Monday, June 7, 2010


One thing I absolutely love about the East Village is its number of community gardens.  In such a densely populated city, open space is rare and highly prized.  When a developer can so easily plant a 30-story glass high-rise smack in the middle of a historic and residential block, it's wonderful to come upon a garden instead.  Even better, these gardens are free and open to everyone.

I've lost track of the number of gardens in the EV (last I checked, there were about 35), but they dot the neighborhoods east of 1st Avenue like little green oases.  Each has its own distinct personality and offers up a unique experience.  When ever I want a little quiet time to sit and read, or just enjoy the birds, flowers, fish, turtles and sun, I have a heap of gardens from which to choose.  If I want to hear live music and a little theater, there's a garden for that; if I want to loll around in a hammock out of sight, there's a garden for that; if I want to host a bbq with a few friends, there's a garden for that...and all of these within easy walking distance.

A few of my favorites include:

6BC Garden
Happy Cat
...with resident kitteh.

6BC Garden House
The lovely shed.

Beautiful basalt columns surrounding a fish pond.

Sara D Roosevelt Garden
Sara Delano Roosevelt Garden
Everything is big in NYC, including the insects!

Sara Delano Roosevelt Garden
Foxglove and roses.

La Plaza Cultural
La Plaza Cultural
Pretty in pink.

La Plaza Cultural
Home for birds.

A nice statue at the 6th Street Community Garden:
6th St Community Garden

Oranges at the Liz Christy Garden
Liz Christy Garden

Liz Christy Garden
I can't resist a cat sculpture.

El Sol Brillante
El Sol Brillante
Some of the many tangles of roses...

El Sol Brillante
And arbors...

This small sample of pictures really doesn't do justice to the beauty and calm these gardens bring to the neighborhood.  For many more garden photos, please see my Urban Greenscapes collection here.

Information on NYC's Greenthumb Program can be found here.


  1. Lovely, but I don't think that pink rose photo was taken this year? Did I miss that big bloom? I'll be sad.

    There is a new book about the East Village community gardens

    I saw a copy just this weekend, and it's a lovely little book, with a brief history of each garden, and a quote from a gardener at each one.

  2. Hi Jill

    The big rose bus is not from this year, but the photo was taken in late May. My favorites are the climbing roses at the east end of the Liz Christy Garden - those can get really huge.

    Thanks for the book link - I think I'll have to buy that! I began a project to document every garden, but there are so many and it became too much for one person. The book looks perfect.

  3. Ah! Excellent photo essay... I love 6BC and La Plaza Cultural in particular... It is amazing that all these spaces have been protected from the greedy developer types....