Botanical Garden Brooklyn

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Botanical Garden Brooklyn

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 Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux brought their final plans to the city for approval in the 1860s, they had eliminated the problematic division along Flatbush. The northeast portion went unused, serving as an ash dump. Legislation in 1897 as the city moved toward consolidation reserved 39 acres (16 ha) for a botanic garden, and the garden itself was founded in 1910. The garden was initially known as the Institute Park. It was run under the auspices of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, which included (until the 1970s) the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. It opened as the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on May 13, 1911, with the Native Flora Garden being the first established section.

Botanical Garden Brooklyn

Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) is a botanical garden in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. Founded in 1910, and located in the Prospect Park neighborhood, the 52-acre (21 ha) garden includes a number of specialty “gardens within the Garden”, plant collections and the Steinhardt Conservatory, which houses the C. V. Starr Bonsai Museum, three climate-themed plant pavilions, a white cast-iron and glass aquatic plant house, and an art gallery. The Garden holds over 14,000 taxa of plants and each year has over 900,000 visitors.

Botanical Garden Brooklyn

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Brooklyn Botanic Garden is an urban botanic garden situated on 52 acres in the heart of Brooklyn, fostering delight and curiosity in the world of plants while inspiring an appreciation and sense of stewardship of the environment. The Garden also offers weddings and private event catering at the Palm House and Atrium, in a beautiful outdoor setting.

Botanical Garden Brooklyn

Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a founding partner of the Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment (BASE), a small public high school dedicated to science, environmental studies, and urban ecology that was launched in 2003. A Field Studies course is offered adjunct Living Environment for incoming freshmen where students spend two hours out of one day in the week at BBG developing scientific skills and immersed in outdoor scientific study. The school is operated by a partnership between BBG, Prospect Park Alliance, and the New York City Department of Education. Students are also connected with scientists and horticulturists who serve as mentors for advanced research studies students develop. BASE graduated its first class in 2007 and has attained its fourth Gates Millennium Scholar in 2013.

Botanical Garden Brooklyn

BBG has been producing publications since 1945, when it launched America’s first series of popular gardening handbooks. Today, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Guides to a Greener Planet continue to provide home gardeners with practical information on subjects such as garden design, great plants, and gardening techniques. BBG’s website showcases the Garden and its programs and offers information for the home gardener in popular features such as Garden Botany and Environmental Gardening. New features are added every week, including seasonal interactive guides such as “ID Your Holiday Tree” and “Cherry Watch,” and online resources like the Metropolitan Plant Encyclopedia. BBG’s collection of historic photographs and lantern slides was recently made available online. The website was one of the first to be fully compliant with federal laws requiring information technology to be equally accessible to the disabled.

Botanical Garden Brooklyn

A donation from Henry Clay Folger, founder of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. paved the way for the construction of BBG’s original Shakespeare Garden in 1925. Since moved to a different location in the Garden, this English cottage garden exhibits more than 80 plants mentioned in William Shakespeare’s plays and poems. Plant labels give the plants’ common or Shakespearean names, their botanical names, relevant quotations, and, in some cases, a graphic representation of the plant.

Botanical Garden Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is as committed to education and conservation as it is to inspiration. Whether you’re looking to learn something or just want to soak up 52 acres of natural beauty, the BBG has more than 10,000 kinds of plants from all over the world. The garden is open year-round and has plants for every season, plus indoor tropical gardens and bonsai trees.

Botanical Garden Brooklyn

The garden is a blend of the ancient hill-and-pond style and the more modern stroll-garden style, in which various landscape features are gradually revealed along winding paths. Its 3 acres (1.2 ha) contain hills, a waterfall, a pond, and an island, all artificially constructed. Carefully placed rocks also play leading roles. Among the architectural elements of the garden are wooden bridges, stone lanterns, a viewing pavilion, a torii or gateway, and a Shinto shrine. The pond is filled with hundreds of Japanese koi fish that visitors can enjoy viewing on the tori or along the trail of the garden. Another element that can be discovered walking through the trail is a Japanese temple dedicated to the wolf spirits. A restoration of the garden in 2000 was recognized with the New York Landmark Conservancy’s 2001 Preservation Award.

The Cranford Rose Garden opened in June 1928. It was designed by Harold Caparn, a landscape architect, and Montague Free, the Garden’s horticulturist. Many of the original plants are still in the garden today. There are over 5,000 bushes of nearly 1,400 kinds of roses, including wild species, old garden roses, hybrid tea roses, grandifloras, floribundas, polyanthas, hybrid perpetuals, climbers, ramblers, and miniature roses. The garden also features a stone statue.

Next to the Shakespeare Garden is the Fragrance Garden, complete with braille information signs for visitors with vision disabilities. Created in 1955 by landscape architect Alice Recknagel Ireys, this was the first garden in the country designed for the vision-impaired. All visitors are encouraged to rub the fragrant or pleasingly textured leaves of the plants between their fingers. There are four sections in the garden, each with a theme: plants to touch, plants with scented leaves, plants with fragrant flowers, and kitchen herbs. The garden is wheelchair-accessible, and all planting beds are at an appropriate height for people in wheelchairs. A fountain provides a calming sound and a place to wash one’s hands after touching the various plants.

Other specialty gardens at BBG include: the Discovery Garden, designed for young children; the Herb Garden; the Lily Pool Terrace, which includes two large display pools of lilies and koi fish and surrounded by annual and perennial borders; the Osborne Garden, a 3-acre (1.2 ha), Italian-style garden that features pergolas and a stone fountain, and the Rock Garden, built around 18 boulders left behind by the glacier during the Ice Age. A Celebrity Path honors famous Brooklynites past and present, such as Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen, and Walt Whitman, with a trail of engraved paving stones. Following along that path leads to the Alfred T. White Amphitheater that hosts mini concerts and performances.

In 1927, Walter V. Cranford, a construction engineer whose firm built many of Brooklyn’s subway tunnels, donated $15,000 to BBG for a rose garden. Excavation revealed an old cobblestone road two feet below the surface and tons of glacial rock, which had to be carted away on horse-drawn barges.

The Garden has more than 200 cherry trees of forty-two Asian species and cultivated varieties, making it one of the foremost cherry-viewing sites outside Japan. The first cherries were planted at the garden after World War I, a gift from the Japanese government. Each spring at BBG, when the trees are in bloom, a month-long cherry blossom viewing festival called Hanami is held at the Cherry Esplanade, culminating in a weekend celebration called Sakura Matsuri. The Esplanade features two rows of cherry trees with trails and sitting areas on the side. Visitors may also sit on the field of grass between the rows of cherry trees. Cherry trees are found on the Cherry Esplanade and Cherry Walk, in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, and in many other locations in the Garden. Depending on weather conditions, the Asian flowering cherries bloom from late March or early April to mid-May. The many different species bloom at slightly different times, and the sequence is tracked online at Cherry Watch, on the BBG website.

Housed in the McKim, Mead & White Administration Building, the BBG Library provides a collection of books on horticulture and botany that is available to home gardeners, professionals and staff. This building houses a Rare Book Room which holds valuable and historic botanical literature. This building also features classrooms, auditorium, a rotunda and offices.

BBG’s Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden was the first Japanese garden to be created in an American public garden. It was constructed in 1914 and 1915 at a cost of $13,000, a gift of early BBG benefactor and trustee Alfred T. White, and it first opened to the public in June 1915. Widely considered by numerous landscape architects, to be the masterpiece of its creator, Japanese landscape designer Takeo Shiota (1881–1943). Shiota was born in a small Japanese village about 40 miles (64 km) from Tokyo, and in his youth spent years traversing Japan on foot to explore its natural landscape. He emigrated to the United States in 1907.

A signature feature in the south Garden landscape, the new Shelby White and Leon Levy Water Garden is a 1.5-acre wetland and riparian environment with an integrated network of innovative sustainability features. The garden, designed by award-winning landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), highlights the beauty of water elements at BBG with a restored and expanded pond and brook system and more than 20,000 new plants.

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