Friday, July 1, 2016

A Visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Surrounded by beauty in the rose garden. Photo by TD. (click on photos for larger, clearer versions)

The weekend before last, TD and I took the subway to the wonderful Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which we had not been to in a while. I remembered that June is a great time to visit when the Cranford Rose Garden is in high bloom.  I've done several posts about botanical gardens recently, which offer such bounteous natural beauty inside city limits. A theme that runs through my book is my predilection for a simple, natural country style while living in the city - combining my upstate youth with my Manhattan adulthood. Certainly city parks and botanical gardens, with their rolling green lawns and fragrant flowers, offer the epitome of this appealing combination.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which is a museum of living plants, was founded in 1910 on a 39-acre section of Prospect Park. The Olmstead Brothers, who designed Central Park and the New York Botanical Garden, laid out the original site plan. Now it features more than 12,000 different kinds of plants from around the world and is comprised of all kinds of gardens including a Japanese garden and pond filled with orange koi fish, a lily collection, a daffodil hill, and a lot more.
After exiting the subway at the Eastern Parkway stop, we payed at the Garden entrance and walked through the property with our destination in mind - the blooming roses. In the Shakespeare Garden, an artist sketched some plants in the shade -

The Conservatory, built in 1917, houses many kinds of indoor gardens like a desert and a tropical garden -

In the Cherry Esplanade, visitors lounged under the trees. It looked like an Impressionist painting - 

Before we got to the rose garden, we passed this rose-covered arch which gave a taste of the pleasures to come. I love the sweeping movement of the roses clamoring over the arches. "The eye has to travel," Diana Vreeland famously said.

At last we reached the Cranford Rose Garden, which was built in 1928 and paid for by subway engineer Walter Cranford who ponied up $15,000 to create it. It features a plethora of all kinds of roses planted in beds in rows so it feels very intimate as the visitor can get up close to the blooms. You just wander up and down the rows and enjoy the beauty and the fragrance. When we visited at the end of June, some of the roses were past their peak and on their way out but the garden was still spectacular.

These lovely pink roses edged in red are called Delany Sisters - 

These huge yellow roses, called Edina, posed at the corner of a bed.

At one end of the garden, pink roses and a bank of lavender offered a dreamy combination.

I just love to wander around in this garden, up and down, back and forth. You really don't want to leave.

At last we extricated ourselves and walked down a grassy lawn. TD checked the Phillies baseball score on his phone under some shade trees. 

We exited out of a different entrance than where we came in, and noticed that the wonderful Brooklyn Museum was right next door rising above the trees.

Flowers and art in Brooklyn – a lovely corner of the world.