Secret Gardens of New York
How do you find so many flowers in New York? people ask me.
I don’t find them. They find me! Flowers permeate my consciousness because I need flowers to live. I grew up playing in the soil, planting tulip bulbs in fall, cutting back rose campion and spirea and cosmos in spring and summer, fighting prickly brambles to collect wine berries that stained my fingers red, and picking fresh bouquets of pansies and lilies and peonies and roses as long as their seasons lasted.
Today, I have a kitchen shelf garden with one geranium (more on her later!) two cyclamen from Trader Joes, and a little baby plant from my friend Deepti. I don’t have a yard anymore with a lamppost garden, a stonewall garden, a back deck garden, a front path garden, and a rose garden. And I certainly don’t have the time to maintain all of then even if I had acres of land to myself.
What I do have is Central Park, the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, the New York Botanical Gardens, the tulip beds on Park Avenue, radiant purple Iris in the northwest Bronx, and an Instagram feed brimming with flower photos in the warmer months. This tendency to collect the gardens of my New York gave me the idea for the Secret Gardens of New York series. In the past few summers, I have blissfully stumbled upon them. This summer, I plan to seek out the more elusive of the lot.
For now, here’s a look at a few of the floral scenes I’ve collected in the past few years.