Tribune Print Share Text

Ringing in spring

Created date

March 31st, 2009

Cedar Crest garden club gets digging this month

By Kathleen Szczepanik POMPTON PLAINS, NJ Don Bauch is lacing up his running shoes and heading down to the community garden to chase a rabbit and it has nothing to do with the Easter Bunny. An avid gardener and president of Cedar Crest s garden club for the past three years, Bauch wants to keep the community garden free of pests and weeds for the more than 125 club members who tend to their individual 8 by 8 gardens. "Spring just couldn t come fast enough for us," Bauch says of himself and his fellow club members. "We re excited about our new raised planting beds. It really opens up opportunities for [everyone]." The beds are raised about 3 off the ground to limit bending and kneeling.

"I had a big garden at home and hated to leave it, but it s so wonderful that we have the opportunity to continue our passions here at Erickson." Dottie Way, garden club member and Cedar Crest resident

National Garden Month Bauch says every year the group gets together for their first meeting in March, just in time for National Garden Month in April. They continue to meet the third Tuesday of every month through fall to review rules and regulations and listen to a variety of guest speakers. "Sometimes the rules change," Bauch says. "We didn t allow dogs at one time, but the pet owners loved coming down to the gardens so much, we decided to allow them as long as they adhere to the pick-up policy that we enacted." Bauch keeps a close eye on all of the gardens, makes sure the mint doesn t get out of hand, and keeps water in the several birdbaths scattered throughout the area. He says that in addition to rabbits and deer, a snapping turtle and its offspring paid a visit to the gardens, and this year, he hopes to attract bees. "Every year we have an objective, and this year we want to plant blossoms that attract bees," he explains. "Every garden needs bees." "Don runs a great meeting, and he works so hard in the garden," said Janet Boeck, a fellow gardener and neighbor. "We love it. It s a very nice experience and very much like doing things the way we did at our house." Bountiful offerings Bauch says residents definitely reap what they sow, and though there is a great deal of work in it, they keep coming back for more. The most popular plant is the tomato, followed by cucumber then basil. Dottie Way, originally of Pompton Plains, prides herself in being the "number one" gardener at Cedar Crest. "That s only because my garden is numbered one and it s the first one," she laughs. "I had a big garden at home and hated to leave it, but it s so wonderful that we have the opportunity to continue our passions here at Erickson."

Comments