Unique New York: Open Garden Day NYC (Harlem style)

On Saturday, July 14, NYC Parks GreenThumb hosted the first ever Open Garden Day NYC! Over 70 community gardens across the five boroughs were all open at the same time, in celebration of GreenThumb’s 40th Anniversary. Gardens were either hosting a workshop, having a concert, or just being open for gardeners to give a tour to visitors.

Sunflowers at Lydia’s Magic Garden.

My husband and I decided to check out some of the gardens in our neighborhood that day and thus developed a walking tour of five gardens, or a garden crawl, if you will. It was one of the hottest days that normally I would have stayed inside with the A/C blasting, but it was a good opportunity to see gardens that might not be open the next time I passed by, so I wanted to get outside to check them out. Extra credit to my husband for being so agreeable.

If you want to plan your own Garden Crawl in your neighborhood, just check out GreenThumb’s handy map. Just be advised that garden hours are subject to change. I suggest doing this during “Garden Season”, April through October, when gardens have more open hours.

Some flowers growing in Diamante Garden.

Stop 1: Diamante Garden

The workshop had just wrapped up when we arrived, but we took a walk through the garden beds before setting off to…

Garden beds in Lydia’s Magic Garden.
Coqui mural in Lydia’s Magic Garden.

Stop 2: Lydia’s Magic Garden

Not much foot traffic here, as it is on Park Avenue near the aboveground metro north train line. We admired the coqui mural, fine landscaping, and sunflowers in the garden beds. Then we rested on one of the new benches in this garden while planning our route to…

Happy chickens!

Stop 3: Joseph Daniel Wilson Memorial Garden

This garden was a bit magical! It felt like you were in someone’s backyard. The tree cover made the garden nice and cool, with leafy plants abound. A chicken coop near the entrance seemed well kept, and there was also a beehive. The gardener on site was friendly and welcomed us in. We didn’t stay too long because we had two more stops…

Stop 4: Clayton Williams Garden

This garden had been recently renovated, and earlier in the day had an arts and crafts workshop for kids. The gardeners here were certainly friendly and were happy to have us rest on a bench in the shady gazebo before heading to our last stop…

Red Sahara performing in the garden.

Stop 5: William B. Washington Memorial Garden

This garden definitely had the friendliest group! Red Saraha trio performed some music will the attendees sat in folding outdoor chairs taking in the music. They asked us to stay while they were finishing their set and afterwards the gardeners came up to us after to see if we lived in the neighborhood.
Overall we had a great (although sweaty) experience, and took a well-deserved cab ride home! Have you seen the gardens in your neighborhood?

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