Book Shorts

New York’s gardens, parks, flower markets and florists captured in new book

Volume uncovers floral wealth of the US metropolis

The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden in the New York Botanical Garden © 2019 Georgianna Lane

The US travel writer and floral photographer, Georgianna Lane, has created – much like the Dutch Golden Age flower painters—a ravishing, if somewhat selective, picture of New York’s spring and early summer delights: flowering crab apple trees and cherry, magnolias, daffodils, tulips, crocuses, lilacs and, needless to say, roses in abundance. Lane produces high definition, picture-postcard views of places such as Manhattan’s Central Park and the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx (above, the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden), along with Brooklyn’s Botanic Garden and Prospect Park—all well known public spaces. The High Line is great for a two-mile botanical stroll and she catches the variety of its wildflowers and trees that once grew naturally along its stretch. Lane also includes several high-class florists (“boutiques and studio”) and lists the city’s flower markets. My favourite has always been the Union Square market, as it is on the doorstep of the massive Barnes and Noble bookshop, thus making two pleasures easily gratified. There are few landscape views as most of the photographs are portraits. This is not a gazetteer (although there is a guide in an appendix to the best spots for spring flowers) nor does it pretend to be an academic study. It is lovely to look at, but there is, of course, nothing like the real thing.

  • Georgianna Lane, New York in Bloom, Abrams Image, 160pp, £13.99 (hb)