On Saturday, April 22nd, 70 volunteer gardeners and 7 Greenlife interns joined New York Cares team leaders and New York City Parks Department staff to lend their passion and horticulture skills to clean up and plant flowers in Theodore Roosevelt Park. As volunteers assembled in front of the Hayden Planetarium, one woman said that she and her group of 15 high school students had traveled 4,000 miles, from Denmark, to volunteer at the park during their New York City visit! Volunteers worked steadily for three hours, in spite of the chilly, intermittent rain.
Spring cleaning and planting
The gardens in front of the Bull Moose Dog Run were cleaned of dried leaves and weeded, and the pathways were swept clean. Volunteers planted redosier dogwood (Cornus sericea), lavender (lavandula grosso,) and blazing star (liatris spicata). These shrubs and perennials will provide desirable color, texture and form to our favorite Upper West Side park.
Lavandula grosso (lavender)
Lavender is a French hybrid with gray-green foliage. It grows into a shrubby mound 30 inches tall, and produces abundant fragrant, dark blue flower spikes in mid-summer.
Cornus sericea (redosier dogwood)
Redosier dogwood is an upright, spreading shrub that can grow up to 10 feet tall. Small white fragrant flowers bloom in late spring, and fruit is produced the following summer, attracting birds. In the winter, stems turn bright red, an attractive contrast to a snowy background.
Liatris spicata (blazing star)
Blazing star is a clump-forming perennial, growing to 2 – 4 feet tall. It forms terminal spikes of purple flower heads in the summer.
The benefits of volunteering
Judging from their smiles and friendly conversations, all of the volunteers enjoyed their work, admired their horticultural accomplishments, and felt proud to be able to contribute to the beautification of Theodore Roosevelt Park. Stop by the park in a few weeks to see how the flowers are coming along!