Randalls Island Park Alliance

The Secret Garden

In What's in Bloom on April 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm

By Phyllis Odessey

Only in the UK could there be a website  devoted to a bluebell watch (nationaltrust.org.uk/bluebellwatch) or another organization devoted to surveying bluebells (Natural History Museum’s bluebell survey).  The Brits value their woodlands and the English countryside is littered with bluebell woods: small, extensive, ancient and new.  In a recent article in the Guardian newspaper, Liz Boulter  implored readers to “find your own patch of true blue magic…”

On Randall’s Island we too have our own bluebell wood. It is enchanting and a little hidden. We call it “our secret garden.”

It was planted under the direction of Joe Taylor, formerly head of the Landscape and Turf Department on Randall’s Island.  It’s a birch wood underplanted with bluebells.
 “Hyacinthoides non-scripta (formerly Endymion non-scriptus or Scilla non-scripta) is a perennial plant found in Atlantic areas from north-western Spain to the British Isles.” Wikipedia

We’ve been checking our woodland every day for the past two weeks, waiting for that perfect moment.  This week is the week.  If you  take the loop (either walking, biking or driving) to Wards Island, when you get to Field 74, you will see a small garden on left-hand side of the road (opposite the water).  This is the White Garden, which I hope to introduce you to soon.  On the other side of the White Garden is birch grove (pictured above).

Frances Hodgson Burrnett, author of The Secret Garden said “If you look the right way, you can see  the whole world is a garden.  For those of us in the Horticulture Department on Randall’s Island, our whole world is a garden.


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