Brooklyn Botanical Garden
The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is a 52-acre oasis in the northeast corner of Prospect Park. The garden was founded in 1910 and features more than 10,000 different plants from around the world.
I visited on May 4, 2007 and snapped these photos. The order approximates the self-guided walking tour pamphlet, which also provides the heading numbers. Guided tours are offered once a day during the spring and summer.
Click on the thumbnails for larger versions of the photos.
Eastern Parkway Gate
The entrance from the #2/#3 IRT trains. Adjacent to the grand entrance to the Brooklyn Museum.
Osborne Garden (13)
An Italian-style formal garden.
Visitor Center (1)
The Beaux Arts visitor center and administration building from 1911. Houses some very tiny bathrooms.
Daffodil Hill (2)
A blaze of gold in early April, which I missed.
Fragrance Garden (3)
Plants chosen for fragrance and texture.
Shakespeare Garden (4)
English cottage-style garden featuring plants mentioned in Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. Despite the weird English names, most of them look look quite friendly.
Celebrity Path (5)
A path with stepping stones labeled with the names of famous Brooklynites. Lots of stars from the early 20th century with a few more recent luminaries.
Alfred T. White Memorial (6)
A small ampitheatre built around a monument to Alfred T. White, a Brooklyn philanthropist who was an early benefactor and trustee of the garden.
Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden (7)
A traditional Japanese garden designed by Takeo Shiota and first opened to the public in 1915. The large red Torii standing in the pond indicates the presence of a shrine nestled in the pines on the hill beyond. The shrine is dedicated to the Shinto god of the harvest, protector of plants. The inscription on the front of the Torii reads, Dai-myo-jin, Great Illuminating Deity, or Spirit of Light.
Herb Garden (8)
A garden featuring 300 differnt medicinal, culinary, fragrant and ornamental herbs surrounding an Elizabethan knot garden, based on a 16th century design.
Tree Peony Collection (9)
A collection of peonys donated to the garden by the people of Yatsuka Town, Shimane Prefecture, in response to the 9/11/2001 attacks. "These flowers bring us happiness and comfort in times of trouble. We hope that these peonies, carefully raised by the producers in our town, can also be loved by and bring peace of mind to people in the United States."
Cherry Walk (10)
A walk on the southern end of the Cherry Esplanade, which features 76 Japanese "Kanzan" flowering cherry trees. I was there when they were in full bloom.
Cherry Esplanade (11)
Native Flora Garden (15)
A 2.5 acre garden divided into different habitats and featuring native plants growing within a 100-mile radius of New York City. The center of the garden features a kettle pond, left behind by a partially buried glacial ice mass that once lived here during the last ice age. Kinda like a walk through the wild area of a city park...with labels. I always wondered what wild oats are, although I'm not sure why sowing them is such a bad thing.
Home Composting Exhibit (16)
Cranford Rose Garden (17)
More than 5,000 plants. Blooming peaks in June..
Bluebell Wood (18)
45,000 bluebells that bloom in May.
Modern descendants of ancient cone-bearing plants.
Monocot Border (20)
A meadow featuring a number of grand trees, including a Weeping Beech and (amusingly named) Caucasian Wingnut.
Rock Garden (22)
A garden that mimics high, mountainous areas where rocks form a permanent part of the landscape. Boulders in the garden were carried here by the southern migration of the last glacier, the Wisconsin Ice Sheet, some 30,000 years ago. The ice sheet's journey inded in a line across Brooklyn that was wider than Long Island. Along this "terminal moraine" the glacier dumped the debris it had collected, including these rounded boulders. They are labeled based upon where their composition indicates that they came from.
Steinhardt Conservatory (23)
The hot houses containing plants that can't live outdoors in this area.
Lily Pool Terrace (24)
Two large pools planted with nearly 100 varieties of tropical water-lillies and sacred lotus. Much more interesting later in the summer once they've grown out and started blooming.
Annual Border (26)
Spring features a rainbow of tulips. Flowering annuals replace them in the summer and fall.
Discovery Garden (27)
An educational play area for children
Children's Garden (28)
A garden where city children have been growing vegetables, flowers and herbs and learning firsthand about gardening and the environment since 1914.