The Fund for Park Avenue’s 60,000
Orange Tulips Celebrated at Scully & Scully


Park Avenue Tulips

Allison Mazzola With Barbara McLaughlin And Amy Mazzola Flynn

Sixty thousand tulips are blooming on the Park Avenue Malls from 54th Street to 86th Streets. These malls are cared for by The Fund for Park Avenue, a non-profit charity, which has planted and maintained them for over 29 years. (The malls from 86th to 96th are managed by the Carnegie Hill Neighbors.) It is an expensive undertaking. For example, the tulips cost over $50,000. They were paid for by donations to The Fund by those who love New York. This year, they are orange in honor of our city’s Dutch heritage on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's arrival in New York harbor as captain of the Dutch East India ship “The Half Moon.”The planting of the tulips is an interesting gardening story. The decision on the color and variety has to be made each June because the size of the order affects the world tulip market for whatever type they select. In November, Van de Wetering Greenhouses plant the bulbs as they have every year since the 1950’s. After the tulips ripen, the residents of Park Avenue are given a chance to dig up the bulbs for planting in their own gardens. Then pretty Bedding Begonias replace the tulip bulbs and they will last until the fall frost. That’s about when tulip bulbs are planted for the following spring, thus the cycle of nature continues on this ribbon running for 50 blocks in the middle of probably the most valuable real estate in the world. There are also many varieties of trees and shrubs, including Hawthorne and Cherry and Taxus, and around the holidays, The Fund manages the avenue’s Memorial Tree Lighting program. The cost of all this gardening is enormous and it is completely paid for by the generosity of many people who believe in supporting urban beautification efforts. Last week, at Scully & Scully, the Park Avenue landmark store, there was a reception celebrating the tulips, the Dutch Quadricentennial and The Fund. Cecily F. Grand, provided the floral displays and centerpieces, Eleni’s New York gave the orange tulip sugar cookies. There was background music by Alex Donner and renowned harpist José Luis Rodriguez. The store is also celebrating an anniversary –their 75th year in the same location, so the mood was grand and festive. Michael E. Scully, President of Scully & Scully, and Barbara McLaughlin, President of The Fund for Park Avenue, greeted over 200 guests including New York City Parks Department Commissioner William Castro, Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh, City Council Members Jessica Lappin and Dan Garodnick, Netherlands Consul General Gajus Scheltema and Barbara C. Fratianni of Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission. On the main floor, S&S designers created five stunning table settings inspired by women on the committee. Muffie Potter Aston imagined “A Birthday Party in New York for the Twins and Friends,” hosted by her daughters Ashleigh and Bracie, of course. “Its perfect--I love all that pink--looks just like my house since the girls were born--they live in a "Pink Palace!" she said. Helena Martinez lent personal photos for “Dining in Palm Beach with Family and Friends.” Mary Davidson’s was “The Beauty of Spring in Provence.” Gay Hackett did “Celebrity Lunch in Beijing,” complete with place cards “in Chinese” for “George Bush, Santa Claus, Robert Redford and Carla Sarkosy.” And Polly Sheehan did “Entertaining The Society of Daughters of Holland Dames" (Many of them were there.). Obviously, hers caught the attention of the Dutch contingent, which included Lisa Beth MacKinlay, Scott Banerjee, Barbara Bataille, Penny Fulweiler, Pamela Meyjes, and Michele Muttia. The committee included Alison Byers, Evie Brown, Maureen Chilton, Blair Clarke, Amy Mazzola Flynn, Martha Glass, Audrey Gruss, Nicole Limbocker, Calvert Moore, Emilia Pfeifler and Burwell Schorr. Jo-Ann M. Polise is the Executive Director of The Fund, whose Directors are: Chairman Ronald D. Spencer, Esq., Mary Davidson, Martin D. Gruss, Gay Hackett, Derek L. Limbocker, James F. McCollum, Jr., Judith T. Steckler, Margaret M.. Ternes. Guests included Konrad Keesee, Wendy Carduner, Anne Nordeman, Robert Semple, David Frey, Allison Mazzola, Chris Meigher, Leslie and Peter Jones, Daisy Soros, Mario Buatta, Missie Taylor, Ingrid and Tom Edelman, Eliza Nordeman, Mark Gilbertson, Jennifer Bradford Davis, Tom Guinzburg and Victoria Anstead, John Glass, Michèle Gerber Klein, Mark Schinerman, Karen and Tony May, Andria and Paul Vizcarrondo, Lacy Baldwin, Marvin Davidson, Leslie Brille, Gillian and Sylvester Miniter, Georgina Schaefer, Michel Cox Witmer, Ashley Reid, Bates Brown, Patricia Burnham, Dan Oliver, Kate Donner, Jonathan Giesen, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Withington, Noreen Buckfire, Doug Steinbrech and Stephen and Pat Attoe, Blaine Caravaggi and Jay Jolly from Swifty’s, Scully & Scully charitably donated 10% of the proceeds from sales in the store the evening of the party and for the two following days to The Fund for Park Avenue. Among the fine china, crystal, silver, jewelry, leather goods, lamps and fine furniture, one of their most successful items was a small Halcyon Days enamel box depicting the arrival of Henry Hudson’s ship at the mouth of the river that now bears his name.
Photos By: Laurie Lambrecht


Anonymous said…
Oh, that sounds too lovely! Thanks for sharing NY with us!