In a city as sprawling and diverse as New York, you can find whatever you’re looking for at any time – whether that’s nightlife, businesses, or an escape into the beauty of nature. When our Brooklyn workers’ compensation lawyers have days off from work, we like to indulge in the variety of green and natural spaces Brooklyn has to offer. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is one of our favorite places to relax on a day off. In this post, we’ve summarized some of our favorite parts of this beautiful New York City landmark.

Cherry Trees

The BBG is home to over 200 cherry trees of 42 different Asian species and cultivated varieties. This collection is one of the largest cherry-viewing sites outside of Japan. The first trees were planted in the garden shortly after World War I as a gift from the Japanese government.

Each spring, there is a month-long cherry blossom viewing festival called Hanami, which is held at the garden’s Cherry Esplanade. This festival culminates in a weekend celebration called Sakura Matsuri. In the Esplanade, there are two rows of cherry trees with trails and sitting areas on the sides. There is also a field of grass between the rows, which makes a great place to relax and view the trees.

You can find cherry trees on the Cherry Esplanade, Cherry Walk, in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, and several other locations throughout the garden.

Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden

Constructed between 1914-1915, the BBG’s Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden was the first Japanese garden created in an American public garden. It was created by Japanese landscape designer Takeo Shiota, and is widely considered to be the masterpiece of his many impressive works.

This garden is a combination of the ancient hill-and-pond style and the modern stroll-garden style, which gradually reveals several different types of landscape features along winding walking paths. It takes up about 3 acres, including hills, a waterfall, a pond, and an island – all man-made. The pond contains hundreds of Japanese koi fish.

Architectural features of the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden include wooden bridges, stone lanterns, a viewing pavilion, a torii (gateway), and a Shinto shrine. There is also a Japanese temple dedicated to wolf spirits.

Cranford Rose Garden

In 1927, a construction engineer named Walter V. Cranford donated $15,000 to the BBG for the construction of a rose garden. During excavation, work crews discovered an old cobblestone road two feet below the surface and tons of glacial rock, which was carted away using horse-drawn carriages.

The Cranford Rose Garden opened in 1928. It was designed by a landscape architect named Harold Caparn, with help from Montague Free, the BBG’s horticulturist. To this day, there are still many of the original plants from this opening. The Cranford Rose Garden contains over 5,000 bushes of nearly 1,400 types of roses – including wild species, miniature roses, old garden roses, ramblers, climbers, hybrid tea roses, hybrid perpetuals, polyanthas, floribundas, and grandifloras.

Native Flora Garden

The Native Flora Garden is the oldest garden in the BBG, and opened in 1911. It was the first native flora garden in North America. The original garden primarily featured wildflowers, but was redesigned in 1931 as a woodland habitat with plants native to the New York City metropolitan area. The Native Flora Garden was closed from 1963-1983 because of insufficient funding.

In 2013, the Native Flora Garden was expanded with a new landscape. The expansion including a new tallgrass prairie, dry meadow, pine barrens, kettle pond, and wooden bridge.