Randalls Island Park Alliance

Rockin at the dock

In Rock Garden on December 19, 2011 at 7:47 pm

INTRODUCTION:  The installation of a 2500 square foot Rock Garden at the site of the ferry dock on Randall’s Island utilizes both Eastern and Western traditions of rock gardening.  The garden features alpine plants and a collection of dwarf conifers.  The process of building the Rock Garden included:  excavation of rocks from the island; placement of rock material by RISF Horticulture staff and FDNY volunteers; and the addition of custom mixed soil to allow proper drainage.

Located at the ferry dock, the Rock Garden welcomes visitors to Randall’s Island Park.  Using an arbor designed and constructed by Sean Ealey, the “entry gate” is planted with clematis and conifers.  The entry recalls Chinese tradition of a “moon gate,” welcoming visitors to a special place.  The Rock Garden arbor at Randall’s Island is a passageway into a complex and intriguing world.

The Rock Garden allows visitors to explore what’s around the corner and aid in drawing the eye to a specific point of interest, such as alpine perennials, evergreen shrubs and colorful trees.  Layered rocks not only serve as a focal point, but also provide contemplative sitting areas.  The Rock Garden is sloped to face the East River, offering a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline.

In 2012, the Rock Garden will be expanded.  Stay tuned!


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