Giant Hogweed Plant
Giant hogweed is a large flowering perennial, a member of the carrot family. This noxious weed can grow to over 14 feet. t is a fast growing invasive plant that is in several areas on Long Island. They include: East Norwich and Sea Cliff in Nassau and Riverhead, East Hampton, Southampton, Brookhaven and Yaphank in Suffolk.
Do not touch this plant! If you do it can cause burns, skin blistering and even blindness. Its sap contains glucosides that react with the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Its stem spotted with purple sap can cause what feels like a blistering burn that can take months to fade and will make you forever sensitive to the sun.
Immediately wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and keep the area away from sunlight for 48 hours. This plant poses a serious health threat; see your physician if you think you have been burned by giant hogweed. If you think you have giant hogweed on your property, do NOT touch it.
To control it from spreading flower heads can be cut off to prevent sowing of seeds. The chemical glyphosate (Roundup) is effective in controlling hogweed. Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide and will kill any adjacent plants that it comes in contact with.
What to do if you see giant hogweed:
Identify: Use the key on our hogweed identification page to try and make a positive identification. Other plants that look similar are also shown.
Photograph: Photos are needed to confirm identification. Take high resolution photos of the entire plant, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds, making sure to keep a safe distance.
Report: Email DEC or call the Giant Hogweed Hotline: 1-845-256-3111. Provide photos, detailed directions to the plant infestation and estimate the number of plants.
Control: If giant hogweed is confirmed, DEC will contact the landowner and may visit to assess the site and discuss management options, as resources allow.
The rolling countryside of England, lush and green, is a picture-perfect ideal for countryside vistas. A place like Southampton, the first incorporated English settlement in New York State has its own version of a countryside blending beaches, sandy soil and farmland . Of course, the English climate with frequent rain is conducive to carefree green… Continue Reading “The Perfect Grass” →
A Truly English Garden
During Louis IV’s seventy-two reign (1638-1715) highly structured, symmetrical, and precise plantings emerged in palaces such as Versaille and defined an era in France. Across the Channel, as an antithesis to the French structured movement, the English perfected the natural-looking garden, romantic and reminiscent of Italian landscape paintings, yet appearing natural and carefree. The best-known… Continue Reading “A Truly English Garden” →
The Dandelion Season
In a fun children’s book “We are growing” by Laurie Keller, a dandelion is described as the dandiest weed. It is, indeed. Fluffy yellow dandelion flowers add neon-colored brightness to spring lawns and fields. The flowers attract bees and other pollinators. Some even liken the dandelions to daisies: maintenance-free splashes of color. However, dandelion leaves… Continue Reading “The Dandelion Season” →
‘Tis the Season to Prune your Privet
Privet (Lugustrum) is almost synonymous with the Hamptons. Surrounding beautiful estates and homes, privet hedges afford much needed privacy to residents and guests in the summer season. Accenting pools and pathways is also a popular reason to add privet to gardens. In winter, the plants deliver a measure of security — when the privet leaves… Continue Reading “‘Tis the Season to Prune your Privet” →
Now Is the Time to Start Thinking About Peonies!
By Lydia Wallis Peonies can be documented as far back in history as Confucius (551 – 479 BC). They have been revered for centuries and immortalized on textiles and in paintings. They are truly one of my favorite flowers with their entrancing beauty and alluring fragrance. Their magnificent blooms enhance border gardens but can also stand… Continue Reading “Now Is the Time to Start Thinking About Peonies!” →
With their large flowers and magnificent presentation, magnolias are a staple of the Hamptons’ garden. Despite their current appeal, magnolias are one of the oldest flowering species and have been around since prehistoric times, even before the appearance of flying pollinators such as bees. To survive, magnolias adapted to using beetles to cross-pollinate their flowers…. Continue Reading “Magnolias” →
Photos: Courtesy of Cindy Willis Daffodils, Croci, Hellebores, Tulips and Pansies! Among these and many other plants that whisper ‘spring has finally come’, pansies are delicate and beautiful annual flowers enjoyed in border plantings and flower boxes. Pansies are great for adding instant pops of color well before late Spring and Summer plants produce blooms…. Continue Reading “Pansies” →
Fall is the time to think about Spring – at least for your garden! Planting spring-blooming bulbs now is the surest way to ensure a beautiful garden display when you most need it at the end of our dreary winters. And, if you spend winters in the south, coming north at the end of winter to a stunning array of spring blossoms makes your homecoming that much sweeter…
- Select quality bulbs: Smart bulb planting starts at the garden center (think Fowler’s!) with high-quality bulbs. Look for those that are plump and firm. It’s typically best to avoid bulbs that are soft and mushy or have mold growing on them. Also look for big bulbs; the bigger they are, the more they generally bloom compared to smaller bulbs of the same variety.
- Pick the right spot: Even healthy bulbs will fail if they’re planted in the wrong spot. Most bulbs do best in full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sun a day) and well-drained soil. Check out our Plant Encyclopedia to learn more if you’re not sure what conditions your bulbs need.
- Get the timing right: Spring-blooming bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils should be planted in September or October, when the soil temperatures have cooled. Summer-blooming beauties such as dahlia and gladiolus are best planted in the spring, after all danger of frost has passed.
- Plant Them Deep Enough: Not sure how deep to plant your bulbs? You’re not alone — it’s a very common question for gardeners. Generally, dig a hole two to three times deeper than the bulb is tall. So if you have a 3-inch-tall bulb, dig a hole 6 to 9 inches deep. There are always exceptions, so check the planting directions that come with the bulbs for more information.
- Place Them Pointy Side Up : The next most common bulb-planting question is “How in the heck do I know which side is up?” If the bulb has a pointed end, that’s usually the side that faces up. If you don’t see a pointy side, look for where the roots come out — that end goes down.
- Give Them Good Soil: Like most plants, bulbs appreciate well-drained soil rich in organic matter. So mix compost into your bulbs’ planting holes to ensure good blooming. This is especially important if you have heavy clay soil or ground that stays wet.
- Stop Weeds: Besides being just plain ugly, weeds steal nutrients from the soil and may attract insects or disease. The easiest way to prevent weeds from being an issue is to spread 2 to 3 inches of mulch over the soil. Your bulbs will easily push up through it, but most weed seeds won’t.
- Water Well: Bulbs are plants, too, so they appreciate a good drink after you plant them. This will encourage them to send out roots and become established more quickly. A good watering will eliminate air pockets in the soil that could cause your bulbs to dry out, too.
- Protect Your Investment: Critters such as squirrels love digging up freshly planted bulbs. Spread a layer of mulch to hide your bulb holes. If that doesn’t help, weigh down a piece of mesh or chicken wire over the soil to keep critters from digging. It should be safe to remove the protective mesh or wire after the bulbs start to sprout out of the ground.
- Make it Easy: If you live in a cold-winter climate and you want to save your tender summer bulbs, you’ll need to store them in a frost-free place over the winter. An easy way to do this is to plant the bulbs in containers, then sink those containers in the ground. At the end of the season, simply dig up the containers and store them in a garage, basement, or shed that stays about 40 to 55 degrees.
- Design Idea – Plant in Groups: Most bulbs look best when planted in big, irregular groupings (the more bulbs, the bigger the impact) instead of straight rows. So try tossing them onto the ground and plant them where they fall — it’s fine if some bulbs end up being a little closer to each other than the recommended spacing. It adds to the natural look.
- Design Idea – Layer Perennial Bulbs: For a dramatic show of spring-flowering bulbs, plant smaller perennial species such as crocus or scilla over bigger bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, and lilies. That way you’ll get twice the color in the same space.
- Design Idea – Try Them in Containers: Most bulbs do just as well in containers as they do in the ground. Create pots of spring joy with your favorite tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths by sinking them in the ground so they get winter cold or storing the containers in a cold garage or storage shed. When the bulbs fade, replace them with warm-weather favorites such as callas, cannas, or caladiums for summer-long beauty.
- Design Idea – Naturalize Spring Bulbs: Naturalizing early spring bulbs in your lawn is a fun way to add a boost of color to your landscape. Siberian squill, snow crocus, and snowdrops bloom and finish before your grass needs its first mowing. So you can plant them for carefree color. Note: If you grow spring bulbs in your lawn, avoid using any herbicides until the bulbs have gone completely dormant.
“September is dressing herself in a show of dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias…” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. When & Where To Plant For best results, dahlias should be planted from mid April through May when ground temperature are about 60 degrees. In general, about the same time you would plant your vegetable garden…. Continue Reading “Dahlias” →
Hydrangeas are excellent for a range of garden sites from group plantings to shrub borders to containers. Varieties abound (every year, it seems, breeders present us with more options!), and gardeners’ expectations of bloom size and color are boundless. To know how your hydrangea will grow, pay attention to the types, defined below. When you know… Continue Reading “Hydrangea” →