So we got back from our trip to New York about a week ago. We had an excellent time, though travel wears me out more than it used to. Judy took about a thousand photographs (not an exaggeration). Most of the material I’m going to keep for later, but I do want to do one post now about a garden in New York that just opened this year.
Little Island is a 2.5 acre garden that is built on the remains of an abandoned pier on the Lower West Side.
It’s quickly become a very popular attraction. It’s a free public park, but to control crowding tickets are required after 12 pm. Fortunately, our hotel was only 2 blocks away, so it was easy to get to for a morning visit. It was an overcast day, though, so the light was less than perfect.
The garden rests on 280 concrete piles that were inspired by the old pier’s original wooden piles. Judy was struck by their undulating quality. They made me think of old-fashioned egg cups.
Entering the park you feel a bit like you are entering the Land of Oz.
The plantings are laid out on a series of small hills terraced with corten steel. The hills ring the perimeter of Little Island.
For a garden that just opened this year, the plantings looked surprisingly full and lush.
Each of the hills provides compelling views of the other plantings. Circular paths up each hill make the space seem larger than it is. At the same time, they provide a constantly varying range of vistas.
There were also areas of lawn in the center.
And an area of shaded seating where you can buy drinks and snacks.
Looking back, you see the dense urban landscape of Lower Manhattan. The tall building on the right is our hotel.
I love this mix of grasses, vines, and perennials.
Looking outward from the top of one of the hills, you can see across the Hudson River towards New Jersey.
There’s also a remarkable performance space that features concerts, plays, etc.
Grasses and dark conifers provide a nice contrast.
Stokesia and little pink landscape roses.
We spent almost the whole morning there. Leaving, we did feel lucky to have visited this innovative new garden.