Sunday, May 3, 2015

Spring 2015 Garden Tasks & Updates

Happy spring!
The first meeting of the Summit Street Community Garden was held on April 19, 2015. If you weren't able to attend the meeting or would like a refresher on what was discussed, here are some notes, as well as some spring photos of the garden.

Spring garden hour chores. Wondering what to do during your garden hours? Here are a few suggestions:
  • Check perimeters for trash, not only within the garden, but outside the gate, clinging to the borders.
  • Trim the grass by the beds where the lawnmower will not reach. 
    The lawnmower can't reach the edges of some beds and boxes.
  • Deadhead daffodils and other faded spring blooms in the borders.
    Many of the bulbs in the border beds are in full bloom, but some are fading and need to be deadheaded.
  • Clear walkway weeds. Note: Part of the round patio has been adopted and is receiving special attention, so be careful in this area to make sure you’re not pulling up good things. 
    Path weeds (self-explanatory and ubiquitous).
  • Cut up compost contributions.

Screens on top of the compost. (Not pictured: Humming bumblebees.)
Compost. For compost success, the pieces need to be relatively small, if possible. If you don’t have time to cut up sticks and contributions, then place them to the side for break-up later. There are screens on top of the sections where you shouldn’t contribute. (Also, a note: This area is full of bumblebee activity.)

Lawn. The grass is done resting and the poles have come down.

The grapevine may have already been pruned. 
Grapevine. The grapevine over the arbor is getting heavy and needs to be pruned. The wires will be tightened. If you’re interested in pruning but not sure how, talk to Claire for instruction.

Borders. Border work is going well. Six sections of the garden’s border beds are receiving attention, and there are some sections still available for adoption.

Water. Keep an eye on the water spigot. It seems to have been leaking.

Learning. There are some interesting workshops coming up from Green Thumb NYC. Visit the GreenThumb website and sign up for the email list for more information.

Remember the first day of spring?

Winter maintenance. Do we have to think about winter already? But this is a friendly reminder: The garden’s sidewalk is relatively shady and at a slight incline/decline, so the walking conditions can become a bit hazardous. Remember to try to keep the sidewalk clear during the winter. Options for a new de-icer that’s somewhat more paw-friendly for pets is being explored.

This is especially exciting if you remember the old table.

We now have new tables (complete with flat surfaces) and chairs. Yay!


Meetings. The garden meeting dates were set for the upcoming season. Meetings start at 11 am on the following Sundays and last about 30–45 minutes, followed by workdays. Meetings will have snacks! If you’d like to bring some, please do!

Sunday, May 17 at 11 am
Sunday, June 14 at 11 am
Sunday, July 19 at 11 am
Sunday, September 6 at 11 am
Sunday, October 18 at 11 am

Those interested in becoming new members should attend a garden meeting for an orientation. Once contact information is provided, a member will follow up with you about becoming a member.

Events. Dates were set for two upcoming fundraisers. A tag and bake sale will be held Saturday, June 13. The fall event, which may include music, a tag sale, food and possibly art, will occur Saturday, September 19.


Blog. This blog will most likely move to a new CMS, but the archives will remain here. Stay tuned for details. 

Signs. To create signs for upcoming meetings and events, there will be shared PSD files so they can be easily updated as needed.

Below are some additional photos of the garden this spring, but it's best seen in person. Sign up for garden hours or stop by and enjoy the Summit Street Community Garden! 
The garden in the morning. 
Plenty of spring blooms are flowering.
The bumblebees are enjoying the flowering trees.
There's plenty of spring activity within the members' garden plots.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Happy Spring! First Garden Workday, Meeting and Hours Sign-Up!

Some of the garden's first crocuses
Judging by the increase in garden emails lately, we're all ready for spring. The good news is that the bulbs are coming up, and the first garden hours, workday and meeting are just around the corner!

Garden Workday, Sunday, March 29 
Join us for the first (short) garden workday on Sunday, March 29 from 11:30 am–2 pm. We'll be cleaning up garden debris and composting. Details on an April workday are coming soon!

Garden Hours Begin Wednesday, April 1
Consider signing up for an April shift.

First Garden Meeting of 2015, Sunday, April 19
At 11 am, we will meet in the garden to discuss garden plans, set the season's agenda and welcome new members.

Want to become a member? 
Simply attend a garden meeting for an orientation!

The garden on the first day of spring
Ivory hellebores
Some of the first crocuses of spring
—information courtesy Gardener Amy, images from Claire, text by Josie

Sunday, March 22, 2015


These crocuses aren't going to let the snow keep them from blooming.
After a snowy first day, spring is here! (Finally.)
Crocuses and tulips are emerging.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

8th Annual Columbia Waterfront District Tree Lighting

The 8th Annual Columbia Waterfront District Tree Lighting is being hosted by our friends at the Human Compass Garden at the corner of Columbia and Sackett streets on Friday, Dec. 12, from 6–7:30 pm. Come down to the garden for live music, refreshments from local restaurants, and a photo with Santa, who has surprises for the kids! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Story Time and Sing-Along!

UPDATE: Due to weather conditions, the story time has been CANCELLED.

Need an excuse to dress up the kids in their adorable Halloween costumes one more time? Come down to the Summit Street Community Garden, at the corner of Columbia and Summit streets, this Sunday, November 2, from 11–11:45 am for a Halloween-themed story time and sing-along!

Stories will be read by garden member Andrea Vaughn Johnson, children's librarian at Brooklyn Public Library central branch. Music will be led by garden member Rob Jost of Little Folkies and the Sesame Street band.

Children of all ages and their families are welcome. Come in costume or come as you are. BYOB, as in blanket! Admission is free.

You’ll also have a chance to purchase some flower bulbs to support the garden!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Summit Street Garden 2nd Annual Fall Bulb Bake Band Bonanza, Saturday, October 18

The Summit Street Community Garden at the corner of Summit and Columbia streets will host its second annual Fall Bulb Bake Band Bonanza on Saturday, October 18 from 10 am–4 pm. Buy flower bulbs for your garden while enjoying snacks and music in the community garden. Baked goods and a selection of bulbs—including daffodils, tulips and crocuses—will be for sale, with all proceeds benefiting the garden. Live music from jazz-rock fusion trio City Samanas begins at 2 pm. Admission is free. The rain date for the event is Sunday, October 19.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

September Weekends in the Garden

I’ve been lucky enough to spend the past two Saturdays in the community garden and I’d like to share some photos and notes. Last week, I was going to send out an email as a follow-up to my Bee Careful post about the ground-dwelling bees near the garden entrance, where the bench used to be. (Thanks to Gardener Lily for moving it so people seated at the bench aren’t surprised by the bees, or vice-versa.)

I thought I’d unearthed another bee dwelling last Saturday while weeding the path by the birdbath, when I found myself suddenly surrounded by about eight bees. None of them stung me, but they seemed to be letting me know that it would be in my best interest to move along and leave that area alone. This week, I returned and weeded that area with no bee interference, but in several other areas, I would weed for about 10 minutes before bees would come by and chase me away. I did I lot of shrieking and running around today. So if you see half-weeded areas, throughout the garden, that was me, being afraid of the little bees. (My boyfriend thinks it’s hilarious that I love to garden but am afraid of bees. “You’re outside,” he once reminded me. “They live here.”)

The bees don’t seem particularly aggressive, but it seems as if they’re guarding the ground. All of it. They seem to prefer the sunshine, so it helps to weed in shady spots. (With this option, I had all my blood drained from me by the mosquitoes. If you’re curious as to Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, I recommend the children’s book that was read to me as a little tyke at the public library. It left quite an impression on me for me to remember it 30 years later.)

This belongs to the bees.

This also belongs to the bees.

Everything belongs to the bees.
Anyway, if you’re in the garden, just be mindful of the bees. I suppose it's possible I'm misinterpreting their intentions, and they're the world's friendliest bees. They buzzed around me all day, including when I was cleaning up a giant pile of poop in the grass. If there’s something I like less than cleaning up poop of mysterious origins, I’m not sure what it is. Aside from mystery poop, the past few Saturdays have been absolutely lovely.

Remember that the 2nd annual Bulb, Bake and Band Bonanza Garden Fundraiser is Saturday, October 18 (rain date is Sunday, October 19)! The bulbs have been chosen, and it’s a lovely selection! —Josie


Bumblebees enjoying the hollyhock.

The migrating ceramic dove seems to have found a feather.

Mum season!