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Wave Hill Garden Park

By Ana Garcia

On a cold foggy day in March, the scenic landscape of Wave Hill House is a meditative escape from the hectic streets of the city. Located on 28 acres in Riverdale, alongside the Hudson River, the garden has everything New Yorkers need to appreciate nature and perhaps a picnic.

The Perkins-Freeman family deeded the property to the city in 1960. Known then as the Perkins Garden, it was renamed Wave Hill in 1987 and has become a multicultural destination and event space.

The Glyndor Gallery is where exhibitions and most of the art programs are held. In winter it houses visiting artists. In March, the gallery was closed due to an installation.

The picnic area features a lovely view, chairs, and tables to make eating experiences comfortable for everyone, including those with disabilities. Restrooms are also available in this location.

The garden has Covid-19 friendly socially distanced seating.

Here the view is hidden by fog, but on sunny days it is stunning. (See Wavehill.org.)

Wave Hill House dates back to before 1830 and has been the home to famous residents such as Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain and Arturo Toscanini.

 

In 1933, George W. Perkins’s daughter Dorothy and her husband Edward Woolsey Freeman moved in, along with their children. Architect Oliver Perry Morton removed Victorian details and added a service wing, transforming it into something closer to an English country manor house.

Wave Hill warns visitors to clean soles of their shoes in order not to track invasive species into the garden.

Wave Hill features 4,000 varieties of trees, shrubs, vines, and plants. Visitors to the garden can go on several short trails around Woodland to view its offerings.

The Rossbach Monocot Garden is a favorite for visitors and is dedicated to the memory of Eleanor and J. Howard Rossbach.

The nearby Aquatic Garden features a shallow 40-feet-by-25 feet pool.

Throughout the garden, seats feature dedications, many from family members of frequent visitors to the garden, as seen in the below collage.

 

The garden can be rented for wedding and movie shoots. You may have seen it in some New York City movies.

During different seasons, especially spring and summer, visitors can learn about different types of flowers, herbs and plants: apple mint, peppermint, leeks, for example. Tree species include: Fagus sylvatica, Magnolia denudata, American elm, cut leaf Japanese maple, and others.

This garden is a must on your to do list during this summer. So, grab your blanket and a picnic basket, your favorite people and go make memories.

Wave Hill Garden also provide programs such as art and gardening, internships and workshops for all ages.

The garden is open Tuesdays through Sunday from 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM.  Thursday are free, but reservations are required during the time of Covid-19.

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