New York Botanical Garden
By Anna Lynn Sibal
The Wall Street Journal hailed the New York Botanical Garden as “a garden of earthly delights.” The New York Sun, on the other hand, called the New York Botanical Garden as “a museum of living botanical masterpieces.”
Whatever superlatives anyone throws in praise of the New York Botanical Garden, it certainly is true. The institution is one of the largest public parks in the entire world, not just in the United States. It is also among the most prestigious. Not only that, the New York Botanical Garden is also a leading institution in the study of horticulture and plant research. It is home to the Mertz library, which is a repository of information containing 50,000 volumes of research on plants, as well as the Pfizer Plant Research Laboratory, a research laboratory focused on the study of plant genomes.
Aside from these two centers for research, the New York Botanical Garden also has a herbarium archive, which contains botanical specimens totaling seven million. These specimens date back to around more than three hundred years. Also, at the heart of the New York Botanical Garden is a 50-acre virgin forest that has remained unmolested long before the European settlement of New York City.
The New York Botanical Garden is a 240-acre sprawl established in 1891 by Nathaniel Lord Britton, a botanist with the Columbia University. It was built on what used to be the grounds of the Belmont Estate. The site of the New York Botanical Garden once belonged to tobacco magnate Pierre Lorillard. The inspiration for the place was drawn from the Royal Botanical Garden in London.
The New York Botanical Garden is composed of 26 outdoor gardens and plant collections. Most notable of these collections are:
Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is the New York Botanical Garden’s response to London’s Crystal Palace. In the Conservatory, one can find the permanent exhibition A World of Plants, where visitors are treated to an ecotour around the world. The Conservatory also hosts the seasonal flower shows and exhibitions of the New York Botanical Garden, including The Orchid Show and The Holiday Train Show.
Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden. The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden is a spectacular collection of more than 2,700 rose plants with over 230 different kinds of roses. Of these 230 types of roses, 108 are exquisite antiques. It is a delightful place that can inspire its visitor to cultivate her own rose garden.
T. H. Everett Rock Garden. The T. H. Everett Rock Garden has often been described as one of the most beautiful public rock gardens in the world. Set on three acres of land, the jewels of this garden are the alpine flowers and woodland.
Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. The Everett Children’s Adventure Garden is a perfect place for kids to learn about the beauty and magnificence of nature. The young and young at heart will have fun learning about plants as they go through the mazes and the indoor laboratories here.
Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden. In the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, kids and families can further discover and appreciate the wonders of plants by taking it to the next step – by learning how to plant. This 1.5-acre place is divided into 90 plots where families can dig in the dirt. There is also a maze of hedges that people can run through.
These are just some of the wonders that the New York Botanical Gardens has in store for its visitors.
The New York Botanical Garden is located in the Bronx in New York City.
New York City Guide