Wave Hill . . .
We had the pleasure to spend some quality west side time at Wave Hill in The Bronx during their Arbor Weekend at the end of April. What is Wave Hill? I’ll let their mission statement speak:
“Wave Hill is a 28-acre public garden and cultural center in the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. Its mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscapes, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.”
Wave Hill offers a complimentary hourly shuttle service from the end of the 1 Train at 242nd Street to the public gardens and back. The ride takes fewer than five minutes and leaves one at the front gate of the property. Within this expanse of preserved land reside trees, both deciduous and coniferous, flower gardens, greenhouses, an art gallery, a café, and a gift shop with adjacent restrooms. The layout is bright and spacious, with lots of flagstone and brick and wood chip trails: everything a New Yorker cramped into a studio might want from a weekend, or weekday, visit.
The initial view is especially breathtaking: the Hudson River Palisades; an exposed, sheer rock cliff capped by an unbroken line of trees stretching as far as one can see along the New Jersey side of the fjord. (More on this point can be found below in the Postscript)
Up close, along the margins of the grounds full of tended native and ornamental plants, one can find some of the region’s familiar wildflower stars of spring:
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Garlic Mustard (Allaria petiolata)
Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea)
Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis stricta)
And something new, too: While we waked across one of the sloping meadows near the Glyndor Gallery, we also found and photographed a first for Wildflowers of the West Village:
Whitlow Grass (Erophila verna)
This member of the Brassicaceae family, the mustards, sports numerous flowers consisting of four paired white petals. The blooms rise on ruddy stems from a small basal rosette, which forms a very tight, tiny bush that is quite attractive.
We encourage anyone with an interest in flowers, trees, gardening, or landscape architecture to visit Wave Hill, and to return again and again as the seasons pass and offer more and different views of this green west end of The Bronx.
– rPs 04 28 2014
Postscript: The riverfront that gives the great view from Wave Hill is under threat from a proposed office tower on the New Jersey side. I encourage all those who wish this undeveloped land to remain in its original, natural state to visit the following website and perhaps even sign the accompanying petition to Protect The Palisades: