Well I am finally exhaling after a wonderful day trip to New York to visit and revisit a few spots in my horticultural bucket list. I am a true believer of visiting gardens in their winter nakedness. Amazing how structure, plant selection and peacefulness can make a garden seem so magical during the winter months. I had the New York Botanical Garden, The Highline and a re-visit to my old friend Wave Hill on my list of places to go before the end of 2013. Well, I just made it and I am glad that I did.
When I arrived at The New York Botanical Gardens, I saw so many folks carrying their children and pushing strollers as one of the more popular holiday events was taking place. Inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory was the awesome Holiday Train Show featuring trains that flowed past replicas of NY landmarks that have been created from plant parts. Yes – plant parts. You can even get a look at how this was done if you visit the Artist’s Studio onsite. The smells…oh the smells of the season as well as the smells from the New Holiday Dining Pavillion, appropriately called “Streets of New York.
The Dining Pavillion is in a tent behind the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory where you can wander down tree lined paths to get to the interesting and creative menu stations. Amongst the Victorian and historical street scenes, the opportunities for families, groups and couples alike, to pause and grab a bite, take a photo or just take in the feel of Christmas are endless. From fried chicken (representing Harlem) to homemade cookies and pies (representing Greene Street Sweets) there were options to please most – Arthur Avenue and Chelsea Market were also fantabulously represented. However….it was not the food that I came for……it was the garden.
Yes……was cold….but with my I do not ski – ski jacket, it was not too cold to deter this avid gardener. Once I calmed down (like a child on Christmas morning, I was extremely excited to visit this garden of note) I spotted the gift shop…that is always the first thing I do….after all, one must have a momento of the journey. Perennial Garden Way called my name, so that is where I started the journey. There were placards with poetry referencing nature as well as historical fact boards, that made you think as you walked past not only perennials in their winter state of dormancy, but large evergreens that stood guard over the plants at their feet. I am an admirer of the natural garden, where plants can reach out to touch you, as if to greet you into their sphere.
Wandering past the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, I had to pause. I absolutely love a traditional herb garden with elements that speak to the symmetry of the space. From seating at the corners to the walkways to the boxwoods that caressed the wrought iron gate, the Luce Herb Garden was simply beautiful.
I will not spoil it for you BUT….I will share one more area of interest that I just had to visit. Resisting visiting the native plant area was not in the cards. I love native plants for their beauty, simplicity and ease of care. So one might understand how I was captivated by the Red Osier Dogwood ‘Cardinal’ and ‘Artic Fire’……….I just could not get enough of it throughout the different gardens rooms – not only in the Native Plant garden……