Martha Stewart Living Radio: The Radio Blog

...on my way to work today...

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Horticulturist Christy Dailey, NYC Parks gardener and member of icandothatforyou.com

I'm not unlike countless others around the world that commute to work every day from home to the office.  I do, however, have two very distinct differences that set my trip apart.  I like to use my trusted bike 3 times a week to get me there and along the way I get to meet great gardeners like Christy Dailey (above), a city park horticulturist and team member of I Can Do That For You.  As I huff and puff my way to my desk, I can revel in all the handiwork the cadre of gardeners, both volunteer and professional, are making happen along the water's edge and across the city and it's boroughs.  Below is the first of what I hope will be several photo albums of what I see while on my bike in and around the city's gardens.  (That is if I don't cause any big accidents or get clobbered myself for stopping to gape at still another beguiling plant!)  Enjoy and let me know what you think... 

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The base of Fort Tryon Park, part of the successful restoration efforts taken on by New York Restoration Project, www.nyrp.org. Hats off to Bette Midler for spearheading this effort.

1 The base of Fort Tryon Park, part of the successful restoration efforts taken on by New York Restoration Project, www.nyrp.org. Hats off to Bette Midler for spearheading this effort.

This is just a small portion of the tremendous work put forth, with cherry trees and daffodils bringing the first blush of color to the park bank along the roadway.

2 This is just a small portion of the tremendous work put forth, with cherry trees and daffodils bringing the first blush of color to the park bank along the roadway.

The start of Cherry Walk, the curving path adjacent to the West Side Highway.

3 The start of Cherry Walk, the curving path adjacent to the West Side Highway.

Cherry Walk is part of Riverside Walk, an uninterrupted four-mile-long path along the Hudson River from 72nd to 158th Street that is shared by walkers, runners, roller bladers, dogs, kids, and bikers! (And flowering tree lovers, too!)

4 Cherry Walk is part of Riverside Walk, an uninterrupted four-mile-long path along the Hudson River from 72nd to 158th Street that is shared by walkers, runners, roller bladers, dogs, kids, and bikers! (And flowering tree lovers, too!)

Cherry Walk is specifically between 100th and 125th Streets and is part of Riverside Park that was added in the 1930s by filling in the river to create space to build the West Side Highway. Here's the rest of the story; http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_park/historical_signs/hs_historical_sign.php?id=9748

5 Cherry Walk is specifically between 100th and 125th Streets and is part of Riverside Park that was added in the 1930s by filling in the river to create space to build the West Side Highway. Here's the rest of the story; http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_park/historical_signs/hs_historical_sign.php?id=9748

A brief detour off Cherry Walk takes me around the 96th Street Clay Tennis Courts. At one time, much of the green space around the courts was a run down, weed choked, neglected patch of litter strewn sadness. The courts and gardens are part of the Riverside Clay Tennis Association.

6 A brief detour off Cherry Walk takes me around the 96th Street Clay Tennis Courts. At one time, much of the green space around the courts was a run down, weed choked, neglected patch of litter strewn sadness. The courts and gardens are part of the Riverside Clay Tennis Association.

This morning, as I rode past the beds, I spied these drifts of mayapple, Podophyllum peltatum, part of a swath of native, woodland wild flowers.

7 This morning, as I rode past the beds, I spied these drifts of mayapple, Podophyllum peltatum, part of a swath of native, woodland wild flowers.

Native pachysandra, Pachysandra procumbens, in bloom.

8 Native pachysandra, Pachysandra procumbens, in bloom.

Trillium sessile, or toad shade (HOW much do you love that name?!?!?), is an endangered native plant across the eastern half of the U.S.

9 Trillium sessile, or toad shade (HOW much do you love that name?!?!?), is an endangered native plant across the eastern half of the U.S.

Part of an establishing colony of Virginia blue bell, Mertensia virginica and some of the dainty hepaticas that are intermixed.

10 Part of an establishing colony of Virginia blue bell, Mertensia virginica and some of the dainty hepaticas that are intermixed.

One of the foot path/bike path intersections in Riverside Park awash in daffodils and flowering quince profusion. Oh yeah, and a beautiful crab apple on the right in pink flush.

11 One of the foot path/bike path intersections in Riverside Park awash in daffodils and flowering quince profusion. Oh yeah, and a beautiful crab apple on the right in pink flush.

More quince.

12 More quince.

I love how this stairway cuts through the hill in a graceful sweep.

13 I love how this stairway cuts through the hill in a graceful sweep.

Detail of the crab apple looking up into the canopy.

14 Detail of the crab apple looking up into the canopy.

A big sweep of parkland that makes up a major promenade helping channel the nearly 2 million annual visitors to and through the space. One 'must see' is this display garden near 87th Street.

15 A big sweep of parkland that makes up a major promenade helping channel the nearly 2 million annual visitors to and through the space. One 'must see' is this display garden near 87th Street.

The Riverside Park Fund, a community-based volunteer organization, contributes up to $1 million each year to fund projects in the park.

16 The Riverside Park Fund, a community-based volunteer organization, contributes up to $1 million each year to fund projects in the park.

They also do amazing plantings within these display beds and throughout the park. I love seeing the plants sweep in and out of succession in this bed as the days move through the season.

17 They also do amazing plantings within these display beds and throughout the park. I love seeing the plants sweep in and out of succession in this bed as the days move through the season.

I never thought I really like this plant, Kerria japonica, since I've mostly seen it struggling in too much shade and looking way too twiggy and spindly, but this morning, I was won over.

18 I never thought I really like this plant, Kerria japonica, since I've mostly seen it struggling in too much shade and looking way too twiggy and spindly, but this morning, I was won over.

And so was this honey bee, chowing down on nectar and coating up his legs with pollen. This a great shrub for semi-shade in your garden.

19 And so was this honey bee, chowing down on nectar and coating up his legs with pollen. This a great shrub for semi-shade in your garden.

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