Being a New Yorker, I lay claim to The Shakespeare Garden in Central Park and consider it a part of my 'extended patio'.
Thoughtfully arranged, compactly planted and yet still wild, it is hard to imagine a time when this garden was ever neglected.
This garden grows on a variety and scale that almost everyone in NYC would not be able to do in their apartments and planters. And until my thumb turns green, I am happy to enjoy these areas that are enviably successful at keeping it green.
On most days the paths are not that populated and you can enjoy the wide variety of flowers, all taken from the writings of Shakespeare. There is a great large bench to sit on that looks down over the paths and onto the puppet theatre at the base of the garden.
On the day that I stopped by the hollyhocks were in full bloom, as were the hibiscus bushes. Everywhere I looked, bugs were enjoying the flowers like little studio apartments with great views.
A clipping from any would have been a great addition to my front room; a shame that it's a felony to clip from the garden – it's the only flaw in my 'extended patio' philosophy on NYC's public spaces. Busy city streets make it difficult to stop and enjoy plants, but this garden is intentionally set up for walking slowly and periodically sitting.
The closer you view, the more you are rewarded.
As a designer, I do not think it necessary to have a green thumb in order to enjoy greenery and understand how it enriches our lives. From those who appreciate the fresh herbs on their plate, to the person who is sitting in their Tulip Chair – everyone can come to know the natural world on their own terms.
I would love to turn the hibiscus petals into ceiling fan blades. MN