Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bryant Park's Early Spring

Did you know that compared with most parks in New York City, Bryant Park enjoys a relatively early spring? Our early spring comes courtesy of the city's built environment. The shelter provided by our towering neighbors, as well as the large library vault space underneath the lawn, create a warm zone in the park.

When the ground is packed tightly with soil and bedrock, the layers beneath the surface tend to retain cold air. This is why some animals, like snakes, burrow underground to stay cool. Bryant Park is the opposite. We have a large hollow space under the lawn, so warm air develops below the park level, and tends to rise, creating warmer conditions in the soil in the park. The surrounding buildings, many of which are covered in reflective glass, also reflect sunlight and bounce it back into the park. All of this works together to bring spring bulbs out earlier each year.

The Bryant Park gardens are in the midst of a transitional process from winter to the spring garden displays. Soon you will be able to enjoy all your favorite spring flowers - pink tulips, purple hyacinth, yellow daffodils. But for starters, here is a picture of the green daffodil stalks beginning to appear from out from the soil! It really won't be long now... 

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