The Old Stone House gardens are open for visits from dawn to dusk. If you have questions or would like to volunteer, please reach out to Sam Lewis (he/him), OSH’s Director of Gardens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Developed under the direction of environmental educator Claudia Joseph beginning in 2004, the gardens are co-designed with our community. Volunteers and students do most of the installation, hardscaping and care-taking, in exchange for learning, health benefits, harvest and community connection.
The gardens have evolved along with the gardens at our neighboring District 15 Schools. Through our partnership with Garden Train, we have established a Tool Lending Library at Washington Park. District 15 School Gardeners can call upon the resources of the Library and borrow tools for school based projects. See the tool inventory here.
Our gardens are social interaction centers, as much as they are food, medicine and craft resources or stormwater retention tools, and they have brought birds and butterflies back to the landscape. Learn more from our wonderful garden video series, created with the generous support of John Freeman of Century Tree Productions – segments are approximately six to eight minutes long, and provide a wonderful overview of each of our garden spaces and the plants that define each area. Our neighbor, educator Jimmy Ferraiolo, has also worked with us on a a series about OSH’s native food forest, starting with Gooseberries!
Since December 2021, OSH has been working with DSNY to provide a public drop-off site for community compost scraps. The compost bins are located at the end of the cul-de-sac next to the dumpsters on 4th Street between 5th and 4th Avenues. We accept drop offs 24/7. You may drop off the usual compost scraps plus grains, meat, fish, dairy, and BPI certified compostable items. No plastics please. Unfortunately as we cannot accept the volume from local businesses at this time, please limit the amount to individual household drop-offs.
Any questions can be directed to Compost and Garden Coordinator Angela Lombardo (they/them) at email@example.com. Thank you for working with us to reduce methane output from our city! Read Angela’s 2021 OSH Compost Report.
Check out our plants!
Dutch white clover
Eastern white cedar
Listed by Plant
Amaranth – pinks
Comfrey – light to deep greens
Daffodils – yellow-green
Dandelion – yellow & green
Elderberry – purple, dark blue & gray
Fennel- yellow & green
Goldenrod – bright yellows to golds & greens
Japanese maple leaves – a pink blush
Mint – green
Mustard blossoms – yellow
Nasturtium – bright green
Onion skin – yellow
Red cabbage – from lavender to brilliant blue
Sour grass (wood sorrel or oxalis) – summery yellow
Sorrel – pale yellows & greens; roots – reddish-browns
Listed by Color:
Yellow – calendula, chamomile, goldenrod, marigold, tansy, catnip
Greens – artichoke, black-eyed Susan, hyssop, plantain
Pinks – amaranth flowers, sorrel root
Reds – dandelion root, japanese maple
Blues & purples – cornflower, false indigo, grape skins
Browns – comfrey
Grays & blacks – iris
Food Crops, Annual
Food Crops, Perennial
Western sand cherry
Aesculus parviflora – bottle brush buckeye
Amelanchier alnifolia* – juneberry
Aronia melanocarpa – chokeberry
Aster ericoides (Symphyotrichum)
Aster laevis (Symphyotrichum)
Aster novae-angliae (Symphyotrichum) Baptisia australis
Aster Smooth Aster
Blue lobelia, Blue cardinal flower Beebalm
Brown-eyed Susan Blue-stemmed Goldenrod Grassleaf Goldenrod
Cimicifuga racemosa (Actea racemosa) Eapatorium coelestinium
Eastern White Cedar
Eupatorium fistulosum/maculatum/purpureum Geranium maculatum
Ilex verticillata ‘Red Sprite’
Joe Pye Weed
Netted chain fern
New York Aster
Rhus aromatica ‘Gro-low’
Sambucus canadensis ‘Johns’ & ‘York’ Spiraea latifolia
Solidago graminifolia (Euthamia )
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus Symphoricarpos alba
Tall Meadow Rue
Western Juneberry, Pacific Serviceberry Juneberry, Shadbush, Serviceberry Black Chokeberry
Western Sand Cherry
Compiled by Cindy Goulder, November 2012
Seeds, Berries & Vegetative Cover for Birds
Inkberry Ilex glabra – Songbirds: thrushes, mockingbirds, catbirds, robins, bluebirds and thrashers
Blackberry, Rubus allegheniensis – Blackberries rank at the top of summer foods for wildlife. Even late into the fall and winter, the dried berries are eaten by many species.
Pin Oak Acorns are a good and abundant staple food source for many songbirds.
High Bush Cranberry Viburnum trilobum – Berries Sep-Feb still edible off the bush in mid-winter; popular with dozens of bird species, especially waxwings.
Elderberry Sambucus Canadensis – Elderberries are especially important sources of summer food for catbirds, robins, thrushes, sparrows, and many other songbirds.
Flowering dogwood – fruits are important to many songbirds in late summer and fall. Some primary users are cardinals, thrushes, and cedar wax-wings.
Rose – Rose hips, which remain on the shrubs through the winter and into the following year, are an important wildlife winter food source.
Winterberry, Ilex verticillata – Songbirds: thrushes, mockingbirds, catbirds, robins, bluebirds and thrashers.
Snowberry or Waxberry Symphoricarpos – Good wildlife cover and forage.
Eastern White Cedar, Thuja occidentalis Arborvitae screen.
Red Cedar fruits are eaten by cedar wax-wings, purple finches, robins, bluebirds, tree swallows, myrtle warblers and other songbirds.
Black Chokeberry Aronia melanocarcarpa – Black fruit from Sep – Nov is eaten by songbirds.
Red Chokeberry Aronia arbutifolia – Red fruits which appear Sep – Dec are an occasional winter food source for many bird species.
Juneberry or Western Serviceberry or Saskatoon Shadbush, Amelanchier ainifolia – Popular with wildlife.
Photos: Bob Levine.
Plant information: Claudia Joseph, New York Permaculture Exchange.