On Saturday, July 9, the Historical Society of Islip Hamlet hosted their annual Garden Walk and gift basket raffle. Each year, friends of the historical society open up their gardens for visitors to enjoy and meander around. Special events for the garden walk as well as the gift baskets were housed at Seatuck’s Suffolk County Environmental Center. Garden Walk participants received a free ticket for the gift baskets and were able to buy more if they chose to. In addition, the society welcomed guest lecturers who spoke about issues important to local gardeners. Bill O’Hern, of O’Honey Bee Farm, spoke about beekeeping on Long Island, while Sue Avery, Seatuck’s head gardener, spoke about habitat gardens and native plants.
This year’s Garden Walk featured five homes with lovingly cared for gardens. The Wallace garden on Hollister Lane is owned by Kristen and Todd Wallace, who bought the home in 2018. According to the garden walk pamphlet, the Wallaces are only the second owners of the 1971 home. The backyard features a stunning free-form-shaped pool with beautiful greenery surrounding it. The Chinkel/Hyams garden was a beautiful home on Meeks Lane that was built in 1948 as part of the post-World War II development in Islip Hamlet. The gardens are part of the Cornell FeederWatch program and feature beautiful flowers and open space. The Berger garden on Wilson Boulevard has been part of the Garden Walk for 10 years, and for good reason. The property features a mixture of European garden courtyards, rustic natural environment, and wetlands marsh. According to the garden walk pamphlet, the property is a certified natural wildlife habitat registered with the National Wildlife Foundation. The O’Hehir garden on Raymond Street was a beautiful oasis that was clearly lovingly designed. Sean and Michelle O’Hehir moved to the home in the spring of 2005. The corner of the garden features a small pond with fish and a waterfall. The final home was the Camera garden on South Bay Avenue. Betty Ann and William Camera moved to the home 30 years ago. A notable feature at this home is the grape arbor built by William in 2020.
The Historical Society of Islip Hamlet was founded in 1992 and collects, records, preserves and educates residents of the rich tradition and diverse history of the “unique South Shore community.” For more information visit isliphamlethistory.org.
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