Gardener Steph: Plants of the Future

The garden crew has been busy this season taking out some of the old and putting in the new. As part of a plan to help rejuvenate the gardens after our harsh winter, many planted areas of the park have been marked for renovation. Public garden designer, Lynden B. Miller, redesigned the planting beds in Madison Square Park over ten years ago and much of the originally planted perennial material has reached maturity. The continued development of the neighborhood combined with the aging of our perennial plants has led to the Mad. Sq. Garden crew to create a new garden development plan as a way to refresh the gardens and pivot towards the park’s future.

As part of this effort, the garden staff has been working to make the new plantings more sustainable. Our Gardeners have been removing many plants that were commonly planted in NYC parks, but are now known to be invasive. These plants are problematic as they spread via animals and seed in wild areas surrounding the city where they then overwhelm the native flora. By removing these plants from the landscape, we are helping to give native species a chance.

The new plantings have been better designed to keep in mind landscape challenges such as micro climates, winter conditions, and better water usage. Our gardeners are keeping the original design and aesthetic of the park in mind, while broadening the plant pallet and introducing cultivars better suited for urban gardening.

Part of the gardens’ redesign also includes planting trees for the future. Madison Square Park is a shade park, and we would love to preserve that luxury for generations to come. As of now, many of our trees are at their maturity and will begin to decline in the near future. To keep the canopy dense we are working to create a 20 year tree plan that will ensure that we have trees for the future.