The Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) boasts over 10,000 different varieties of plants over its 52 acres. Whether it’s your goal to enjoy as many as possible or seek out a specific few, make the most of your visit by learning what will be blooming when. Read on to see what you can expect to see in each season.
The plant with the longest blooming time at the garden are orchids, and you can find them in the Robert W. Wilson Aquatic House, from February through September. Just after that comes native wildflowers, which can be seen from April through October.
South African bulbs are next, blooming from January through August, although you won’t see them in May or June. The witch-hazels are another hardy bunch, and you can see them from January through April.
Lilacs, roses, magnolias, and rhododendrons can be seen in the area of April, May, and June, but try checking for magnolias in March and roses as late as September. The Cranford Rose Garden is a must for rose aficionados, featuring over 5,000 bushes of nearly 1,400 kinds of roses. Other spring bulbs will show up a little earlier, from February through March.
From June through August, water-lilies bloom among the Koi fish in the Lily-Pool Terrace. Forsythias, wisteria, tree peonies, and sacred lotus all have blooming periods of around two months, with forsythias beginning in March, wisteria in April, tree peonies in May, and the sacred lotus not until July.
Then there is the most sought-after bloom to see at the BBG: the cherry tree. Seen in April to May, you don’t want to take the chance of missing this magnificent sight, so keep track with the garden’s status map. Plan a visit around the month-long viewing festival, Hanami, with events to celebrate the 200-plus trees, a gift from the Japanese government after World War I.
Then we have the rarities, blooming for only one month: azaleas (May), bluebells (May), crabapples (April), crape myrtles (August), daffodils (March), and tulips (April). If you’re aiming to see as many blooming plants as possible, March through June is the time to go, with April being the month with the most blooms on view.
All photos courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden Facebook.