In the spring, Long Island gardens awaken the land. They find beauty in the darkness and most importantly, like humans, continue to evolve for progress to take place. This season let the warm and gentle breeze encompass your senses at these seven Long Island gardens.
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Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Great River
Wildflowers, daffodils and azaleas oh my! Donated to the Long Island State Park Region, Bayard Cutting Arboretum was originally a vast wooded area filled with oak trees. Today the park has flourished to include five nature walks with evergreens, rhododendron, hollies and other wildflowers. Plus, combined with the site’s ponds and streamlets, visitors can spot aquatic birds, foxes, raccoons and other small wildlife. There’s even a Hidden Oak Cafe offering fresh foods like sandwiches, quiche, soups, pies and other desserts. Go.
Bridge Gardens, Bridgehampton
Everything is coming up roses at Bridge Gardens. The botanical garden was first installed in 1988 and now spans over five acres incorporating a rose rondel of hybrid teas, grandifloras and floribundas, as well as a rose walk through beds of species, antique and climbing roses. Visitors will also find trees, shrubs, hedgerow, perennials, herbs, an ivy maze and ivy walk, a miniature Japanese maple, hardy oranges, topiary hollies and a bed of 30-plus chili varieties. Go.
Longhouse Reserve, East Hampton
Spend the afternoon sauntering around the 16-acre reserve and abstract sculpture garden founded by Jack Lenor Larsen, an internationally recognized textile designer, author and collector. Many of the landscapes are presented in art forms and there are glass installations by Dale Chihuly, ceramics by Toshiko Takaezu and bronzes by Willem de Kooning, Alessandro Nivola and Bryan Hunt. Visitors can also stroll down to the beautiful pond and peer out at the water full of lilies, lotus plants, bullfrogs and turtles. Go.
Old Westbury Gardens, Old Westbury
Everyone knows flowers are the way to a woman’s heart. But John S. Phipps, former owner of Old Westbury Gardens, upped the ante and built his wife a house with an elaborate garden. Today, the Charles II Style mansion showcases more than 200 acres of formal gardens, ponds and lakes. Guests will be greeted with scenic views, impressive architecture and stunning grounds. Go.
Bailey Arboretum, Lattingtown
Located on the North Shore, the 42 acres of woods, ponds and gardens provide visitors with beautiful trails perfect for some peaceful downtime and reflection. For those who want a more hands-on experience, learn how to plant, prune and cultivate through seminars as a volunteer. Go.
Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, Oyster Bay
What was once the former estate of William Robertson Coe and Mai Rogers Coe can now be explored through guided or self-guided tours. The 409 acres include a historic building with many original pieces of furniture, huge lawns, formal gardens, hiking trails and all sorts of plants. Go.
Clark Botanic Gardens, Albertson
Clark Botanic Garden is a 12-acre living museum and educational facility that was founded in 1969. The garden is dedicated to appreciating the world’s plant life through horticulture, education and research. Collections include native spring wildflowers, conifers, roses, perennials, day lilies, wetland plants, rock garden plants, herbs, butterfly plants, medicinal plants and more. Go.