Randalls Island Park Alliance

A Container for All Seasons

In What's in Bloom on April 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm

By Phyllis Odessey

One of my main nightmares is containers.  A love a plant in a garden, but in an artificial situation like a container, I have a problem.  Since coming to Randall’s Island, Eunyoung Sebazco has taught me the ART of making a container.

We don’t have a big budget for containers on Randall’s.  As usual we have to make the most of what we have and stretch it as far as it will go.  This is a good thing in a recovering economy and when you work for a nonprofit that tries to maximize its resources, it’s necessary.

We create containers for the 3 seasons:  Spring, Summer and Fall.  Our system is simple.  We build the pot around  one dynamic structural plant for the center of the container, we use spillers (things like ivy or sweet potato vine) to drape the pot and finally, we add annuals to fill out the bottom layer.

We were asked to create some containers for the ribbon cutting ceremony  of the Hell Gate Pathway on Randall’s Island.  Ulises Hernandez and James Burns, two members of the Horticulture Crew, with experience fashioning containers went to the nursery and brought back the goodies.

The containers we  assembled are in this case arranged around two of our favorite plants:  Continus coggygria (Purple Smoke Bush) and Physocarpus (Diablo Ninebark).
Many people may find this surprising. These are typically shrubs that one finds in the garden, but they work extremely well in containers.  They have color throughout the season and texture.  There is grandeur to using this type of plant in a container.  It draws in the eye and gives the annuals  a “place” to live.

If you are visiting the island, these containers and more will be at the East and North Entrance of the stadium.

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