A 'Secret' Garden in Brooklyn

ROSE & IVY Journal A Secret Garden in Brooklyn

Emerson once said, 'Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art'. I stumbled across this quote years ago and find myself reflecting on it quite often.  My sole intention for ROSE & IVY is to capture beauty,  whether it be creating it, cultivating it or discovering it though a beautiful dress, a wonderfully plated meal or a layered and incredibly fragrant flower. I want to spread the word that beauty is all around.

Living in Brooklyn I am fortunate to be surrounded by beauty pretty much everywhere. My neighborhood is lined with towering oak trees that giveaway to shady sidewalks, historic brownstones and cafes that you want to linger in for hours. While green spaces are far and few between there is a 'secret' garden, one that you wouldn't see unless you peered through its gates on a quiet street not far from my apartment. On my daily walks with my dog, whether in the dead of winter to the blossoming of spring  there was always an elderly man pruning, planting, hedging and maintaining his oasis that he created in the middle of Brooklyn. I assumed that he dreamed it up out of an abandoned lot years ago.It was manicured like a formal garden with boxwoods, garden roses, lilacs and an aged stone bench.  

The other day I was walking by on our usual walk, excited to see if the English garden roses had bloomed, but I was stopped by several flower bouquets that had been woven into the fence, almost as a commemorative gesture. We continued on our walk, I was hoping nothing happened to him.  A few days later, there was a sign dangling from the fence dedicated to the man that had cultivated the space. It was in fact true that he passed away.  Never knowing him, I grew incredibly sad, but I learned a lesson.  Beauty can be discovered and hoped for anywhere. Creating it elevates those around you, fulfills the soul and provides respite from our daily lives, an escape.  For this dear man it as turning an empty lot that could have been turned into another apartment building into a garden that others could enjoy, whether he knew it or not and for that I am truly grateful.

Photograph by Alison