Skies were overcast and foggy, but that still didn’t stop people from coming out to the Narrows Botanical Gardens – inside Shore Road Park between 69-71 streets – for the annual plant sale on Saturday, May 9.
“We’ve had an established reputation for holding this every year, so we do have a dedicated audience,” said Linda Dahl. “Even though the weather wasn’t conducive to this type of an event, we’ve had a fairly steady stream of people and we’re pretty satisfied.”
According to NBG’s President Richard Haugland, the plant sale is one of few fundraisers done through the summer and fall to keep things growing in a sense, as the community garden is completely run by donations. He spoke highly of the garden’s progress, going on its 20th anniversary, with everything strictly done by volunteers and people from the neighborhood.
“I think Bay Ridge is proud that they have this gem right in the community and a lot of the plants that we sell, we grow ourselves,” said Haugland. “It’s all organic and everything comes mostly from seeds that we raise in a small little greenhouse and every year, we have repeat customers.”
Herbs are always a big hit. Offered were basil, mint, oregano, cilantro, parsley and lemongrass – a new addition. Haugland said that vegetables were the biggest sellers, with a lot of organic tomatoes offering a “real specialty.”
“We go with the flow of what’s popular right now,” said Haugland, who invited anybody interested in volunteering to come down. “If there are any budding gardeners who want to help out, we’re looking for help in our sustainable vegetable and fruit garden – it’s strictly organic, no pesticide.”
With spring in full bloom, volunteer Carol Dolman said the garden’s location is a contributing factor to its “natural” success.
“Certainly it’s a big asset that we’re here right next to the Narrows Channel, which is absolutely very beautiful,” said Dolman. “It’s like a promenade so you could walk along there, and it’s just very invigorating to be outdoors on a beautiful day.”
Everybody agreed the day was successful regardless of what Mother Nature dished out.
“It’s just exciting to have a community plant sale for Bay Ridge at the Botanical Gardens and then you really see who’s showing up and helping out here,” said Jimmy Johnson, NBG creator/landscape designer. “It’s pretty wonderful.”