Epimedium in Spring, the Battery Bosque
(Photos: Alice Joyce)
At the southwestern tip of Manhattan, the gardens of Historic Battery Park rise up from a once neglected area of New York City. Since the completion of the Battery gardens,
its rebirth so to speak in 2005,
much has been written about the exuberant, flower-filled planting plan
created by the brilliant Dutch plantsman, Piet Oudolf.
On a lovely day in May, I had a chance to spend a few hours in the acclaimed setting:
in a sunlit area - the Gardens of Remembrance,
and the shadier shelter of the Battery Bosque.
The Gardens of Remembrance pay tribute to those who perished on 9/11,
and to the survivors who gathered here.
Stony Creek - a granite bench runs 1,500 feet along the length of the promenade,
configured as the "prow of Manhattan Island."
I toured the gardens with Sigrid Gray, director of horticulture for The Battery Conservancy, just a few days after their highly anticipated annual plant sale.
If you're in the area when Spring 2010 rolls around, you won't want to miss an opportunity to acquire unique hybrids and native species of organically grown, hardy perennial plants - ornamentals, herbs, and grasses.
The Battery landscape is maintained free of chemicals and fertilizers.
Sigrid revealed that they are able to lift divisions of the garden's thriving perennials -
a wealth of woodland and prairie plants nurtured in these 4 acres,
to produce an astounding annual surplus
of 75,000 perennial plants for other public gardens in New York City.
In essence, the parkland is a 100 per cent sustainable farm!
The Battery Bosque
The Battery is built on top of 3 subway lines and 2 major transportation tunnels, Sigrid wrote in an email. As mentioned above, the Oudolf-designed gardens comprise 4 acres.
Look for the 6-acre Perimeter Bikeway gardens to be completed in 2012.
Photos below, courtesy of The Battery ConservancyParthenium integrifolium, Panicum 'Dallas Blues' & Helenium 'Rubinzwerg'
The history of this land goes back hundreds of years to the Dutch settlers, and earlier still,
to the region's Native Americans.Bosque Garden - Scutellaria incana (Skullcap)Tricyrtis 'Empress' & Penstemon digitalis Bosque Garden
Persicaria virginiana 'Lance Corporal' foreground, Molinia 'Transparent' in rear
The design preserved a stately grove of plane trees.Swathes of Allium 'Globemaster' & Allium 'Purple Sensation'
commingle in the Bosque with drifts of complementary perennials,
key elements in an Oudolf design.
Gardens of Remembrance... the Promenade in Summer
Gardens of Remembrance - October view
In August, Astrantia 'Roma emerges along with Sanguisorba 'Red Thunder,'
and Tricyrtis 'Togen.'
Moving on to Fall, the choice cultivars & species include
a host of Asters & Korean feather reed grass,
& Panicum v. 'Shenandoah.'
November brings the golden leaves of Ginkgo,
fall crocuses, the textural wands of Miscanthus and wispy muhly grass.
Landscape Architects: Saratoga Associates
Garden Designer: Piet Oudolf