The 7 Best Gardening Dates in NYCby Rachel DeLetto on April 23, 2013
Most New Yorkers came from somewhere else, and that somewhere else likely had trees, grass, flowers, and other reminders of nature. If you and your significant other are yearning to get your hands dirty pulling weeds and planting bulbs, here are date ideas to satisfy your green-thumb:
37-18 Northern Blvd, Long Island City, Queens
On top of an office building in Long Island City, this lush, organic farm spans for an entire city block, with a 360-degree view of the bridges and cityscape. Brooklyn Grange is in fact the world’s largest rooftop soil farm, producing over 40,000 pounds of organically-cultivated produce per year. The farm is open to the public every Saturday mid-April through October, from 10 am to 3 pm. There’s even a farmstand on the roof to pick up the most local of local produce. On Sundays, you can volunteer to dig in and help with the gardening.
There are over 600 community gardens spread across the five boroughs of New York City; volunteers keep these green oases thriving. Use GreenThumb’s interactive map to find a garden near you and see how you and your date can get involved. GreenThumb also provides programming throughout the year covering gardening basics to more advanced farming. Plus they have workshops, like indoor vegetable gardening or composting in small spaces.
515 Court Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
NYC Parks Green Team
How many lazy springtime weekends have you spent lounging in the sun on the soft green grass of Central Park’s Great Lawn, or Prospect Park’s Nethermead, or in the shadow of towering bridges at Brooklyn Bridge Park? On your next date, spend the day giving back instead. The city has made it easy to find opportunities to contribute to keeping the parks clean and green. Visit NYCService and search “Environment,” and you’ll find a list of current and ongoing opportunities, including weekly projects at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Central Park, Prospect Park and ongoing efforts with Natural Areas Volunteers.
Just like the city’s parks, the Botanical Gardens (Brooklyn, New York, Queens) rely on green-thumbed volunteers to help beautify the grounds of these natural escapes from the urban jungle. There are many different jobs available, some requiring science backgrounds, others leading tours and assisting the gardeners by pruning, planting, raking, mulching, watering, and weeding.
274 3rd Ave., Gowanus, Brooklyn 11215
Build a tiny green world to gaze into longingly whenever the cold stark city has you feeling cooped up at a terrarium-making class at Twig. Personalize your miniature mossy meadows, glens, and rolling hills with whimsical little figurines to create the perfect bucolic remedy for a rural heart in a cement city.
1118 Cortelyou Rd, Ditmas Park, Brooklyn
For a date that’s less hands-on, but still provides healthy exposure to the delicate beauty and aroma of fresh cut flowers, take your date to Ditmas Park to flowershop/bar, Sycamore. For only $10 you can get your date a beer and a lovely little bouquet of flowers! On a warm spring day, sit in the crawling-ivy garden for a reminder of how spectacularly the city and nature complement each other.