Hosta Blooming at the Bull Moose Dog Run
Hosta is native to China, Japan, and Korea. It’s a shade-loving, rhizomatous, clump-forming, herbaceous perennial, with lush, sensuous foliage. Hosta varies in size from dwarfs, which are inches tall, to giants of five feet. Leaves come in a variety of colors, shapes and textures: blue-green, dark green, chartreuse, bronze, red, variegated, crinkled, smooth, wavy, concave, oval, round, heart-shaped, elongated, narrow, and twisted.
New York City is ideal for Hosta plants
With a relatively cool climate, and sun that isn’t too strong, New York City is a great place for Hosta plants. In Roosevelt Park, sweeps of magnificent hosta grow luxuriantly in front of the Bull Moose dog run.
The origins of Roosevelt Park’s Hosta plants
We planted Hosta in the park in 2014, and they are now mature, rich in color and large. Hosta bloom in late spring, so June is a great time to visit the park and see them.
The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. Conceived by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day was intended to increase awareness of threats to the environment.
Twenty years after the first Earth Day, The Friends of Roosevelt Park were a newly formed group, dedicated to the restoration of Roosevelt Park. The park had been neglected, resulting in stretches of bare dirt broken interspersed with dead plants. It was a stressed environment.
Today, Earth Day has become an international observance, and Roosevelt Park has been restored to a welcoming slice of nature in the city. Its 10 acres are filled with trees, grass, and flowers. This Earth Day, come sit on one of our benches and celebrate how far the park has come!
Norman E. Borlaug was born on March 25th, 1914, in Cresco, Iowa, and he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. His name appears on the Nobel monument in Roosevelt Park, which lists all of the American recipients of the Nobel Prize. The monument is located near the park’s Columbus Avenue entrance.
The Green Revolution
Norman Borlaug was referred to as “The Father of the Green Revolution.” Borlaug was a geneticist and plant pathologist who found a high-yielding short-strawed, disease-resistant wheat. He then arranged to put the new cereal strains he had found into production to feed the world’s hungry people, thereby reducing some of the environmental and social problems that cause international conflicts. His efforts improved wheat yields in Mexico, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Near and Middle East, and in Africa.
Dr. Borlaug then became director of the International Wheat Improvement Programat the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), an international research training institute created by the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations in cooperation with the Mexican government. Here he trained scientists from a variety of countries in research and production methods.
Nobel Peace Prize
Dr. Borlaug’s received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for contributing to world peace by increasing the food supply, particularly due to his work in eliminating food shortages in India and Pakistan. In 1997, in an Atlantic article called “Forgotten Benefactor of Humanity,” author Gregg Easterbrook, estimated that Borlaug’s work had prevented a billion deaths. Dr. Borlaug was 95 years old when he died, on September 12, 2009.
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.