Pitchforks (and hydrant wrenches) aloft!

Flower Power! We are neighbors who are interested in bringing some botanical beauty to the bike-lane
tree pits so we have persuaded the city to allow us to garden there unimpeded. Anyone is welcome to
join at any level of involvement. There are no dues and no formal meetings; Just a desire to keep
Chelsea tree-lined and flower-filled. Join us!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


The 2015 Annual Chelsea Garden Club Pit Tour will be on Saturday, July 18. Let's meet at 9:30 AM at 23rd Street and 7th Avenue in front of the Papaya hot dog shop.
Or sleep in and you can meet us at 10 AM at 23rd Street and 8th Avenue in front of  Dallas Barbecue.
    We'll mosey up Eighth Avenue to 30th Street and then cut over to Ninth Avenue and make our way South down to about 17th Street and then loop back to Eighth and head back North finishing at 23rd. So if you want to join in at any point, just look for a large group of people staring at one of the avenue tree pits.
Flower power!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

One of our gardeners sent us this:

Garden Dialogues:

In June, get exclusive access to private gardens in New York City, The Hamptons, and Westchester, and hear directly from the designers and their clients about their collaborative process. Garden Dialogues provides unique opportunities for small groups to visit some of today’s most beautiful gardens created by some of the most accomplished designers currently in practice.
It's $45 for a garden tour and it starts this Saturday, June 20 at 10am with a tour of a Midtown Sky Garden in Manhattan. The award-winning, 6,500 square-foot terrace of the Midtown Manhattan Sky Garden takes advantage of panoramic skyline views while providing an intimate garden backdrop to the mid-century-modern building’s newly-renovated interior workspace. Richly textured and seasonally diverse plantings include a dense blanket of drought-tolerant prairie grasses, wildflower perennials, and spring flowering bulbs, punctuated by flowering Crab Apple trees. 

Our own gardener, Michael at 20th St and Ninth Ave. is hosting a tour of the Bakwin Estate in Ossining on Saturday June 20, 1:30 to 3:30pm | Ossining
M. Bakwin Estate
Michael V. Ruggiero, RLA of MVR Landscape Garden
Nestled among an impressive array of large rock outcrops, this Tudor-style home and garden offers panoramic views of its central ten-acre groomed landscape. From the house and terraces, visitors enjoy a vista of towering trees, spacious lawn areas, dramatic rock outcroppings, lush gardens brimming with seasonal color, a three-acre pond, orchards, and meadows. An 'integrated' deer fence protects such gardens as the vegetable garden, a Japanese style garden, and a perennial border. Forty acres of mature, deciduous forest completely enclose the property. A dense, planted understory and years of moss overgrowth carpet the forest floor and exposed rock, revealing the interplay between the designed and natural and celebrating the rugged vernacular New York landscape.  
Go to tclf.org/ for more information about tours and tickets.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Last weekend's Spring Meeting had a terrific turnout and great discussions. Many of the gardeners stayed until the end--two and a half hours! Thanks to everyone who makes this such a nice group. Three reminders:
1) May 16th the Lower East Side Ecology Center is coming in the morning to mulch the Ninth Avenue pits. If you can, please help them. (I will be out of town so it would help if others could step in.)
Chelsea Garden Club Street Tree Care Event
Date: Saturday, May 16th
Time: 9AM-12PM 
Start Location: Southeast corner of 9th Avenue and West 30th Street
New York City’s street trees provide a lot of things to New Yorkers: cleaner air, shade, green beauty, and much more.  Let’s make sure they stay nice and strong by providing them with a bit of TLC.  Come and get your hands dirty with the NYC Compost Project hosted by the Lower East Side Ecology Center at another wonderful street tree care event with the Chelsea Garden Club!  The day will include clearing the street pits of garbage, raking up the soil that has been compacted over the winter months, and applying fresh DSNY Compost Mix. 

Some things to keep in mind:
- Be prepared to work in any type of weather
- Wear sturdy footwear that is comfortable
- Bring a water bottle

To RSVP to this event, send an e-mail to ariana@lesecologycenter.orgincluding how many people you plan on coming with.  Please RSVP byMay 14th.  

2) Saturday, July 18 we will have our Pit Tour so mark your calendar.

3) At the meeting,  I mentioned how important milkweed is to the monarch butterflies (they are having a hard time) so please try to include some in your pit. Here is some info on the types to grow:

Three species have particularly wide ranges and are good choices in most regions: common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), swamp milkweed (A. incarnata), and butterflyweed (A. tuberosa). The latter two are highly ornamental and widely available via the nursery trade.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hone your gardening skills

From the Bronx Green-Up and the NYC Compost Project: Read below for upcoming winter events as well as how you can apply to our 2015 certificate programs. For other community and gardening events; a list of grant information and resources; and internship and job opportunities, click here. BRONX GREEN-UP Pre-registration recommended. To reserve your place or for more information, please contact Bronx Green-Up at 718.817.8026 or bronxgreenup@nybg.org. Be aware that space is limited for some events; priority will be given to members of Bronx Green-Up gardens and NYC Compost Project sites in the Bronx. Pruning Practice Join us for instruction and practice pruning small trees and shrubs. Dress warmly! We will provide tools. Saturday, January 3 • 11 a.m.–1 p.m. • Risse Street Community Garden • 10 Risse Street, triangular space between Grand Concourse, Jerome Avenue, and Mosholu Parkway 2015 Registration & License Renewal All GreenThumb gardens under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation hold licenses which are set to expire on December 31, 2014. This registration session will allow all GreenThumb gardens on city property to update their registration. Gardeners will only be able to sign new licenses once registration forms have been reviewed and all materials are complete including membership lists, open hours, and the general rules and requirements of joining and being an active member of the garden. Membership lists must include at least 10 garden members with full contact information for primary contacts and mailing or e-mail addresses for regular garden members. Gardens must update their registrations in order to remain in good standing (with no violations) and eligible to receive supplies, assistance, and services. Sessions are conveniently located in all five boroughs. To register, fill out this online form. For more information, e-mail greenthumbinfo@parks.nyc.gov. Thursday, January 15 • 5–7 p.m. • The New York Botanical Garden • Watson Education Building, Room 302 (enter via the Mosholu Gate, across the street from the Metro-North Railroad Botanical Garden Station) House Plant Workshop We will talk all things house plants, from watering and maintenance to dividing overgrown plants and rooting cuttings. Bring only healthy, disease-free house plants to swap with others. Saturday, February 7 • 10 a.m.–12 p.m. • The New York Botanical Garden • Harding Lab Room 110 (enter via the Mosholu Gate, across the street from the Metro-North Railroad Botanical Garden Station) Grow More Vegetables Certificate Series 2015 The Grow More Vegetables Certificate Series is an edible gardening course designed to equip community gardeners, teachers, and city residents with organic techniques for growing vegetables safely and effectively, particularly in an urban setting. The program consists of six classroom sessions and additional hands-on gardening instruction in the field. Each student will have the opportunity to design his or her own urban vegetable gardening project as a final component of the course. The projects are open-ended with two main goals: to grow more food and to pass on the knowledge learned to an identified group in your community. To request an application, please e-mail bronxgreenup@nybg.org or call 718.817.8026. Six Wednesdays, February 18–March 25 • 6–8 p.m. • The New York Botanical Garden • Watson Education Building NYC COMPOST PROJECT Pre-registration recommended. To reserve your place or for more information, please contact the NYC Compost Project at 718.817.8543 or compost@nybg.org. Be aware that space is limited for some events; priority will be given to members of Bronx Green-Up gardens and NYC Compost Project sites in the Bronx. MulchFest: Chip In! Mulch Your Tree! Help NYC Grow! Bring your holiday tree to a designated park to be recycled into mulch that will nourish plantings across the city. Remove all lights and ornaments before bringing the tree to a MulchFest site. You are encouraged to bring sturdy bags to carry home free mulch provided at specific sites across the five boroughs. For more information, visit NYC’s 2015 Christmas Tree Recycling Web site. Saturday and Sunday, January 10 and 11 • 10 a.m.–12 p.m. • Locations throughout New York City Food Scrap Composting in New York City Are you concerned about the environmental impact of your food waste? If you have ever wondered if this organic material could serve a better purpose—such as converting to compost and returning to the soil—it can, and it is becoming easier for NYC residents to make that happen. Come to this workshop to learn about the full suite of options available in your neighborhood and citywide, including the Department of Sanitation’s new Organics Collection Pilot, food scrap drop-off programs, indoor and outdoor composting methods, and even tips for getting the most out of your food items before they turn into worm-food. Registration is required; e-mail compost@nybg.org or call 718.817.8543 to register. Thursday, January 22 • 11 a.m.–1 p.m. • Bon Secours New York Health Systems/Schervier Garden • 2975 Independence Avenue Crazy for Composting Are you passionate about composting but want more from your bin? This Q&A session provides the practical tips, advice, and encouragement you need to take composting to the next level, whether you are just starting out or have been digging in for years. Registered GreenThumb community gardens will be able to request an order of compost, soil, or clean fill for spring delivery. Registration is required; e-mail compost@nybg.org or call 718.817.8543 to register. Saturday, February 14 • 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–3 p.m. • The New York Botanical Garden • Watson Education Building, Room 302 Bronx Master Composter Certificate Program, applications due February 20 This comprehensive train-the-trainer course is designed to promote the practice of composting in homes, schools, and community gardens in the Bronx. The program is held at The New York Botanical Garden in the spring beginning on March 29 and consists of eight Thursday evening classes, two Saturday field trips, and 30 hours of Bronx-based volunteer outreach service in compost education and promotion. Course material fee is $40; limited scholarships are available. For an application and more details, visit the NYC Master Composter Certificate Course Web page, e-mail compost@nybg.org, or call 718.817.8543. NYC Compost Project Information Tables Stop by for free tip sheets, pamphlets, and workshop schedules designed to help gardeners increase their composting expertise. Experts will be on hand to answer composting questions. Bronx Parks Speak Up Event registration required; for more information and to register, visit bronxspeakup.org. Saturday, February 28 • 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Information Table, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. • Lehman College • 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West • Faculty Dining Room of the Music Building GreenThumb GrowTogether Event registration required; for more information and to register, visit greenthumbnyc.org. Saturday, March 21 • 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; Information Table, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. • Hostos Community College • East 149th Street and Grand Concourse

Monday, August 25, 2014

Three Hour Tour!

Our little group was looking fresh and enthusiastic at the start of our 13-block, 3-hour tour of the bicycle-lane tree pit gardens. I will download the rest of the photos in a day or two. Check back to see how we fared.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

2014 Chelsea Garden Club Tour-Part I

Let's all get together to view the beautiful bicycle-lane tree pits along Ninth Avenue as well as meet our newest gardeners, celebrate the flowers, and curse the weeds, theft and vandalism. We can walk Eight Avenue at a later date or, if everyone is feeling frisky, walk both Eighth and Ninth on the same day. Here are the details: The Chelsea Garden Club Pit Tour (Ninth Avenue leg) is on Saturday, August 16 at 9AM. Let's meet at the pits at Ninth Ave. and 17th Street and we will then walk (slowly) North up Ninth Avenue and end at about 30th Street. See you then and Flower Power!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Free Tulip Bulbs

Ariana at the Lower East Side Ecology Center sent this:

Mark your calendars and get out your trowels -- the annual  
Park Avenue Tulip Dig starts on May 17th! Tulips can be carefully removed from the end beds on Park Avenue between 54th and 86th Streets from May 17th through the 22nd.
With proper care, Park Avenue tulips have been replanted and continue to bloom in personal and community gardens in and around New York City. To enjoy the tulips for years to come, please be sure to follow the instructions below and exercise extreme caution while on the malls:
When digging up the bulbs, do not take any soil and do not cut off the leaves. Bulbs should be stored in a dry place until the leaves have turned brittle. They can be re-planted in October or November. Use a small amount of Bulbtone-type fertilizer and be sure to choose a location that gets full sunlight.


Because of planned maintenance, please refrain from removing the bulbs from the end beds on either side of 67th and 68th Streets.  

Please send photos of your digging experience (or of your Park Avenue tulips blooming in their new home) to: barbaramclaughlin@fundforparkavenue.org.
Both the 19th and Midtown North precincts have been notified and patrols should expect to see people digging but as an added precaution, you may wish to carry a copy of this notice with you.