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Public Gardens

Here’s a substitute to keep you placid till you can afford that weekend home in Rhinebeck. Grab a book and a bottle of water, bypass the crowds in the big city parks, and visit your own semi-secret plot of green.


1. St. Luke’s Garden

Hidden behind the brick walls of Church of St. Luke in the Fields and its associated school is the kind of secret garden Frances Hodgson Burnett must have dreamed about. Since classes are in session, weekends are the best time to enjoy the tranquillity. (487 Hudson Street.)

2. Queens Botanical Garden

The Bronx and Brooklyn gardens get a lot of the attention, but why not try the 39-acre green getaway in Flushing? This month, expect to see coral bells, dianthus, astilbe, and many other plants you’ve never heard of. (43-50 Main Street, Flushing.)

3. The Garden of Union

This community-based green space depends on volunteers to plant and tend the tomatoes and flower beds. Nonmembers can sneak a peek on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Thursdays after 4 p.m. (Union Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, Park Slope, Brooklyn.)

4. The Glass Garden at Rusk Institute

Created as a therapeutic garden for patients, it’s also open to the public seven days a week. Tulips are the specialty in spring. (400 East 34th Street.)

5. Hope Garden

Just east of Castle Clinton in Battery Park is a garden with a message of remembrance. Each rose bush is dedicated to someone who died of aids. Look for the first pink blooms in June. (Battery Park.)


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