DescriptionI’ve sometimes wondered about the importance of space in one’s life. For me, my home filled with family photos, colorful art works, plants, and books is the place that provides comfort and peace and is the space I can always count on. Bridge Gardens, in Bridgehampton, New York, is a five-acre public garden that gives me the same feelings as my home does. It’s this green space, nurtured by Garden Manager Rick Bogusch, which I’ve come to love.
Many times I’ve passed Bridge Gardens, on Mitchell Lane, on my travels to Long Island’s East End. However, it wasn’t until I stopped to peek in that I realized I was missing out on something special. Once inside the garden, I was met with a cacophony of flowers; poppies, roses, daffodils, irises were all radiant. The colors were vivid, the scent of the flowers slight but bold, and the air, still. On the edge of the fish pond were fleurs-de-lys. Inside the pond, lily pads had become floating hotels for frogs. One could hear their joyous croaking.
Leaving the frogs to their friends, my next stop was to follow Rick to the rose garden. The garden needed some TLC and I was encouraged to weed and clean this lovely, serene spot. I knew then that I would want to volunteer hours every week to this public space and Rick would become my guide and mentor. From the rose garden, Rick took us to the community farm that ultimately would provide vegetables for the food pantries on Long Island. Joe, a church member in Sag Harbor, arrived early on Monday morning to gather the produce and load the baskets with freshly picked vegetables. We needed everyone’s help.
Becoming a community gardener was my next step at Bridge Gardens. Rick carved out a space of earth for us, gave us advice as to what would be best to plant and then kept the plots well irrigated during the heat of the summer. Towering eight-foot sunflowers, three varieties of tomatoes, leeks, radishes, beets, green and purple basil, and bird house gourds were among the bounty that we harvested.
Some Fridays, during the summer, we were invited to Bridge Gardens to enjoy a little night music. Local musicians provided music plein-air, under the arbor. Getting hungry, we opened our picnic baskets filled with our own treats to eat and share with our fellow gardeners. In addition, Rick and friends cooked up yummy edibles for his guests. What a great way to spend a warm summer evening.
Sadly, the planting season is over and the vegetables have been harvested. We now look forward to another new season this spring. That’s when this green space in Bridgehampton comes alive again. Come gather together with us here. There’s room for everyone.
-Story contributed by Linda M.