I never got botanic gardens. They’re just parks, right? Except with signs that indicate the species of every single plant and ruin the scenery, plus a steep entry fee. I especially never got botanic gardens located inside other parks.
But such is the setup of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, located in Prospect Park, where I found myself this week, spurred on by a free pass sent to me in the mail in hopes of enticing me to become a member. Luckily, the free pass had an expiration date on it, or I never would have gotten around to using it. As it stands, I made my visit with two weeks to spare.
I walked over from my apartment—the weather was perfect—and after gaining entry, walked down to the Cherry Esplanade, which I can see must be spectacular during cherry blossom season. (I’ve also heard, though, that the crowds at cherry blossom time can cancel out the positives of the experience.) I sat on a bench, got my bearings, and then decided that I would explore the botanic garden thoroughly on this, possibly my only-ever visit.
The light crowd on a random Thursday in June was made up primarily of the following four groups: moms of young babies not sure what to do with their maternity leave, young couples holding hands through the rose garden, older people in straw hats, and finally, the group I fell into, solo visitors wielding cameras with interchangeable lenses.
The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden was nice, as was the Shakespeare Garden, which features plants that show up somewhere in the Bard’s plays, but mostly just looks like one of those wild-not-wild English gardens, which I love. Yet I found myself fighting the desire to have these gardens serve as the backdrop to something, and not as the main event.
I chose, then, to make the photos I was taking the main event, and that made it more fun. It wasn’t cherry blossom season, but I did apparently stumble upon peak rose bloom. The rose garden was out of control and I loved it. See photos below.
In conclusion and in the American spirit cherry trees and truth telling: I cannot tell a lie, I had a great time at the botanic garden and it’s possible I would spend the $15 to get in again sometime, especially if my mom is in town.
BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN | 990 Washington Avenue | Brooklyn | Website