Liberty Sunset Garden Center
204–207 Van Dyke St., nr. Ferris St., Red Hook; 718-858-3400
It might not be the most comprehensive nursery in the city—try Chelsea Garden Center in Manhattan or Dimitri’s in the Bronx for that—but it certainly is the most exotic. Inside Hungary-born owner Sandor Gubis’s 8,000-square-foot converted-brick-warehouse store—located on a nearly impossible-to-find pier in Red Hook (to get there, you have to take the F or G to Smith/9th Street, catch the B77 bus to Van Dyke and Van Brunt Streets, then walk along Van Dyke toward the water)—is a unique selection of tropical plants, cacti, bulbs, orchids, and spiky bromeliads. Showy annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs are sold outdoors starting in April or May, and the shop custom-makes wooden planters in every conceivable shape and size. Indoors, the warm, light-filled space feels like a Brooklyn gentrifier’s conception of Eden. There’s even a phony waterfall and carp pond that faces a wall of windows with views of the harbor.