Ramblings of a "New American" Gardener

Paley Park

February 2, 2015

I stopped by Paley Park after visiting the Museum of Modern Art a couple of weeks ago. This is one of my favorite places in Manhattan. Probably one of the most tranquil places in Manhattan too, especially when it’s empty in early evening.


It’s on 53rd Street, between Madison Avenue and 5th.


I posted on Paley Park in 2011, on my old Blogger blog (now discontinued but still online). You can look there for details on its history, or just do a quick Internet search.


The sounds of the falling water completely eliminate all street noise.


Stretching upward for light, the Honey locusts (Gleditsia triacanthos) have become sculpture.


The park was built in 1967.


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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Lorna Domke February 2, 2015 at 9:47 pm

Yes, that is a tranquil and graceful place throughout the year. Your photo captures it well in the bare season.


James Golden February 4, 2015 at 8:15 am

Thanks, Lorna. I really like the park in winter, but I rarely get to Midtown except in winter.


Emily February 2, 2015 at 11:32 pm

If I remember correctly, these Gleditsia inspired you to use some in the Brooklyn garden? Do you envision yours growing so tall, or do you want a lower canopy?


Diana Studer February 3, 2015 at 4:11 pm

time for another glimpse of your Brooklyn garden?


James Golden February 4, 2015 at 8:23 am

Diana, I’ll see if I can do that. The garden is buried in snow at the moment, so there’s not much to see, other than the dark walls and the pool.


James Golden February 4, 2015 at 8:21 am

Yes, Emily, you’re right. The Brooklyn garden was inspired by Paley Park, though it looks very different. I intend to keep the trees much lower. Mine get more light, so I expect them to have broader canopies. I’m also thinking abou simplifying the plantings in Brooklyn for a more minimalist, Zen-atmosphere. For me, that will take courage and determination. I’m wrestling with internal conflict right now.


Diana Studer February 16, 2015 at 5:18 am

Our breakfast patio was spekboom and Bulbinella.
With a potted lime.
Now I’ve grudgingly added asparagus fern to climb up the trellis.
Does 4 still count as minimalist?


James Golden February 23, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Ha! You sent me to google to see what spekboom and bulbinella are. Four sounds minimalist to me.


Pat Webster February 3, 2015 at 6:33 pm

Glorious photos, James. I can hear the water, and can almost touch the trees.


James Golden February 5, 2015 at 10:16 pm

Thanks, Pat. Utter simplicity, in appearance, at least.


Christina February 4, 2015 at 2:41 am

May I use one of the images in a lecture about the uses of water in the garden? Thank you Christina, I also echo Diana’s request for a post about your Brooklyn garden


James Golden February 4, 2015 at 8:25 am

Christina, yes. I only ask that you credit me or my blog as the source. Thanks for asking.


Lynda Harris February 4, 2015 at 12:26 pm

Taking the photos at dusk has given the park so much atmosphere. I’d love to visit one day.


James Golden February 5, 2015 at 10:18 pm

Lynda, doesn’t that time of day give almost anything atmosphere? What is atmosphere? So hard to pin it down.


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