Many New Yorkers who visit places like Montreal and Dallas come back raving about those cities' botanical gardens, little realizing that we have one of the world's best right in our area.
The New York Botanical Garden, located right across Fordham Road from the Bronx Zoo, has one of the world's great collections of plants, as well as an internationally known center for plant research. It also offers, in the midst of the city, a quiet respite from the hullabaloo of everyday life.
Some of the attractions on a day's excursion to the New York Botanical Garden include:
The Haupt Conservatory, the nation's largest Victorian crystal palace, filled with exotic and unusual plants from around the world. You can, under its spectacular glass dome, walk from a tropical rain forest into a cacti-filled desert.
The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, which contains 2,700 varieties of America's favorite flower, giving home gardeners a wealth of ideas for raising and displaying these beauties.
The Everett Children's Adventure Garden, which provides cheerful natural exhibits and activities that are a sensory treat for children of all ages, allowing an understanding and exploration of nature.
The Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden, which features diverse and beautiful flowers that that the word "pretty" can't begin to describe. The plants change with the season, accessorized by ornamental grasses, offering a continual change of fresh colors.
The Hester Bridge, famous from the opening credits of Sesame Street, which spans the Bronx River and offers splendid views of the river's waterfall.
The Garden Shop, where you know that, if you get it there, you can be sure it's healthy!
From April through October the Garden is open Tuesday to Sunday, and Monday holidays, from 10 AM to 6 PM. November to March it closes at 5 PM. Admission, including this summer's spectacular special exhibition of Dale Chihuly's dazzling glass sculptures, is $20 for adults, $18 for students and seniors and $5 for children 2 to 12. For more information, call (718) 817-8649, or go to www.nybg.org. Enjoy!