After 5 months locked out, a return to the gardens
Last March, on the weekend where Broadway was already shut down and schools were cancelling performances and assemblies, but the rest of the city was still open for a few more days, Ed and I went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden while we still could. There were many people there, but it was possible to keep six feet distance from another, which the public was already mostly practicing. Two days later the gyms and bars and restaurants and museums and the botanic gardens closed, and the full city wide quarantine was enforced the following Sunday.
Nearly five months later, as New York slowly moves through phases of incremental opening, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is finally unlocking its gates. Last weekend BBG members could visit. The general public is welcome starting this weekend. However, advance timed-entry tickets are required, which will limit how many people are in the gardens at any one time.
Ed and I being members, we visited last Saturday, and found we had much of the park nearly to ourselves. In addition to reduced admittance, warning signs and one-way markers and the cordoning off of narrow paths attested to the brave new world of Covid we live in. Also, unsurprisingly, indoor areas including the café, shop, library, and conservatory remain closed.
On the plus side of novelty, several sections of the gardens that were still being redeveloped in March are now finally on view. August may not be the most colorful season in the garden – the cherry blossom, tulip and rose seasons passed unseen by the public this year due to the lockdown – but the beautifully landscaped new areas can now be shared and promise to grow even more delightful in years to come. These photos were taken by both Ed and me.
The Sweet Pepper Bush is just one in many new plants at the garden that have a unique and delightful scent. We decided to order some for our own front porch.
However the Fragrance Garden, traditionally planted with flowers and plants that encourage visitors, particularly the vision-impaired, to touch as well as smell, has had all its plants removed, presumably because its main use in these times was deemed too unsafe.
One of several new features in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden: the Woodland Garden, which includes a structure creating different shade conditions for different times of the day for specific plants’ preferences.
New winding pathways replace previously more direct routes, creating more distinct planting areas and greater visual variety.
June is the prime month for the rose garden, but even now there is still beauty to behold.
Also new this year at the garden, this winding path leading up to the Overlook from the Cherry Esplanade.
The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden.