Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove gardens’ Category

Eileen’s hibiscus. Ocean Grove garden. August 31, 2017. Eileen’s photo ©  


Multiple blooms erupt at end of August, 2017.  Eileen’s photo. ©

By Eileen Goldfinger, house and garden editor @Blogfinger

Eileen’s secret recipe for her large potted hibiscus plant:    She has brought it into the house each of the last 4 winters, before the frost, placing it in a sunny window. This is a tropical plant, and frost will kill it.  It goes dormant in the winter, so it requires just light watering.

This spring, she took it outside into the rear garden where it gets partial sun, especially in the afternoon. Hibiscus needs sun.  Then she removed it from the pot and pruned off one-third of the roots.  After that, she replaced the potting soil and added timed release fertilizer  (“Osmocote”).   Then she placed it into the soil and pruned back the branches by a third. Watering should be light, weekly, and with weekly liquid fertilizer ” Organic Bloom” by Espoma.

All summer it has bloomed more than usual, and the blooms only last one day. Then, during the last week of August, the plant erupted with a record-breaking (for our garden)  8 simultaneous blooms occurring at one remarkable point.

MAKAHA SONS OF NI’IHAU   “I’ll Remember You.”


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A rainy May day in Ocean Grove. Photograph of parrot tulips  by Eileen Goldfinger and Paul Goldfinger © 5/5/17 Blogfinger.net  Click for the “Jack and the Beanstalk” effect. Title lyric quote from “April Showers.” *

“Trade them for a package of sunshine and flowers
If you want the things you love
You must have showers
So when you hear it thunder
Don’t run under a tree
There’ll be pennies from heaven
For you and me”

BILLIE HOLIDAY    From the album:  Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia. “Pennies from Heaven” is from the 1936 movie of the same name. Music by Arthur Johnston; words by Johnny Burke. First performed in the film by Bing Crosby.

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Summer tents. August 22, 2015. ©

Summer tents. August 22, 2015. ©  By Paul Goldfinger.  Click to enlarge.

The OG summer tents are sought after by painters, photographers, tourists, renters, historians, strollers, bikers,  and others. Our tents are unique.   From a photographer’s point of view, we look for new ways of seeing the tents;  we try to be creative with lighting and composition.  It’s not easy to come up with something different, but that is what we require at this Ocean Grove website where photography is used more than words to describe our town.

When I submitted a “plain vanilla” portrait of the tents for the book “New Jersey 24/7” I was surprised that the image was one of the winners, but then I realized that those of us who live here are a bit jaded, like New Yorkers who take the Empire State Building for granted.

But for you OG photographers, Blogfinger will continue looking for fresh ways of seeing our historic and beautiful tents.

ADAM LEVINE   “No One Else Like You .”  From the film Begin Again

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Central Avenue adjacent to Stokes statue. Ocean Grove. Paul goldfinger photo 11/23/16. ©

Central Avenue adjacent to Stokes statue. Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo 11/23/16. © Click to enlarge.

Close-up of pear blossoms on November 23, 2016 in Ocean Grove, NJ. Blogfinger photo. ©

Close-up of pear blossoms on November 23, 2016 in Ocean Grove, NJ. Blogfinger photo. © Click to enlarge the flowers.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger

Ted Bell is a well-known Ocean Grove historian, author and man-about-town, but he also is a naturalist.  Ted  knows that Blogfinger is always looking for breaking news, so when he spotted a tree in bloom on a late November day, he contacted us immediately.

Ted is a man of few words;  the subject of his email was “tree.”  So we had to dig further.

His Nov. 23 email says, “Hi–there is a Bradford pear tree on Central Ave to the left of the Stokes statue that has white blossom on the branches–with the warm weather it is not surprising for this to happen–they may be frozen but they may be gone by tomorrow—-Ted”

So this morning we raced over to the scene of the bloom, and there it was—a Bradford pear which had seemingly lost its mind, producing flowers when it isn’t even spring.  It was especially amazing since there was a frost last night in the Grove. This morning it was 32.8 F. at our house at 7:30 am.

We have to wonder about this miracle, although Ted says that it is “not surprising.”  Thus we have learned that Ted Bell is not easily surprised.  We will give a Blogfinger prize to anyone who succeeds in surprising Ted.

I guess we have to play “It Might As Well be Spring.” by ASTRUD GILBERTO:

Then some of you might view this as a miracle.  So here, from the original Broadway cast of Fiddler on the Roof is Austin Pendleton with “Miracle of Miracles.”

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The Wassup? cow turns the other cheek when told to moove over.

The Wassup? cow turns the other cheek and mooves when noise from AP drifts across the Lake.  Paul Goldfinger cow photo   ©

Conversation from the Township Committee meeting on May 24:  (From our reporter on the scene)

Q. A member of the Public asked “Have you heard anything from WAVE?”    (WAVE is the secretive group of investors that would develop the North End.)

A.   Gene Anthony  (Township  lawyer) : “No. It’s strange.”

A. Randy Bishop : “Very strange.”

Note: About a year ago, Dr. Michael Brantley  (Committeeman)  said: “It’s time we take a look at all our redevelopment zones to see what we really want to do”


–The jailbird panhandler has returned to the North End near Main Avenue. Last week BF received two complaints.  The mo is the same:  tall, well dressed black man shows up out of nowhere and says he just got out of jail and wants to work.  Or course, he really wants money.   This has been going on for several years with the same guy.  He uses a subtle form of  intimidation, and Grovers should not have to put up with that.  NTPD says do not give him money; instead call them.   732 988 8000.

Song of the week:    DJ Sam Feelgood  “Up All Night Long.”


Beach roses in bloom adjacent to the OG boardwalk, Blogfinger photo 5/23/16 ©

Beach roses in bloom adjacent to the OG boardwalk, Blogfinger photo 5/23/16 ©


Wake up and smell the roses:     The beach roses are in full bloom.  Go down there and take a whiff.  (When I was a kid, a whiff was a strikeout, but now it’s a different aroma altogether.)

PATTI LUPONE  from Gypsy (2008)




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Ocean Grove colors. December 1, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Ocean Grove garden with a colorful display of nandina.  December 1, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©   Click to enlarge.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

The gardens in Ocean Grove are still showing color even though most of the leaves have fallen from the trees.   Many shrubs in towns are now resplendent with berries and autumn leaves of reds, yellows, purples and gold.   A multi-color display prevailed  in a lush garden hugging the sidewalk and  shown above  on Main Avenue near New Jersey Avenue.

While we chatted with the gardener, a squirrel scurried over via  a low tree branch.  The creature practically came nose to nose with her, as if they were partners in experiencing the lingering  display of colors.

Inside our house, buds were forming on Eileen’s Christmas cactus which has the promise of deep pink flowers very soon.



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Tropical hibiscus plant in Eileen's Ocean Grove garden. August 19, 2015 ©

Tropical hibiscus plant in Eileen’s Ocean Grove garden. August 19, 2015 ©  click to enlarge.

By Eileen and Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Two years ago our garden columnist Miss Pegi (Costantino) wrote about bringing hibiscus plants indoors for the winter. This is what she said in Blogfinger on November 2013:

“The hibiscus is a tropical plant which can be brought in for the winter, provided it doesn’t freeze to death before you do so.  Last week we had, according to Pegi, a “hard frost” in the Grove, but many of her plants did survive including begonias and zinnias.  Many homeowners who have hibiscus in their gardens simply buy new plants each spring, but that can be expensive.  If you bring them into the house, you can pinch off the buds and place the plant in a cold environment such as a garage just to let it go dormant and keep it alive till spring and save money.

“Or, you can bring it in to enjoy the blooms, even though that might weaken the plant for the spring. The hibiscus must be placed in a sunny window.  Don’t water it too much—“keep it on the dry side.” If it is near a source of heat such as a radiator, you might have to water it more often. Pegi says, “Do not fertilize it during the winter.”

“If the plant gets some yellow leaves, “pluck them off.”  In the spring you can then buy new plants or cut back the winter plant, put back into the garden and fertilize.”

Eileen followed Pegi’s advice and brought in her mandarin orange (with magenta centers) colored specimen to  sit in a west facing window and receive only water for the winter. She brought the plant back into the garden in the spring of 2014 where it did fine. In 2015, sitting indoors during the bad winter, the plant had a few indoor flowers, but it lost quite a few leaves.

However, when she put it back in the garden it responded dramatically with higher growth, dense foliage and flowers all spring and summer.

We expect a new column from Miss Pegi very soon.

PATTY GRIFFIN   Something worse than faded flowers—-“Faded Love”  from the album Remembering Patsy Cline.

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Lake Avenue in Ocean Grove.  Paul Goldfinger photo .  ©

Lake Avenue in Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo . ©  Click to enlarge.

CINDY SCOTT   from her album Major to Minor

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Karen and Rich from Philadelphia admire Mauro Bacolo's Asbury Avenue garden. Blogfinger photo ©  6/20/15

Karen and Rich from Philadelphia admire Mauro Bacolo’s Asbury Avenue garden. Many of the gardeners placed yarn and fabric on their trees for the tour.  Blogfinger photo © 6/20/15

By  Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

It was a cloudy, drizzly, cool day, but it was perfect for visitors to explore some wonderful gardens in the Grove. As usual, the challenge in this town is to make the most of small spaces, although there were exceptions such as Mauro Bacolo’s extra large botanical gardens on Asbury Avenue and David Philo’s sprawling gardens extending from Asbury Avenue down to the shores of Wesley Lake.  Some of the gardeners noted that  the extra rain and minimal sunshine lately impacted the displays, but that’s nature. Listen to the song below by Claudia Carbo—in Spanish and English.

David Philo's Asian Willow tree overlooks Wesley Lake. Note that the swan boats have returned.  Blogfinger.net photo 6/20/15

Asian Willow tree, seen from David Philo’s Lake Avenue garden, overlooks Wesley Lake. Note that the swan boats have returned. Blogfinger.net photo 6/20/15

The original concept for the People’s Garden Tour was to provide an opportunity for Grovers to visit neighbors’ homes, but as it turned out, there were many visitors from out of town including Morris, Somerset, Middlesex and Bergen Counties among others. The event was sponsored by the Ocean Grove Woman’s Club.   Pegi Costantino, President of the OGWC, organized the tour, and she estimated that over a hundred visitors came through to see her display at the Woman’s Club on Mt. Carmel Way.

The event was as much social as it was for gardeners to get ideas, ask questions, and view some unusual plantings including Mauro’s Opuntia, a prickly pear cactus at the peak of its yellow flowering. This cactus is native to the northeast, being found at shore areas up to Nova Scotia. The yellow flowers will only last a few days, so the timing was impeccable.

And there was my banana tree that caught the attention of a few surprised visitors,  and Eileen’s lollypop lilies.

Mauro Bacolo's east coast shore cactus Apuntia.  © Blogfinger.net photo

Mauro Bacolo’s east coast shore cactus Apuntia. © Blogfinger.net photo


Eileen Goldfinger's Asiatic Lollypop lilies. Blogfinger.net  photo ©

Eileen Goldfinger’s Asiatic Lollypop lilies. Blogfinger.net photo ©


Some visitors view this Delaware Avenue banana tree. Blogfinger.net  photo

Some visitors view this Delaware Avenue banana tree. Blogfinger.net photo

CLAUDIA CARBO   “What a Difference a Day Makes.”

“What a difference a day makes
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain”



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58 Lake Avenue as seen from the Asbury Avenue.

58 Lake Avenue as seen from the Asbury Avenue. Blogfinger photo.  June 15,  2015. ©  Click to enlarge.

58 Lake AVenue.   Another view from the Asbury Avenue side.  June 11, 2015  Blogfinger photo. ©

58 Lake Avenue. Another view from the Asbury Avenue side. June 11, 2015 Blogfinger photo. ©

This is one of Ocean Grove’s finest gardens.   Bordering Wesley Lake, assorted Daylilies, Sedum, and Coneflowers. On the bank side, English Roses nicely scented mixed in a perennial garden. Up the steps to the house, a mixed border on the left leading to a path to the rear garden. The Courtyard area features mixed containers, and the rear garden is a mix of shrubs and perennials. Lots of plants, take your time and look around, many interesting plants.

This property is close to Founder’s Park.  Nearby, at 64 Asbury Avenue, near rows of tents, is the Pioneer Cottage—-the first cottage in OG.  The 2015 version is quite large and interesting. Take a look while you are over there.


Here is a link to the tour map and the list of addresses:

Garden tour map and list of gardens

STAN GETZ  and JOAO GILBERTO    “Para Machuchar Meu Coração

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