Watching the Birds
This cardinal enjoys the snowy landscape at Theodore Roosevelt Park.
Is bamboo a grass?
Bamboo is a fast-growing giant grass that is native to southeastern Asia. Its beautiful bright green delicate leaves cascade over slender branches, and it comes in cane colors of green, purple, olive-green, blue-gray, golden yellow, and black. Although most bamboo grows in tropical or subtropical regions, the species that grows in Roosevelt Park is hardy and tolerates subzero weather.
The music of bamboo
As the wind rustles bamboo leaves, it makes a sound that some people find conducive to meditation. The presence of this beautiful evergreen flowering perennial provides one more reason to relax in Theodore Roosevelt Park.
Where can you find bamboo in Theodore Roosevelt Park?
We have an attractive bamboo privacy screen near the Museum of Natural History’s west entrance at Columbus Avenue and West 79th Street.
This shrub is also known as “heavenly bamboo,” because its erect, cane-like stems and foliage give it an appearance similar to bamboo.
From eastern Asia to the Upper West Side
Native to eastern Asia, Nandina grows well in Theodore Roosevelt Park among the dappled shade gardens by the Nobel monument. Often grown as a hedge, Nandina is pest-resistant and tolerant of both heat and cold. It requires little pruning, and maintains its beauty throughout the year.
In spring, lacy pink leaves appear, eventually turning green, and showy clusters of white flowers with bright yellow anthers grow above the foliage. In autumn, older leaves turn red or purple, and bright red berries mature and persist through the winter.
Winter’s First Snow
In a world of one color
the sound of wind.
– Matsuo Basho, 1644 – 1694
Winter Wonderland on the Upper West Side
Plants sleep; tree branches, bare of leaves, are snow covered; garden shrubs are crystalline and frozen; landscape sparkles, a brilliant white.
There is little movement, save falling snowflakes and museum staffers plowing walkways.
The planetarium, like a child’s gingerbread house, glows, warm, bright and inviting. Inside, people look out through tall, chilled, plate glass windows, in no hurry to go home.
Hydrangea quercifolia (oak leaf hydrangea)
Among the most magnificent shrubs in Theodore Roosevelt Park are the hydrangeas, paniculata, macrophylla, and quercifolia. Hydrangea quercifolia, also called oak leaf, is a flowering, upright, broad, rounded, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub native to the Southeastern portion of the United States. At maturity, the oak leaf grows to a height and width of 6 to 8 feet.
Leaves are large (8 to 12 inches), coarse-textured and lobed. In spring and early summer, this plant produces panicles of greenish-white flowers that change over time to light pink and brown color as the flowers age. In fall, the large, oak-like leaves can turn beautiful shades of burgundy, red, orange and yellow. The bark of the stems is a cinnamon color. It exfoliates and remains attractive throughout the seasons.
Adapting to the Upper West Side
Hydrangea quercifolia is well-suited to the growing conditions in Roosevelt Park. The oak leaf hydrangea is low-maintenance and fairly drought tolerant. It can grow under direct sun for limited periods, but prefers dappled sun and partial shade. In our park, we mass oak leaf with paniculata, macrophylla, hosta, sedum, heuchera, and anemones. Plants fill in and shade the garden beds, allowing little room for invasive weeds.
Before the Friends of Roosevelt Park began contributing to the maintenance and management of the park, conditions had deteriorated dramatically. The park was neglected, with litter, bare dirt and dead plants. Now the park is an attractive place to visit. Help keep it that way! Your donation will help maintain the gardens we have created, and to add plants to our beautiful neighborhood park.
100% of every dollar you donate to Friends of Roosevelt Park is applied to the park. There are no salaried administrators. Friends of Roosevelt Park is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your gift is fully tax deductible.
Use the button below to donate online. You can use your credit card or your Paypal account.
You can also mail your gift to:
Friends of Roosevelt Park, Inc.
6 W. 77 St., 8C
New York, NY 10024
Chubb Insurance volunteers improve five gardens
Twenty-five volunteers from Chubb Insurance Company spent a day working with our gardeners to clean, mulch, rake leaves, weed, and plant perennials in Theodore Roosevelt Park. Volunteers worked in five garden beds, spreading three cubic yards of mulch from Central Park West along 81st Street to the western section of the Bull Moose Dog Run.
Looking forward to perennials in the spring
The Chubb volunteers donated and planted dozens of hellebores with green and purple sepals; white, pink and lavender flowering creeping thyme; purple glove thistle; red coral bells; bright yellow day lilies; pink sedum, and gray-green lady’s mantle. These perennials will bloom from early next spring through late autumn.
GreenLife interns help keep our park beautiful
Gardening in the rain
GreenLife Interns braved the cold and drizzle last Saturday to rake, bag and store hundreds of pounds of dried leaves from the 14 lawns and 37 gardens in Theodore Roosevelt Park.
GreenLife Interns have been a familiar sight at Theodore Roosevelt Park for years. These young men and women work tirelessly to ensure the lawns and gardens are kept weed-free and beautiful throughout the year.
Learning job skills
This strenuous labor benefits both park patrons and the interns, who learn valuable skills that can help them in their future careers. GreenLife Interns learn the fundamentals of horticulture: plant identification and planting skills. They also gain experience in working for an employer and being part of a team of coworkers, and they learn the importance of arriving to work on time and acting professionally.
The Veteran Honored by Roosevelt Park, NYC
Theodore Roosevelt, the namesake of Roosevelt Park, was a veteran of the Spanish-American war. In 1898, he formed The Rough Riders, a volunteer cavalry group, and led them to victories at Kettle Hill and San Juan heights in Cuba. In 2001, Roosevelt was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions in the war.
On July 4, 1903, President Roosevelt gave a speech to veterans in Springfield, IL. He told them, “A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. More than that no man is entitled, and less than that no man shall have.”