I could not bear the thought of NOT re-visiting Wave Hill again after seeing it in 2012 with the Cultural Landscape Institute during the late summer months. After all, who could not resist seeing this
I simply love the borrowed view of The Palisades, where Theodore Roosevelt, his friends and family had the opportunity to sit and be surrounded by such privacy, raw nature and create personal beauty along the banks of the Hudson River. I wish I could personally thank the Perkins and Freeman families for donating such a place of beauty to be shared by all, to the City of New York. When you visit Wave Hill, the memory of this place will linger in your mind. Which is why I had to go back and see it in it’s winter nakedness…………….
Wave Hill has been a public garden for almost 50 years and a lot has been experienced on it’s grounds from concerts, to artist and gardener workshops as well as art exhibits and educational programs. With donations from private donors as well as the admission (a mere $8.00), this estate and gardens continue to bring people from near and far to experience the beauty that surrounds us. Even in the winter, the grounds provide awesome ideas for winter color in the garden, structure in the garden, as well as unexpected seasonal scents that amaze you. Observing the different garden rooms and borrowed view, the intimacy of Wave Hill truly makes this gardener appreciate the space.
The first thing that you see upon entering Wave Hill is the Pergola. Looking through the Pergola provides a window to a view of the Palisades and The Hudson River that will leave you speechless….yet wanting more.
From the landscaping around the Gift Shop (I ALWAYS find the gift shop for that little momento of the visit), to the Kerlin Overlook to the Shade border/Woodland walk…every step of the way there is something special to notice. The last time I visited, I did not venture down the Woodland Walk, so I missed the little gazebo gently nestled in the woods, as well as the awesome composting area. While the Woodland Walk meanders down hill and then up through the trees, the intoxicating earthy smell guides you as if summoning you to partake in the view of the Hudson amongst the trees.
When I last visited Wave Hill, the Wave Hill House was still under renovation and it was re-opened in July of 2013, to huge crowds and much fanfare. It is absolutely stunning inside. Knowing that I was walking in the same building that Charles Darwin, where Bashford Dean displayed his vast collection of Arms and Armor and where conductor Arturo Toscanini spent three years, I would like to think, simply enjoying the view. Wave Hill House has a state of the art conference center, a café and new space for programming of all types as well as accessibility for the handicapped. The program calendar for 2014 is available and I must say, they are diverse in their offerings. With program offerings such as Mapping Freedom ( in honor of the Underground Railroad) and Papermaking Suites (using cotton and abaca to make personal sheets of paper) to Nature’s Music where Wave Hill has a celebrated artist assist visitors in creating collages and accordion pocket sized books ,while appreciating the presence of Toscanini music….who could NOT want to visit Wave Hill.
Open all year round, Tuesday and Saturday mornings are free, courtesy of Target. There is a free shuttle from the Metro North’s Riverside Station on the #1 New York Subway line. There is limited parking at Wave ill for $8.00. The free shuttle leaves the subway at 45 minutes past the hour and departs from Wave Hill at 20 after the hour to take you back to midtown Manhattan. There are group tours available, however just wandering on the grounds offer an experience like none other. Not convinced…..here are a few memories that pop into my mind when I dream about Wave Hill..
So….will I see you there, during Winter when you can dream of the seasons to come…..?by