As much as we believe that sending flowers is the perfect way to inject a little nature into your life, we’re all for getting out and about and discovering new green spaces, too. And amongst New York’s many skyscrapers and high rise blocks, there are plenty. So, whether you’re the active 6am-run-around-Central-Park type, or more of an alfresco picnic connoisseur – we’ve rounded up our favourite green spaces – from botanical beauty, to historic secret gardens – that New York has to offer for your visiting pleasure.
1. Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
No prizes for guessing where it’s located – Brooklyn Botanic Garden is located in the Prospect Park neighbourhood and has been since 1910. It’s 52-acres and boasts multiple gardens, plant collections, an art gallery, a museum dedicated to Bonsai, and an aquatic plant house. Our favourite is The Steinhardt Conservatory. Consisting of three climate-controlled pavilions – it’s here you’ll find your fill of succulents and cacti, alongside a multitude of unique desert floras.
2. The Highline
What was once a railway track in the 1980s is now New York’s only elevated park. Beat the tourists and walk the 1.45 mile stretch from Chelsea to Hudson Yards while taking in the sunrise over the city. And when hunger strikes, walk on to Greenwich Village and make a pit stop at Jack’s Wife Freda – a low- key American-Mediterranean all day-bistro with one place on Lafayette street and a second on Carmine Street – for breakfast.
3. The Met Cloisters
Chances are you’ve been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s main building on Fifth Avenue, which means you’ve bypassed The Met Cloisters – a branch dedicated to the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe – overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park. Named after the medieval cloisters that form the core of the building (that were dismantled in Europe and shipped to New York), the museum boasts three enchanting garden spaces.
4. Wave Hill
Wave Hill is a famous public garden located in the northwest Bronx along the Hudson River that was formerly part of a private estate, of which President Theodore Roosevelt was once a guest. Despite it’s current usage, the space has managed to maintain much of its stately grandeur and features an alpine house, a conservatory greenhouse, and a myriad of wooded paths leading to a number of blooming lovely flower gardens.
5. Chinese Scholar’s Garden
Part of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanic Garden in Staten Island, New York’s Chinese Scholar’s Garden was the project of landscape architect Frances X. Paulo Huber. Originally designed – and built by 40 Chinese artisans – in the city of Suzhou, China, by Zou Gongwu, the country’s foremost scholar of classical garden design, the garden is in-fact a recreation of Ming Dynasty Chinese gardens. It was shipped to New York in 1999, and became the first of its kind in the United States.
Looking for further New York inspiration? Check out our A-Z to the big apple.