The Roosevelt Island Community Garden’s space on a tucked away island harbors an urban retreat impossible anywhere else. A gift from the state flourishes with well-kept plots and a near secret lily pond.

Sunflower as Summer Fades
Summer retreats, and this sunflower holds on.

The Roosevelt Island Community Garden relaxes between athletic fields, its natural vibrancy a buffer zone. It’s home is a gift from RIOC. Plots moved north when Southtown construction forced them out of lot south of the subway station.

Related: Roosevelt Island’s Iconic Tram

That was back in the ’90s, and since then, the waiting list for a plot of your own is two years.

Squirrel visits Garden Club
Visitors are welcome on weekends, but this guy has his own set of rules.

Plots at the Roosevelt Island Community Garden are protected by rules that restrict visitors to weekends, and kids must be with an adult.

Garden club members pride themselves in the civility and respect for nature that makes this quiet place an urban exception. And it has secrets.

A secluded passage leads to something special.

Tucked inside is a hidden lily pond at the Roosevelt Island Community Garden…

The lily pond, stocked with goldfish, is a pleasure you have to seek. It doesn’t call you, and you must discover.

Some plots are so rich with vibrant color, they swell with joy.

This garden welcomes along narrow paths with intersections of surprise.

Look closely at this burst of Queen Anne’s lace and see bees at work.
A bee does its thing among the floral hosts.
Birds are always welcome, and they take advantage of gardeners’ generosity
A corner plot relaxes at the end of summer.
A flat rock trail encircles, protecting, a rush of plant growth.
A gentle retreat it is, a place to go quietly among the flowers on a summer Sunday.


The Roosevelt Island Community Garden plays a special, quiet role in the community. It’s a constant reminder that peace is possible and that nature is friendly

We’re lucky to have a rich sample settled on Roosevelt Island.



  1. Great photos David! That’s a really beautiful place!

    1. Author

      Thanks. Nothing very creative needed when the elements line up so nicely.

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