It’s easy to forget that New York was once an island of wild greenery. Revisit the city’s past with a trip to the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), which will celebrate 125 years of flowers this spring. Along the banks of the Bronx River, a quick jaunt from Manhattan, the NYBG features everything from untamed woodland to an edible herb garden to traditional conservatory gardens. Collections of azaleas, lilacs, daffodils, and cherry blossoms burst into colorful life each spring and effortlessly transport you from the gritty city streets to a natural paradise of blooms and blossoms.
Drink In the Scenery
In honor of their anniversary, NYBG will host a series of day and evening receptions featuring wine tastings or cocktails, all surrounded by the dazzling natural abundance of the Garden. On Saturday, 4/23 and Sunday, 4/24 from 12 noon until 5 p.m., their Wine Weekend will combine the blooming of 150,000 daffodil bulbs at aptly named Daffodil Hill with flights of local wines, all hosted by winemakers and viticulture experts, with light refreshments. Admission is $25 for adults, plus a $5 souvenir tasting glass to keep, and includes all of the weekend’s activities, plus access to the wine sampling area, a Tram Tour, and special exhibitions in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Bluegrass and folk performer Milton will soundtrack the day with live tunes.
Prefer your plants and potables after dark? Consider attending an Orchid Evening, held on the first three Saturdays in April. You’ll stroll the Garden’s annual orchid show, Orchidelirium, with a complimentary Ginger Vanilla Fusion cocktail in hand while music sets a relaxing scene among the blossoms.
Plant Your Own Seeds
On Earth Day, Friday, 4/22, the Garden will help you feel closer to Mother Earth. Guided tours of their native plants, notable trees, and the 50-acre Thain Family Forest will make you an instant expert on indigenous flora, while family-friendly activities, such as interactive gardening in the Howell Family Garden and a hands-on composting workshop (featuring a working worm bin!) will encourage you to bring your newfound knowledge home and get closer to the earth wherever you live.
Do Your Homework
Return home armed to coax splendor from your own garden with one of NYBG’s many interactive classes and workshops. In April, the Garden will teach you how to grow a functional culinary herb garden of your own, how to decorate cakes with flowers, and how to shop Chelsea’s famed flower district with an off-site workshop in Manhattan. When it comes to bringing the garden into your home, these lessons last longer than cut flowers, and help make your visit as useful and inspiring as it is relaxing and entertaining.
Read All About It
Whether as a detailed pre-visit guide or a souvenir keepsake, The New York Botanical Garden: Revised and Updated is a thoughtful memento of your time in the Garden. The 125th anniversary edition of this comprehensive guide, penned by longtime CEO and President Gregory Long and Vice President for Horticulture and Living Collections Todd A. Forest, will be published this month, coinciding with the Garden’s year-long anniversary celebration. Marvel at more than 200 new photographs, plus reproductions of rare botanical art, and relive your time in New York for years to come.
Curious to know what you’ll see? Visit NYBG’s “Garden Navigator” online and plug in the dates of your planned visit for an interactive map of what’s in bloom. (navigator.nycb.org)
The NYBG is located at 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx.