The weather was absolutely spectacular this past weekend! On Saturday afternoon we couldn’t wait to jump in the car and head out on one of our famous “day-trips”! This time we headed south (shh, we ventured outside of the Hudson Valley, LOL) and went to the beautiful Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.
On one hand, we were amazed and how crowded (because of the “recession”) and on the other hand we expected many people enjoying quiet time reading under a tree or walking through the gardens as we were.
We were visiting at the beginning of the BBG’s Cherry Blossom Season which is April 3 – May 2. We are planning a trip to DC next weekend to visit during the National Cherry Blossom Festival so we choose to pass on walking through the early blooms of these cherry trees. Instead, we headed to the left side of the gardens and leisurely strolled along. First walking along the brick path passing Shakespeare Garden, which wasn’t yet in bloom but still beautiful and peaceful.
Then it was on to the wonderful Fragrance Garden. The BBG proudly recognizes this as “the first garden in the country designed for the sight-impaired.” The fragrances will capture your senses and take your mind wondering to a tranquil place that we can, for a movement, forget all the worries of our lives.
Continuing along we wandered into the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. The garden was the first Japanese garden to be created in an American public garden. According to BBG, “it is considered to be the masterpiece of its creator, Japanese landscape designer Takeo Shiota (1881-1943). Simplicity and “harmonious asymmetry” are important principles in Japanese gardens, making them more beautiful than most to me.
When I say spectacular, I mean spectacular! I was surprised to learn there are some 17 varieties of magnolia’s. Magnolia Plaza is both breath taking and fragrant. An elegant formal garden of magnificent trees spread in front of the beaux arts Administration Building. The sweet scent and showy blossoms of magnolias are among the early signs of spring at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. In March, the star magnolias (Magnolia stellata) bloom, covering the trees.
Then on to Daffodil Hill which filled the hillside with bright yellows sure to put a smile on anyone’s face, including ours!
Just down the steps past the magnolia’s we approached Lily Pool Terrace.
The centerpiece of Lily Pool Terrace is the Jenkins Fountain, directly in front of the Palm House. Two large pools are situated to its north and south, bordered on the west by the mixed perennial border, and on the east by the annual border. Two large pools are planted with nearly 100 varieties of hardy and tropical water-lilies and sacred lotus—a stunning attraction in July, August, and September.
Then we stopped and enjoyed a great lunch at the Terrace Café. The café offers delightful outdoor dinning with a “wonderful” menu of gourmet lunches & beverages from spring to early fall. How special lunch was when we sat with another couple that is also planning on visiting the DC area next weekend for the final weekend of the National Cherry Blossom Festival; maybe we’ll see them in DC!
Now for all you shopaholics, no trip (be it a “day-trip” or week long vacation) is complete without some shopping, but of course! The BBGarden now has two shops, both located on Lily Pool Terrace.
The Gift Shop carries some unique stationery, personal accessories, and items for your home. Many items are exclusive to the Garden, including signature products featuring the Garden’s distinctive logo. Several products that utilize the artwork of Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Florilegeum Society are also available. If you can’t get to the garden, consider visiting the online Garden Gift shop.
The Garden Shop carries everything for the garden, books, and gifts for children. New York Magazinewrites that “the (garden) shop has an amazing selection of plants … and features one of the most extensive selections of bulbs and seeds in the city.” The shop, located in Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s spectacular Steinhardt Conservatory complex, carries just about everything a gardener could want, from plants to tools to garden supplies, as well as an extensive collection of gardening books.
We had a great afternoon at the BBG and if you love flowers, gardening, strolling along pathways or simply enjoy nature and the outdoors, we encourage you to consider making a visit too.