Four new gardens for Theodore Roosevelt Park
These magnificent women weeded between cobblestones, raked up and bagged dried leaves, prepared soil beds, and planted perennial and flower bulbs. They created four gardens between Bull Moose Dog Run and Columbus Avenue.
Planting perennials and flower bulbs
Our volunteers planted hundreds of perennials: hellebore, Japanese forest grass, corabelle, astilbe, hosta, anemone, fox glove, and red twig dogwood. They also planted thousands of flower bulbs: Spanish bluebells; miniature golden daffodils; tall white daffodils; fragrant paperwhites; winged snowdrops; purple alliums; and purple, red and golden tulips.
Visit us from March through October to see how much color these new gardens add to Roosevelt Park!
We have planted sedum in the gardens near Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.
Flowers from fall to winter
Sedum plants have massive heads of clustered pink flowers that later turn mauve. They will last well into the winter months. This plant grows the best in full sun, and looks the best when planted in masses.
Sedum is tough and adaptable; thick, sturdy stems will support flower heads, even when covered in several inches of snow. The plant is fairly maintenance free, slow to spread, and extremely drought tolerant.
Butterflies in Roosevelt Park
Sedum attracts butterflies – just one more reason we choose to plant it!
Anemones along the Bull Moose Dog Run
Anemones are in full bloom in Theodore Roosevelt Park. Lovely, two-inch pink blossoms, with centers of golden-yellow stamens, grow atop tall, graceful dark green stems. They thrive in the gardens along the Bull Moose Dog Run, which provide moist, well-drained loamy soil that is protected from strong winds.
Among the longest blooming flowers in the park, anemones provide weeks of brilliant color from September to late October. When the flower petals fade and fall off, dark spherical seed heads replaces them. Over 12 to 24 months, the elegant anemones can develop into a robust groundcover 10-12″ tall.
William Faulkner was born on September 25, 1897, and he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949. Faulkner’s name appears on the Nobel Monument in Roosevelt Park.
Faulkner was born in Mississippi, and he joined the RAF during World War 1. He later studied at the University of Mississippi, where he published work in the student newspaper. He dropped out before earning a degree.
Time in New York City
Faulkner moved to New York City in 1921, and he worked in a bookstore. If he ever visited the Museum of Natural History, he would have walked through the park that eventually became Theodore Roosevelt Park. Faulkner returned to Mississippi in 1922.
Liriope, also called blue lily turf, is a tuberous-rooted, clumping, herbaceous perennial, currently in full bloom in Theodore Roosevelt Park.
Covering Theodore Roosevelt Park with color
We plant liriope throughout the park as a border plant and ground cover. Its beautiful lavender flowers rise above dark green arching leaves that grow to about 12” tall.
Foliage in winter
Liriope is one of the most durable plants in Roosevelt Park. It is tolerant of heat, humidity, drought and cold, and it grows well in lighting ranging from full sun to nearly full shade.The vibrant foliage remains attractive throughout spring, summer and fall, and partially into the winter.
What do birds eat on the Upper West Side?
One answer is liriope berries. The flowers develop into berries in late autumn that persist into the winter and feed Roosevelt Park’s birds.
Labor Day started in the 1880’s, when individual states began passing legislation to create a holiday to honor workers. In 1894, Congress made the first Monday in September a legal holiday, Labor Day.
Theodore Roosevelt’s Labor Day speech
In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt, Roosevelt Park’s namesake, gave a speech that linked the prosperity of laborers to the prosperity of the entire country. He said, “If circumstances are such that thrift, energy, industry, and forethought enable the farmer, the tiller of the soil, on the one hand, and the wage-worker on the other, to keep themselves, their wives, and their children in reasonable comfort, then the State is well off, and we can be assured that the other classes in the community will likewise prosper. On the other hand, if there is in the long run a lack of prosperity among the two classes named, then all other prosperity is sure to be more seeming than real.”
Carl D. Anderson was born in New York City on September 3, 1905. In 1936, he won the Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery of the positron, the first antiparticle proven to exist.
Carl Anderson is one of the many Nobel Prize winners honored on the Nobel Monument in Roosevelt Park.
Native to China and Japan, this tough, deciduous shrub grows to a height of 15 feet and a width of 8 feet or more and looks spectacular when grown in mass plantings and hedges.
New York City can get cold
Of all the hydrangea varieties growing in Theodore Roosevelt Park, Hydrangea paniculata is best able to tolerate low temperatures. Although most hydrangeas prefer partial shade, the hydrangea paniculata tolerates full sun in northern growing areas. This shrub prefers loamy, well-drained soil.
Blossoms on 81st street
Hydrangea paniculata flowers will bloom all summer long. They form pyramid-shaped clusters, 6 to 8 inches long, of creamy-white blossoms that turn pinkish-purple at maturity.
Panicle hydrangeas grow in several gardens along the northern end of Roosevelt Park, at 81st Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.
What determines the color of hydrangea flowers?
Hydrangea grow in many of the gardens in Theodore Roosevelt Park. Their colors range from indigo blue to purple to bright pink. Hydrangea macrophylla, a plant that is native to China and Japan, produces different colored flowers depending on the soil pH.
Acidic or alkaline soil
When the soil is acidic, meaning the pH is below 7, Hydrangea macrophylla produces flowers that are closer to blue. Hydrangea growing in alkaline soil (pH above 7) produce flowers in the pink and lilac color range.
Hydrangea Macrophylla will bloom until late autumn, and they can grow six feet tall. These plants can do well in full sun or partial shade. Look for these beautiful flowers in our gardens at the 81st Street side of the park, near Central Park West and Columbus Avenue, and in front of the Hayden Planetarium and the Bull Moose dog run.