Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Pratties, Plaid, And A Whole Lot Of Trees


Ah the Brooklyn Botanic Garden–so classy, so serene, so…unoriginal (for a post subject, I mean). But I can’t help it, really. I only have two sets of walking photos on my phone camera and one is decidedly uncomplete. Plus, the BBG is so gorgeous, even in winter, especially when the snow/sleet/hail trifecta that usually accompanies winter has been all but absent from this one.

I had a meeting at Glass Shop in Crown heights, and as it was a Sunday and about 40 degrees out, I decided I’d walk around Prospect Park first. And I did, but it took less time than I’d planned, and so, with an hour to kill, I remembered that the BBG was adjacent to Prospect Park, and headed down Washington to find its limestone gates. They were open–that’s one of the nicest things about the BBG in the winter: no weddings (which can be a bit rough on the flaneur, Chuck Bass or no).

In addition to the very small likelihood of brides and veils and armies of stiletto heels, there is a still small likelihood of other people. Winter in most people’s minds occupies a parallel plane to gardens. Point being, go in the spring or summer for the color, for the petals and blossoms and bobo twee families having grass-fed picnics, and go in the winter if you want the place to yourself.

It might be a good idea to read up on the garden first. I didn’t, and had no idea it was so enormous–52 acres, and completely missed the Japanese garden.

What I did see were a lot of rare trees–in that way, it reminded me of Paris’ Jardin des Plantes, only less hilly–and the rock garden, shown above, which was bristling and green and full of twisty little paths. There’s a festival for the cherry trees in the spring, but I find them quite lovely now, in a spare, proud sort of way, and I liked the way they framed that vast lawn.

Quite apart from the trees and specialty gardens and teeny, dollhousey bridges, the BBG abounds with something plainer, and more essential: space. It’s a commodity often pushed to the back of my mind–out of necessity, mostly, but when I stumble upon some, whoa boy does it sing. Thoreau might disagree, but I think cities and parks are made for one another.

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