HOLMDEL, NJ - It seems to be a case of landscaping 101. Cut grass, not flowers. Particularly when the flowers, daffodils to be exact, are located at the famous Bayonet Farm in Holmdel.
A new employee at Donofrio Landscaping, the vendor for Holmdel, didn't know the difference according to Holmdel officials. It didn't sit well with longtime resident and volunteer Jenny Blumenthal.
Blumenthal expressed disgust that daffodils were mowed down at Bayonet Farm. "I'm quite sickened to see that the lawn mower people who you just gave more work to, Donofrio, for mowing the dog park, have gotten a little bit too carried away at mowing down the daffodils in a memorial garden adjacent to the Harding House."
"You just installed the new bench there for Sam Shramko and the poor bench is now facing just a green lump with nothing on top of it aside from a sign that says this is a memorial garden in memory of folks who were killed on 911 and since. The daffodils were planted by volunteers who spent quite a lot of money doing it, and it was beautiful and these unspeakable stupid lawn mower folks have mowed down these daffodils at least five times and potentially twice this year even while the flowers were in bloom., I find it a little bit hard to believe that these people could be so stupid as to not see flowers were in bloom. Is there anything that has been done to rectify this situation?" stated Blumnethal.
Mayor Buontempo stated, "The landscapers running over daffodils should not be happening. Can we get DPW out there to mark off areas that lawn mower guys should not be cutting around or going near or going into?" he asked staff. "Our volunteers do an amazing job with helping to keep things nice and its frustrating hearing this that that's occuring."
Deputy Mayor Weber said she was devastated to hear about it. She volunteered to install fencing around the affected area. "I am personally willing to install the little whatever it is, 18 inch white picket fence around the edge of the daffodil bed to make it clearer that that is a flower bed and not to be mowed if that is helpful because I went and enjoyed that bench and those daffodils and am actually devastated to hear that."
Administrator Rountree said it 'broke her heart'. "So, I did hear...this is the first time that I had heard that the daffodils might have been mowed over, the first time that I'm hearing it happened previously. I did hear about this time. We did reach out to the company it was a new employee. Apparently these companies are having a difficult time with turnover right now, and I agree I have no idea how someone can see daffodils and mow over them, we did reach out to the company we expressed our displeasure, we've been assured it won't happen again. The idea of adding some sort of barrier is a great idea we can look into that, so that is where we are with the daffodils. It broke my heart too."
Bayonet Farm is one of the most beautiful properties in Holmdel and the location of nature walks for years. Owned by Laura Harding - she donated it to the town many years ago. Interesting note - Laura Harding was often visited by her friend - the famous Katherine Hepburn.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
–William Wordsworth, I Wander’d Lonely as a Cloud