A Rose Garden Grows In The Bronx

As a former school teacher, I tend to look at the month of September as the official kick-off to the year.  (January = cold and so overrated!;-)  That being said, the start to fall is a time when I sit down and think about goals for the year.  One thing I plan to incorporate more in the blog this year is exploring all 5 boroughs, which I’ll curate into the Off The Beaten Path collection, making it easy to gather ideas and inspiration for when you want to venture off the island.  While Manhattan may be the main hub many non-New Yorkers think of when they hear NYC, there’s a lot of greatness residing in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and yes, even Staten Island, too.

To kick off this new series, I jumped on the D train and headed up to the Boogie Down Bronx to check out the New York Botanical Garden.  From the subway, it’s an 8 block walk (or you can jump on the bus if the weather is shoddy.)


The garden is a living museum, chock full of so many exotic plants and blooms it’s difficult to believe you’re still in NYC…let alone in the middle of the Bronx!  An oasis of green standing at 250 acres, it provides the perfect getaway to wander aimlessly and soak in a ton of Mother Nature.  Do note though, that if just the idea of walking that many acres exhausts you, the garden does have a free tram to tote you about from collection to collection.

And of course, if you’re not the wandering type, the garden offers plenty of structured classes, events, and volunteer opportunities.  A few that piqued my interest are Jazz Age Evenings (filled with cocktails, concerts, and dance!), iPhone Nature Photography classes, and their annual Antique Garden Furniture Fair.  A full list of activities can be found on their calendar.

Here’s a few snaps from my most recent visit…ever the girly girl, I was quite partial to the rose garden.  No surprise there, right?

Insider Tip: Grounds admission is free all day on Wednesdays and from 9-10am on Saturdays.  However, Wednesdays is also when the school field trips are held (because, free!), so be prepared for lots of elated children running about!  Fresh air does wonders for city kids;-)

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What’s your favorite Botanical Garden?  Share below!


By: Jessica Tiare Bowen


This post is part of Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox.




  • Betsy says:

    Hey Jessica! I am finally checking out your blog–donna told me about it a while ago–and it is great!!! I will probably be emailing you with blog post requests– for example, I am still looking for the perfect work bag for NYC. One that will hold the essentials, my clothes for yoga, and not break my shoulder! Keep up the great writing! Hope to see you soon.

    • Used York City says:

      Hey Betsy, great to hear from you! And love the idea of hunting around for the perfect work bag…schlepping stuff around is such a HUGE part of commuting in NYC! I’ll start my research!;-)

      Oh, and where do you practice yoga?! I bounce around to a few different studios, maybe we’ve passed each other!

  • I love gardens of any kind. This looks lovely, and the photography class and the jazz would definitely interest me. My hometown Halifax has a fab English style garden, which will always be my favorite :) Thanks for linking up this week.

    • Used York City says:

      English gardens are my fave, too! I remember spending a drizzly day walking around Kennsington Gardens in London and it was really such a lovely experience!

  • Joanne says:

    Agree with Michelle, hard to believe the FABULOUS Botanical Gardens are in the usually concrete BRONX!! But you can also reach these gorgeous gardens via Metro North – take the train from Grand Central, takes about 20 minutes and the stop is NY Botanical Gardens. Leaves you right across the street i.e. Southern Blvd. from the main entrance.
    Get there everyone, an unbelievable experience, esp. beautiful in the Fall.

    • Used York City says:

      Ahh, brilliant suggestion, Joanne! And you know, I remember seeing that station when I was there and thinking how much quicker that probably would have been! Next time;-)

  • Jaklien says:

    What a wonderful place in the Bronx. I might just go and have a look. Although might not look as pretty in December. :-)

    • Used York City says:

      They do a wonderful holiday train show, so definitely check that out if you’re here in December!:-)

  • Heather says:

    What a gorgeous place! I can’t believe I never made it up there when I was living in the city. Those Jazz Age Evenings sound fun! Be sure to report back :-)

  • Beautiful! I would not have guessed that was in the Bronx. That iPhone Nature Photography class is something I’d be interested in, especially in such a wonderful setting. My favorite botanical gardens are Butchart Gardens in BC, Canada and Gardens-by-the-Bay in Singapore.

    • Used York City says:

      I imagine Singapore has gorgeous gardens, the climate over there combined with how clean everything already is!

  • I’m not being patriotic but NY and Brooklyn Botanical Gardens are my favorite! Lovely coverage of the NY Botanical, Jesse. I love all the blooms that you showed. I like your idea of Off-the-Beaten-Path collection.

    • Used York City says:

      I’m super excited to check out the Brooklyn Garden, too, Marisol!

      Glad you like the idea of checking out the outer boroughs, too!;-)

  • Muza-chan says:

    Beautiful garden…

  • Annie says:

    Ugh! I miss this place so much!

  • Tamara says:

    It’s exquisite! There was a botanical garden (or more than one) that I visited when I lived in San Francisco. It was part of the large Golden Gate Park. It was peaceful in a city. People don’t realize that you can find that kind of amazing nature in cities. Lots of it! I’m a city and a country girl, I suppose.
    And I’m Jewish so September really is the start of the new year!

    • Used York City says:

      That sounds lovely, Tamara! And I agree, although I love my city, hardly a day goes by that I don’t spend some time in one of its green spaces (my dog makes sure of it!;-)

      And yay, all the holidays are coming up for you! I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating with your beautiful family!

  • Maria Falvey says:

    Absolutely fabulous – a living museum in the Bronx… I had no idea.
    I find these types of spaces to be a welcome respite from the daily grind but I also leave them invigorated and ready to take on the day.

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