Friday, July 9, 2010

Tomato, Spearmint And Sunflowers Take Root In Petrosino Park

Changes continue to grace Petrosino Square Park, the little park that could (and does). Having only recently received a dramatic landscaping effort which showcased multiple sunflowers (see below), the park has now provided the neighborhood with a tomato plant and a spearmint bush.

The tomato plant isn't doing to well, but it's trying so hard and is in a relatively secure spot of the park, away from pedestrians and park users. It has no trestle or support however, and is growing horizontally on the ground. The birds are going to love it.

The spearming bush is strong and healthy. As awesome as it is to smell such an aromatic plant, spearmint grows like weeds, literally. It would soon take over large swaths of green space in the park if it makes it over the sidewalk, where it is planted in a tree bed. Most likely that will not happen and the herb will succumb to the urban environment of dog piss and people stepping on it.

But how did these plants get here, did the Parks Department plant them? A local gardener doing a little guerilla gardening?

"We did not plant tomatoes or spearmint," Ralph Musolino, NYC Parks & Recreation Manager, informed NYC The Blog.  He surmised they might be wild, taken root from the leftovers of someone's lunch. It seems more likely someone planted them, already grown. It's doubtful these plants, growing from seed, would have survived the last landscaping the park received.

It's worth noting that tomatoes and mint grow all over in Italy; mint in particular. A few older Italian women live close by to the park. Immigrants in New York City are fond of making parks their own. Either way, looks like some additions are in order for the neighborhood fruit map of Manhattan.

What's growing in your park? 

Previously on Petrosino Square Park

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