10 of New York’s Best, and Quietest, Gardens
Make sure to visit these off-the-beaten-path gems across the Empire State.
The New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and Old Westbury Gardens are among our region’s undeniable earthly pleasures. But, if you dig a little deeper, there are many more treasures to behold.
1. BLITHEWOOD GARDEN, Annandale-on-Hudson
Built in 1903, this walled garden at Bard College hews to the tenets of classical Italian garden design, with stunning views of the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains in the distance.
2. STONECROP, Cold Spring
Anne and Frank Cabot, the founders of the Garden Conservancy, started creating the 16-acre Stonecrop in 1958. It’s especially noteworthy for its wide assortment of alpine plants.
3. JAY HERITAGE CENTER, Rye
Officially reopening this June, the childhood home of Founding Father John Jay features a formal three-acre garden designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, hemmed in by dry-laid stone walls original to the circa-1745 property.
4. BAYARD CUTTING ARBORETUM, Great River
This 690-acre property, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1886, boasts outstanding collections of evergreen plantings, including hollies, rhododendrons, and oaks.
5. THE DONALD M. KENDALL SCULPTURE GARDENS, Purchase
Begun in the mid-1960s by visionary CEO Donald M. Kendall, Pepsico’s extraordinary sculpture collection is now ensconced in the corporate campus’s lush gardens, designed by Russell Page in the early 1980s.
6. WETHERSFIELD, Amenia
Founded in 1937 by philanthropist Chauncey D. Stillman, the three-acre Italianate garden at the 1,000-acre Wethersfield estate is considered one of America’s finest, incorporating a peacock walk, a beech tunnel, rose and cutting gardens, and several water features.
7. PLANTING FIELDS, Oyster Bay
This quintessential circa-1920 Gold Coast estate features an intact 65-room Tudor Revival mansion and grounds designed by Olmsted Brothers, notably including a camellia greenhouse and an Italianate sunken garden.
8. BEATRIX FARRAND GARDEN AT BELLEFIELD, Hyde Park
Perhaps America’s earliest and best-known woman landscape architect, Beatrix Farrand embraced the English style of gardening, creating a celebrated walled garden for Bellefield mansion, an 18th-century structure on the grounds of the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites.
9. UNTERMYER PARK AND GARDENS, Yonkers
Nearly 50 acres of Samuel J. Untermyer’s original Greystone estate have been transformed into this stunning urban garden, part of the city of Yonkers and free to the public. The Indo-Persian walled garden and its crisscrossing canals are its centerpiece.
10. WAVE HILL, Bronx
From its arbor overlooking the Hudson River in Riverdale, Wave Hill is a garden oasis, stunning at all times of the year and offering a broad selection of programming in the fine arts and gardening arts. Known for its bold color and textural combinations, it’s just a quick train ride from Manhattan.