Spring Gallantly Returns to The New York Botanical Garden. Invigorating Season of Colors, Scents, Exhibitions, and Events Runs April to June 2014.
The New York Botanical Garden welcomes spring and looks forward to the rich, multi-sensory experience of floral delights, both outdoors and indoors, which visitors will enjoy from April through June. This year’s plethora of spring offerings include a multitude of flowering trees and plants throughout the Garden’s historic 250-acre landscape; new exhibitions featuring contemporary botanical illustration and a historical look at America’s most influential women in landscape architecture and design; and an abundance of programming.
The outdoor attractions at the Botanical Garden are the perfect antidotes for the long, snowy winter. Visitors will see a grand pageant of spring’s flowering sequence in settings that range from expansive, wide-open hillsides and valleys to the carefully designed gardens and landscapes brimming with plants from around the world. Visitors can enjoy a rainbow of colors, from flowering magnolia, cherry, and crabapple trees, to beds of daffodils, irises, and peonies.
Waves of flowers roll across the 250 acres of the Botanical Garden as spring unfolds. Along the landscaped paths, under the specimen trees, and in the garden beds, swathes of minor bulbs— chionodoxas, crocuses, scilla, and many more—break the drabness of winter’s memory with intense splashes of color. Witch-hazels and early flowering shrubs and trees add their own touches of unusual shapes, colors, and fragrances. Visitors revel in spring’s return as buds unfurl on the ancient trees of New York City’s largest remaining tract of native forest, the Thain Family Forest, and spring rain swells the waterfall in the City’s only freshwater river, the Bronx River.
The Native Plant Garden and the Azalea Garden, New Spring Favorites.
Carpets of trillium, bloodroot, Dutchman’s breeches, and a mix of other beautiful ephemerals, along with accents of lady slipper orchids, blanket the Native Plant Garden, which opened in 2013. A cutting-edge 3.5-acre installation with a dramatic 230-foot-long water feature as its centerpiece, it celebrates the exquisiteness and diversity of native plants and the contributions they make to the Garden’s landscape throughout the seasons.
The Azalea Garden’s collection of 3,000 azaleas and rhododendrons will begin to flower in the first warm days of spring, when the pale pinks and lavenders of Korean rhododendron emerge. By May, the entire hillside erupts into clouds of white, pink, coral, and magenta while summer snowflakes, quamash, and bluebells also bloom.
Additional Gardens and Collections & Inspiration for Home Gardeners.
The Rock Garden displays thousands of colorful alpine plants, many grown from seeds, from flowers of mountainous regions throughout the world, including specimens from six of the seven continents. A sparkling stream flows past primroses, hellebores, peonies, and daphnes to a flower-rimmed pond.
The Botanical Garden has one of the largest collections of daffodils in the United States, with daffodils stretching across the Liasson Narcissus Collection, sweeping up Daffodil Hill, and bordering Daffodil Walk. The Garden’s collection traditionally peaks in late April.
As spring progresses, the Botanical Garden’s superb collections of flowering trees and shrubs provide bolder strokes of color and more pronounced fragrances. The Garden’s grove of Asian and American magnolias astound with graceful, intertwined branches topped with luscious flowers, accompanied by a magnificent scent. More than 200 flowering cherries—including wonderful specimens interplanted among the mature pines, firs, and spruces in the historic Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum— delight with their pink and white clouds. Fragrant lilacs and brightly colored crabapples quickly follow.
Gardens such as the Ladies’ Border and the Perennial Garden provide a showcase for unusual plants and how to use them in the garden. The Home Gardening Center is an excellent resource for visitors to see intriguing new plants and great old favorites; learn time-saving techniques to make their home gardens more beautiful and more manageable; gather ideas for creative design for gardens and landscapes; and obtain solutions for common problems and answers to many gardening questions.
In the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, children get their hands dirty by helping prepare the garden, planting flower and vegetable seeds, composting, and digging for worms in the fresh soil. The Everett Children’s Adventure Garden provides young visitors with the chance to explore nature, go on a spring scavenger hunt, and learn about pollinators.
The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, with its dramatic design nestled in a verdant valley, dominates with exuberant flowering and distinctive fragrances in late spring through June. The Rose Garden provides gorgeous vistas and an encyclopedia of rose varieties, both heritage and modern, for the rose affectionado and newbie alike.
Exhibitions Opening in Spring.
In homage to the beauty of the botanical world’s most bizarre flora, the Garden has invited members of the American Society of Botanical Artists to participate in a study of the eccentric, creating works of art based on visually unusual plants chosen by the artists themselves. View the results of their efforts in Weird, Wild, & Wonderful, from April 19 through September 21, when 46 captivating paintings and illustrations of exotic specimens are on display in the Ross Gallery.
The Garden-wide exhibition Groundbreakers: Great American Gardens & The Women Who Designed Them celebrates early 20th-century America’s most influential women in landscape architecture and design as well as garden photography and writing. Experience an exquisite evocation of an American estate garden inspired by the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Maine, and through the many exhibition components offered that embrace poetry, music, and photography, discover the innovative work and significant contributions of these women to American history and culture. Groundbreakers is on view from May 17 through September 7.
A Complete Visitor Experience.
While at The New York Botanical Garden, visitors will also want to explore the gateway to the Garden, the Leon Levy Visitor Center, for its cafe, outdoor plaza and reflecting pool, and Shop in the Garden, featuring wonderful books, plants, and products for sale that reflect the specimens on display at the Garden. The approximately 30-minute narrated tram tour highlights the gardens and collections throughout the rolling landscape, recounts the Garden’s rich history, and describes current programs in horticulture, education, and plant science.
From floral spectacles of spring color in 50 gardens and collections to family activities in the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden and Everett Children’s Adventure Garden and exhibitions about bizarre flora and great American gardens and the women who designed them, there is plenty to see and do during the spring season at The New York Botanical Garden for visitors of all ages.
For more information, visit www.nybg.org or call 718.817.8700