DeWitt Clinton Park- New York, NY


There is so much history in Manhattan.  


Garrit's Parterres (shown), the hillside orchard, and his garden as described by a reporter in 1872 (text in Garden Your City, pg. 208) were researched, designed, funded by grants, and installation managed by Barbara Hobens from 2003-06. This historical  reconstruction was made possible due to generous support from The Greenacre Foundation, immeasurable spirit and hard work of many local residents, corporate and religious volunteers, Partnerships For Parks, The Midtown Community Court, and the Manhattan Botanical Garden volunteers from Pier 84, and especially Commissioners Stern and Benepe.

General Garrit H. Striker (var. Garret Stryker) gardened his beloved home he named "Rosevale" from (1818-1872) . The mansion was in the center of present-day De Witt Clinton Park. In 2008, The Midtown Community Court partnered with Partnerships For Parks to maintain the gardens featuring perennials that grew here 138 years ago along West 52nd Street overlooking the Hudson River in Manhattan.

General Garrit H. Striker (var. Garret Stryker) gardened his beloved home he named "Rosevale" from (1818-1872) . The mansion was in the center of present-day De Witt Clinton Park. In 2008, The Midtown Community Court partnered with Partnerships For Parks to maintain the gardens featuring perennials that grew here 138 years ago along West 52nd Street overlooking the Hudson River in Manhattan.

An Historic Reconstruction of Garrit Strykers (Strikers) Gardens

No matter where you plan to garden, there is history where you are standing. Looking back often brings a new respect for what was, what can be, and also thoughts to what you want to leave behind.

Explore on the Internet, your local library, and especially your town or county historical society.  There is history made by who once lived, passed through, fought and or died or maybe the history lies in the geology, myth, or mystery of a place.

What was once an expansive hillside of weeds is now one of DeWitt Clinton Park Conservancy's beautiful volunteer gardens in Manhattan. The history that unfolded was fascinating; what was found enriches and intrigues:  

  

- -    Saturday, November 23, 1872    - -

 THE STRYKER MANSION

The present appearance of the Stryker
place is very pleasing, in spite of the fall season, 
which, however, has not changed the
foliage yet to any great extent, and has
permitted the flowers to linger in the garden.
The parterres are very old fashioned, and the
flowering bushes have usurped somewhat more
space than was designed for them. But the
lawns are pleasant, and the flowers are of the
modern style, even including such comparative
novelties as the canna, with its long
leaves of dark green, and its stiff, orange
flowers, and the caladium, with its huge leaves
shaped like Norman shields. Peacocks strut
about the place, and great maltese cats slink
through the shrubberies, hiding guiltily among
the bushes of box - wood cut in fantastic
shape. There are two tall box-trees, which
have never been clipped by the profane hand
of a gardener. These were planted many
years ago by the tiny hands of Miss Jessie
Benton, then on a visit, with her father, Old
Bullion, the Senator of Missouri, to General
Stryker's famous Hudson villa. One of these
died this year; the other is still in a flourishing
condition. The fish-pond is now in communication
with the river, the gold-fish have
died, or been eaten by finny monsters, the carp
have disappeared, and nothing remains save
great eels, that burrow down in the fat ooze,
and seem to find the place congenial.

 

Text excerpted from
Appletons’ Journal of Literature, Science and Art

No. 19L – Vol. VIIIL  Page 562

Barbara Hobens