The Beautification Department oversees the gardens, trees, shrubs, and barrel planters within the confines of the town owned properties. One exception being the barrels located on privately owned commercial property. The department also provides support to the senior's vegetable and herb garden that is located at the East Fishkill Community Center. It gets involved with indoor and outdoor seasonal decorating such as the display of flags and wreaths on utility poles. It also maintains this webpage for the public to share and stay informed on gardening and environmental issues. It is the wish of this department to improve the quality of others by providing pleasing visual stimuli.
The department has a desire for the town to become a Tree City USA participant. It also would like to provide the community with superior gardens by developing four-season appeal in the perennial beds.
Websites (links & PDF's) mentioned here are provided as a courtesy to our readers for educational purposes only. Mention of these websites does not imply endorsement by the Town of East Fishkill or by the author of this site.
A place to share and discuss horticulture, ecology, and environmental issues. Horticulture is the art and science of the cultivation or raising of plants. The Beautification Department is focusing on native ecology. When speaking of ecology, native or indigenous means species present by nature not introduced or foreign. The New England Wild Flower Society says, "native is broadly defined as a plant having occurred before European settlement in North America."
Do you have a question or a concern or do you need to ID a plant. Contact the Horticulture Hotline, (845) 677-5067 Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County.
Quote from the Hedge
What is up with volcano mulching?
While traveling around the area there have been several volcano-mulching sightings. The practice can eventually kill the plant that it is supposedly protecting. This is a review of safe mulching:
1. Know the source - mulch can be a cause of pests and diseases
2. Use soy based ink newspaper as first layer (around 5 sheets thick) for additional weed barrier - paper will eventually breakdown
3. Pile mulch 2 - 4 inches high - allows for better water retention so soil does not dry out so easily
4. Cover entire root ball or drip line surface whichever is wider, spread out evenly
5. Avoid letting the mulch touch the trunk (stem), allow *3 - 4 inches of space (*depends on size - the smaller the plant the less room needed and visa versa) - touching allows the tree trunk or plant to rot or become diseased - it's just asking for trouble
Purdue University Picture of the Week Volcano Mulching
Cornell sighting (JPG)
Tree Care Topics & Related Brochures, look for Plant Healthcare for Proper mulching techniques from Trees Are Good website
Passing on a tip: When cutting ornamental grasses in early spring or late fall, tie up the grass with a string or rope before cutting it. This will help with the clean-up. Ornamental grasses can be quite sharp when green or browned up so long pants, long sleeve shirt and gloves are recommended when cutting or transplanting them.
Native Plant Discussion
Is native flora important?
Before answering this, here are some things to consider from the Native Plant Trust:
NPT - What is a Native Plant & Why Grow Native Plants?
Book: Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens written by Douglas W. Tallamy
Here is a resource for Native Plants: Find Native Plants, New England
News about the American Chestnut: Article 1 Article 2
To find out when the EF Garden Club meets at the EF Library, check the library's webpage for the up-to-date web calendar. Just scroll down right-hand side and click on 'See Full Calendar'.
Check out these links
Invasive plant control from Native Plant Trust
Dutches Dirt (Gardening) Newsletter
Here is a link that has many ideas and articles that was recommended by a fellow gardener. Enjoy! http://www.gardenforever.com/