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Proud Plants in the Park this August

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

Summer is here in full tilt and the park is blooming with color and booming with people. Now more than ever, Crawford Park is a sanctuary and a safe place for friends and family to meet outside. Hopefully everyone is using safe social distancing while they are enjoying the landscape: the real fruits of the Friends of Crawford Park’s labor.

What’s growing great this time of year at the park?

Karl Foerster Feather Reed Ornamental Grasses -

I love this very columnal grass because it grows so straight and proud and provides year-long architectural interest. And unlike other ornamental grasses, Karl Foerster's seeds are sterile so they are not invasive - it can grow 60” tall and spreads about 24” wide. Here it is in the center of the parking lot planting area.

Crepe Myrtles -

Crepe Myrtles are commanding some attention this month. I grew up in South Georgia and these ornamental trees were all over the place. I love their smooth bark and wide variety of colors. Edna Crawford, the original owner of this land, loved them too. You can see two original ones flanking each side of her solarium doors on the left side of the mansion. There are also newer trees planted near the pavilion and sunken garden.

Although these trees are not native, they do attract and feed a lot of birds. Right now, their blooms are feeding the hummingbirds and be sure to check out the action in December - February when the tree’s blooms turns to seed and satisfy a slew of birds.

Purple Coneflowers -

The Friends planted the purple pow-wow wildberry coneflowers in the parking lot last fall and it is loving it. This first rule of gardening is to select the right space for the right plant and while the coneflower can tolerate part shade it is flourishing in this sunny location. We planted them with black eye susan and some shasta daisies to flood the areas with color from late spring to late summer. They will drop their seeds and multiple. We are going to take some seeds to see if we can’t propagate more for next year but leave most of the flowers intact so the birds will chow down. We should have some pretty fat birds at the park!

Planning for Fall

And while we are all enjoying the colors of the summer, the Friends are also working on what can be done this fall. We have plans to expand the parking lot plantings this fall as well as bring back some turn of the century charm to Edna Crawford’s Sunken Garden, with more phlox, bearded irises, lady’s mantle and delphinium. We have always wanted to add a birdbath fountain in the middle of the sunken garden and thanks to a generous donation and advances in solar powered water pumps, that is in the works!

Edna Crawford's Sunken Garden while she was residing here. Date of the photo unknown.

We are also wanting to plant more trees along the perimeter of the park, especially behind the new parking lot area and in the space where all these invasive vines were cleared but now people’s backyards are more visible to park goers. For their privacy and the park’s seclusion, more trees are going to be added.

Donations are needed

All these plans take money to implement. Donations are always needed to keep us growing. We can’t host any of our amazing Music at the Mansion shows right now, so we have posted text to donate signs throughout the park. But you don’t have to text us- you can just click here to donate now.

No gym, no problem

The Town of Rye is working hard not only to maintain and improve the park, they are also helping facilitate a bunch of outside exercise classes. For more information go to Crawford Park's Facebook page for all event info:

Yoga, Zumba, Strength Training and Art Classes are all being hosted inside the pavilion.

Please note that the Town of Rye is responsible for park rentals, these are not sponsored or fundraising events for or by the Friends. We are a non-profit gardening group that beautifies the park.

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