Pops of purples, reds and yellows are slowly starting to appear around the Island. It won’t be long until the ground blooms and we start counting down the days for Lavender by the Bay to peak. But while we wait and huddle under umbrellas for April showers to bring May flowers we can get our flower fix at the indoor gardens in New York City. From a French countryside garden to a hidden garden with South African bulbs ready to bloom, here are five indoor gardens to visit next time you’re West of LI.
The Conservatory at Wave Hill, The Bronx
Near Riverdale Park, the Conservatory at Wave Hill is the hidden gem of NYC gardens. Twenty-plus acres of lush greenery make up the conservatory and while the outdoor gardens are open rain or shine year-round, it’s the three indoor gardens you don’t want to miss. Right now in the Palm House the South African bulbs are reaching their peak, then there’s the Cactus and Succulent House for anyone in love with the adorable little fat plants, and the Tropical House for making you feel as if you’re walking through a rainforest. Go.
The Ford Foundation Atrium
Escape the bustle of Midtown by stepping into the Ford Foundation Atrium. A NYC landmark since 1990, the Ford Foundation is home to a 12-story atrium that houses a subtropical garden. Between the still-water pool and lush subtropical plants you’ll never want to leave. Unfortunately there isn’t much seating so your time here will likely be short. Go.
Le Petit Café
Welcome to your new favorite brunch spot. Located in Carroll Gardens, Le Petit Café isn’t the typical indoor garden. For one it’s a restaurant, but the charming French eatery has a garden and waterfall in the back that no matter the season will make you feel as if you’re in the French countryside. Go.
Central Park Zoo
The Tropic Zone at the Central Park Zoo might not be the place to soothe your soul. It’s often crowded but the zoo in Central Park is a nice way to spend an hour or so without the commitment of a day at the zoo, and the Tropic Zone gives a forest floor to canopy education in tropical plants and the animals that call them home. That’s right, animals. Look for the black-and-white ruffed lemur and emerald tree boa. Go.
The Conservatory at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
If you only plan on ever going to one indoor garden, it should be the Conservatory at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Home to five indoor gardens, each area reflects a different climate. From the steamy Aquatic House to the dry Desert Pavilion, think of it as a tour around the globe in Brooklyn. Go.