Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) is a botanical garden in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. Located near the Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Flatbush, and Park Slope neighborhoods, the 52-acre (21 ha) garden includes a number of specialty "gardens within the Garden," plant collections, and the Steinhardt Conservatory, which houses the C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum, three climate-themed plant pavilions, a white cast-iron and glass aquatic plant house, and an art gallery. Founded in 1910, the Garden holds over 10,000 taxa of plants and each year welcomes over 900,000 visitors from around the world.
Specialty Gardens And Collections
The Garden has more than 200 cherry trees of forty-two Asian species and cultivated varieties, making it one of the foremost cherry-viewing sites outside of Japan. The first cherries were planted at the garden after World War I, a gift from the Japanese government.
The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden:
BBG's Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden was the first Japanese garden to be created in an American public garden. It was constructed in 1914 and 1915 at a cost of $13,000, a gift of early BBG benefactor and trustee Alfred T. White, and it first opened to the public in June 1915.
The Cranford Rose Garden:
In 1927, Walter V. Cranford, a construction engineer whose firm built many of Brooklyn's subway tunnels, donated $15,000 to BBG for a rose garden. Excavation revealed an old cobblestone road two feet below the surface and tons of glacial rock, which had to be carted away on horse-drawn barges.
The Shakespeare Garden:
A donation from Henry C. Folger, founder of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. paved the way for the construction of BBG's original Shakespeare Garden in 1925. Since moved to a different location in the Garden, this English cottage garden exhibits more than 80 plants mentioned in William Shakespeare's plays and poems. Plant labels give the plants' common or Shakespearean names, their botanical names, relevant quotations, and, in some cases, a graphic representation of the plant.
The Alice Recknagel Ireys Fragrance Garden:
Next to the Shakespeare Garden is the Fragrance Garden, complete with braille information signs for visitors with vision disabilities. Created in 1955 by landscape architect Alice Recknagel Ireys, this was the first garden in the country designed for the vision-impaired. All visitors are encouraged to rub the fragrant or pleasingly textured leaves of the plants between their fingers.
The Children's Garden:
The BBG Children's Garden is the oldest continually operating children's garden within a botanic garden in the world. It was opened in 1914 under the direction of BBG educator Ellen Eddy Shaw and operates as a community garden for children, with hundreds of children registering each year for plots on the 1-acre (0.40 ha) site. The BBG Children's Garden has served as a model for similar gardens around the world.