Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Old New York: Anyone Who Would Share This Garden is a Saint

The Arch welcomes visitors to this special Old New York garden, The Gardens At Saint Luke in the Fields
By Mitch Broder

A private garden in New York City would cost a lot if it weren't free. Happily, it is free. And you don't have to spray for beetles. You might have to let in some company, but your garden will inspire you to share. Saint Luke was a physician, and The Gardens at Saint Luke in the Fields are just what the doctor would have ordered.

The Gardens at Saint Luke in the Fields are a must see for fans of Old New York, especially this flower path

They're at the Church of Saint Luke in the Fields, which is bordered by Hudson, Barrow, Greenwich, and Christopher streets in the middle of the West Village. There are six gardens, but the one for which you'll be happiest not to pay is the one called the Barrow Street Garden, even though you enter it on Hudson.

The Barrow Street Garden at the Gardens of Saint Luke in the Fields is adorned with beautiful orange flowers

Appropriately, it's paradise, a sanctuary full of flowers and birds and butterflies, and benches for every occasion. It's tucked behind brick walls, which separate your street life from your garden life. And company tends to be well-behaved. People come here to be quiet. They can go just about everywhere else to not.

Visitors to this Old New York spot will walk along the brick path at The Gardens of Saint Luke in the Fields


The garden is in quadrants, but you can easily ignore that and just wander the paths looking for the latest blooms. Then you can sit on a bench that's alone or on a bench that's with other benches, depending on whether you want to escape other people or want to watch other people escape you.

Find a serene bench at The Gardens of Saint Luke in the Fields to enjoy this Old New York gem

The church was built in 1821, and a garden was started in 1842, but the Barrow Street Garden wasn't started until 1956. Its creator was Barbara Ellen Leighton, who worked for the Port Authority and thus must have needed a sanctuary as much as anyone.

The Barrow Street Garden is among the last to be added to the Gardens of Saint Luke in the Fields

Barbara first dug into Saint Luke's in 1954, when she revived the Rectory Garden, which was the original. Her new garden was called the Corner Garden. It's not clear why its name was changed. The Rectory Garden is now known for its roses, but its name was not changed to the Rose Garden.

Old New York or New In New York finding blossoms of pink hydrangas is a welcome site at the Gardens fo Saint Luke in the Fields

The North Garden has silver maples; the South Lawn has grass; the AllĂ©e has a cherry grove; the Contemplation Corner has thoughts. But of all of them, the Barrow Street Garden is the priceless getaway, especially when you don't have the price of a getaway.

Beautiful blue hydreangas are a welcome site for anyone visiting the Gardens of Saint Luke in the Fields

There are just a few rules of garden conduct. Luke would have wanted it that way.

Stroll down the path through the Gardens of Saint Luke at the Fields in this quaint Old New York spot


And there's a memorial bench that says "Exit Laughing." You may be exiting that way.

Take another look at this beautiful Old New York arch which welcomes visitors to the Gardens of Saint Luke in the Fields

Disappear at The Gardens at Saint Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson Street, in New York City.

5 comments:

  1. Oh, that sounds so very nice.
    Thanks for sharing this secret garden, sir.

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  2. Beautiful! Love "a priceless getaway, espcially when you don't have the price of a getaway." A rich discovery and the photos are stunning (especially the hydrangea). "Exit laughing" left me smiling. Thanks.

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  3. Fantastic. Really excellent find Mitch ~ thanks!

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  4. OK, this is why I love this blog -- not only are the photos always top notch, but there are so many twists within one literary path. For example..."There are six gardens, but the one for which you'll be happiest not to pay is the one called the Barrow Street Garden, even though you enter it on Hudson." or "And company tends to be well-behaved. People come here to be quiet. They can go just about everywhere else to not." or"...you can sit on a bench that's alone or on a bench that's with other benches, depending on whether you want to escape other people or want to watch other people escape you." Endless wit. My deepest gratitude.

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    Replies
    1. The gratitude is all mine. Thank you, Jen.

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