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Wave Hill Public Gardens, Bronx, NY

January 29, 2012

You would be surprised to discover what lies a short train ride outside of the city. WaveHill is a public garden and historic house (built in 1843 and host to Mark Twain and Teddy Roosevelt among others) in the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. This public park is more than just a park with beautiful views, it is a breeding ground for unique plant specimens and host to an annual gala attended by Martha Steward and The Horticultural Society. The grounds contain a green house full of succulents and wild irises, an alpine house with the most curious bonsai, a lily pond aquatic garden, shade garden walk and a flower garden in the summer. Even in winter the garden is bursting with color: yellow and red holly bushes, orange berries dripping off trees like grapes, tiny yellow flowers on bushes…

The main house on the grounds has been closed for renovation for the past three years as they are completely updating the interior and creating a new cafe space. Glyndor Gallery is home to studios for working artists who draw inspiration from the grounds and views. On my visit I met with an artist creating beautiful paper cuts of flowers and a watercolor artist who painted fantastical impressions of the greenhouse.

WaveHill is perfect for a lazy afternoon. They have sunset Wednesdays in the summer when they keep the garden open late so you can pick up a burger and eat on the lawn and watch the sunset to the tune of live music. In the winter, it’s a good place to go for a walk and then get a hot chocolate from the food truck nearby.

Admission is $8 for non-members and includes full access to the grounds. Open Tuesday–Sunday, April 15–October 14: 9am–5:30pm; October 15–April 14: 9am–4:30pm. Visit their website for more information and directions. There is a free shuttle from the Metro North Riverdale station. 

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