Tag: Botanical Garden

Brooklyn Botanic Garden                                    990 Washington Avenue                            Brooklyn, NY 11225

Brooklyn Botanic Garden 990 Washington Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11225

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

990 Washington Avenue

Brooklyn, NY  11225

(718) 623-7210

http://www.bbg.org

Open:  Sunday and Saturday 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:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60827-d103900-Reviews-Brooklyn_Botanic_Garden-Brooklyn_New_York.html?m=19905

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.

On a recent trip to the Gardens in 2021, the Garden was ablaze with the colors of almost a thousand purple crocuses that lined the hills on the Prospect Park side of the lawns. Beautiful purple and while colors were in full bloom and Mother Nature shined in the COVID era with all of us socially distanced but still enjoying the park.

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Crocus Hills ablaze in purple in 2021

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. The whole hill is a sea of yellows and whites against the trees which are bursting with new buds. This beautiful scene lasts only about a week to two weeks at full bloom in the first weeks of April.

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Daffodil Hill in Spring 2019 and 2021

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. You can smell the sweet petals on the flowering trees, and it is the most amazing site with the daffodils on the hill in the background. The scents of everything are just enjoyable. It is Mother Nature at her best.

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.

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The Cherry Tree Esplanade in 2017

In 2021, the growing season on the Cherry Trees was hit with many days of rain that knocked the petals off the trees early. Still, I was able to get into the gardens by the end of the first week of May and they were still spectacular but limited in their petals. There are many species of Cherry Trees, so they are timed differently in flowering.

In 2022, the fluffy cherry blossoms were in full bloom, like a graceful wish. When I went to visit them in early May, they were in full bloom and all the paths in the main garden were awash with pink and green. With the lawn being a deep green, the effect was really beautiful, and people were all over the place taking pictures and smelling the flowers. I had to walk through the main lawn, the Japanese Garden and the back paths several times just to take it all in. The next rainstorm they would be gone again but for now you could bask in these gorgeous blossoms.

When the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is in full bloom with these trees, there is nothing like it. The Japanese Festival had been cancelled and the blooms in Washington DC had bloomed two weeks early and Branch Brook Park in Newark had already peaked so this is where to be at to see Cherry Trees at their finest.

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

The Bluebells and Ironweed are in full bloom in May 2021

Right off the Cherry Tree Arcade is the paths leading to the back part of the gardens and you will see all the purple and blue Bluebells and Ironweed as well as the purple corn flowers lining the paths. It is quite spectacular as you see hundreds of these flowers surrounding the trees and walkways. I had never seen this before.

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.

Recently in May of 2021, the Garden sponsored “An Evening of Remembrance and Reflection” with the anniversary of the George Floyd incident and New Yorkers came out to show their support. It was an evening of jazz that brought members out on this warm spring evening. It also gave everyone a chance to walk through the Cranford Gardens which were in full bloom and perfumed the gardens with sweet scents of the flowers. There were roses of all colors in full bloom about two weeks ahead of schedule. So it was nice to see all the flowers at full peak lining the pathways.

Brooklyn Botanical Garden Rose Night

Rose Garden Rose Night in 2017 and at “An Evening of Remembrance and Reflection” in 2021

In July 2021, as the Gardens have opened to the public since the COVID pandemic rules have lifted, there have been weekly Jazz Concerts in the Cherry Tree lawn. Recently I attended the concert of the Brownstone Jazz Ensemble who performed with a few guest singers. It was a cool sunny summer night and the perfect evening to have a picnic in the Gardens and enjoy the music.

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?

The Fall months bring the changing of the leaves on the trees and all the late flowers that come out in September and October. 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.

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The Japanese Gardens at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden

In the winter months though, there is a quiet elegance to the gardens. It is so quiet with all the plants in hibernation that it is nice to just walk through the gardens and imagine what they will look like in four months when Spring arrives again. Most of the gardens were shut due to COVID in December of 2020 but still you could walk around most of the gardens.

Don’t miss the Japanese Garden’s during the winter months as the pine trees and green bushes add a little Spring to the cold months of the Winter. There is still so much green in this area of the gardens. There is something to be said about walking around the gardens in the cool weather.

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.

Being a member also has it privileges. You have a great restaurant in the late Spring and Summer months, the Magnolia Cafe, which has been closed because of COVID but will reopen soon. The Cherry Blossom Festival and Rose Garden Nights for members and the August Movie night which is really a treat. Hundreds of people picnicking on the lawn watching family friendly films like ‘The Goonies’ and ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’.

My blogs on the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens:

Private Members Movie Night 2019:

https://wordpress.com/post/mywalkinmanhattan.com/9545

Rose Night 2019:

https://wordpress.com/post/mywalkinmanhattan.com/9062

Rose Night 2018:

https://wordpress.com/post/mywalkinmanhattan.com/7637

Private Members Movie Night 2017:

https://wordpress.com/post/mywalkinmanhattan.com/6348

Sakura Matsuri-The Cherry Blossom Festival 2017:

https://wordpress.com/post/mywalkinmanhattan.com/4957

This is when it is great to be a member of the Gardens!

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

Children’s Garden

Water Garden

Other Gardens:

Plant Family Collection

Steinhardt Conservatory

Fight For Sunlight!

Text Sunlight to 484848 to help protect Brooklyn’s Garden from new buildings that would block vital sunlight to our plants.

bbg.org/sunlight

Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Fight for Sunlight!

Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s Fight for Sunlight!

Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s plant collections are under serious threat from a proposed massive building development including two 39 story towers at 960 Franklin Avenue (the spice factory site) just 150 ft from the Garden.

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The buildings for the ‘Fight for the Sunlight’ proposal (The proposal was struck down in 2022!)

https://www.bbg.org/no-rezone

Towers of this size would block hours of sunlight to the  Garden’s 23 conservatories, greenhouses and nurseries. These facilities grow plants for the entire 52 acre Garden and serve as a hub for community and educational programs.

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‘Fight for the Sunlight’  sign in the gardens

https://www.bbg.org/petition/

https://www.bbg.org/visit/event/fight_for_sunlight_exhibit

https://www.bbg.org/visit/event/fight_for_sunlight_2020_kick_off

Current zoning protects the Garden’s access to sunlight by capping building height at this location. These laws must remain in place to prevent irreparable damage to the Garden. Join us in signing a petition to City officials to protect the integrity and beauty of Brooklyn’s Garden.

Three ways to take Action!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/499243334158294/

Enroll in mobile updates by texting SUNLIGHT to 484848. We’ll text you new ways to get involved and important upcoming campaigns dates.

Sign the Garden’s petition at bbg.org/sunlight urging elected officials to protect the irreplaceable assets of Brooklyn Botanic Garden and oppose high-rise construction at this location. While you’re there, opt in to receive campaign updates so you can make sure your voice is heard on this issue.

Check out our Fight for Sunlight exhibit in the Conservatory to learn more about this project and why it has to be stopped. Share your support on social media using #FightFor Sunlight to tag your photos taken at the Garden.

bbg.org/sunlight

Disclaimer: Please call the Brooklyn Botanical Garden for more information on the gardens. The “Fight for the Light” campaign can be found online and on the Garden’s website for more information.

Ringwood Manor-A New Jersey State Park      1304 Sloatsburg Road                             Ringwood, NJ 07456

Ringwood Manor-A New Jersey State Park 1304 Sloatsburg Road Ringwood, NJ 07456

Ringwood Manor-A New Jersey State Park

1304 Sloatsburg Road

Ringwood, NJ  07456

Phone: (973) 962-7031/Fax: (973) 962-2247

http://www.ringwoodmanor.org

http://www.ringwoodmanor.org/

http://www.ringwoodmanor.org/tours.html

Fee: Adults $3.00/Children 6-12 $1.00/Children 5 and under Free

Donation for the holidays: $10.00

Open: Please see website for details during the seasons.

Review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46774-d9564482-Reviews-Ringwood_Manor-Ringwood_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I have visited the Ringwood Manor during the Christmas holidays over the last four years and it keeps getting better. Each room in the house is tastefully decorated for the holidays. The Great Hall was decorated with garland and ornaments with a large tree in the corner.

The formal dining room was set for Christmas dinner for the family after church. The elegant china was set on the table with poppers and small Christmas gifts for the guests. The side boards were set with the dinner entrees and sides for the family meal. There was a little discussion of how the Hewitt family would entertain during the holidays and in 2019 they opened up the kitchen and Butler’s pantry for touring.

ringwood manor christmas

Each room was set for the holidays with garlands, trees and decorations. As it was explained to me on another house tour during the holidays, the Victorians would normally only decorate one or two rooms for the holidays and not the whole house. The whole house might be decorated based on the wealth of the family and the amount of servants to take care of the home. Needles would have to cleaned up and the trees would have to be attended to on a daily basis.

One of the nicest rooms that was decorated was the screened in porch. Here there was a tree set with presents, hot house flowers and garland lining the room. The sunlight shined throughout the room and the decorations sparkled.

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The screen in porch was beautifully decorated for the holidays (2019)

Each room had a docent to explain the decor or what the room’s use had been in the family’s time. A visitor can roam the house at their leisure and see the rooms as many times as they want. There is also a gift shop in a room off the formal dining room that contains some beautiful Christmas crafts for sale by the Women’s Club of New Milford. Some of these women are very creative and sell the most amazing Christmas ornaments made of glitter, wood, branches, walnuts and moss.

Ringwood Manor Christmas 2019 II

The house has very lavish decorations for the holidays

The decor of the home changes over time and there are different things to see every year. The barn also on the property as you drive in has more artwork and crafts. In the Gardener’s Shed next to the house, the Society has a small cafe with sandwiches, desserts and coffee/tea/hot chocolate.

The tour of Ringwood Manor is wonderful during the holiday season and the rest of the house opens up during the warmer months of the year.

History of the House:

This 582 acre historic site is open to the public year round. The historic house museum, Ringwood Manor is open Wednesday to Sundays year round.

History of 19th Century Manor House and Landscape:

The present manor house was begun by Martin J. Ryerson in 1807. He and his sons controlled not only the iron mines and forges on the property but also operated productions at four other locations in the area. The Ryerson family resided in their 10 room Federal style home for almost 50 years.

In 1853, the Ryerson’s house and property were purchased by business partners Peter Cooper and his son in law Abram S. Hewitt. The 22,000 acre ironworks and the Ryerson’s home were purchased for a sum of $100,000. Their company, Cooper-Hewitt & Company, grew to be the fifth largest corporation in the United States. The Hewitt’s, one of the most influential and wealthiest families of the 19th century, fell in love with the Ringwood estate.

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The expanded Ringwood Manor

They decided to make this site of their summer home, naming it The Forges and Manor of Ringwood. They enlarged the home of the Ryerson’s, constructing major additions or renovations in 1864, 1875, 1900 and 1910. The completed 51 room house is 226.5 feet long and features 28 bedrooms, 24 fireplaces and 13 bathrooms and more than 250 windows. The house was built in an eclectic style, typical of the Victorian period. In 1875, the Manor House was an excellent example of the Gothic Revival style of architecture. By 1900, the Hewitt’s changed the exterior facade to its present appearance, adding the neo-classical portico and columns of the front porch and affixing white stucco to the exterior walls. The furnishings of the house reflect the varying tastes and styles of the family and time period.

The formal gardens surrounding the Manor House were developed by Mrs. Hewitt and her daughter, Eleanor around 1900. Their design was influenced by the Hewitt’s many trips overseas. The gardens possess a mysterious old world charm that captivates visitors as they enjoy the serenity of reflecting pools and the progression of blooms from early spring to late fall. Placed throughout the garden are French and Italian statuary and garden ornaments as well many interesting architectural items from New York City acquired while Abram Hewitt served as Mayor and Congressman. Examples of these features include columns from the old New York Life building, gates from the Astor family’s home and gate posts from Columbia College. Relics from the iron company that are found on the grounds include a trip hammer and anvil, cog wheel and a Dictator-class mortar the base of which was created by the Hewitt’s company and used at the Battle of Vicksburg in Mississippi during the Civil War.

History of Ringwood, NJ:

Colonial Ringwood:

Long before the Forges & Manor of Ringwood existed this property was occupied by the Native American people. Prehistoric artifacts found on the grounds confirm their inhabitants back to the Archaic and Woodlands periods. Living in a hunting and farming paradise, these Munsee-speaking Lenape peoples dwelled at the head of the Topompock or Ringwood River Valley. This paradise attracted colonial prospectors, who by 1740, came for the iron ore found in the ground. Recognizing the rich magnetite ores, Cornelius Board settled here in 1739 and first utilized the property for iron mining. He was followed shortly thereafter by the Ogden family who established the Ringwood Company and built the first blast furnace here in 1742.

After twenty years of production, a German promoter, Peter Hasenclever, organized the American Iron Company to exploit the resources in colonial North America, purchasing the Ringwood area in 1764. He would also develop forges at Long Pond and Charlotteburg but made Ringwood the center of his iron empire. Hasenclever established iron plantations and developed the production of flax and timber across 50,00 acres of land stretching through New Jersey and New York, from present day Butler to New Foundland and Nova Scotia. The iron was said to have been “the best iron in the American colonies.” Robert Erskine, the last ironmaster of the American Iron Company, was sent from England in 1771 and would manage the company during the Revolutionary War.

(History of Ringwood, NJ)

Central Park Conservatory Garden Located between 104th and 106th Streets by Fifth Avenue                                            New York, NY 10029

Central Park Conservatory Garden Located between 104th and 106th Streets by Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10029

The Central Park Conservatory Garden

Located between 104th and 106th Streets off Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10029

https://www.centralparknyc.org/

https://www.centralpark.com/visitor-info/central-park-conservancy/

Hours: Depends on the season and the Dawn to Dusk rule

Hours of Operation:

November-February (8:00am-5:00pm)

March (8:00am-6:00pm)

April (8:00am-7:00pm)

May (August 14th 8:00am-8:00pm)

August 15-31 (8:00am-7:30pm)

September (8:00am-7:30pm)

http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/#what_lawns-and-landscapes

Fee: Free

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d272517-Reviews-Conservatory_Garden-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

The entrance to the Central Park Conservatory Garden in Winter 2023

*I want to note that in the Spring of 2022, the Gardens are going through a renovation and parts of the Gardens are closed off.

This time of the year (Spring) the Central Park Conservatory is in full bloom and its magnificence is at its finest in the Spring and Summer months. In May, the tulips and daffodils are just finishing their flowering and the lilacs are just finishing their blooming and still fragrant the garden. The lawns are all a deep green and the dogwood trees are just starting to bloom around the rings of the gardens.

Don’t miss walking around the Gardens off to the side closest to the Harlem Meir as they are open through the renovation. You will see beds of flowers along the fountain’s edge and can admire all the sculpture. What is most impressive is that in-between the Gardens is a vast green lawn surrounded by trees. The lawn of the Conservatory is nice to just admire with the trees lining it on all sides.

Central Park Conservatory Garden Winter 2023

The best time to come to the Conservatory Gardens is in early to late Spring and the early Summer when everything is in full bloom. This is when Mother Nature shows us her great magic.

The beauty of the Central Park Conservatory is that it blooms all year around except the winter and even then, there is a quiet elegance to the gardens.

Central Park Conservatory Garden V

History of The Central Park Conservatory:

The Central Park Conservatory Garden is the only formal garden in Central Park, New York City and is located approximately between 104th and 106th Street on Fifth Avenue in NYC. The Garden consists of about six acres of formal landscaping of trees, shrubs and flowers. The formal garden is divided into three smaller gardens each with a distinct style: Italian, French and English. The Central Conservatory Garden is an officially designated Quiet Zone and offers a calm and colorful setting for a leisurely stroll and intimate wedding.

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The Central Park Conservatory in the Spring

It takes its name from a conservatory that stood  on the site from 1898 to 1934. The park’s head gardener used the glasshouses to harden hardwood cuttings for the park’s plantings. After the conservatory was torn down, the garden was designed by Gilmore D. Clarke, landscape architect for Robert Moses, with planting plans by M. Betty Sprout and constructed and planted by WPA workers, it was opened to the public in 1937.

The Garden is composed of three distinct parts, skillfully restored since the 1980’s and is accessible through the Vanderbilt Gate at Fifth Avenue and 105th Street, a quarter south of the park’s northeast corner.

The Vanderbilt Gate at the Central Park Conservatory

The Vanderbilt Gate once gave access to the forecourt of Cornelius Vanderbilt II’s chateau designed by George Browne Post, the grandest of the Fifth Avenue mansions of the Gilded Age, at 58th Street and Fifth Avenue, sharing the Plaza with Plaza Hotel. The wrought iron gates with cast iron and repousse details, were designed by Post and executed in an iron foundry in Paris.

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The fountain at the Central Park Conservatory

Below the steps flanked by Cornelian cherry, the central section of the Conservatory Garden is a symmetrical lawn outlined in clipped yew, with a single central fountain jet at the rear. It is flanked by twin aisles of crabapples and backed by a curved wisteria pergola against the steep natural slope, that is dominated at its skyline by a giant American Sycamore. Otherwise there is no flower color; instead on any fine Saturday afternoon in June, it is a scene of photography sessions for colorful wedding parties for which limousines pull up in rows on Fifth Avenue.

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The Cherry Trees at the gardens

To the left of the south side is the garden of mixed herbaceous borders in wide concentric bands around The Secret Garden water lily pool, dedicated in 1936 to the memory of Frances Hodgson Burnett with sculpture by Bessie Potter Vonnoh. Some large shrubs, like tree lilac, magnolias, buddleias and Cornus alba ‘elegantissima’ provide vertical structure and offer light shade to offset the sunny locations, planted by Lynden Miller with a wide range of hardy perennials and decorative grasses, intermixed with annuals planted to seem naturalized. This  garden has seasonal features to draw visitors from April through October.

To the right of the central formal plat is a garden also in concentric circles, round the Untermyer Fountain, which was donated by the family of Samuel Untermyer in 1947. The bronze figures, Three Dancing Maidens by Walter Schott (1861-1938) were executed in Germany about 1910 and formed a fountain at Utermyer’s estate “Greystone” in Yonkers, New York.

This section of the Conservatory Garden has two dramatic seasons of massed display of tulips in the spring and Korean chrysanthemums in the fall. Beds of satolina clipped in knotted designs with contrasting bronze-leaved bedding begonias surround the fountain and four rose arbor gates are planted with reblooming ‘Silver Moon’ and ‘Betty Prior’ roses.

After the Second World War the garden had become neglected and by the 1970’s became a wasteland. It was restored and partially replanted under the direction of horticulturist and urban landscape designer Lyden Miller to reopen in June 1987. The overgrown, top-heavy crabapples were freed of watershoots and pruned up to a higher scaffold for better form. The high-style mixed planting was the first to bring estate garden style to urban parks, part of the general of Central Park under Elizabeth Barlow Rogers of the Central Park Conservancy.

(This information directly from Wikipedia and has many sources)