The temperature in New York will soon crawl out of the ’30s, which means it’s almost spring. Once the sun finally decides to stay — and the Nor’easters come to an end — people will emerge from their wintertime hibernation and into the great outdoors. Here are some of New York City’s best gardens for passing a warm, lazy afternoon.
Central Park is the largest park in Manhattan — a ribbon of green amid the concrete jungle. Beyond the Great Lawn and Belvedere Lake are smaller, quieter gardens, such as the Shakespeare Garden, located on the West Side between 79th and 80th Streets. It is four acres wide and is lined with flora described in William Shakespeare’s plays. The garden is designed to look like the English countryside in the 16th century. There is also the Conservatory Garden, which is between East 104th and East 106th Streets, and features three distinct styles of gardens over its six acres: Italian, French and English. This garden is especially nice because it’s a designated quiet spot.
Greenacre Park, located on East 51st Street between Second and Third Avenue, is another must-see. The park is unique in that it’s only 60 feet by 120 feet, and it still houses a spectacular 25-foot waterfall and an estimated 85,000 visitors yearly. Activities which disrupt the tranquil atmosphere of the park are not allowed, making it a welcome oasis in a busy, noisy city.
Closer to campus, the Jefferson Market Garden is on Greenwich Avenue, on Ninth Street right above Sixth Avenue. It’s easy to miss, but absolutely exquisite. Behind the flowers is the backdrop of Greenwich Village buildings, which provides a nice contrast. You can stroll through the brick path in the park or sit on a bench, where you can relax in front of a koi pond. It’s a cute spot for dates as well.
St. Luke in the Fields Garden is located at 487 Hudson St., near St. Luke in the Fields, a church in the West Village. It is almost a full acre, comprised of walking paths, lawns and a wide variety of flowers. It is an excellent location for meditation and spirituality, but aside from religious allure, it’s the perfect place to surround yourself with nature’s beauty. It also serves as a migrating station for over 100 species of birds and at least 24 different types of butterflies and moths.
New York has several botanical gardens, but the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is outstanding in every way. About half an hour from campus, this garden is worth the journey. Students who present their student IDs only need to pay $8 to gain admission, or can become members for $65 a year for unlimited free visits. The garden is a sprawling 52 acres with informational lists of what is in bloom to help structure visits. Garden Guides are also available to lead walking tours. There are multiple gardens and conservatories, such as the Rose Garden, Native Flora Garden and the Tropical Pavilion.
Enjoy the warm weather and blooming flowers wherever you end up on the next sunny day.
Correction Friday, April 6: A previous version of this article stated that Central Park was the largest park in all five boroughs, while it is in fact only the largest park in Manhattan.
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