It can be easy to forget about the parks, courtyards, and secret gardens when you think of the “concrete jungle,” but if you take a stroll through your neighborhood you’ll definitely stumble across some greenery.
Now that spring is here and with cherry blossoms peaking in some parts of the city, we can’t get enough of the fresh vegetation. Aside from the large park areas and botanical gardens, there are countless community parks, restaurants, shops, and courtyards covered in lush foliage. Here are some of the cutest secret gardens around the city:
1. Grove Court, West Village
This lovely spot, which was built in 1854, is called Grove Court and is located on Grove Street in the West Village. It didn’t used to be the lush oasis it is today, but there’s no denying that it is now one of the city’s many hidden gems. It can be found near the intersection of Grove and Bedford (which is also where the apartment from Friends is technically located!).
Where: Grove St. and Bedford
2. Conservatory Garden, Central Park
Located on the East Side of the park between 104th and 106th street, this under-the-radar garden covers over six acres of land and is home to 20,000 tulips and daffodils planted alongside an abundance of gorgeous lilacs, summer perennials, crabapple trees, and chrysanthemums. There three main areas to the garden: the French-style North Garden, the Italianate Center Garden, and the English-style South Garden, each varying in design and each equally as beautiful.
Where: 1233 5th Ave.
3. Amster Yard, Turtle Bay
Located in Turtle Bay on East 49th Street, between Second Avenue and Third Avenue, Amster Yard is a New York Historical Landmark. It’s a L-shaped courtyard that dates back to 1949, and is named after interior designer James Amster who was also the founder of what is now Turtle Bay Association.
Where: 211-215 East 49th St.
4. The Ford Foundation Atrium, Murray Hill
The atrium garden within the Ford Foundation on East 43rd Street is home to 39 species of plants, a lovely reflecting pool, and a sensory garden where you can touch and smell the plants. The garden is open from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. between Monday through Saturday.
Where: 320 East 43rd St.
5. Alice’s Garden, Chelsea
Alice’s Garden is located on 34th Street and Tenth Avenue and is named after a resident that lived in the area for 50 years who would plant flowers and tend to them regularly. Her name was Alice Parsekian, and although she passed away in 2010 the garden itself remains, with a brick path to guide you through.
Where: 34th St. and 10th Ave.
6. Greenacre Park, Midtown East
This public space is the perfect midday oasis, especially if you work in the area and can step away to clear your mind or to enjoy a peaceful lunch. Greenacre Park is located on East 51st Street, between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.
Where: 217 E 51st St.
7. 6BC Botanical Garden, East Village
This community garden in Alphabet City is tucked away on 6th Street between Avenues B and C. There are no exact hours that you can visit, but as their site says “whenever a member is in the garden, it will be open.” So feel free to stop by and check whenever you’re in the area!
Where: 630 E 6th St.
8. The Church of St. Luke in the Fields, West Village
The garden at The Church of St. Luke in the Fields in the West Village is home to plenty of flowers and various plant varieties. According to the church, over 100 species of birds and 24 types of moths and butterflies have been recorded in the garden. Although it is technically a private space, it is open to the public as a community oasis.
Where: 487 Hudson St.
9. Elevated Acre, Financial District
Located on 55 Water Street, the Elevated Acre is one of the city’s most underrated parks. With views of the New York Harbor and the Brooklyn Bridge, you can have fun trying to search for the hidden escalator that will take you up to this rooftop park. Hangout up here and read a book, take in the views, or have a picnic on the open lawn.
Where: 55 Water St.
10. 6B Garden, East Village
Not to be confused with the above 6BC Botanical Garden, 6B Garden is another community oasis along 6th street and Avenue B that not only has a serene coy pond, but also host various events throughout the season.
Where: 630 E 6th St.
11. Wave Hill, the Bronx
Take in sweeping views over looking the Hudson River and the Palisades at this 28-acre public park in the Bronx. They host a fabulous concert series that you can view the schedule for here.
Where: 4900 Independence Ave., Bronx
12. West Side Community Garden, Upper West Side
This “neighborhood sanctuary” has been the pride and joy of Upper West Siders for ages. The public garden brings in an average of 5,000 people per year across its 30,000 square-feet.
Where: 123 W 89th St.
Also published on Medium.