Around the Island

Gardening with Galligan: A holiday delight

CAROL GALLIGAN PHOTO | A selection of seasonal merchandise at Lynch’s Garden Center in Southampton.
CAROL GALLIGAN PHOTO | A selection of seasonal merchandise at Lynch’s Garden Center in Southampton.

‘Tis the season, gardeners all!

Time to be merry, happy and bright! In this, my last column until spring, I usually tell you about interesting flower shows where it’s warm or “Gifts for Gardeners.”

This year I’m going to tell you about a gift for each of you. 

I shop at Lynch’s Garden Center in Southampton in spring and summer when their extensive outdoor offering is available, but come the holidays, they let out the elves and the building itself is transformed (they tell me the year round staff does the décor, but I’m not sure I believe them) and whole place is simply aglitter. Well worth the trip just for the spirit, but there’s also plenty available for purchase.

First, let me tell you how to get there: take Noyac Road to the intersection with Route 27. Go straight across, past the gas station and the McDonald’s on your right and you’ll see a trian trestle ahead of you. Right under that trestle, there’s a traffic light and when you pass that intersection, slow down, because the driveway entrance to the nursery will be immediately on your right.

Lynch’s changed hands two years ago, a fact I discovered while interviewing Midge Fowler, the present owner, with her two sons, Ricky and Andy, and the transition has apparently been close to seamless. All the same staff is there, the quality of the stock is unchanged and the name is the same (hmmm, does gender enter in here?), including our own Islander, Mary Ann Koch, who’s been employed there for 24 years! The same 10 to 12 tractor trailer trucks unload almost every day in spring and two full time employees do nothing but hand water the extensive stock and keep the gravel pathways neat and unobstructed.

Lynch’s began in its current location in 1955, owned and managed by Terence Lynch, an Irish immigrant, and later expanded by his son, James, one of his nine children. It was always a community-centered spot and continues today in the same spirit. So do yourselves a favor, Islanders, and stop by once before Christmas, if only to get in the holiday state of mind.

Then, go home and sit down! Light a fire and put your feet on the hearth, with something to drink, warm or cold, in hand, and enjoy the early dark. This is our time to rest and dream of next summer’s new beds, and dreaming is a lot easier then tending. I’ll be back with you next spring, inshallah. But signing off for now.