Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Year-Round Garden

The park has two main gardens, which we refer to as our perennial beds - sunny and shady, depending on the side of the lawn that they flank. Since their original design overhaul in 1991, the gardens have seen many seasons and matured as organic things do. Though our gardens were lush and beautiful this spring and summer, there were elements that had become overgrown and out of scale with the park and garden design.

Dogwood and Taxus ready to be planted
Hackett and her team survey

Our Director of Horticulture, Maureen Hackett began a major renovation last week to replant and refresh the gardens. A lot of plant material underwent a major pruning effort, and much more was removed or replaced if it could not be saved. Hackett kept many of the existing motifs in the new perennial bed design. For example, though the park's nine large taxus evergreens had to be replaced, they will remain in the new design as a signature element repeated throughout. The Oakleaf Hydrangea in the Shady Border was retained, though vastly cut back, and rose bushes were kept as well. They were replaced with Rose Betty Prior and a new rose that we're experimenting with called Whiteout.

Fresh Mulch

Material to be removed. 

Many renovations will have a similar feel to previous years. However, the major change to the gardens reflects the major change to the park since the gardens were last renovated. Hackett has designed the gardens to cater to a four season park that is used and populated for just about twelve months out of the year, and the slight changes to the garden are with an eye to creating year-round interest and beauty in the gardens for a park this is used year-round, as well.

Finished product with annual chrysanthemums for seasonal interest. 


  1. I love this park. I come in from Long Island as much as possible. You all do such a great job with every aspect of the park! Keep up the great work. :)

  2. Maureen Hackett is an amazing landscape designer.

  3. I love everything about Bryant Park! It is such a beautiful and lively 'outdoor living room' in the heart of NYC where everyone is welcome. It offers something for every interest, every age, tourists and New Yorkers alike. I also love Bryant Park because it has a European feel. I can't wait to see the renovation for myself! Thank you to everyone who works so hard to maintain the park and make it a very special place for all to enjoy. From the free WiFi to the cute little green chairs and tables (like the ones in Paris!) to the wide variety of delicious food and beverages for every budget, Bryant Park is the place to be in NYC! :)