Brooklyn Botanical Garden
990 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 10:00am-6:00pm/Monday Closed/Tuesday-Friday 8:00am-6:00pm
Admission: Depending on the time of year/please check the website
My review on TripAdvisor:
I have been a member of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden since 2002 and have never been bored on a trip to the gardens. In every season there is something new to see.
In the beginning of the Spring, Daffodil Hill is in full bloom and is a very impressive site. Hundreds of trumpet Daffodils line the hill of this side of the gardens surrounding the old oak trees. There are fields of yellow on yellow and yellow on orange flowers surrounding the paths against the backdrop of the green lawns.
Magnolia Plaza where all the old flowering Magnolia trees bloom in full force in the Spring. The bright white and pink flowers are quite brilliant in colors and the sweet smell of the trees is wonderful. When it comes to the end of the season, you will be walking into a snow shower of colorful petals practically ‘snowing’ on you.
The next beautiful display is the Cherry Blossoms’ that bloom at the end of April. It is ablaze in all sorts of shades of pink and white. It brings the whole city out to see Mother Nature’s display of art. The big Japanese festival happens during this time and the park is full of all sorts of artists, dancers and musicians who have come to perform for the many members entering the park.
The Cherry Tree Esplanade
In June, The Rose Garden festival takes place with hundreds of types of roses blooming in the same time period. This is when the members Rose Night happens with an evening of music, cocktails and looking over the flowering bushes all over the gardens. They even create a Rose Petal cocktail for the event that is interesting.
Rose Garden Rose Night
Becoming a member of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden has its advantages too. In August, in the height of the summer they have the member’s movie night where members from all over the area sit in the Cherry Blossom field to watch an outdoor movie. I have seen family films “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, “The Goonies”, “Moonstruck” and “The Fabulous Mr. Fox” (which was not too fabulous of a film). It is a nice evening of relaxing on the cool grass, eating a light picnic dinner and sitting under the stars watching a film. Could there be any other New York moment to enjoy?
During the holiday season there is not much to see in the park, especially during the winter months outside but there is a tropical display under glass in the enclosed buildings on the property and the Bonsai Garden display of plants also in the glassed in enclosure. There are lots of walking tours of the new water gardens, rock gardens and of the Japanese Gardens ( which are currently under renovation).
The complexity of the gardens show their true beauty from season to season when flowers and trees come into bloom and show their true beauty.
History of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden:
Early plans for Prospect Park called for the park to straddle Flatbush Avenue. The City of Brooklyn purchased the land for this purpose in 1864. When Fredrick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux brought their final plans to the city for approval in the 1860’s, they had eliminated the problematic decision along Flatbush. The northeast portion went unused, serving as an ash dump (WIKI).
Legislation in 1897 as the city moved toward consolidation reserved 39 acres for a botanical garden and the garden itself was founded in 1910. The garden was initially know as the Institute Park. It was run under the auspices of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, which included (until the 1970’s) the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Children’s Museum and Brooklyn Academy of Music. It opened as the Brooklyn Botanical Garden on May 13, 1911 with the Native Flora Garden being the first established section (WIKI).
Harold Caparn was appointed as the landscape architect in 1912. Caparn designed most of the rest of the grounds over the next three decades, including the Osborne Gardens, Cranford Rose Garden, Magnolia Plaza and the Plant Collection. Construction of the Laboratory Building and Conservatory began in 1912 and the building was dedicated in 1917. The building-now simply the Administration Building-was designed in the Tuscan Revival style by William Kendal for McKim, Mead & White, the architectural firm that built the Brooklyn Museum, Manhattan Municipal Building and many other prominent New York City buildings. It was designated a New York City Landmark in 2007 (WIKI).
The Specialty Gardens & Collections include:
The Cherry Trees
Japanese Hill-Pond Collection
Cranford Rose Garden
Native Flora Garden
Alice Recknagel Ireys Fragrance Garden
Plant Family Collection
Disclaimer: Please call the Brooklyn Botanical Garden for more information on the gardens.