Brooklyn Botanic Garden, December 2007

Center Hall, BBG Lab and Admin Building
Center Hall, BBG Lab Admin Building

Last Friday I visited the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It started out as a beautifully sunny day, clouding over as the afternoon progressed.

Admission to the gardens is free for non-members on weekdays through February.

The occasion or excuse for my visit was to register for the first course in their Certificate in Horticulture program. Their Winter sessions were already booked, but I was able to sign up for the Spring session, which starts in April. Outside of work, this will be my first classroom education since I studied American Sign Language over 25 years ago.

All that aside, it was a beautiful day. Here are some highlights from my visit.


Baby, BBG's specimen of the Titan Arum, Amorphophallus titanum, is in leaf this year. Each year, the Titam Arum will either flower or, more usually, put out a single leaf.

Baby, with humans for scale
Baby, with humans for scale

This whole structure is a single, giant compound leaf.
Amorphophallus titanum "Baby"

The petiole, shown here, has the same distinctive mottling I saw on the base of last year's inflorescence.
Petiole detail, Amorphophallus titanum

"Baby" in bloom in August of last year
Titan Arum "Baby", Full View

Bonsai Museum

Camellia japonica "Julia Drayton" trained as a bonsai in the literati style
Camellia japonica Julia Drayton, Bonsai, Literati style

Detail of the roots and moss at the base of a cascade style bonsai of Pinus mugo
Detail, Cascade Bonsai

Three bonsai
Three Bonsai

Magnolia Plaza

The photo at the top of this post is from inside BBG's Laboratory and Administration Building. That's where I went to register for my course. Here's a view of the center hall from the outside of the building, taken in March of 2007.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Laboratory Administration Building

And here's a view of that main entrance from the inside.
Main Entrance, BBG Lab Admin Building

BBG's Lab Admin building was landmarked earlier this year.

The Magnolias themselves seemed to be in bud, a couple months too early.
Magnolia Bud

Hopefully, they're smart enough to not get too optimistic. We'll have lows in the teens this week.
Magnolia in Bud

Not everything was as monochromatic as the photo above suggests.
Magnolia Plaza

Athyrium nipponicum and Helleborus foetidus
Athyrium nipponicum and Helleborus foetidus

Japanese Hill & Pond Garden

The highlight of my visit, as I expected, was the Japanese Garden.



It being a weekday, and the middle of winter, and the middle of the holiday week, I almost had the garden to myself. I even had a precious couple of minutes when there was noone else there, which has never happened on any of my previous visits. It was lovely.

Entrance to Viewing Pavilion

Stone Basin


Focal Planes

Viewing Pavilion


Anne said...

Congratulations on your upcoming foray into the world of Adult Education!

Beautiful photos, by the way...

lisa said...

Nice pics! I also really love it when a visit to a public place is unexpectedly private...much more relaxing.

Kerri said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your photos and especially liked seeing 'Baby'. That hall is magnificent. It must've been very peaceful having that beautiful Japanese garden all to yourself.
I hope we're able to get down there to visit the gardens during this year.
It was interesting reading your perspective about the city. We come to visit, of course, with preconceived notions :) The taxis are all part of the 'adventure' :) I find it a fascinating place. I've been there about 5 times now, but this was my husband's first visit, as I mentioned in the post. He was so surprised to find he really enjoyed the city.

Xris (Flatbush Gardener) said...

Anne: Thanks! I'm looking forward to the class. I'm just sorry I missed the winter session.

Lisa: It was unexpected, and just what I needed.

Kerri: Thanks for coming by! I also enjoyed reading your account of your visit, and your photos. There are also lots of great gardens around to visit next time you're in town.