Tuesday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Weekends and holidays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed Monday ( open holiday Mondays, except for Labor Day)
Tuesday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Weekends and holidays: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed Monday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day ( open holiday Mondays)
Steinhardt Conservatory, Visitor Center & Garden Gift Shop
Open every day the Garden is open:
10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Garden is closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
The Jenkins Fountain is centered in a pool 24 feet in diameter and 1-1/2 feet deep. Lily Pool Terrace.
Rock Garden opened to the public in 1917. It was the first rock garden of considerable size in an American botanic garden.
Brooklyn Botanical Garden is amazing. May very well be the best place in the whole city. I liked it way more than Bronx Botanical Garden or the Central Park or anything else, even the Dupont Gardens in Philly. The only place that may be better is Prospect Park, but that's only cause I like rustic shit like that. If you haven't been there - go. Now.
I bought my membership and strolled around on Sunday. What an oasis.
Winter Looms, but One Tree Dresses for Spring
In a warm New York December, a cherry tree at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden was in full bloom. Its breed is
known, with good reason, as the everblooming cherry.
By ANDY NEWMAN
Published: December 20, 2006
There may be no snow this holiday season, but in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a decidedly unseasonal wonder awaits: a cherry tree in full bloom.
Four months ahead of its brothers and sisters, a tree at the northeast corner of the Japanese garden pond, crowned with thousands of delicate flowers, catches the afternoon sun and flings it back out in a cloud of silvery pink.
The blossom riot is, of course, a response to a December whose average temperature is almost five degrees above normal so far, according to the National Weather Service. Do not fear, though, that there will be no magic carpet of pink petals in the garden come April.
The tree is one of a few at the garden that flowers sporadically during warm spells throughout the late fall and winter — though almost never all at once like this, an expert at the garden said. Its breed is known, in fact, as the everblooming cherry.
“This isn’t of any concern to us,” Patrick J. Cullina, the garden’s vice president for horticulture, said yesterday. “This is serendipitous. We have hundreds of other cherry trees that will flower in the spring. It’s just a nice surprise for people who happen to be here today.”
Scot D. Medbury, the garden’s president, added, “Think of it as sort of a Christmas present.”
The gift may not last long. Mark Tebbitt, the garden’s horticultural taxonomist, said that he had been monitoring the tree and that it seemed to be at its peak yesterday. Already, some of the petals were turning brown.
The tree has been helped along by its location, a sunny spot next to the pond, which reflects sunlight up at it. In a shady patch of the garden’s parking lot stands another everblooming cherry with only a sprinkling of flowers.
The tree by the pond stands in contrast not just to the other cherry trees at the garden but to the whole rest of the place, which, warm spell or not, is pretty brown these days.
“It’s really magic,” Mr. Tebbitt said. “I think because it’s just such stark winter elsewhere.”
Yesterday afternoon, Mady Hagbi walked by the tree with her husband and four of their six children. Ms. Hagbi looked up, a huge smile spreading across her face.
“I remember when I was a child,” she said, “my grandfather used to have a tree like this in his backyard with flowers in the winter.”
Her grandfather’s yard was in Tiberias, Israel. The average temperature there in December is 60 degrees, about the same as in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
Botanic Garden looks to get greener
by Amy Zimmer / metro new york
JAN 19, 2007
PROSPECT HEIGHTS. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden was a trailblazer back in the day. In 1914, it opened the country’s first Children’s Garden and began the first bonsai collection in 1925. But the nearly 100-year-old institution recognizes it needs to reinvigorate its mission and become even “greener.”
“We’re really getting our heads together on how we can be a model of a green institution,” Scot Medbury, BBG’s president and CEO, said yesterday at a breakfast forum. The garden wants to position itself as “better interpreters” of what sustainability means and how New Yorkers can incorporate it into their lives.
With New York’s population expected to grow by 1 million people by 2030 — and half of those people expected to move to Brooklyn — Medbury wants the garden to help “strengthen the greening of the borough.”
To that end, BBG is planning to construct a new visitor’s center — expected to be completed for the garden’s centennial in 2010 — that will have a green roof that “we think will take it to the next level,” Medbury said.
The garden is also getting more involved in working with local gardeners on food issues — it’s hosting an event on Mar. 10 called “Garden-wise greening: growing healthy soil, food and community.”
Patrick Cullina, vice president of horticulture and facilities, hopes the new center will change perceptions of the benefits of green roofs and “challenge the assumptions and change the vocabulary of what we have on our roofs going forward.”
The center is still in preliminary designs by the New York-based firm Weiss/Manfredi.
It’s a Corsage Nightmare: An Orchid as Big as a Car
Kate Blumm/Brooklyn Botanic Garden
In a rare feat in captivity, this Grammatophyllum speciosum has blossomed to 12 feet in diameter and about 200 pounds
By TINA KELLEY
Published: September 18, 2008
A rare orchid the size of a Volkswagen Beetle is blooming for the second time ever at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a blessed event that has spurred envy among the handful of orchid growers who will even try to grow a plant this big.
Considered the queen of orchidaceous plants, and one of the world’s largest orchids, this particular Grammatophyllum speciosum is 12 feet in diameter and weighs about 200 pounds. It last bloomed in 2003 and has four huge flower spikes, at least one of which should remain in bloom for the next week or two, said David Horak, curator of the garden’s orchid collection.
Known as the tiger or leopard orchid, the plant is native to Malaysia, Sumatra and New Guinea, where it grows in the crotches of trees more than 100 feet in the air. Plants can weigh up to two tons.
“There are all kinds of anecdotal stories about workers being killed trying to remove one from a tree,” Mr. Horak said.
If it is rare in nature, this Gulliver of the garden is even rarer in captivity, because few people or institutions can afford to grow it.
Mr. Horak bought the plant 10 years ago for $75 at an auction from the widow of Don Richardson, who was the orchid grower for Greentree, the Whitney estate on Long Island. It now hangs in a 30-inch square basket, 15 feet in the air above a pond.
As plants go, it is fairly high-maintenance, he said. It is watered every sunny day, and fed two or three times a week.
“The last time we potted it, it took five people and a rope and pulley to lower it into the current basket,” Mr. Horak said. “They resent being repotted, and for some time after we repotted it, it kind of sulked. It didn’t grow very well for a couple years.”
In an August 2007 article in Orchids, the bulletin of the American Orchid Society, Erich E. Michel, the operations manager of the Hoosier Orchid Company in Indianapolis, described trying to get a Grammatophyllum to bloom. In the essay, titled “I Need to Grow a Giant Orchid” (a need his wife as defined as “childish competitive dementia”), he described trying to coax blooms from the plant, which he variously referred to as “the beast” and “the monster.”
The plant’s spiny rootlets, which dry and harden until they are thornlike, catch plant and animal litter from above and form “a self-made composter” that helps feed the plant.
“These barbed roots were just one way the plant could hurt you,” he wrote, before describing how, after nine years of waiting, the growers decided to force the plant to bloom by starving it. “We were going to make it think it was going to die,” he wrote.
He succeeded in 2004, and again in 2007, when the plant produced eight flower spikes.
The Brooklyn orchid’s next feat will be to produce a seed capsule the size of a Nerf football, Mr. Horak said. It will have about two million dustlike seeds in it, which may be offered to some other institution or firm that wants to try growing its own. The seeds are considered an aphrodisiac by some, Mr. Michel wrote.
Unlike Audrey Junior, the voracious plant from “The Little Shop of Horrors,” the Brooklyn plant has not been named, Mr. Horak said. “On any given day, if it’s creating trouble, it gets names nobody wants to hear,” he said.
Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
I love Hanami. I hope the weather is good this weekend so I can head out there.
Brooklyn Botanic, Lush Governors Island Ease City Life: Review
By James S. Russell
Posing as a sleek glass-and-aluminum folly, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s new 20,000-square-foot, $28 million visitor center was built as an environmentally themed lesson plan. The educational mission goes down easy.
Luckily for New Yorkers, the city’s park-building renaissance continues, with inventive design going well beyond trees and grass.
A detail view of the planted roof at the new entrance to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City.
The roof helps the 20,000 square foot structure disappear into a slope, absorbs rainwater and insulates the building.
Source: Albert Vecerka/Esto via Bloomberg
A detail view of the new entrance of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City.
Architect Weiss/Manfredi created a sinuous path between pavilions for a store and interpretive center lit by a skylight.
It forms a gentle transition from the city, as its curves open panoramas of the lush gardens.
Source: Albert Vecerka/Esto via Bloomberg
An aerial view of a new entrance to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City.
Its butterfly-roofed pavilion facing the street turns into a serpentine structure with a
grass-planted roof that tucks discreetly into a slope.
Source: Albert Vecerka/Esto via Bloomberg
Governors Island, a 172-acre former Army and Coast Guard base, broke ground May 24 on a miniature forest and a welcoming ferry-boat landing. Elements in the $75 million first phase suggest the heavily built-up island will be transformed into a world-class park.
Manhattan’s High Line has spurred travel-writer hosannas and billions of dollars of residential development -- an economic bounce arguably greater than the “Bilbao effect,” attributed to the Guggenheim Bilbao art museum that Frank Gehry wrapped in coils of titanium.
Developers aren’t the only happy park advocates. When wallets are too light for nights on the town or beach vacations, parks can make the city highly livable.
Manhattan architects Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi advertise the long-hidden presence of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden with a butterfly-roofed entrance facing Washington Avenue, behind the limestone grandeur of the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
A plaza featuring a storm-water-retaining garden draws the visitor into a curving path roofed by glass. It wanders between a shop and a pavilion with interpretive exhibits and an event space that frames a garden panorama.
Away From Asphalt
A second path leads from the Eastern Parkway entrance and overlooks the entire garden before it curves around the mounded form of the center’s planted roof. Then it slips through the building and drops down a stairway to meet the Washington Street path at a pleasant terrace dotted with tables and chairs.
The serpentine pathways take you away from the brick and asphalt of the city as they open to wisteria-draped lawns and azalea-dappled forests.
The roof helps anchor the center into a slope. It should turn into a thigh-high field of waving grasses -- the very essence of garden romance.
Though little changed from the military base it was for 200 years, it’s no wonder Governor’s Island attracted 450,000 visitors last summer. Tree-lined streets convey you past elegant 19th-century residences facing an undulating meadow from which erupts the stone ramparts of the 1809 Fort Jay. A shoreline bike path unfolds stunning vistas of the city, the bay and the Statue of Liberty.
New construction will transform the neglected southern end of the island. The Trust for Governors Island will install a curving network of intertwined paths planted with flower beds and mazelike ovals of trimmed hedges designed by the Rotterdam- based landscape architect West 8. The paths lie within the wings of a vast Georgian-style regimental building erected in 1924.
With wide curbs that rise sensuously to form benches, the paths wander into a dense grove of trees hung with dozens of hammocks. By next summer the trees will open to a broad meadow filled with playing fields backdropped by the Statue of Liberty.
It’s another addition to the new waterfront parks that deftly poke through city shorelines long walled off by roads, rails, factories and wharfs.
Funding all these parks -- usually through a combination of government sources and private giving -- has not been easy. Finding the dollars to maintain them has become more challenging. Yet as the days warm, I join the millions rejoicing in this extraordinary legacy.
Took a quick run through the new Washington Ave entry building.
It was Free Tuesday, so there were groups of little folks. I felt 12 feet tall.
"Where's your homework."
"On a rock."
Peak next week?
Eastern Parkway gate