LaGuardia Corner Gardens

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Our off-time on a recent trip to New York City was spent wandering around soaking everything in and taking pictures. I didn’t go out of my way to visit specific gardens or community gardens this time, but naturally found some along the way.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

One of the community gardens I came upon was the LaGuardia Corner Gardens located in Greenwich Village between Bleecker and Houston Streets. I have come across this particular garden on past trips and have even taken some photos of it. I had a rough idea of where it was located and was pleasantly surprised when we stumbled upon it on our last day.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

I’m not sure what it is about this garden that had me hoping to find it again. Maybe it’s the location, which is particularly interesting as the garden sits smack dab in front of a supermarket with a fence around it.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

There are several community gardens in New York City that are a good twenty years in the making. Through the years the landscape and socio-economic standing of the communities that surround them have changed, often times from poor to rich and from rubble to fancy metal and glass contemporary structures. As a result, these gardens and their gardeners always have an interesting story to tell.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

The history of LaGuardia Corner Gardens is your typical community garden story beginning with local residents digging a garden on barren, unused land, then fighting to keep the garden alive amidst a changing neighborhood.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

While I was taking photos, a woman came up to me and mentioned that a rooster had been spotted poking around in the garden the day before. She didn’t know where he came from or if he was still there. This exchange and information sharing is one of the things I enjoy most about photographing gardens. If you hang around long enough looking like you belong, someone is always bound to come by, eager to reveal the garden’s secrets.

Sure enough, as we made our way around the perimeter we eventually spotted him darting about, stopping now and again to take a bite out of a plant. I wonder if he is still there and how much of the garden remains!

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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14 thoughts on “LaGuardia Corner Gardens

  1. These pictures are beautiful and inspirational. I love the garden walkway, proximity to a grocery store, and the garden’s colorful history.

  2. Hi there,

    Can’t tell you how pleased I was to find your website a couple of months ago, I’ve learned loads already – and as my experience of community gardens was nil beforehand, it was a bit of a thrill to stumble upon one on my recent trip to Brisbane!
    It was like finding hidden treasure :o)

    My partner thought I was more mad than usual with my display of excitement over someone else’s garden, but even he had to admit the attached organic food market was inspired.

  3. Wow, what a find. I’ll have to look for it, though I’m usually in NYC during blizzard season. I especially loved the rooster’s fancy, feathery feet.

  4. That rooster is pretty cool.

    I’d be willing to put down money on that rooster coming from someone wanting to have backyard chickens, then discovering they had a noisy rooster and letting it loose in the garden.

    Like people who dump alligators and fish in ponds.

  5. OOOOOH!

    New York+++++++++
    Can I find similar in Ontario, in general and Toronto in particular
    I saw rooster in

  6. MrBrownThumb: I figured something like that too.

    Xris: The trouble with my random approach to seeing a place is I miss things that were so nearby.

    Rachel: I feel the same way! A hidden treasure. I am always excited, regardless of the garden.

  7. That rooster (or another rooster) has been spotted there off and on for years I think. Someone told me about a year or two ago that they thought they saw an abandoned chicken there but when I asked around, someone else told me that someone drops it off to hang out in the garden and then comes back to get it. Another gardener told me they never saw any chickens. I always wondered what the truth was…….

  8. My daughter is in New York for a week. I zoomed in on Google Earth and was pleasantly surprised at how much greenery I saw.

  9. Hi! I LOVE your webbie! I had to mention you on my blog! (

    Hope you stop by to visit and keep doing what you do!


  10. Roosters and hens have been released into the garden by person(s) unknown. They are not a part of the garden nor are they kept.

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