No matter what, there's always time to stop and smell the roses – even in New York City. The Big Apple is home to an array of gardens, both large and small that provide a little paradise amongst the urban landscape.Less
Opened in 1911 and now one of Brooklyn's most picturesque sights, this 52-acre garden is home to thousands of plants and trees and a Japanese garden where river turtles swim alongside a Shinto shrine. The best times to visit are late April or early May, when the blooming cherry trees (a gift from Japan) are celebrated in Sakura Matsuri (the Cherry-Blossom Festival), or fall, when the deciduous trees blaze their colors.
Three dramatic weeping willows grace La Plaza Cultural, one of the loveliest public gardens in the East Village. The verdant, flower-filled space forms the backdrop to art installations, theater, dance and musical performances throughout the warmer months. Don't miss the lovely gazebo and koi pond (with resident snapping turtle), surrounded by shady paths and flitting butterflies.
Le Petit Versailles is a unique marriage of a verdant oasis and an electrifying arts organization, offering a range of quirky performances and screenings to the public.
This small community garden provides a quick dose of greenery when out exploring the East Village. Hours vary depending on when members are there to do gardening work – if the gates are open, you can head on in.
The 6 & B Garden is a well-organized community garden that hosts free movie screenings, music events, workshops and yoga sessions; check the website for details.
First opened in 1891 and incorporating 50 acres of old-growth forest, the New York Botanical Garden is home to the restored Enid A Haupt Conservatory, a grand, Victorian iron-and-glass edifice that is now a New York landmark. See the website for a list of regular events, which include themed walking tours, children’s book readings and film screenings.
For a little peace and quiet (as in no runners, cyclists or singing buskers), visit this 6-acre, formal garden – one of the park's official quiet zones. And it's beautiful to boot. Its three sections are designed in French, English and Italian styles, each with its own fountain. It's bursting with crabapple trees, meandering boxwood and, in spring, a riot of flowers.
Founded in 1817, this is the oldest seminary of the Episcopal Church in America. The school, which sits in the midst of the beautiful Chelsea historic district, has been working hard lately to make sure it can preserve its best asset – the garden-like campus snuggled in the middle of its full block of buildings – even as Chelsea development sprouts up all around it. To visit, ring the buzzer at the garden gate, located halfway down 21st St between Ninth and Tenth Avenues.