Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.

RED BANK: GARDENS TAKE ROOT ON BROAD

red-bank-broad-street-gardens-050523-3-500x375-2527718Danielle Boyle and her crew planting flowers on Broad Street Friday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot-topic_03-220x138-2130637Any day now, perhaps in time for Mothers’ Day, peonies as big as softballs will be blooming on Broad Street in Red Bank.

In coming months, downtown visitors will also be treated to bursts of color provided by hydrangea vanilla sundae, whirling butterfly and other plantings, thanks to a RiverCenter project utilizing the talents of a highly regarded gardener.

red-bank-broad-street-gardens-050523-4-500x375-8206271A newly planted bed on Broad Street opposite Monmouth Street, above, and the same bed as seen last July. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

red-bank-broad-landscaping-072222-1-220x165-4871778

The downtown promotion agency has contracted with Danielle Boyle, the former longtime gardener at the Grove at Shrewsbury shopping center, to work her magic in a handful of planting beds on both sides of Broad Street between White Street and Linden Place.

Boyle, owner of Lily’s of the Valley, retired in January after years of managing gardens for large retail properties owned by Metrovation, including the Grove and the Anderson building, home to Sickles Market, in Red Bank.

Ingeborg Perndorfer, owner of the Language School and a volunteer with the Navesink Garden Club, which maintains 65 planters throughout town, saw an opportunity for RiverCenter to benefit from Boyle’s skills. She persuaded executive director Bob Zuckerman to meet with Boyle.

“She’s an artist who paints with perennials,” Perndorfer said of Boyle. Her gardens, she said, are “lush, gorgeous, flowering artwork.”

The beds Boyle has begun transforming were created as part of a reconstruction of Broad Street completed last July. But the plantings left behind included shrubs that might have grown to six feet in height, creating visual “blockers,” Boyle told redbankgreen.

They’ve been dug up and will be reused elsewhere by the borough, she said.

Her approach to the task, she said, is ” to stick to what I do best,” which she described as “perennial art, a procurement over time.”

“I like to play with color a lot,” Boyle said. “It’s like an orchestra – it’s not just one note. My job is just to guide and establish things, and basically, the plants do all the work.”

The plantings “grow and multiply,” she said. “The need a certain amount of nurturing. It’s not like mulch-and-go. I’m not a lawn guy.”

Flowers and plants are chosen to withstand heat and drought, and to “transition” into something else in terms of color and texture, she said.

When they’re past flowering the peonies will be be dead-headed “can handle drought, and a lot of abuse,” she said. The hydrangea vanilla sundae will “come up a chartreuse green, and as it gets colder they go pink.” Echinacea will bloom late summer, as will the whirling butterfly,

Working in an urban environment, she’s also factored in the need to address “pedestrian damage,” whether it’s caused by a wandering child, a dog or a rowdy drunk, Boyle said. But she’s not overly concerned about human-inflicted damage.

For the most part, “people see beauty, and they want to care for it,” she said. She watched on Thursday as a man stopped his dog from approaching a bed, saying, “oh no, that’s too beautiful,” she said.

With 2023 as a demonstration year, “I’m going to nurture it for the season and we’ll see how it goes. If it kicks off and there’s not a lot of damage, we’re going to move on and do other ones” beyond Broad Street, Boyle said.

John Yarusi, owner of Johnny’s Pork Roll & Coffee, has been watching Boyle and her crew “presoaking the soil and doing due diligence” in a planting bed opposite Monmouth Street.

“When that comes to life, it’s going to look so pretty,” he said, adding: “Downtowns all over would love to have this.”

If you value the news coverage provided by redbankgreen, please become a financial supporter for as little as $1 per month. Click here to set your own level of monthly or annual contribution.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
DOUBLE DYLAN IN RED BANK
Trucks for a production company filming what one worker said was a Bob Dylan biography have lined Monmouth Street the past two days with cre ...
AFTER THE RAIN
A pear tree branch brought down by a brief overnight storm left a lovely tableau on the sidewalk in front of Red Bank's Riverside Gardens Pa ...
CONE OF UNCERTAINTY
Asked by a redbankgreen reporter why these cones were on top of cars, the owner of the car in the foreground responded: “That’s ...
RAIL RIDER’S VIEW
A commuter's view of Cooper's Bridge and the Navesink River from North Jersey Coast Line train 3320 out of Red Bank Tuesday morning.
PUT ME IN COACH!
Red Bank T-Ball kicked off at East Side park on Saturday morning. The brisk weather proved to be no deterrent to the young players, ranging ...
IT’S A SIGN!
Once proudly declaring its all-but-certain arrival in Spring 2019, the project previously known as Azalea Gardens springs to life again with ...
SPRINGTIME MEMORIES OF CARL
The Easter Bunny getup and St. Patrick’s Day hat that belonged to longtime Red Bank crossing guard and neighborhood smile-creator Carl ...
RED TRUCKS AT RED ROCK
A small dishwasher fire at Red Rock Tap and Grill was put out quickly by firefighters overnight, causing minimal damage. Red Bank Fire Depar ...
CREATIVE COVER UP
The windows of Pearl Street Consignment on Monmouth Street were smashed when a driver crashed their car through them injuring an employee la ...
THEY’RE BACK!
Ospreys returned to the skies over Red Bank this week for the first time since they migrated to warmer climes in late fall. With temperature ...
SPRING IS SPRUNG
RED BANK: Spring 2024 arrives on the Greater Red Bank Green with the vernal equinox at 11:06 p.m. Tuesday.
RED BANK’S FINEST – AND NEWEST
Red Bank Police Officer Eliot Ramos was sworn in as the force’s newest patrolman Thursday, and if you’re doing a double take thinkin ...
EASTER EGG MAYHEM AT THE PARK
An errant whistle spurred an unexpectedly early start to the Spring Egg Hunt on Sunday, which had been scheduled to begin at eggsactly 11am ...
PRESEASON DOCKWORK
RED BANK: With winter winding down, marina gets ready for boating season with some dockwork on our beautiful Navesink River.
CORNED BEEF AND DISCO FRIES?
It’s Friday, and smart Lent-observing Leprechauns know the pot of gold at the end of Red Bank’s rainbow is actually the deliciou ...
SURFBOARD DITCHED
It’s a violation of etiquette in surfing to ditch your board.  (it could hit another surfer and hurt them). But someone appears to ha ...
ELSIE, TAKE ME WITH YOU!
Soaked by pouring rain with the temperature hovering in the low 40’s, this sign in the window of Elsie’s Subs on Monmouth Street ...
WALK THIS WAY
PARTYLINE: Before-and-afters of a sidewalk cleanup on West Street.
SOGGY NOTION
RED BANK: Breezeway sculpture captured the mood downtown as heavy rains fell Saturday morning.
HOME DELIVERY
RED BANK: After a subdivision, an instant house rises on a new Catherine Street lot.