For the past four to five years David Burke, owner of Weichert Realtors Shoreline Properties on Main Street, has been beautifying “Little Rogers Island.”
An island about 10 feet long and about five feet wide, Little Rogers Island divides Rogers Street as it meets Main Street. believes the island was added to Rogers Street in the 1990s after the intersection was widened to approve sight lines and turning movements. The Island, she detailed, was created because of a utility pole that ended up in the middle of he intersection after the work was done.
Burke said, with permission from the town, he began planting all different varieties of yellow flowers on the island near the Weirchert offices to spruce up the curbside appeal. “As you approach our office building,” he said, “it gave a tired look to the whole neighborhood.”
Working with Joe Vaiuso of , Burke said planting the island has gone off with success every season since its inception. Until this year.
In a letter sent to about 200 area neighbors, many of which appreciate the little garden on Little Rogers Island, Burke wrote: “You may have noticed that many of the nice yellow marigolds have grown tired and lost their blooms.” He added, “This is in spite of the fact that the soil had been well prepared before planting and that our agents and staff have volunteered to pull out the hose and water the garden every day that no rain was in the air.”
Among the rows of dead marigolds – this year’s flower of choice – Burke erected the sign reading: “Help is coming soon!”
Vaiuso is now charged, said Burke, with helping figure out what the problem is; he has agreed to take some samples to test in a laboratory, with results expected back by the end of the month. While possible killers have been pinned to weather and bugs, Burke suspects that the blacktop beneath the soil might be frying the roots of his plants.
While Burke waits for the results, he said he hopes neighbors understand that he’s working toward a solution with plans to re-plant before the fall.
Deciding to beautify the island, he said, was also a way of setting an example for others. “I was hoping it would catch on,” he said. “People could pick parts of town and plant their own flowers.”
Burke adds that one should check with the town before initiating any planting on property owned by another entity. The is also a good resource.