flanks of the front façade. The climbing, trellised Euonymus was a gift from my mom, and becomes the perfect backdrop for a clearance item clematis. Many of the plants in this garden are at various stages of maturity as is the fragrant white climbing rose being trained to follow the architectural arch of the front door. As you meander down the drive and follow the blue-stone along the side of the garage, reminiscent of the tiny pathways between the quietly nestled homes of Newport, you can take in the yard art, an old scratching tools wreath, a funnel or shovel used as a planter or watch the bees happily pollinating the wisteria and trumpet vine from my sister’s home in Old Brookville. Pick a few string beans along the back fence, throw open the large gate and you will come upon the potting bench and pond, both made of recycled hand me downs. Emerging from behind the garage another group of antique iron furniture invites you to sit and chat or notice the assortment of plants around the pond and in the various containers. Completing the loop through the back yard brings you back to the patio area where you can relax on an old swing while you enjoy a lemonade with mint from the herb garden or sit at the dining table and look back over the yard through another climbing rose that hopes to create a floral frame for the dining area. Follow the slate path through the arch with Autumn Clematis climbing happily up its sturdy legs past the varying hues of pink and blue Hydrangea and the different specimens of Hosta, Liatris and Lavender at your feet emerging on the front walkway completing your tour. Thank you for spending part of your day in my garden, I hope you enjoyed your visit and feel free to stop by and say hi again. I may even have a plant to hand down.
40 Pine Neck Avenue
We first viewed this house in the spring of 2012 and fell in love with the quaint house and expansive yard. We moved into the house in the late summer of that year and began working on the gardens that autumn. The yard was pretty much a blank slate at that time, so our first goal was to have soil delivered and form the garden beds. Since moving in, we have spread almost 150 yards of topsoil and counting! The backyard consists of three main sections; the shade garden, the cottage garden and the vegetable garden. The shade garden can be found adjacent to the patio, around the goldfish pond and next to the garage. Here we’ve been able to plant things here such as hostas, hardy geraniums, heuchera and ferns. The cottage garden section takes up most of the sunny portions of the yard, along the fences and around the vegetable garden. Typical cottage garden plants include roses, sunflowers, lavender, foxglove, peony, iris, and various wildflowers and reseeding annuals. You can see many of these plants here. The vegetable garden consists of raised beds, along with apple trees (‘William’s Pride’ & ‘Liberty’) and a “Nikita’s Gift’ persimmons tree. Here, and elsewhere on the property, we try to grow things as organically as possible. Instead of spraying the apple trees, we’ve selected disease resistant varieties and have bagged the apples to prevent insect damage. To improve pollination, two different apple varieties were planted. Persimmons are naturally disease and pest free and are a great fruit tree for the home garden. This variety is also self-pollinating, so only one is needed. Thank you for visiting our garden. We hope you have enjoyed it!
47 Washington Avenue, Patchogue
Fifty Shades of Green ~ Five Decades of Gardens 1968-2019
It’s all about Growth and Change, Adding and Subtracting, Multiplying and Dividing, Moving or Removing; a bit like remodeling inside your home. Sun, shade, wind, water, and soil affect our choices. What do we really love seeing each spring, summer, fall, winter? Well, I do have some favorites and I do love shrubs, trees and flowers sharing a “garden”. What plants do well in my garden? No Master Plan-just my vision for pleasing the eye at all times of the year. So some plants can be found in all 3 gardens. My small but long lot is 50 by 200+, divided by the house and garage into 3 main areas with at least 20 small planted areas within.
Garden 1 is the front door view and features spring bulbs in a shade lovers garden under dogwood. There is a sunny Mailbox garden for hybrid peonies, rose, clematis, japanese anemone, phlox, iris , daisies and more.
The Middle garden viewed from the kitchen has sun and shade and many flowering shrubs and trees. Large pots contain veggies and herbs. My favorite here is quince, for-get-not , violet, and lily of the valley from April to June. The Cleveland pear and Eastern redbud add to the spring color. Beauty Berry brightens the shade with purple berries late in the season.
Garden 3 beyond the garage and big old maple starts with a vine-covered arch, evergreens, a kusa dogwood and a purple ceramic bird bath. And so many surprises! I call it the Secret Garden. Look at all the small areas to find many fun, pretty and useful plantings such as blueberries, strawberries, red onions, raspberries, phlox, lemon balm, liatris, a “lilac forest”, pussy willow, and a forsythia reading room to name a few.
One of the highlights for me is the PEONY PATCH that dates to the 50’s with plants that came from my mother’s East Patchogue flower garden.
Patchogue Community Garden
380 Bay Avenue
Established in 2012, the mission of the Patchogue Community Garden is to enhance the quality of life for the people of the Village of Patchogue by creating and preserving a beautiful green space in which residents can grow organic vegetables, flowers and fruits; produce nutritious food for the local food pantry; cultivate community; and become more educated about environmental sustainability, responsibility and organic gardening. We are located behind the Patchogue Village Parks and Recreation Building at 380 Bay Avenue.
For a $25 or $50 fee and small deposit, members are granted half or full beds which can be planted as desired within PCG’s rules & regulations. Members are entitled to harvest & keep all their produce as long as the bed is kept up & harvested regularly. Members are also required to volunteer several hours a month to maintain the community garden &/or help with the planting, harvest & upkeep of food pantry beds.
During the 2016 growing season, with the assistance of several generous community sponsors, PCG members were able to plant, maintain & harvest over 2000 pounds of fresh produce for the food pantry at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
For more information, please contact Diane Butler at 516 318-7962 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Patchogue Garden Club
Terry Street and South Ocean Ave
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 service to their community.
From the club’s inception, a two-fold mission was established: community education and beautification. In pursuit of our educational goal, we have regularly scheduled presentations by knowledgeable and experienced gardeners and educators. As part of our community beautification efforts, the Patchogue Garden Club™ maintains the Village Community Garden on the corner of Terry Street and South Ocean Avenue. This once abandoned unsightly lot has been transformed into an urban oasis with several gardens and a gazebo.
Our Mission is to beautify the Village of Patchogue, and educate the community in matters of design, gardening, and maintenance, with a focus on the continuing design and maintenance of the Village Community Garden on Terry Street and South Ocean Avenue in the Village of Patchogue, Town of Brookhaven, County of Suffolk, New York.