Brooklyn Botanic Garden Blossoms


Photo Credit: Betty Crocker - CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6566407

Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) was founded in 1910, and is located in Prospect Park. The 52-acre garden includes a number of specialty "gardens within the Garden", plant collections and the Steinhardt Conservatory. The Garden holds over 10,000 types of plants and each year has over 900,000 visitors.

The City of Brooklyn purchased the land to create Prospect Park 1864. Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux, the original designers submitted their final plans to the city for approval in the 1860s. Legislation in 1897 reserved 39 acres for a botanic garden. When it was founded in 1910, the garden was known as the Institute Park and was run by the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, and first opened as the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on May 13, 1911.

Harold Caparn was appointed as the landscape architect in 1912 and designed most of the grounds over the next three decades, including the Osborne Garden, Cranford Rose Garden, Magnolia Plaza, and Plant Collection.

Construction of the Laboratory Building and Conservatory, which is the main building on the grounds, began in 1912. It was designed by William Kendall of McKim Mead and White - the same architectural firm that built the Brooklyn Museum and many other prominent New York City buildings. It was designated a New York City Landmark in 2007 and is now simply an administration building for the park.

Cherry Blossoms at BBG

The Garden has more than 200 cherry trees and is home to 42 Asian species and cultivated varieties. It is one most prominent cherry-viewing sites outside of Japan. The first cherries were planted at the garden after World War I, and were a gift from the Japanese government. Each spring when the trees are in bloom, the garden hosts a month-long cherry blossom viewing festival called Hanami. It is held at the Cherry Esplanade, ending in a weekend celebration called Sakura Matsuri. This year the festivities will be held April 30th - May 1st 10am-6pm.

The Esplanade features two rows of cherry trees with trails and sitting areas on the side as well as in the row of lawn in between. Cherry trees can also be found in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden (pictured above) and in many other locations in the Garden. Depending on climate conditions, the cherries bloom from late March or early April to mid-May.

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