New York gardens to visit before the end of summer

Commune with nature and spend a day at these tranquil New York gardens before the end of summer.

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  • New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Talisman Brolin

    “Monet’s Gardens” at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Talisman Brolin

    “Monet’s Gardens” at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Noah Fecks

    The Heather Garden at Fort Tryon Park

  • Photograph: Wave Hill

    Wave Hill

  • Riverside Park

    Riverside Park

     

     

New York Botanical Garden

Before the weather cools and the leaves begin to turn, head to a lush, verdant New York garden. Don't miss your chance to see colorful flowers, a replica of Monet's gardens at Giverny and other beautiful flora before the end of summer.


RECOMMENDED: Guide to the end of summer in NYC


Conservatory Garden in Central Park

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Experience the charms of a European garden without having to, you know, fly to Europe: This serene six-acre green space (and Central Park quiet zone) offers three styles (French, Italian and English) and a plethora of flowers, fountains, neatly trimmed hedges and walkways. Just be prepared for the throng of wedding photo shoots that pop up throughout the landscape—and by that, we mean try not to photo-bomb anyone. • (212-310-6600, centralparknyc.org). Tours: Meet at Vanderbilt Gate, east side at 105th St. Sat 11am; free.

  1. Fifth Ave, (at 105th St)
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“Monet’s Garden” at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Chill out on the placid Conservatory Lawn, featuring pools dotted with water lilies. The flowers represent the most famous subject of French Impressionist master Claude Monet; the institution took inspiration from the artist’s garden in Giverny and re-created views of water lilies, a Japanese footbridge and the Grand Allée. As if the surroundings weren’t idyllic enough, the NYBG is hosting a concert series with the Gypsy Jazz Caravan (Aug 16) and the City Chamber Music Collective (Sept 22). • (718-817-8700, nybg.org). Tue–Sun 10am–6pm; $20–$25, seniors and students $18–$22, children 2–12 $8–$10, children under 2 free. Grounds only: $10, seniors and students $5, children 2–12 $2, children under 2 free; Wed 10am–6pm, Sat 10–11am free. Concerts: 6–7pm; $20–$30 (includes one cocktail), children under 12 $10–$12.

  1. New York Botanical Garden Bronx River Pkwy, at Fordham Rd
  2. Sun Oct 26
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The Heather Garden at Fort Tryon Park

  • Free

Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and reinvigorated by public-garden designer Lynden Miller (whose green fingerprints are all over New York’s prettiest parks), Fort Tryon Park sits 250 feet above the Hudson River and boasts landscaped gardens that look as if they were transplanted from an English country estate, with sloping lawns and drooping elms. Summer is always the best time to go: The plots become a genteel wilderness, riotous with musk roses, foxglove, hydrangeas and irises. Try to catch one of the free walking tours through the garden on the first Sunday of every month. • (212-795-1388, forttryonparktrust.org)

  1. Margaret Corbin Circle, (Fort Washington Ave at Cabrini Blvd)
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“Urban Garden” at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The institution’s summer display focuses on cultivation for city dwellers, and the BBG’s staff has arranged tropical houseplants, vegetable vines growing on trellises and other examples of greenery. After touring the exhibit, reward yourself with a lazy lie-down on the BBG’s spacious esplanade. • (718-623-7200, bbg.org). Tue–Fri 8am–6pm; Sat, Sun 10am–6pm; $10, seniors and students $5, children under 12 free; Tue and Sat before noon free.

  1. 990 Washington Ave, (at President St)
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Wave Hill

  • Price band: 1/4

Think of this Bronx retreat as the summer weekend house you can visit every year and pretend you own. Bask in Hudson River views and woodland walks, and lounge on nap-ready patio furniture at the former private estate. It’s now home to a 28-acre garden and cultural center that includes an elegant 19th-century mansion, the gorgeous Aquatic Garden (among other gardens) and picture-perfect vistas overlooking the river and the New Jersey Palisades. During Wave Hill’s final Sunset Wednesday event (Aug 29), the gardens stay open until 8:30pm. • (718-549-3200, wavehill.org). Tue–Sun 9am–5:30pm; $8, seniors and students $4, children ages 6–12 $2, children under 6 free; Tue 9am–5:30pm through Aug 31 free; Sat 9am–noon free.

  1. W 249th St, (at Independence Ave)
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Riverside Park

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Summer’s always been a stellar setting for New York–based films, but one of our favorites is Nora Ephron’s You’ve Got Mail. Re-create the movie’s magical final scene and meet your own Meg Ryan or Tom Hanks for a romantic rendezvous at Riverside Park’s 91st Street Garden. The community-run plot has a whole host of colorful flora and fauna to help set the tone for your date. Afterward, stroll down the Serpentine Promenade and soak up the last bit of summer breeze as it blows over the Hudson River. • (thegardenpeople.org)

  1. Riverside Dr, (between 72nd and 158th Sts)
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