Farewell to the Forsythia

The forsythia blooming in 2013.

For many years, the blooming of the forsythia heralded the arrival of spring at the Summit Street Community Garden. However, after several seasons of decline, it became clear that the forsythia wasn’t going to recover and bloom again.  Shawn cut down the forsythia this Saturday. “It’s time to say goodbye to a plant that’s been a beautiful part of the garden for a long time,” says Claire.

Gardener removing a forsythia

Cut-down forsythia branches

Forsythia branches

A forsythia blooming in a community garden with daffodils along a brick path

The forsythia’s vibrant blooms provided contrast with the pale yellows of the early daffodils in 2014.

Summer Solstice at the Summit Street Community Garden

Peach galette

Peach galette. Photo: Sondra Fink

The Summit Street Community gardeners kicked off the season June 21 with a solstice celebration. About 24 members of all ages showed up to share foods that evoked the summer: deep red borcht served with sunny hard-boiled egg halves, grilled rum pineapple slices topped with ice cream, bright seasonal strawberries, flaky peach galette, and other delicious fare. Both longtime and new members had a chance to socialize in the garden, and some of the youngest members played in the children’s area, a box designated this year for play and discovery. Check out some of the photos below!

Community gardeners eating under a grape arbor

Gardeners gathered for a solstice feast under the arbor. Photo: Claire Merlino

Borscht

Gardener Amy made a deep red borscht to celebrate the solstice. Photo: Sondra Fink

Hard-boiled eggs, cut so the yolks show

The borscht was served with hard-boiled eggs, which looked like little suns. Photo: Sondra Fink

Grilled pineapple topped with ice cream and rum sauce

Gardener Claire made grilled pineapple served with ice cream and rum sauce. Photo: Sondra Fink

Strawberries and grapes

Fresh fruit was served to celebrate the arrival of summer. Photo: Sondra Fink

A garden member in front of a table with fruit.

The solstice gathering gave a chance to both new and long-time members to enjoy the garden. Photo: Sondra Fink

A boy and his dad in the community garden

Some of the youngest garden members (and their parents) had a chance to garden and play as well. Photo: Sondra Fink

Community garden members and children playing in the children's garden box

Summit Street Community Garden members got some gardening in, while some young members played in the new children’s box. Photo: Sondra Fink

Children digging in a community garden plot with someone holding a worm

The Summit Street Community Garden has a box dedicated for children’s play and discovery this season. Young gardeners at the solstice celebration were delighted to find a worm. Photo: Sondra Fink

A gardener eating watermelon.

Gardener Sondra enjoys some seasonal fruit. Photo: Claire Merlino

Gardeners hanging out in the Summit Street Community Garden.

Gardeners hanging out in the Summit Street Community Garden. Photo: Sondra Fink

Summer Solstice 2017 in the Garden

Weather permitting, there will be a Summer Solstice celebration of the longest day of the year on June 21 from 5:30 pm onward at the garden. This potluck celebration is a casual affair, so if you’d like to attend, just show up with something to share or grill. In the event of rain, the event will be cancelled, though it looks like we’ll have a nice, sunny day. 

Speaking of sun, the plan is for midsummer-appropriate foods that evoke the sun (think: yellow, orange, red, round), as well as seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs. Gardener Sondra, who headed up the celebration this year and last year, says, “The Solstice is also a traditional fire festival, so grilling is on point!” Check out photos of last year’s solstice potluck.

 

Thanks for Supporting the 2017 Spring Tag Sale

slices of tomato tart

This tomato tart was the hit of the tag and bake sale.

Despite a cool, overcast day, the tag sale May 21 raised some funds for garden upkeep and maintenance! Thank you to all the gardeners who supplied items and baked goods and who helped out by setting up tables, selling items and doing end-of-day pack-up. And of course, thank you to community members who came by and purchased items for a good cause! Gardeners who participated in the tag sale had fun hanging out and meeting people in the community.

chocolate chip cookies

I didn’t take too many photos, because I was helping with the baked goods table, meaning I was eating most of the baked goods. I sampled one of everything and can report that it was all good, from the beautiful carrot cake to the cookies made with fresh ginger. The tomato tart made with fresh herbs from the Summit Street Community Garden was a big hit this year.In fact, most of the first tart was consumed within minutes of its unveiling.

We hope to see you at our next tag sale is Saturday, September 16 from 10 am–3 pm!chalk sidewalk sign outside a bank encouraging people to get cash and come to the community garden tag sale
tomato tart with tomato plant

Summit Street Spring Tag Sale Fundraiser, Saturday, May 20, 2017

Baked goods.

Summit Street Community Garden Tag & Bake Sale
corner of Summit and Columbia streets
Saturday, May 20 from 10 am–3 pm

The Summit Street Community Garden is having its annual spring tag and bake sale fundraiser. Stop by to peruse items for sale, including seasonal clothing, jewelry, music, books, children’s clothing and toys, household items and accessories and more! We’ll also have a variety of baked goods and iced tea. All proceeds go toward supplies, maintenance and plants to beautify the garden.

The Ethel Merman Disco Album!

A happy baby at the fall garden tag sale.

A happy baby at the fall garden tag sale.

Important 2017 Garden Dates

On Friday, the weather was so perfect it felt like a crime to be inside (especially since I am not returning to work post-surgery until Monday), so I started on the summer-long path weeding project and continued with that on Saturday morning. Many people enjoying the weather stopped by and several asked a few questions. If you are a new visitor to the garden, please feel free to ask questions of the garden member present, such as: Are dogs welcome? (Yes, if they are on a leash!) Also feel free to check out our FAQ section.

One of the most commonly asked questions is: How can I become a member? The answer is: Simply attend a garden meeting for an orientation! Once you accept the invitation to the Google group, you can sign up for garden hours. For more details of membership, including how to sign up for a garden plot, please visit our membership FAQ.

Garden meetings are at 11 am, followed by workdays. Meetings are scheduled for the following days: Saturday, May 13
Sunday, June 11
Saturday, July 8
Saturday, September 9
Sunday, October 15

On Sunday, August 13, there will be a workday with no meeting.

The garden has two tag and bake sale fundraisers slated for 2017.  On Saturday, May 20, the first tag and bake sale will take place from 10 am–3 pm. The second fundraiser will happen on Saturday, September 16, 10 am–3 pm.

Please visit the community garden, open to all when the gate is open. We look forward to seeing you this season!

A Katie Heath daffodil with a pink center, instead of the usual yellow or orange.

Ladybugs

Ladybugs in the garden. If you saw me in the garden this weekend, it may have looked as if I was talking to them. But I was actually talking to the worms, mostly apologies for relocating them as I unearthed them while weeding the path.

Greenland tulips

Greenland tulips.

Red and green parrot hybrid tulips

Red and green parrot hybrid tulips.

Pansies

Pansies.

More April Garden Photos

Please smell the lilacs while they are in bloom.

An overcast day like today is perfect for enjoying the brilliant spring blooms in the community garden. (I am recovering from surgery so I took my doctor-ordered walk down to the garden to take some photos to capture the spring flowers.) Make sure you smell the lilacs while they are still in bloom. Even the boxwood planter by the garden patio is sporting a festive grape hyacinth.

A grape hyacinth and a boxwood.

Before the grape arbor fills in, a small grape hyacinth in the boxwood planter provides a grape-shaped preview.

Various types of daffodils are in bloom in the borders.
Daffodil

The curled petals of these red and white tulips are particularly striking. Also note that the allium around the garden are coming up.

Red and white tulips with curled petals, with allium in the background.

Red and white tulips with curled petals, with allium in the background.

Even as the later spring flowers start to bud, visitors can still see some of the early spring flowers, such as the hellebores.
Hellebores.

Take time to look for some of the wild violets in bloom around the garden.

Wild violet.

One of the garden’s wild violets.

I was pleasantly surprised by some new blooms in my plot.

Tulips and daffodils.

Tulips and daffodils.

More Ivory Floradale Hybrid Tulips and pink and white pastel tulips came up. The pink and white tulips look like they would taste like strawberries and cream. I regularly resist the urge to eat them.

Ivory Floradale Hybrid and pastel tulips.

Ivory Floradale Hybrid and pastel tulips.

There are also more red tulips with yellow edges.

Red and yellow tulips.

Red and yellow tulips.

These Greenland tulips were a nice surprise. I think they are left over bulbs from a previous spring.

Greenland tulips.

Greenland tulips.

A peach tulip in my plot is also likely a bulb from a previous spring.

Peach tulip.

Peach tulip.

Daffodils are blooming among the Princess Irene tulips, which are deep red with purple flames. I think these are Prosecco daffodils, though the pink-hued Katie Heath daffodils also should be showing up soon.

Prosecco (or possibly Katie Heath) daffodils among the Princess Irene tulips, which are deep red with purple flames.

Prosecco (or possibly Katie Heath) daffodils among the Princess Irene tulips, which are deep red with purple flames.

The Pipit daffodils with bright yellow edges and white centers also are in bloom.

Pipit daffodils with tulips in the background.

Pipit daffodils with tulips in the background.

Lilies of the valley, sent by my mom from her garden, are about to flower.

Lilies of the valley.

Lilies of the valley.

Hosta shoots are emerging. I had dismissed hostas as kind of boring plants, but now that I have the shady side of the box to care for, I’ve embraced the shade-loving plants. (I know there are plenty of hosta enthusiasts out there; I think my attitude stems from growing up with a shady yard and always having an abundance of hostas.) As some flowers prepare to finish for the season, some summer plants are just emerging.

Hosta shoots.

Hosta shoots.

Hosta shoots.

Hosta shoots.

Hosta shoots.

Hosta shoot. I hope this is the giant I transplanted last year.

April in the Garden

View from the garden entrance, with the crabapples budding.

View from the garden entrance, with one of the crabapples in bloom.

In just a few short weeks, the community garden has transitioned from the first buds and tentative blossoms of spring to full-on splendor. Tulips and daffodils in personal plots are coming up.

A view from the birdbath with the crabapples in bloom.

The crabapple trees are full of blossoms.

Crabapple blossoms.

Along the borders, enjoy the groupings of tulips, such as these pink and white beauties.

Pink and white tulips.

Pink and white tulips.

You’ll also find these dramatic red and yellow tulips.

Red tulips with a yellow border, with a daffodil in the background.

Red tulips with a yellow edges, with a daffodil and sedum in the background.

You’ll also find daffodils, mini daffodils and grape hyacinths, as well as lamium.

The lilac by the birch tree is in bloom, so be sure to inhale deeply when you’re in that corner. (It’s not often you can take a big breath in NYC and confidently expect a pleasant smell, so take advantage now.)

The lilac in bloom.

Here’s a white hyacinth.

White hyacinth.

Hyacinth.

The borders also feature thoughtful groupings of flowers, such as this study in purple.

Groupings of flowers in shades of purple along the garden wall.

Spring study in purple.

Conversely, I try to have a plan every year, but my plot just ends up a riot of color. It looks lovely in person and is eye-catching when passing by, but this snap I took on a rainy day on my way to the bus doesn’t do it justice. Right now, there are mainly tulips and daffodils. There’s also some lamium (dead nettle) that needs some editing; the bumblebees love these flowers and they’re pretty, but they are weedy. I was worried my hostas weren’t coming up from last year, but I discovered the shoots among the dead nettle. My floxgloves also have returned, and a hollyhock showed up.

My garden plot.

I took the photo below early in the month, when I’d resigned myself to having only one tulip bloom at a time this year.

I think this is an Ivory Floradale Darwin Hybrid Tulip.

As always, I completely forgot what I planted. According to my bulb order from the fall, I ordered some Ivory Floradale Hybrid Tulips. These look about right.

Most likely an Ivory Floradale Darwin Hybrid Tulip.

The plants below are from a pastel mix I ordered in late November, when I realized I hadn’t ordered any bulbs. At least I think they are. I was pleasantly surprised by their varied colors.

Purple pastel tulip.

Purple pastel tulip.

Creamy pink and white pastel tulip.

Creamy pink and white pastel tulip. It looks pretty and vaguely delicious.

I don’t know what this yellow tulip below with the red edges and lone red petal was, but in addition to the strawberry Creamsicle of a tulip above, it might be among my favorites this year so far. It arrived early and by itself—there were no others like it.

Yellow tulip with red edges and a red petal.

Yellow tulip with red edges and a red petal.

Yellow tulip with red edges and a red petal.

Yellow tulip with red edges and a red petal.

These pretty red tulips may have been my special free gift tulips from the bulb catalog.

Red tulips.

Red tulips.

Princess Irene tulips arrived with my bulb order since my Ollioule mix was out of stock, and it looks as if these flowers may be them!

Princess Irene tulips. Possibly.

Princess Irene tulips. Possibly.

We’ll be blogging more about the garden blooms as we head into May. If you have any photos you would like to send to the blog, please contact us.

Spring Cleaning: Remember the Tag Sale May 20

Some of the items for sale at the fall garden tag sale.

Some of the items for sale at the fall garden tag sale.

Garden Members: As you’re spring cleaning, remember that the Summit Street Community Garden Tag & Bake Sale is Saturday, May 20—just a month away! If you can hang on to your items until then, please consider donating them to the tag sale. Sale items can include seasonal clothing, home appliances and kitchen items, jewelry, knickknacks, kids’ items, and big-ticket items like bicycles or small pieces of furniture. Also feel free to bring media like records, CDs, and even cassette tapes (which are making a comeback, apparently). Bring the items to the garden starting at around 9 am. If you’d like to pick up your items that didn’t sell, stop back at around 3 pm, when we start packing up. Items that do not sell we typically take to a charity donation center. We’re looking forward to the first fundraiser of 2017!