Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

I am a botanic garden enthusiast, to put it lightly. I haven't been to the Brooklyn Botanic yet this year, and that is for no lack of trying. I have been planning this outing for at least 2 months and begging every one of my friends to go with me, but it seems to always be falling through.
Mission was accomplished this past Thursday when my friend Daisy and I finally made the trip. The cherry blossoms are long gone, but many ethereal wonders awaited us on our day of strolling.
We entered into a bogoda inspired landing that overlooked a massive lake home to the gardens' koi and turtle population. A beautiful sight: the calm waters begin to ripple on closer inspection as you notice hundreds of foot long koi skimming the surface, reflecting light off their pearlescent, multicolored scales. Even odder are the slider turtles bobbing after the fish.

A serene and beautiful start to a lovely day.

We walked the entire perimeter of the gardens, strolled through the rose arches and the herb patches, past incredible flowering trees and climbed the branches of one of the oldest trees on the property, whose bark is home to dozens of scribbles and inscriptions of lovers and friends who have sat under its shade. We were promptly asked to remove ourselves from the tree, as climbing is not permitted.
More climbing off the prescribed route ensued, which got us these wonderful pictures next to a waterfall which I am so fond of. We had to jump a rope and skip a few stones to get up there, we didn't get caught this time.

There is something incredibly romantic walking around a well planted park, so reminiscent of my childhood summers in the woods and all of those period books I constantly have my nose planted in. I can't think of a better place to get to know a person than a park with cascading hills and tree grouping surrounded by roses and lavender and every single color I could ever imagine.
My favorite part of any botanic garden is always the orchid and tropical plant conservatories, and the Brooklyn Botanical does not disappoint. The orchid greenhouse is amazing. Walking in you are hit with an intense cloud of humidity, which you soon forgive when you see the incredible specimen plants hanging from the ceiling. Giant cattleya and dendrobium plants, whose shoots reach 10 feet out of their baskets and vanda plants hanging in groupings of 20-30 showering their incredible masses of exposed roots and almost tangling in your hair. The center of the room is closed off and turned into a wading pool for water hyacinth and bog plants, while dead tree trunks reach out of the water and support mounted orchids and air plants, which in turn provide shade for the venus fly traps and other carnivorous plants on the outskirts of the bog. It is an incredible sight which makes you wish you could handle the humidity for more than 15 consecutive minutes.
We circled the entire garden and visited every conservatory, and I was able to bring a few little friends home from the plant shop which I will show you later. I had a wonderful day and am super glad Daisy came along with me and let me ramble on about plants and books for a solid 5 hours. <3

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