My Afternoon At The Brooklyn Botanic Garden

by Rachelle Hruska · April 26, 2008

cherry trees,  The Brooklyn Botanic Garden

[The cherry trees are in full bloom!]

Go HERE for more photos from my adventure.

It's not often that I get to spend a weekday afternoon frolicking about cherry trees. Which is why, when the opportunity presented itself to me this Thursday, I didn't hesitate. The other GofG writers will, no doubt, be extremely proud of my bravery...heading out alone into the unknown depths of Brooklyn, for, what I hope is a trip that will become more frequent in the coming months for this egocentric Manhattanite.

"The best thing about this place is that the artwork is truly changing each moment. The artist's canvas is never the same from one day to the next."

-Explained my tour guide, (an award winning landscape designer), Leeann Lavin; director of public relations for the Garden, when talking about the uniqueness of this art medium.

The Cherry Trees were in full bloom. I had first heard about them from L'Occitane and the skin care line they designed specifically for these trees. You know the first time you saw snow falling in the Rockies, or a rainbow over Lake Atitlan? Well, it has a similar kind of breathtaking effect. How I WISH my dad, himself a genius of an artist in landscape design, would get a chance to frolic about in these trees!

Some things I learned about Brooklyn's beloved Art Museum Botanic Garden:

The Garden, founded way back in 1910, stretches across 52 acres, has more than 10,000 different kinds of plants from all over the world and has over 700,000 visitors each year.

Opened the first "Fragrance Garden", catering to the blind guests, each flower is particularly aromatic and described in full in braille.

Home to the first Japanese garden in North America, as well as the first children's garden in New York.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden is also deeply committed to education, community outreach, and scientific research, and to being a trusted source of information about horticulture, botany, and the importance of conserving plants and protecting the environment.

I also learned that I have been severely missing out. On Brooklyn, on nature, and on cultural opportunities in general. I particularly fell in love with the Rose Garden, a place taken directly out of a scene from Alice in Wonderland that I can not wait to take my favorite Guatemalan to see. If you are looking for something to do to feel more "cultured" yet don't feel like spending the afternoon indoors at the MET, or around millions of tourists in central park, this place is the perfect sanctuary.

I headed back to the island with a schedule of upcoming events, some samples from L'Occitane, and the sweet smells of nature....the first two I still have, the last one I lost within steps of entering the "Q" train.

[bbc.org] [Brooklyn's Cherry Tree Collection]