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Hamptons-Based Public Garden Wants To Make Having A "Green Thumb" More Manageable

Nicole Barylski

Rick Bogusch discusses local vegetables and gardening. (Courtesy Photo)

Are your gardening skills and knowledge of the local landscapes lacking?

Peconic Land Trust's Bridge Gardens, a unique public garden set in the heart of Bridgehampton, can help fix that this season as they continue their mission of providing a multi-purpose, multi-disciplinary outdoor classroom and demonstration garden.

"We are very excited with the wide range of workshops and talks at Bridge Gardens this year that highlight the diversity of the grasses, plants, flowers, vegetables, herbs, and more we are growing at Bridge Gardens," said Rick Bogusch, Garden Manager at Bridge Gardens. "Our focus is to make gardening accessible to all, and to show homeowners how to not only imagine but to realize productive, healthy and oftentimes delicious and nutritious garden landscapes at their own homes."

Bridge Gardens was donated to Peconic Land Trust in 2008. (Courtesy Photo)

Throughout 2016, the community resource will present several educational programs and opportunities for the public to channel their creative side while using the gardens as their muse. Highlights include Lawn & Garden Advice, lawn demonstration plots, sustainable gardening workshops in partnership with Perfect Earth Project, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, the Peconic Estuary Program and Greener Pastures Organics, community gardens, garden-to-table food demonstrations and art classes for adults and children.

Opening on Saturday, April 2nd, its debut workshop of the season will take place on Wednesday, April 6th, and feature Free Lawn Care Advice with Paul Wagner of Greener Pastures Organics. The class will be held every Wednesday from 2 to 5 p.m. Bridge Gardens will also present Watercolor Classes with artist/educator Lois Bender every Saturday in April, May, and June from 12 to 3 p.m. On Saturday, April 9th, improve your "green thumb" during Getting the Vegetable Garden Started at 11:30 a.m.

Friday, May 6th marks National Public Gardens Day Tour and Bridge Gardens is celebrating by partnering with Madoo Conservancy and LongHouse Reserve, two other East End public gardens, to offer complimentary 1-hour tours at each location. The event will start at Bridge Gardens at 10:30 a.m., followed by Madoo Conservancy at 1 p.m. and LongHouse Reserve at 3 p.m. To reserve a spot, call 631-283-3195 or email Events@PeconicLandTrust.org. Once tourgoers are done, they can take advantage of a special prix fixe dinner at The Living Room c/o The Maidstone. The following weekend, learn about Steps to a Toxin Free Lawn and Landscape with Paul Wagner of Greener Pastures Organics and Sean O'Neill of Perfect Earth Project on Saturday, May 14th at 10 a.m. Over Memorial Day weekend, Bridge Gardens will host a benefit Pop Up Art Show and Sale on Saturday, May 28th and Sunday, May 29th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thanks to its collaborations with Perfect Earth Project, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and the Peconic Estuary Program, Bridge Gardens is able to provide locals and visitors alike with advice and classes on easily adaptable sustainable gardening practices, like environmentally sensitive lawn care, native grasses and plants, and organic vegetable gardening.

Paul Wagner of Greener Pastures Organics speaks to attendees. (Courtesy Photo)

Its lawn demonstration beds, which were planted in the fall of 2014, feature 5,000 sq. ft. of test area with three locations: full sun, partial sun, and full shade. Within the area, four types of seeds are used: rye, fine fescue, tall fescue, and Kentucky blue grass. The different sun levels, seeds and tillage allow homeowners the chance to figure out which grasses would best fit their abode.

Established last year, Bridge Gardens will continue its Community Garden, which has grown from 16 to 20 garden plots, all of which have already been leased for the season. Fridays at Six Music at the Gardens, an East End favorite, will return on Friday, July 15th.

Bridge Gardens was founded in 1988 by Harry Neyens and Jim Kilpatric, who planned and installed the gardens over the following two decades. In 2008, the duo donated Bridge Gardens to the Peconic Land Trust.

Bridge Gardens is located at 36 Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton. For more information, call 631-537-7440 or visit www.peconiclandtrust.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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