25 Seriously Jaw Dropping Urban Gardens

Hey guys, I’m on this garden kick and have collected a vast volume of exquisite gardens. (link to last post if you missed it).

There are so many ways a garden can be classified, but today, I’m focusing on the urban garden.

  • some are on the roof (lucky devils)
  • some are in a courtyard (if it’s in Manhattan, I hate you.)
  • some are on balconies
  • and some are somewhere else

But, they are all urban gardens although some might not appear to be so at first. (you’ll see in a sec)

However, what all of these Urban Gardens have in common is that they are all jaw-droppingly amAzing!

Warning –  You might want to go grab something to catch the drool.

***If the image is not attributed, then I could not find the original source. If you see something and happen to know who it belongs to, please leave a comment. If you don’t want it published, please say so.***


cote maison.fr jardin-luxuriantvia: Cote Maison

Photo Y. Monel

Holy urban garden jungles!

amazing urban garden rooftop garden in Paris

Classic Paris rooftop garden – Pretty sublime if you ask me.

paris-en-vert_4622166 via cote maison urban gardens

via Cote Maison

This is in Paris too!

Wonderful garden of Mark Sikes interior-design-new-traditional-urban-gardenMark D Sikes

This is one of my favorite garden images ever! I wouldn’t change one thing.

Next on our urban garden list are the enviable rooftop gardens


ny times rooftop garden and pergola 20130905-BUATTA-slide-J32W-jumbo

Via: The New York Times and attributed to Mario Buatta and with a pergola, no less. I’ll take it!

Gardenista_Julie Weiss_Garden_Rooftop Garden New York CityVia The Gardenista, The love home of Vanity Fair Art Director Julie Weiss

Anyone? Please raise your hand if you live in a Manhattan Penthouse.

If you do, you are inviting me over STAT, for a barbecue. Okay? ;]


I can think of worse things than being engulfed in luscious hydrangeas!

magnificent penthouse garden overlooking central park via markosun blogvia Markosun blog – 432 Park Avenue penthouse

Oh just stop it! Really? Do people actually live like this?

Yes, for anyone who doesn’t recognize it. This is Manhattan and that is Central Park

If anyone knows who this is, can you get me an invite? ;]

Next on our bucket list of Urban Gardens are balconies


Photo by Tim Beddow - The Interior Archive small urban garden outdoor dining

How pretty is this cozy eating area – via One King’s Lane


Charming, feminine balcony


Paris Balcony Terrace on Ile Saint Louis – vacation apartment rental

I think I’m gonna go throw up.

Doesn’t everyone who goes to Paris decide they can’t possible go back home?

journey home living paris balcony romantic urban gardenJourney Home Living

Well, this woman did. I definitely would be kicking and screaming. NOOOOOO!!!

garden-pavilion via lonny maglonny.com

romantic urban garden with tea table

This one might be my favorite. Definitely a secret garden.

Urban Gardens also grow ON buildings



UK House and Garden – Joshua Monaghan House

All right. I was seduced by the windows. I admit it.

Auberge de l`Abbaye, Beaumont en Auge Photo by Thomas Schmitz on Flickr urban garden

Auberge de l`Abbaye, Beaumont en Auge Photo by Thomas Schmitz on Flickr

repunzel urban garden

I call this one, Rapunzel. :]

Moving on to courtyards and small Urban Garden Yards


Urban gardens classic English garden, beautifully verdant and balanced.

Have you ever seen such perfection?

A Blade of Grass Landscaping Boston Broookline Brownstone garden

Wonderful landscape designer A Blade of grass and a lot more images of this wonderful home and property in Brookline, MA (metro Boston area)

Hidden Gardens via Beacon Hill Garden ClubBeacon Hill Garden Club – Hidden Gardens Tour

Sawyer Berson Townhouse Garden On Perry Street

Above and below the wonderful work of landscape designer Sawyer Berson.

This home is in New York City

Sawyer Berson Townhouse Garden On Perry Street - NYC - Courtyard garden

john bessler photographer via traditional home brooklyn townhouse

Photo by John Bessler – a Wonderful townhouse in Brookline, a suburb of Boston via Traditional Home – The inside is pretty spectacular too!

elizabeth everdell garden design - charming pacifici heights backyard small gardenElizabeth Everdell

I adore the work of this garden and landscape designer. Everything she does is amazing!

This home is in San Francisco.

urban_garden benchvia: One King’s Lane

Julianne Moore NYC Garden

Another wonderful New York City Courtyard by garden designer Sawyer Berson. Yes, complete with a basketball hoop. haha. If this had been my garden when I lived with my children, the plants would’ve been pulverized within minutes.

And maybe that’s the case here, too. Except that this is the home of the amazing actress, Julianne Moore. I’m sure that she can afford to replace her plants every month. :]

Jeremyville Megan Mair via The Design Files - photo by Eve WilsonJeremyville and Megan Mair via The Design Files – photo by Eve Wilson

No wait. This one might be my favorite. Oh, I can’t decide!

formal small charleston garden in the back yard- urban gardens

I love the formality juxtaposed with some looseness in this elegant,

but petite Charleston, SC backyard.


elizabeth everdell garden design pocket garden san francisco-2

And one last one above and below by Elizabeth Everdell again.

That trellis is to die for! In the notes, it’s listed as a “Pocket Garden.” And in looking closer, I’m guessing this means a shared garden? I say that because there is no delineation between the houses. If anyone knows what that means, please educate me.

elizabeth everdell garden design pocket urban garden san francisco

And there it is… I hope you enjoyed all of these different types of urban gardens.

I think that a lot of them can be adapted to any patio, deck, a porch or small yard.


LaurelPS: For anyone living in the New York area, wasn’t it the most sublime day? I finally went to my doctor because I am still not over my “cold” which began a month ago! Yep. Sinus infection. I’m armed now, so it should be gone very soon.


40 Responses

  1. Enjoyed this very much-I am a very avid gardener in the South. Everyone one of these gardens are just beautiful-wonderful to see how people put their own ideas to work-very creative-also enjoy your funny remarks-you are hilarious!! Looking forward to receive more of this.

  2. Hi, just a quick note to let you know how much I enjoy your website. Everything you show is breathtaking and some of your replies are quite funny. Thanks for your insight. Pat

  3. They are all very pretty, but where are the pollinators? We really need to help out our bees and butterfly’s.
    Thanks for thinking about it.

  4. This is a good example of how it is not how much space you have but what you do with it. And, you don’t need costly showy annuals or exotic plants when a simple potted hosta will do. Great inspiration for us gardeners. Now it’s off to the nursery for me, must get some hydrangeas!

  5. Oh Laurel,
    I am so so happy (thrilled) to have found your blog. I love all that you do. I believe a creative person has to be exposed to all things beautiful to be inspired to do beautiful work. Thank you for your blog. So much work goes into it and it shows. You bring to us so much beauty that we could not access otherwise. Thank you!!!!

  6. We have an old basketball court on our property (it came with the house). We’ve taken down the net and pole and I look at that empty concrete rectangle and see pavers affixed to the pad, a stone fireplace with a lovely seating area, and perhaps a pergola with transplanted grape vines (we have wild grapes growing all over our property).

    While we are not in the city, thank you Laurel for the inspiration!!

  7. Dear Laurel,
    A few comments on your latest two garden postings. Beautiful pictures! I second those commenters who have pointed to the importance of a limited colour palette, and relying more on shades of green. But I think there is also the importance of other elements which are repeated in many photos: a limited plant palette; changes of level, no matter how small, especially in the urban gardens; not trying to fight your situation (acid or alkaline soil, shade or sun, which dictates the absence/presence of a lawn area; climate (I keep trying to do a lavender border, but lavender is borderline hardy where I am in France, so it never looks as it should).
    The other thing I want to mention is that photos and gardens aren’t the same thing! Many of these photos are attractive partly because the viewer is seeing things through other things (view from a French window, through an archway), and that always improves a view — the balance between prospect and refuge. Another point about this is that in the bigger garden pics, I see one where the plants are unlikely to be flowering together in the normal course of things. This is the Chelsea Flower show effect: no point hoping to reproduce one of the show gardens, it can’t be done, because some plants have had their flowers artificially delayed, some have had them artificially brought forward, and the result is garden perfection — for three days!
    Finally, nasty comments. I don’t think a critical remark is necessarily nasty, but some are gratuitously so without any thoughtful, useful criticism. And the nasties’ motivations are unknown to us, and perhaps unexpected. I am an avid follower of my favourite tennis player, and I was shocked to find a comment that said he deserved to die a horrible death from cancer as soon as possible. It took me a long time to realize that such nasty comments came from people who had bet money on his matches and lost. Not that I think people are betting on your blog, but the nastiness does come from the nasties’ failure somewhere along the line. And you’re not failing — you give us beauty and insights into how to get there ourselves with all your posts.

    1. Hi GL,

      You bring up an interesting point about the gardens being too good to be true. Some, perhaps, but it’s the same exact thing with interiors!

      The stylist comes in with a truckload of accessories giant fig plants and makes it all look beyond amazing. Strip the place down to just the furniture and in many cases, it’s all rather blah.

      For me, the images create a feeling–a wonderful feeling! And whether or not the garden is “real,” the feeling certainly is.

  8. Hi, I believe “pocket gardens” are when you garden going up because of lack of space. DIYers often use shoe holders, etc. and garden in those pockets that hold the shoes when space is at a minimum.

    These are all very pretty … oh if only i was able to have a gardener to take care of weeds,out of hand ivy, etc. Just my opinion, but a few are just to “perfect” to look enjoyable. The ones in Paris are, of course, beautiful.

  9. Except for the rooftop and balcony gardens most of the gardens are in full or partial shade. That really limits the flowers and shrubs that could flourish there. And look how that potential minus is turned into a plus! I know it helps me reframe my ideas of shady yards. A variety of greens, shapes, textures and “if you have to ask the price” hardscaping make for some beautiful spaces. Laurel, once again you have curated a luscious collection.

  10. I love the Côte maison gardens as well as both gardens by a blade of grass.

    I’m really getting the urge to plant some hydrangeas. Not sure if they will grow here in Dallas but I’m sure going to try.

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful gardens with us.

    1. I think that hydrangeas need a lot of water. They seem to thrive in our northeastern climate so maybe they don’t like the blistering sun. I planted two on our hill about 10 years ago and they died very quickly. I was so bummed!

  11. Thanks for letting me know. For some reason on my computer the “P” never disappears. It is always smack dab in the middle of the photo.
    Oh well.

    1. Hi Kim,

      I changed one setting, so maybe the P will disappear. My P often disappears when I don’t want it to and it’s difficult to get back. Not good. Thanks for letting me know how it is for you. I let the developer of the plugin know about the issues.

  12. Whew! That left me breathless. All gorgeous even without much color other than green. Again, thank you Laurel for allowing us to see these gardens through the eyes of a designer. I imagine good design is good design, whether inside or out.

    1. Hi Andrea,

      I think it especially holds true in a small garden in the city to not get too overzealous with a lot of different colors. Or– maybe it’s just my taste.

  13. Laurel, thank you so much for the horticultural eye candy and your entertaining commentary! I will now be consumed with strategies to make our tiny urban yard look like one of these leafy spaces, sigh. I have always thought of a pocket garden as one that would fit in your pocket, but apparently it’s more a reference to a small planting of dwarf varieties. I kind of like my definition better ;^)

    1. Hi Mary,

      I like your definition better too. But I’m still confused about the boundaries of the yard since it looks like it belongs to one home but the trellis is butted up against the neighbors. Maybe someone owns both homes?

  14. Your comment, Laurel, “I think I’m gonna throw up” is perfect! I am certifiably jealous when it comes to gardens such as the ones you sent us. Although I think the roof garden overlooking Central Park is glorious, the secret gardens truly speak to my soul.
    Thank You.

  15. Wow, I need to lie down and recover but I’m already lying down! I want a little city garden SO BADLY. I felt so violently covetous and envious and weird looking at these amazing spaces. When you mentioned needing to throw up, that summed it up for me! I felt better knowing I was not suffering alone. Also: thanks for your kind comments on my blog. I was honored to hear from you. Although I try to keep anonymous and low-profile, I do have some followers but I can’t figure out how they did it. There’s a little link at the bottom of the page but it doesn’t work for me, at least. Thanks for reading, though!

    1. Hi Elle,

      I’m lying down too! lol I just looked again, and there are some ways to follow and I was able to follow you in bookmarks, but I don’t think I get notified. I’m sure there’s stuff on the web if you want to add that, but if you don’t, that’s okay too.

  16. Hi Laurel,

    Really inspiring. Just wondering, I don’t remember the white “P” being in the middle of the photos in the past. I suppose it is some copy write issue but it really is unfortunate.

    1. Hi Kim,

      Thanks. About the white P. That is my pinterest hover button and if you’re seeing it now when you weren’t before, that’s good.

      This is a brand-new version of the button and it’s not working the way it’s supposed to. I just got on the post and it’s disappearing too quickly. And it’s still not working at all on mobile except for the first image. Hopefully, it’ll be working as expected very soon.

  17. Oh what a fabulous, fabulous post ! Thank you Laurel for these inspiring gardens and for your very enjoyable comments too!

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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