Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Credit: Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

In September, the garden – an ash dump in the late 1800s – is celebrating the 90th anniversary of its Children’s Garden. Tens of thousands of youngsters have been introduced to the joys of the natural world here, in the world’s first children’s garden established in a botanical garden.

Founded by Miss Ellen Eddy Shaw, the BBG continues the tradition of teaching children about botany, plant families, seed germination, how to identify weeds and insects, press flowers, and how to compost and love a worm!

The Children’s Garden aside, there is plenty to see in this 52-acre garden in the heart of Brooklyn. In September the asters and goldenrods put on a show in the Native Flora Garden, while October boasts incredible colours of red and gold in the Japanese Garden.

In April and May, the heady perfume of blooming lilacs fills the air. The Louisa Clark Spencer Lilac Collection showcases 150 specimens including 20 of the 27 known lilac species and subspecies, and 130 cultivars. Early lilacs, such as Syringa x hyacinthiflora ‘Annabel,’ begin blooming in late April, while the last to bloom, in the second week in June, are the spicy-scented tree lilacs S. reticulata and S. pekinensis. Also in June, the BBG’s 1,200 cultivars of roses in the Cranford Rose Garden put on an astonishing display of natural beauty and release their wonderful scent into the city air.

Founded in 1910, BBG is an independent non-profit institution committed to education, research and the display of horticulture.