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A Garden Grows in the Bronx

Pergola and Palisades at Wave Hill _ credit Marion Brenner

Wave Hill may be relatively small, but it contains astounding horticultural diversity and take-away ideas

A spectacular 28-acre public garden and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades in the Bronx, Wave Hill is one of the most beautiful spots in New York City.

Within its modest-size greenhouses and many intimate garden spaces is an incredible diversity of plants. Plantings and containers change not just year to year but season to season, and the staff pride themselves on growing many unusual plants and displaying them beautifully. The focus stays on aesthetics, so the gardens are not overwhelmed with labels to the detriment of display. Garden interpreters take great pains to place labels by plants as they reach periods of greatest interest and store the labels out of sight at other times.

Flower Garden at Sunset at Wave Hill_credt Marion Brenner
Flower Garden at Wave Hill _ credit Marion Brenner

Wave Hill seduces the novice gardener and inspires the expert with a diversity of plants and gardens.

Clever Containers

Alpine Garden at Wave Hill _ credit Marion Brenner

Try these two suggestions from the Wave Hill gardeners for something “a little different” on your deck or patio this summer:

  1. The alpine trough: A major feature at Wave Hill, they are made of hypertufa (a mix of cement, peat moss and perlite) molded into the form of an oblong trough, a shallow bowl—or, in fact, any shape that takes your fancy. Being porous, they allow for good drainage. When filled with a free-draining, gritty soil mix, they make excellent containers for alpine plants.
  2. The mini pond: A large bowl, basin or half whiskey barrel can be turned into a miniature water feature. Just add water and some well-placed potted aquatic plants, such as dwarf water lilies, miniature rushes and tiny floating plants. Regular over-filling with water deters mosquito larvae and helps to keep the water oxygenated. Alternatively, install a small submersible pump to keep the water moving.


Visitor Information
Wave Hill
West 249th St. & Independence Ave.
Bronx NY 10471

There is limited on-site parking for an $8 fee. Free parking exists in an off-site lot, and there is a free shuttle between that lot and the garden. Limited snacks are available for purchase at the garden.