Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a natural escape from the urban streets of Manhattan
When you step off the subway at Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, the last thing you might imagine is that just a few steps away is a sprawling botanical garden. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is only a five minute walk from the subway exit, and are well worth your trip out of Manhattan. The day I arrived to the gardens, it was a weekday in early spring and the gardens were relatively empty, so I had time to stroll leisurely around.
When you enter the gardens, they will give you a free map, and I suggest you figure out your route because there are so many little corners and pathways that its easy to miss something or get off track. I began my visit with the cherry trees that surround a manmade lake. I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed because the trees, while gorgeous were placed near a Japanese style hut, and it seemed a bit too much like the Japan area of Epcot center in Disney World for my taste. Even so, the Japanese pond and garden were designed specifically for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in the traditional style. The pond forms the Japanese character for “heart,” and the use of pine trees symbolizes longevity. There are also many rocks placed with care, as they are believed to carry life energy as well as religious significance.
From the Japanese gardens, I continued my visit by passing through the Cherry Tree Walk. This would have been more impressive if I had the opportunity to visit a few weeks later, as the trees were just beginning to flower. There were a few people taking photographs, but in general the area was empty apart from a preschool class passing through. What I couldn´t get over were the different kinds of cherry trees and blossoms. I guess I never stopped to think about how many different types of cherry trees there actually are. Within a few weeks, I´m sure the path would be a field of pink and white blossoms worthy of being the backdrop for a fairytale.
I continued walking past the daffodil garden with their brand new white yellow blossoms smiling up at me until I came upon a couple of what appeared to be thatched huts. It turned out that these were an art installation by artist Patrick Dougherty. The artist combined a love of nature and architecture to create these structures out of all natural material. What was neat, was the fact that you could go up to them and even sit inside the huts and imagine yourself being transported back in time or to some kind of jungle community where you get to be close to nature. It was something so unlike New York City that the sheer presence of such an art installation made me smile.
I walked past the visitor´s center, which is found in a glass greenhouse type building, although I did not choose to go inside. I´m not much of a plant buff, however it appeared that you could buy seeds inside if you have a green thumb (I, clearly, do not.) In front of the glass building was a fountain that was switched off at the time I visited, as well as rows of beautiful pink and yellow tulips. It was around this time that I sat down on a bench to take out my map and figure out where to go from there. As I said, the paths loop around and it’s easy to miss something if you aren´t careful.
I passed by the herb gardens and a rock and fern garden that transported you out of New York City. Although, I did run across another group of preschoolers admiring the pond and trying to investigate everything to the great consternation of their teachers. There was also a path with the names of famous donors who had given money to fund the gardens (a great many of them native New Yorkers who wanted to give back to the community). And, towards the end of my visit, I stumbled upon an English garden with such brightly colored flowers that you couldn´t help but feel a bit inspired by nature.
We ruskommend a visit to The Brooklyn Botanic Garden with 5 boquerones. This is a place that, although a bit smaller than the Bronx Botanical Gardens, is worth a visit. It is a unique park in the middle of an urban environment that is guaranteed to leave you feeling less stressed, and forces you to slow down. This is the perfect place to visit with kids or a school group, as well as take a stroll with your camera- make sure to charge the batteries, as there will be lots of photo opportunities!