It’s easy to forget, in the dark cold days of January and February, that gardening staff at Washington Square Park are still hard at work every day. While the staff is slightly reduced during this time, there is still plenty to do year round. Head gardener Gui works full-time at Washington Square, along with district gardener Tyson, who lends a hand across the district’s parks as well.
So just what do Gui and Tyson do when the snow is thick and the days are short? Here’s a rundown of some tasks they are busy with this winter.
Gui is laying plans for the spring rush, summer growing period, and fall wrap-up. He is busy ordering annual and perennial plants with our Park Administrator, reviewing what worked and didn’t from the prior season, and determining which nurseries have the desired plants, and keeping it all within budget. He’s also laying out the calendar for the year, making sure everything that is supposed to get accomplished is planned, budgeted and ready to go.
While plants, trees, and flowers are not as noticeable this time of year, the dormant period is perfect for pruning stems, raking leaves, and spreading mulch. Just as in summer, gardening staff must clear trash and litter that has blown into garden beds every day. And as in all seasons, Gui and Tyson inspect the Park each day to ensure there are no dangerous tree limbs or surprise items in the flower beds. Fences always need repair, a perfect winter activity.
When it snows, it’s all hands on deck clearing paths and keeping the Park ice-free, including for Gui and Tyson. And if it’s just too cold for long outdoor sessions, our gardeners might spend some time inside, sorting and cleaning tools, cleaning storage areas, and determining what tools are ready for replacement.
It may be cold out there, but Washington Square Park’s gardening staff know that spring is right around the corner. Thankfully, they’ll be ready thanks to all their winter work!