It’s hard to miss the thousands of feet of yarn suspended above the north end of Madison Square Park in Manhattan.
It’s a colorful art installation called “My Neighbor’s Garden,” the work of Brooklyn-based artist Sheila Pepe.
Pepe used 15,000 yards of yarn to crochet canopies and web-like structures above the park.
Below the crochet, gardens with all types of vegetables and flowering vines are growing in mini gardens, inspired by the city’s many community gardens.
Whimsical elements include weed whacker twine and garden hoses, items typically found in those gardens.
“It really marries public art and horticulture, the art of gardening, that we really love here in Madison Square Park,” Stephanie Lucas, director of park operations and horticulture for the Madison Square Park Conservancy, said.
Pepe didn’t do this alone. Just like her mother taught her to crochet in the 1960s, she in turn taught groups to do the same, including staff from the conservancy.
Lucas was among those who contributed to the project. Work began back in January.
“We learned how to do it as a staff, we learned how to do it as volunteers, and Sheila really mentored people on this art of crochet,” Lucas said.
So there are two things going on here. The massive crochet structures, and the custom grown plant life that is now intertwined with them.
“Sheila really wanted this piece to be rooted in the park, so it was important to have plants that were integrated into the ground that may grow in the park normally, something that we have as part of our daily horticulture, that would reach the sky, and really intermingle with the crochet itself,” Lucas said.
It’s something that will continue through the summer and fall as the city approaches winter. "My Neighbor’s Garden" is on view at the park through Dec. 10.