Some of the greatest botanical gardens in the Northeast are located in New York. People who live in vast and sprawling metropolises like New York City know it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life and end up feeling blocked in by the concrete jungle. But if the big city blues have got you down, the quick and easy cure is to visit some of the wonderful botanical gardens that New York has to offer. Take some time to tour a few of these beautiful gardens and introduce some vibrant colors into what might be an otherwise all too grey city existence.
Hop on a Metro-North train and head out to explore the wonders of The New York Botanical Garden. Winter is a tough time in any garden, but at the NYBG, the snow only makes the garden more beautiful. They do a wonderful job of celebrating winter in all its glory. What better time to visit their exciting exhibit, Caribbean Garden, in the Enid Haupt Conservatory? It's like a trip to the tropics without leaving New York. See some wonderful plants with names like ice cream bean, Panama hat palm, and the autograph tree, just to name a few. You can almost feel the warm tropical breeze. A weekend field trip to the garden is a great adventure for the whole family with the fun-filled discovery center. Kids and adults alike will appreciate the fantastic explorations and investigations some of nature's mysteries. Count the rings of a tree to see how old it is, make pine cone prints, and plant winter wheat in a pot to take home. With so many ways to engage with the plant world, it's a feast for the senses and fun for the whole family. The New York Botanical Garden is just one way to engage with nature amidst the frenzy of New York City.
There's a whole lot going on at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Winter weekdays are absolutely free. That means that Monday through Friday you can stroll through the gorgeous gardens all day long and it won't cost you one thin dime. Take advantage of some of the wonderful classes offered at BBG, ranging from Community Horticulture Classes, to Urban Composting Classes, to Weekday Winter Watercolors. You can even earn a certificate in floral design! Also on display is an exquisite exhibit detailing the art of bonsai, called Graceful Perverance, giving insight into the unexpected beauty of life in challenging environments. World-renowned nature artist Patrick Dougherty, in honor of Brooklyn Botanic Garden's centennial, has created an amazing new piece entitled Natural History, which is on display. This garden is a must-see, voted number two out of the ten best botanic gardens in the United States by Hotelclub, and with free winter weekdays, there's no reason not to go.
Queens Botanical Garden has something for everyone, from kids to senior citizens and everywhere in between. They offer excellent programs for children, cultivating imagination and learning along with plant life, as they teach kids hand-on gardening against a beautiful backdrop. The other side of the coin is the senior garden, which provides a unique opportunity for seniors to get fresh air and exercise in a community setting, all while growing their own produce, which they are free to take home. As for the "everywhere in between," there are a variety of wonderful treats, such as the All-America Trial Garden, which displays award winning annuals and vegetables; The Bee Garden, which is home to a buzzing bevy of honey bees; Cherry Circle, a gorgeous garden path bordered by beautiful cherry trees; The Fragrance Walk, a collection of plants that are especially fragrant during the growing season, and will leave your senses tingling; and there is even a Wedding Garden, the perfect place to declare your love for that special someone in a beautiful Victorian garden setting, complete with a romantic gazebo, footbridge and stream. The Queens Botanical Garden is a great place to go to renew your connection to the natural world.
Botanical gardens are certainly not the first thing that come to mind when one thinks of New York City, tall buildings, taxi cabs, and fine dining definitely being higher on the list, but there is much to discover amidst the beautiful winding paths through these wonderful gardens filled with fragrant flowers and mouth-watering vegetables. It is worth taking the time out from your hectic city schedule to stop and smell the roses.