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New York Botanical Garden Field Trip

Posted by The Sill on

Last week we took a field trip to the New York Botanical Garden. It was a surprisingly quick commute from Grand Central Terminal, about 20 minutes on the Metro-North. By the time we were settled in our seats, and had pulled out our laptops and iphones to catch up on work, we were there. 

We entered through the Garden's Mosholu Gate, across from Metro-North's Botanical Garden Station, oohing and ahhing at the 90 ft. tulip trees. At the Mertz Library - i.e. the most important horticultural and botanical library in the world - we met up with Ann, head of Online, who graciously offered us a tour, at 9 months pregnant! We walked up Garden Way, passing and snapping photos of the Rock Garden and new Native Plant Garden to our left, and the Reflecting Pool to our right, excited to spend our morning exploring the grounds. 

We'd thought we'd share our top 3 "must sees" & some snapshots from our field trip, along with a little info, to inspire you to take your own - to explore one of New York's most spectacular green spaces. 


Top 3 "Must Sees": 
1. At the Native Plant Garden we recognized a couple fellas from our childhood backyards. The centerpiece, a dramatic water feature, made us wish we could sit there all day. Did we mention it is as sustainable as it is beautiful? Recycled storm-water captured on site and filtered by aquatic plants fills the pool.  

2.  With over four thousand rose plants and six hundred varieties, the Rockefeller Rose Garden makes it impossible not to stop and smell the roses. 

 3. The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is a Victorian-style glasshouse open year-round. It houses a a tropical rain forest and a cactus-filled desert, hosts seasonal flower shows and exhibitions, and is the permanent home to the 'A World of Plants' exhibit. Currently, it is also home to the 'Wild Medicine' exhibit, on now through September 8th. Nearby we also enjoyed exploring the Perennial Garden and Ladies' Border, both lush with foliage and vibrant color. 


About the NYBG
  • Location: 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458 
  • Size: About 50 different gardens, research facilities & laboratories, and an extensive botanical library span roughly 250 acres 
  • Visitors: Over 800,000 annual visitors 
  • Built: In 1891 by architect company Lord & Burnham Co. 
  • Land origin: If you're familiar with the history of New York, you won't be surprised that most of the land which became the NYBG was owned by the Lorillards, an American tobacco manufacturing family. (Check out the Stone Mill, previously known as the Lorillard Snuff Mill). A small portion was formally part of St. John's College (now Fordham University). The creation of the Garden was in part possible because of a fundraising campaign led by the Torrey Botanical Club the Nathaniel Lord Britton, a Columbia University botanist, and his wife Elizabeth Gertrude Britton. The Brittons were inspired by the Royal Botanic Gardens in London. 
  • Notable: The NYBG is home to the largest remnant, 50 acres, of the original foliage which covered all of New York City, and the Bronx River, the only fresh water river in NYC. 


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