17th century woodland, at NYU today
The New York Times features a 2,200 square foot native woodland garden being planted on the NYU campus. George Reis, NYU’s supervisor of sustainable landscapes, was taken with the idea of evocative and site-specific planting, as well as with the Manahatta Project, an exhibition that envisions the island of Manhattan upon Henry Hudson’s arrival 400 years ago. Reis submitted his garden proposal to NYU’s Class of 2008 for consideration as their class gift.
So this spring, Mr. Reis and Mr. Morrison, with the help of a small student crew, began planting 2,000 plants that were all thriving on Manhattan in the 17th century.
Beneath the lindens and a Japanese maple, sweeps of hay-scented ferns undulate against waves of New York ferns, interrupted ferns and Christmas ferns, each species planted en masse to accentuate subtle differences in shape, texture and color.
The scene sounds romantic, but even absent floral nostalgia, native plants are vital to the development of sustainable ecosystems. We’re eager to check out this garden.
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