Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Brooklyn: Private and Public Gardens

I was bitten by the gardening bug when I lived in Brooklyn Heights. Brooklyn Heights is a wonderful neighborhood next to the Brooklyn Bridge across the river from lower Manhattan. It is mostly made up of four to five story brownstones, many of which have front and/or back yards. As you get to know people in the neighborhood, they invite you into their homes and--in the warmer months--their private gardens. In the big city, these are private respites, small green spaces full of beautiful plants, and the perfect place to entertain. If you are not fortunate enough to have friends in the neighborhood, there are several public gardens that will give you a feel for what is behind the brownstones.

These are not formal Botanical Gardens, but rather green public spaces that are integral to their neighborhoods. Here are some suggestions:

*Brooklyn Heights Promenade (a great playground, as well as a tourist attraction for the view of Manhattan) - Brooklyn Heights

*Carroll Park (a neighborhood park with a playground and sprinklers in the summer months) - Carroll Gardens

*Cobble Hill Park (another neighborhood park with a small playground and a great Halloween parade for children) - Cobble Hill

In addition to the aforementioned, these two spaces are not public, but you could certainly visit them if visiting the church or buying a cup of coffee:

*Oratory Church of St. Boniface (the enclosed garden is sublime) - Downtown Brooklyn

*Sweet Melissa Patisserie (eat in the garden out back) - Cobble Hill

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