Street Plants (Bowery, NYC)

I’m still engaged in the long process of catching up on developing and scanning a backlog of film dating back a few years. There are lots of plant and garden related images within this pile that I had forgotten about. It is bringing up old thoughts, ideas, memories.

For instance, looking at this image taken in NYC last August has me thinking about unusual gardens. I found this one attached to an auto body/detailing shop on the Bowery. I had to stop and capture it for my memory.

Gardens like this are some of my favourite. They are a surprise. They are little gems that lie tucked within the overlooked nooks and crannies of the city. Blink and you will miss them. They are not beautiful in the traditional sense. They are dismissed. They are not celebrated within the glossy pages of horticultural magazines. There are no unusual/rare/designer plants here. The pots are ugly/handmade/crude; they were not purchased in contemporary shops. They are messy. They are dirty. They are not special.

They are brilliant. They are magic. They make the city come alive.

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.

Subscribe to get weekly updates from Gayla

6 thoughts on “Street Plants (Bowery, NYC)

  1. I happen to really love ‘gardens’ such as this one because the love in them is so evident. Its a type of love that fills the air so thickly that you can almost feel it against your skin.

  2. As much as I love large expanses of greenery, things like this are what can be so cool about cities. When I lived in Brooklyn we had a community initiative to plant trees and greenery in the medians along some of the major streets. This is a great find, especially next to a body shop!

  3. Yes! I also love seeing in the city windows so overgrown with plants, crawling up the glass, and surely blocking all the light. I would love to do a photo series like that but don’t want to look like a plant stalker.

  4. I love finding magic like that too.
    Usually when I am walking around Jersey City or NYC I see little side yards [or front yards!] with great little gardens.
    I want to take pictures when I see them, but my friends’ll think I’m crazy…

    Or… wait, they already think I’m crazy… :D

  5. Love this! The presence of plants says so much about the someone who put them there. Hope, idealism, longing…

Comments are closed.