Sarina Dellinger: Summertime Q&A at Hurley Park

Published 12:06 am Saturday, July 23, 2022

By Sarina Dellinger

Summertime always proves to be a busy time for exercise and leisure at Hurley Park. With new faces come new questions and we thought it would be fun to answer those in our monthly article. Read on to see if your question has been answered.

Question: Why are some gardens full of blooms and others do not have any blooms?

Answer: Hurley Park is a garden with four seasons of interest. With that in mind, some gardens look their best in early spring while others wait until summer or fall. The Fuller Perennial Garden, Lib and Ed Taylor Garden, and the Rochelle Garden really shine in the summer with blooms. Others like the Louise & Archie Bracey Azalea Garden, Parrot Fruit Collection, and the Reynolds Magnolia Collection are most prolific in the springtime. However, most gardens are sprinkled with blooms throughout the seasons and are always changing.

Question: I’ve seen the structure being built in the woods on the Hurley Park property, what’s happening?

Answer: We are adding a Hurley Park Operations Center onsite at Hurley Park. This will allow for the two full-time staff to report to work onsite and have a more impactful presence at Hurley Park. The Hurley Family Foundation has graciously covered the cost of this project and it should be completed this fall.   

Question: I love the shade at Hurley Park. Can I add more trees to my yard at this time of year?

Answer: Only if you love watering and can accept that your tree may not survive or thrive. We definitely recommend waiting until late fall to plant trees and shrubs in Rowan County. This will give your new plants time to establish their roots before enduring a long, hot summer in North Carolina. Meanwhile, I would encourage folks to utilize the free soil tests offered by the N.C. State Extension office and research your plant choices on the NC Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox ( That way when fall finally comes, you’ll be prepared for success with your new plant choices!

Question: Why are there so many flying insects at the park? Will they bite or sting?

Answer: As some folks say “anything with a mouth can bite.” Many of the flying insects you’ll find are attracted to the wide variety of plants at Hurley Park and depend on them for food and shelter. Usually, they are busy sipping nectar from flowers and aren’t looking to bother you. We are proud of all the insect diversity at Hurley Park. We have had a bumper crop this year of green June beetles that fly close to the ground near each other, which can look similar to hornets, but these insects are much larger and do not bite. In the case you think you may have found a paper wasp nest or a hornet’s nest at Hurley Park, please give us a call or email a photo and location to

If you have other questions about Hurley Park, or want to know how to book events, please give us a call at 704-638-5298. Stay up to date with what’s happening at Hurley Park by following us on Facebook or Instagram @HurleyParkNC. To view a map or donate to Hurley Park, visit our website at Happy Gardening!

Sarina Dellinger is public garden manager for Salisbury Parks and Recreation.

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