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Staten Island Botanical Garden
1000 Richmond Terrace
Staten Island, New York 10301
Voice: 718-273-8200

Located on Cottage Row across from the New York Chinese Scholar's Garden, Connie Gretz's Secret Garden is a garden folly adopted from 18th Century French and English Gardens. Well developed as a horticultural display in Europe, mazes are rarely seen in the United States. This is the only one of its kind in the New York metro area (the closest being the Governor's Mansion in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.)

The Secret Garden brings the Medieval landscape to the new Millennium. The maze is a puzzle made up of intricate pathways lined with three-foot evergreens, which leads to a walled secret garden, while overlooking this one-acre site is a 38-foot castle complete with a drawbridge and moat.

Specifically designed for children, the design challenges their minds as they try to find where the secret garden lies. Children will be entertained as they solve the mystery and arrive at the heart of the garden. Connie Gretz's Secret Garden is modeled after Frances Hodgson Burnett's children's classic The Secret Garden. Connie Gretz's Secret Garden is the perfect spot for the youngest of the Garden's visitors.

Our objective is to create a unique and exciting place for children that is also a link between the past and the present. The Middle Ages have a rich tradition of music, painting and history; moreover, so much of what we know about gardening today originated during this time. Education is a central goal of the Staten Island Botanical Garden and, developing a program that brings the Middle Ages to life will be exciting as well as educational.

Inspired by Vita Sackville-West's famous garden Sissinghurst, in England this garden is comprised of plants which have either gray green foliage or pure white blossoms. The garden is contained within a treillage, reflecting garden follies created for European court gardens. This garden the site of the Staten Island Botanical Garden's annual Fete Blanche Soiree. Taking place at night, this affair makes use of the White Garden's rare and unusual character, most noticeable at the Summer Solstice. During the day the foliage and flowers are brilliant but on the night of the Solstice, the garden takes on an ethereal quality: under the right light of the full moon the garden appears to be almost floating.

A circular planting with a concentric interior walkway, the Herb Garden is comprised of the Siberian Iris Collection lining the outer perimeter. Donated by Mr. Paul Watts, former President of the America Hemerocallis Society, 75 prize Siberian Iris now provide brilliant display of blue, lavender, yellow, peach and white, all providing a dramatic contrast to the more functional herbs whose uses extend from the aromatic to the culinary and medicinal.



Pictures and information were provided by Staten Island Botanical Garden

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