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About the Manhattan Chapter of NARGS


Our meetings are generally held at 6:00 on the third Monday of each month, September through April; however the schedule may change, so check here for details. 


Our programs cover a wide range of topics.  (See “Past Programs” for a sampler!)  In addition to the featured talk, our meetings give our members a chance to chat, catch up on news, and hear announcements of upcoming programs and events.


Our new venue (as of September 2023) for in-person meetings is The Center, located at 208 West 13th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.  The Center is easily reached by subway, and is a short walk from the 14th St stations of the 1,2 and 3 trains (at 7th Ave), the A,C,E and L trains (at 8th Ave), and the F,M and L trains (at 6th Ave)

Due to the pandemic, we met via Zoom through April 2022.  We returned to in-person meetings in the fall of 2022, and we anticipate a mix of in-person and virtual meetings going forward.



Our newsletter, The Urban Rock Gardener, is published five times a year.  We welcome contributions of articles and photo essays.


Our annual Spring Plant Sale, usually held the first or second weekend in May, is an eagerly-anticipated event, featuring a wide array of plants from the gardens of our members and several specialty nurseries.  Please see the home page for information about this year's sale, to be held on Saturday, May 11.


The Tri-State Meeting, held annually in October, is an all-day meeting with several other chapters, featuring programs in the morning and afternoon, plant sales with several specialty plant vendors and a plant auction.  


Tours of public and private gardens have been a highlight for MCNARGS members.  Last spring we had a wonderful tour of Wave Hill's Alpine House, which included access to areas usually off-limits to visitors.  In June we hopped on the ferry and toured the gardens of Governors Island, led by Andi Pettis, Director of Horticulture.




MCNARGS was founded by Larry Thomas in 1987, after a pivotal bus trip run by the Horticultural Society to several outstanding rock gardens in Connecticut. Larry met a few people on that trip, already members of NARGS, who were enthusiastic about having a local chapter.  He then enticed others to support the cause, and MCNARGS came into being.


Early meetings were held at the Horticultural Society.  In 1994, MCNARGS was officially incorporated and, in 1995, only eight years after forming, the chapter hosted a very successful national meeting of NARGS at the Roosevelt Hotel.  Soon we had to find a new meeting place, moving downtown to the Greenwich House Music School. We subsequently relocated several more times and, in 2016, began meeting at the Midtown Education Center of the New York Botanical Garden, on West 44th Street.


In 2006, the chapter hosted a second NARGS annual meeting, bringing in speakers from overseas and the West. We have run numerous garden tours both within the five boroughs and further afield. Our annual spring plant sale attracts many gardeners and contributes a sizable portion to our yearly budget.


Our monthly meetings are the core of MCNARGS activities, whether in-person or virtual. Through them, we enjoy first-rate presentations on a wide variety of subjects, and we meet up with both beginning and expert gardeners.

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