A public garden & cultural center

Nature into Art: The Gardens of Wave Hill


Photo: Ngoc Minh Ngo

September 2019 Publication Celebrates Artistry of an Extraordinary Public Garden in The Bronx

A visit to Wave Hill, minutes from the heart of New York City, is like stepping into a magical world of plants, expansive views of the Hudson River and a pervasive experience of serenity. Far from being conjured by a sorcerer with a very green thumb, the gardens are the result of an artful, very human combination of horticultural expertise and an innovative design spirit.

The Wave Hill way of gardening is beautifully captured in the pages of Nature into Art: The Gardens of Wave Hill, releasing in September by Timber Press. The book celebrates the unsurpassed beauty of Wave Hill while it deeply explores the plants, techniques and design choices that define this iconic space. Author Thomas Christopher gives attention to the choreography of each distinct garden space—the Flower Garden, Shade Border, Wild and Aquatic Gardens, Conservatory and more—along the way sharing insights on design methods and plant choices from horticultural staff past and present.

Photographs by Ngoc Minh Ngo render the gardens in perfect light, capturing the combinations of colors, textures and forms that make Wave Hill such a magical place.

“From the first day Wave Hill opened to the public in 1967,” writes Christopher “this public garden began to break new ground, figuratively as well as literally. It is no exaggeration to say that over the following decades Wave Hill remade American gardening—as it continues to do today.”

Early Praise for the Book
"A thorough and fascinating history of an amazing garden. Nature into Art treats us with an informative and inspiring story of excellence, variety, and perseverance." —Martha Stewart, Author, Entrepreneur, and Founder Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia           

“Like Wave Hill itself, these pages make an indelible impression—wildly intimate, possibility-laden, provocative—leaving me wide awake and hungry for a visit.” —Margaret Roach, garden writer, blogger, and author of A Way to Garden: A Hands-On Primer for Every Season

“Ever since I moved to New York City 30 years ago, I’ve thought of Wave Hill as my own private garden. But I don’t mind sharing. It’s a horticultural escape for concrete-weary city folk in all weather, and Ngoc Minh Ngo’s poetic photographs capture the passing seasons beautifully.  —Stephen Orr, author and editor

“By marrying plantsmanship, artistry, and human comradery, this iconic garden has led the way, earning its place in gardening history and inspiring many to be creative and bold.” —Fergus Garrett, head gardener, Great Dixter House and Gardens.


Purchase at:


Nature into Art: The Gardens of Wave Hill
by Thomas Christopher
photographs by Ngoc Minh Ngo
$40, Hardcover


Wave Hill is a 28-acre public garden and cultural center in the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. Its mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscapes, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.

Thomas Christopher is a graduate of the New York Botanical Garden School of Professional Horticulture. He has worked as a columnist for Horticulture, House & Garden, and Country Living Gardener, contributing editor at Martha Stewart Living, and a contributor to The New York Times and the Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society. He is the author or co-author of more than a dozen books, including Essential Perennials, The Proven Winners Garden Book, and Garden Revolution.

Ngoc Minh Ngo has had her photographs appear in such publications as T Magazine, Architectural Digest, Cabana, and House & Garden UK. She is the author of two books, Bringing Nature Home: Floral Arrangements Inspired by Nature, and In Bloom: Creating and Living with Flowers.