With winter's cold finally behind us, it's come time for one of Brooklyn's biggest annual celebrations: the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Cherry Blossom Festival is a perennial favorite, but the other two borough parks on this list are far lesser known.
This post courtesy of Explore Brooklyn, an all-inclusive guide to the businesses, neighborhoods, and attractions that make Brooklyn great.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) boasts over 10,000 different varieties of plants over its 52 acres. Whether it’s your goal to enjoy as many as possible or seek out a specific few, make the most of your visit by learning what will be blooming when. Read on to see what you can expect to see in each season.
The plant with the longest blooming time at the garden are orchids, and you can find them in the Robert W. Wilson Aquatic House, from February through September. Just after that comes native wildflowers, which can be seen from April through October.
South African bulbs are next, blooming from January through August, although you won’t see them in May or June. The witch-hazels are another hardy bunch, and you can see them from January through April.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is hosting its 34th annual “Making Brooklyn Bloom” conference tomorrow, where urban farmers and gardeners can learn all about setting up and cultivating a successful community garden. Workshops and breakout sessions will cover topics like community composting, edible flowers, decontaminating soil for urban gardens, caring for street trees and city partnerships. There will also be exhibits from local gardening organizations, a guided walking tour of the gardens and a workshop on building indoor terrariums. Check-in begins at 10 am and the conference runs until 4 pm. Take a look at the full schedule over on BBG’s website.
Photo by Rebecca Bullene for Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is hosting a bunch of events this Sunday designed to get you moving and exploring some natural beauty, including a winter bird walk, a hot cocoa and chocolate tasting and a “chase away the winter blues” plant tour. Visitors can sample JoMart Chocolates from 11 am to 2 pm, and check out a pop-up shop by Swedish clothing and home goods brand Gudrun Sjödén between 10 am and 4:30 pm.
Besides the walking tours, there will be children’s dance classes, a Victorian toy parlor, and a “nestfest” where families can search for nests or build their own. The hour-long bird stroll begins at 10 am, and the winter plant walk, which is led by a licensed psychotherapist and BBG guide, starts at 1 pm. All the events are free with admission to the garden. Take a look at the full schedule of First Sunday activities over on the BBG website.
On Saturday the Brooklyn Botanic Garden will host its annual Ghouls and Gourds festival. There will be tons of activities and entertainment for everyone: stilt walkers, giant puppets, crafts (make a potato person and drop him or her off at the Potato People Resort and Spa), live music and more. Children’s book authors will be reading stories and signing their books. The day will culminate with a costume parade at 4:30.
The event runs from noon to 5:30 pm on Saturday, October 25. Tickets are $15. Children under 12 are free. Click here for more details.
Photo: Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Learn about gardening and food policy at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this weekend during its 33rd annual Making Brooklyn Bloom conference. The event, which is free with admission to the garden, includes workshops, networking lunches for gardeners and urban famers, walking tours and gardening how-tos. Workshops will cover topics like composting, soil contamination, nature walks and kitchen botany.
Attendees can take a seasonal guided walking tour of the gardens, visit the Rotunda and learn how to build an indoor terrarium. The conference will take place from 10 am to 4 pm, with workshops starting at 11 am and 3 pm. You can register the day of, and BBG suggests you arrive early to reserve space in your preferred workshops. Check out the full schedule here on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden website.
Image via Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Visitors Center has won the American Institute of Architects’ Institute of Honor Award, the organization’s highest recognition. Designed by Weiss/Manfredi Architects, the glassed-in structure has a zig-zagging roof that transitions into undulating green grass as it extends back into the garden. Here are the AIA’s comments on the building’s design:
“…The building blends gracefully into the landscape. On the south side, too, the design mediates the relationship between ‘culture’ and ‘cultivation’ through veiled views into the Garden from the exhibition gallery. The gallery’s curved glass surfaces are spectrally selective and fritted to minimize heat gain and maximize natural illumination.”
The visitors center was built with locally purchased materials and incorporates sustainable elements, like a geothermal exchange and a rain garden. And it includes a century-old Ginkgo tree. The building also incorporates an information lobby, orientation room, restrooms, gift shop, café, catering and kitchen and an event space.
Photo by Albert Vecerka/Esto via AIA
Last week there was a sneak peek for media of the new Brooklyn Botanic Visitors Center, and today it opens to the public. The project was designed by the firm Weiss/Manfredi. According to a rep for the institution, the mayor will be on hand to cut the ribbon today. Contractors were sprucing up the grounds this morning, and hopefully the slight drizzle that may attend the ceremony will bolster its verdant roof.
BBG’s New Visitor Center About to Open! [Brownstoner]