For many tourists who arrive in New York for the first time, Central Park is the first park that comes to mind and what you want to visit at all costs, on foot, by bike, carriage and so on and so forth.
For me at least it was so.
But there are other parks and gardens, even if not located in Manhattan, which are not far and they also welcome visitors in an enchanting landscape; among these is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden located in the heart of Brooklyn, within the limits of Prospect Park.
For more than 100 years the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has welcomed visitors to an oasis where you can immerse yourself in the scents and colors of flowers, plants and trees of all kinds, perhaps even learning some curiosity and information about botany. The atmosphere is always quiet and walking between the Japanese and the Italian gardens, between the rose garden and the rock garden, you have the impression of traveling between different countries.
The most surprising thing about the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is the fact that the various areas and sections ‘embrace’ each other, giving a landscape that does not seem to have anything artificial but looks like a spontaneous natural masterpiece, with some areas that appear lush and wild as if you were entering a real forest. And another equally astonishing feature is to discover how, in each season, the various sections change their nuances, passing from the vivid colors of the bloom to the warm and melancholy ones of autumn.
At the beginning of spring, between the end of March and the beginning of April, it is the perfect time to admire the first blooms of the magnolias in the Magnolia Plaza and it hosts a cherry blossom festival that is organized every year at the end of April by the Japanese community in New York.
To welcome you in the warm spring days you will find an avenue of cherry trees in bloom that culminates in a large open space where people of all ages and ethnic groups meet for a Sunday picnic. Along its many paths you will find yourself first on the shore of an oriental-style pond and then in a small square full of flowers of all kinds.
A show to visit if you want to escape from Manhattan while remaining in the city.
In the park there are hills, a lake with its bridges, islets and waterfalls and in this landscape, you can see architectural elements that recall the Japanese atmosphere, such as red lanterns, torii doors and even a Shinto shrine.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is considered by many experts the most important natural attraction in New York and, in any season you visit it, you can find plants in bloom.
The Botanic Garden was founded at the beginning of the last century by the University of Brooklyn and, like many American cultural institutions, the garden is half public and half private, supported by the city of New York and by private donations as well as by some philanthropic organizations.
It is also called ‘garden within a garden’ because in the Botanic Garden there are a great variety of plants, more than 10,000 and, depending on the season of the year, you can admire the different species of plants.
There are also a bonsai museum, a Rose Garden, a garden dedicated to children where they can learn the rudiments of horticulture and botany and the Shakespeare Garden, a garden where the plants are those mentioned in the sonnets of the great playwright.
In addition to the local flora, there are intersecting corners with aromatic and medicinal plants surrounded by geometric shapes and, for visitors who are blind, they created the Fragrance Garden, a garden with plants with strong smells and very particular texture.