The Fifth Avenue garden, with its neoclassical urns and limestone façade, is grand and imposing. Set back from the sidewalk, behind the tall fence guarded by mythic iron griffins, the raised garden is presented like the stage of a theater, separating it from the busy world. Likewise, viewing the garden from the windows of the Fragonard Room or the Living Hall visually integrates the art and gardens in a way no other museum in the city can.
Alternatively, the Seventieth Street Garden, designed by Russell Page in 1977, is soft and intimate. In the words of its designer, this garden is to be viewed — from the street or through the arched windows of the Reception Hall — like an Impressionist painting. Despite its formal structure of pea gravel paths and boxwood, what Mr. Page called the "bones" of a garden, it is a flowering garden nearly year round. The salient feature of Page's garden is the rectangular pool in the center lawn crowned in summer with blue and white tropical lilies and lotus. Vines of clematis and climbing hydrangea cover the trellis, and wisteria vines soften the hard limestone walls. Page's garden is designed to slow, or stop, a busy New Yorker, to make one pause for a moment — as a respite from the city.
The Garden Court at the heart of the museum, approximately 88 feet long and 50 feet wide, was designed by John Russell Pope to replace the open carriage court of the original Frick residence. The Court's paired Ionic columns and symmetrical planting beds were later echoed in Pope's design for the original building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington.
—Galen Lee, Horticulturist and Special Events Designer