Long Island gardens are wonderful places to visit to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, and share that feeling of serenity and awe with your loved ones. Luckily no matter where it is you reside on Long Island there are many garden and arboretum locations throughout Nassau and Suffolk County. The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program is another great opportunity for garden lovers and locals. The Open Days Program showcases private gardens, usually not open to the public, which have been chosen to represent the magnificence and beauty of nature around the United States.
Choose to take a break from the busy hustle and bustle of everyday life, roadsides lined with fast food restaurants, and endless traffic, to view the other side of Long Island. View the side that is bursting with beauty and flourishing in rich botanicals. Take a deep breath. Bask in the scents bursting around you, listen to the calming sounds of nature, and view the brilliant, vibrant colors of the landscape.
This summer The Garden Conservancy Open Days Program will have viewings June 21 in East Hampton; July 12 in Mattituck and Southold; July 19 in Bridgehampton; and September 6 in Wainscott. The hours of each location vary but they are open rain or shine, no reservations necessary. Each garden charges a $5 admission fee, children ages 12 and under are free.
These private gardens are not to be missed. Stephanie Werskey, Media Coordinator for The Garden Conservancy, explains the program as so, “The Open Days program serves as the primary educational outreach for The Garden Conservancy and is a major component of its mission – preserving America's exceptional gardens for the education and enjoyment of the public. We seek to develop and deepen public appreciation of gardens as integral elements of our national artistic and cultural heritage.”
The Rocky Point Civic Association got in on the fun kicking off the civic’s First Annual Garden Tour on Saturday, July 19th with special guest Legislator Sarah Anker. The tour presented nine exquisitely landscaped homes and gardens in Rocky Point and went on to include a stop at Sweets of the Spoon and the Noah Hallock Historical House.
There are also plenty of public gardens to see! Here are some beautiful Long Island gardens and arboretums to visit, perfect for all of you green thumbs and nature lovers out there.
- Old Westbury Gardens, Old Westbury: Open every weekend after April 5th, and every day except Tuesdays between April 28th to October 31st. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $10, $8 for senior citizens, $5 for children ages 7-17, and free for those under 6 and members.
- Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Great River: Summer hours (April-October) are Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entrance fee is $8 per vehicle. You can use your NYS Empire Pass here. Seniors 62+ may enter for free with a valid NYS license Tuesday through Friday.
- Hofstra Arboretum, Hempstead: Admission is free at this location. Guided tours can be provided by their Director of Grounds and Landscaping if you call and plan ahead.
- Clark Botanic Garden, Albertson: Open every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is based on donations.
- Bailey Arboretum, Lattingtown: Open year round from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dogs are allowed at this location as are picnics. Admission is free but donations are welcomed and appreciated.
- LIU Post Arboretum, Brookville: Admission is free and the arboretum is open from dawn to dusk every day. The trails are wheelchair accessible and tours are available by appointment.
- Bridge Gardens, Bridgehampton: Hours from May 26th through September 1st are as follows, Wednesday and Thursdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays 10 a.m. to dusk Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Adult admission is $10 and family admission (up to 4 family members) is $20.
- LongHouse Reserve, East Hampton: April 19th through October 11th the garden is open Wednesdays and Saturdays 2 p.m. to 5p.m. In the months of July and August LongHouse is open Wednesday through Saturday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and no charge for those with a high school or college I.D. and children under 12.
- Planting Fields Arboretum, Oyster Bay: Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Cost is $8 per car until November 18th.
Pictured: Bayard Cutting Arboretum
Image by longisland.com staffer Kelly Tenny