Start your Labor Day weekend in the gardens and borders of North Fork, the best secret

Coral and white begonia, purple and pink salvia, high oak leaves and strawberry-vanilla hydrangeas and yellow-black eyes tremble. A rich night in the gardens on the beds and borders in the laurel.

During the day, the nursery needs a bouquet of nectar, butterflies, and a variety of flowers at the Hummingbird Park. But the new Friday night attracts those who seek happiness from work week and food from the garden.

It started with an idea: Manager Luisa Alvarado hosted the annual mid-summer shit night and turned it into a party with food and drink – she turned into a Friday night festival. To brighten up the main street, she painted the garden center with bright colors and hung string lights for the occasion. And behold, men came.

Alvarado, who was compelled, said: “One Friday night we lit up the place. I like to see my friends enjoying their time.

But there was one more thing in the game.

“We had a great year, but some of our friends were not,” said Alvarado, who runs the garden, while her husband, Freddie, was in charge of the wholesale business. At the time of the outbreak, I wanted to support my community and Latino sellers who had no easy time.

The 25-acre[25 ha]basket of animals and plants, known as gardens, is more than a sanctuary. Alvarado, a native of Guatemala, said the place was magical when she was seven years old and had no big house to grow up in. “This community is my shelter. I love my clients and my new family here, and we want to return. ”

For a Friday night out, a crowd gathered in beds and across borders. (Photo Credit Marisa Fox)

After her mother’s death, Alvarado’s older sister moved to New Jersey, where she worked in restaurants and cafeterias at Princeton University, earning enough money to send Luis to school in Guatemala. After graduating from college, she moved to Florida to live with her estranged father.

She finally moved to New Jersey in 2010 to be with her sister and met North Fork through her childhood friend Facebook. Luckily, on the day she met Angelica, Alvarado met her future wife, another Guatemalan. The two He married in 2013 and soon began renting gardens and borders by his wife, Kevin Candy, who died in 2003 in Melanoma.

Swimming in the abyss was like learning. I jumped in. ”Alvarado, who grew up in an urban area, worked in a bank and when she and Freddy took over the gardens, they knew a lot about gardening. But the action was fruitful. Not only did she eat a lot of books where she was able to get out of the library, but she and Freddie laid their own roots in that fertile soil.

“Maddidi was born that first year, and I was at work three days later,” says Alvarado, now a mother of three.

Every weekend, when she sells homemade lemonade with her brother Marcelo, 4, her 15-year-old daughter, Medi, finds out about the 15-month-old. But the real stars of their Friday nights are the children, as they like it, or her rainbow annual, annual, substitutes, shrubs, flower arrangements and tropical flowers – even though they have a shining path in the stars. And this Labor Day will be greatly reduced. Under the wing, it is a wonderful time for the unsung singers, chefs, musicians, artisans and entrepreneurs.

“I try to give vulnerable ones,” said Alvarado, a sister of Ballo Alvarez, who used to serve his favorite Sevich, made from fresh, local squid, shrimp, octopus, and pepper. , Onion and cilantro micro-green, grown in North Fork, and its utensils, or baked seafood obtained by rituals that follow. After working as a backdrop for the Southwest Fish Market, he helped set up a variety of Lucharito outlets locally and took a small business course at Stone Brooke University, Ballo Foods, a catering company, and more recently a food truck.

She, like Cornell Oyster, a vendor and sweet snack from Tr (Consumer) Baking Company, singer-songwriter Dina Hudson and North Fork artist Kara Hoblin, painted a bright hummingbird picture in the garden earlier this summer. This weekend Alvarado will be showcasing balloons, beach jewelry and accessories from Ballo Discovery, handcrafted accessories from Blue Merino Designs, Sea Valley Art by Marni B, environmentally friendly Just Burlap bags and of course lemonade. From Media.

And if you can’t do it this week, Alvarado says she will continue to have fun by switching to colder food and accessories.

Friday nights in the gardens at 5-9 p.m., 600 Laurel Lane, Laurel; 631-298-1836

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