NYC, known as a “concrete jungle” and “city of neon and chrome,” gets a bad rap for having little organic green space. If you seek it out, however, you can find lovely nature retreats in each of the city’s five boroughs. Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, home to the largest uninterrupted lawn in the country and a world of treasures at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG). Here are a few highlights.
Cranford Rose Garden
The rose garden at BBG is a marvel of landscape design, natural architecture, animal and plant life. More than a thousand different species are present in the garden each year. When flowers are in bloom, tens of thousands of blossoms fill arches, lattices, and formal rose beds with color. June is the best month to visit the Cranford Rose Garden.
Overlooking bucolic pond swimming with koi fish, the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, also at the BBG, is the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States. Designed by talented Japanese landscape designer Takeo Shiota, the garden captures the essence of the traditional Japanese garden. This positively peaceful section of the BBG features a mix of ancient and modern elements, and is lovely to visit alongside the Cherry Esplanade during the early-spring cherry blossom season.
Native Flora Garden
Before being its development into a haven for immigrants coming off Ellis Island, Brooklyn was a massive plot of untamed and largely forested land, home to thousands of species of plants and an abundance of wildlife. The Native Flora Garden is a tribute to this Brooklyn, as well as a source of education and information for those who visit.
As this blog is being published, some of the most brilliant signs of spring at the BBG can be found in the colorful Rock Garden. Also lovely in summer and fall, the Rock Garden was artfully designed around 18 boulders left behind by a glacier during the Ice Age. Ito’s home to maple and spruce trees, azaleas, rhododendrons, succulents, evergreen pines, and anemones.
The array of diverse flora and fauna sprouting from the soil at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden are a sight to behold. Just a ten-minute drive from the NU Hotel Brooklyn, the garden is a great attraction to add to your to-do list if you visit the city in spring, summer, or fall. It’s amazing what a few hours spent appreciating plants and smelling flowers can do for your peace of mind.