It's spring, and you're out for a walk in NYC ... head on over to East 74th Street or West 81st and check out the stunning wisteria vines climbing up the facade of the townhouses. Or walk up to Vanderbilt Gate -- 5th Ave and 101st Streets -- and take in the wisteria-covered pergola framed by allées of crabapple trees.
What I love about this book, Sidewalk Gardens of New York (Monacelli Press, 2016) by Alicia Whitaker is that she profiles scores of places you can go to see beautiful gardens without having to sign up for some kind of special garden tour. One of my all-time favorites (for decades, it seems) -- Paley Park on East 53rd between 5th and Madison -- there's not a better place for lunch when the weather is right.
How about the two-sided water wall at 1221 Ave of the Americas (with a tunnel through them) or the staircase waterwall at 525 East 72nd Street? Stunning treeboxes and planters, hanging baskets, window boxes, plazas, pocket parks -- everything is included in this book.
The message is that New York City -- including all of its boroughs -- is a fabulous place to study garden and planting design, and it's all right at the tips of your walking shoes. I can't imagine a better book for anyone who likes to walk the streets and enjoy myriad botanical delights awaiting you almost everywhere.
AND -- stunning photos throughout by Betsy Pinover Schiff.