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Spring 2011 Newsletter: Featured Garden: The Brooklyn Botanic Garden
I admit to being a little prejudiced, but I love the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I grew up in Brooklyn, and this is where, on class trips from P.S. 207, I was first exposed to horticulture.
A great place to start is the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, one of the oldest and most visited Japanese-inspired gardens outside Japan. It is dramatic, yet serene, with its stone lanterns, red Torii gate, Shinto shrine and wooden bridges.
From the Hill-and-Pond Garden, the meandering Cherry Walk leads to the nearby Cherry Esplanade. As I write this, the cherry trees are in bloom – a truly drop-dead, awe inspiring spectacle. BBG is currently celebrating Hanami – the Japanese cultural tradition of viewing and enjoying the beauty of the Cherry Blossoms -- which continues until May 1st and culminates in Sakura Matsui, the Cherry Blossom Festival, on the weekend of April 30th. If you are anywhere nearby, this one is definitely worth a detour.
Notwithstanding the beauty and drama of those gardens, our favorite spot is the new Herb and Vegetable garden. Those who know us know that we love food. So, naturally, we’re crazy about this modern interpretation of a classic potager filled with vegetables, culinary herbs, espaliered fruit trees, brambles and berries, and medicinal plants. Richard Hartlage of AHBL designed the garden to be both decorative and utilitarian. His creative design incorporates lots of stone: there is a cool stone wall with the stones running vertically; a stone sink and table; and an observation deck that offers sweeping views of the entire garden.
We are also proud to say that Seibert & Rice Alto Vases punctuate the space. The garden is planted with sensitivity to the cultures and culinary traditions of Brooklyn’s diverse neighborhoods, and also serves as a community classroom where neighbors can learn about urban vegetable gardening and sustainable food choices. This is a garden for the 21st Century.