Our Cultivators to the East

‘Twas the First Week of Summer And all through the city, Suitcases were neatly packed. Then quick, a sprint to the jitney!

Indeed, the race to the beaches of Long Island has launched. And as it turns out, the Hamptons & other LI hot spots are not only a preferred weekend haven for us city dwellers—they are also a common breeding ground for some of our favorite flowers, trees and other decorative vegetation.

While the above may not come as a surprise, what’s perhaps more compelling is that the very first commercial nursery in a land that would later be named the U.S.A was first built in Long Island. Established in 1738 in Flushing, Queens, then a robust farming commune, Prince’s Nursery was said to have been a favorite stop-off for horticulture lovers all along the Atlantic Seaboard. While the nursery was born off of only 8 acres, its popularity in turn fueled an expansion of up to 100 acres by the time of the Civil War.

Other nurseries popped up along Long Island proper in the mid to late 18th Century, and by the turn of the 19th Century, as wealthier folk began flooding to the island to build lux homes, the Hicks Nurseries in Westbury launched the industry into the era of modern flower nurseries and landscaping.

Today, certainly, floral design and landscape decorating are one of the most cherished pastimes, (or worthy expenses, as the case may be!) of homeowners and renters alike. So, too, is horticulture education an enjoyable way to spend time when out on the island. So, when you get off the jitney on your next Long Island excursion, keep these Ovando picks in mind:

The Long Island Orchid Society undoubtedly shares in Ovando’s unconditionally love of orchids. With monthly lectures and events, participants can learn everything about the different species of orchids (some 30 thousand!), planting different breeds, and even digital technique for photographing these lovely blossoms.

We’re also smitten with the annual “House and Garden Tour” organized by Jitney Jaunts. It’s a great opportunity for Long Island visitors to explore some of the gorgeous homes on the island and learn about the cultivation, landscaping and design techniques. Chin-dropping, we’re quite sure.

Enjoy the summer flowers and the summer weekends!