Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Staten Island! And a tour of the SI Botanical Gardens

August 22nd marks the 350th anniversary of the founding of Staten Island in 1661.  It is being commemorated with ongoing events throughout the past year.

The first European settlement started with a signed petition written in Dutch on August 22nd, 1661.  Nineteen families of French, Belgian and Dutch descent started their community in what we now call South Beach.  These people were looking for religious freedom and better economic opportunity.  

Peter Stuyvesant surrendered "New Netherland", as it was called, to the English in September of 1664.  It was renamed "New York" in honor of King Charles II's brother, James, the Duke of York.  In 1683, Staten Island was renamed Richmond County for the Duke of Richmond, son of Charles the II.

Prior to these  early European settlers, it was inhabited by the Lenape Indians.

The Empire State Building will be lit up in blue, orange and white to represent the colors of the Dutch, Belgian and French flags.

Staten Island Advance photo

To read more about my little borough, you can visit here.

At the entrance to Snug Harbor
While my friend was visiting, I made it a point to visit the SI Botanical Gardens.  They are part of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, which was once a retirement community for sailors.  

original cottages with ongoing repair 

There are 28 separate gardens; we spent some time in my favorite spot, the Tuscan Garden.  There is also a Chinese Scholars' Garden, but that will be in a future post.

So none of you are disappointed, the Tuscan Garden does not contain magnificent flowers.  I myself was surprised, and thought the lack of blooms was due to the oppressive heat, alternating with torrential rain!  Instead, it is completely authentic and all about architectural structure and hedge work, not flowers.

hedge work and hand positioned stones done by artisans from Italy

I'd love a pot like this in my backyard!

The statue had no plaque, so I have named her "Toscana Giardina", which means Tuscan garden (sounds like a girl I went to school with!)

Some other photos as we walked around after leaving "Tuscany"
Grille Room Restaurant on the grounds

How's the water?  I dunno, you go first!  No, why don't you!!
Come on in, guys, the water's fine!

Then I was overly warm and tired, and more than ready for the pause that refreshes -- lunch!  But that is part of another post.  

Joining the following linky parties

Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper
Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer

Please stop by and say hi!  



  1. Looks like such a beautiful place!

  2. Well, Happy Anniversary to Staten Island! I haven't been there since I was a very little girl.

    I loved your gardens, and I giggled that you named the statue. That's exactly like something that I would do!

    Wonderful tour. I wish we had a place like that here. Ours is very small.

  3. Looks like you guys had a very full week! Such a pretty place to visit:@)

  4. I would love to spend the day there..beautiful! :D

  5. Happy Birthday Staten Island! These gardens are lovely.

    Have a great week!

  6. Hi Barbara, I so enjoyed my visit to the SI Botanical Gardens - thanks! Loved the Tuscan Garden and the ones with the flowers too. You asked if it's ok to link more than one post to my travel party - sure! Link will be up 9/14 in the p.m.
    hugs, Beth

  7. Great photos of the gardens - I must make a point of getting there one day!

  8. Dear Barbara,
    Hi, you must have had really enjoyable full wekk!!!
    Happy Anniversary to Staten Island! Wonderful photos of the gardens♡♡♡
    Have a lovely day, my friend♬♬♬

  9. Happy Birthday Staten Island! It never ceases to amaze me all the wonderful things Staten Island has to offer. I enjoyed visiting the botanical gardens . It was such a delightful day!

  10. Hi lovely lady.
    I love all your photos, looks like you had a great time. Thanks so much for your lovely comments on my new Tablescapes I just put on. I hope you have a great week.
    XXOO Diane

  11. Hi Barbara! Oh, happy birthdy SI! :) What a lovely place and I know you had a wonderful time.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  12. I had no idea that Staten Island was so old! we have been to NYC but I really to explore more when we visit next time. Thanks for this great virtual tour!

    Best wishes,

  13. Hello Barbara:
    How splendid that the anniversary should include the lighting of the Empire State Building in such an imaginative and fun way. It all sounds most jolly.

    Of course we have fallen in love with the Tuscan Garden - exactly our kind of thing with string structures, a distinct narrative and, generally, an absence of flowers. All of those clipped hedges - wonderful!

  14. The scenery was great, but my favorites were the statuary and urns/pots. LOVED them!!

  15. Thank you for this great history and the pretty shots.

  16. Yes, I would be disappointed (I think) by a garden without flowers. Then I read that it is your favorite so I know that it must have amazing features that inspire and delight. One look at those pots might reveal part of the answer!

  17. What a gorgeous place to visit! Absolutely stunning.

  18. Beautiful gardens!! I'd love to have a few of those pots around here too. :-) Thanks so much for sharing!


  19. Enjoyed this so much Barbara. Gorgeous glimpse into your "neck of the woods".

  20. I enjoyed learning more about my sister borough through this post, Barbara! I have never visited the SI Botanic Gardens and will have to rectify that one day soon. I've heard a lot about the Chinese Scholar Garden but the Tuscan Garden was also interesting to see.

    I'm glad you weren;t on the bridge when the earthquake tremors came our way! That was such a scary half minute.

  21. Beautiful photos! Glad you like our snorkeling trip but I linked the wrong one. This is my new link. I hope you get to visit me again. Thanks!...Christine

  22. What beautiful gardens and thanks for the information on SI -- facts I didn't know!

  23. Whew! Eight gardens to see; you must have needed a long nap after that walk.
    Joyce M

  24. Loved this beautiful little walk through history.

  25. I love your page .Thanks for sharing.

  26. Thanks for this beautiful tour. I never knew about Tuscan gardening. That is so interesting. Thanks for the lesson. I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the gardens. Hugs, Ginger


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...