Recently, we headed to New York City for an adventurous treasure-seeking weekend of looking for gold. Leaves of gold. Unlike many of my friends, it wasn’t shopping that held allure for me. I have never been much of a shopper. To me, having fun is winding my way through 250 acres of natural beauty, inspiring gardens, and magnificent buildings dedicated to the study and exhibition of plants. The New York Botanical Garden, located in the Bronx, offered to me a greater treasure hunt than the shopping district.
Entering the garden property via a wide walkway sheltered by a canopy of colorful branches overhead gives you the feeling of walking into a beautifully painted landscape minus the frame. It was fun to watch families, both young and old, delight in the gorgeous, sunny day, welcoming benches and the sight of 30,000 glorious trees.
It seemed as though the trees either reflected the cool brilliance of spun gold or the warm blaze of hot color. Both were breathtakingly beautiful. Though it is not allowed, one is tempted to want to traipse off the path for a restful afternoon nap under their branches. In fact, both parents and garden guides, often had to call out to rambling children to get them back on the planned path.
Inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, we enjoyed wandering through the moist, textural world of green plants and exotic flowers are waiting to be discovered there.
Inside the NYBG Conservatory, we were reminded “Why Plants Matter”. “Plants convert solar energy into stores of energy, or food, through photosynthesis. The plants use this food which is then, in turn, consumed by animals, and then by animals that eat animals, and so on up the food chain. One byproduct of photosynthesis is oxygen. Plants are the only source for this vital gas on earth. Plants thus provide all the food we eat and all the oxygen we breathe. No plants, no people.” Scary thought! http://www.nybg.org/about/120-years-why-plants-matter.php
Approximately 800,000 visitors pass through the NYBG garden gates each year to immerse themselves in nature. They have the opportunity to view more than one million plants in 50 gardens and plant collections. The birds and bees seemed very happy, too!
If you can make time for a visit to NYBG during the Fall Forest Weekends of November you are in for a treat. Canoe trips, tree-climbing demos, beer sampling, and wood-crafting demos are interspersed with endless pathways and gorgeous views of water, wood, and other natural wonders in this 50-acre segment of the gardens.
Along the way, we met many cute, outdoor creatures who seemed not to notice the chaotic riot of color around them. These delightful, little lizards were playing a quick game of hide and seek among the leaves and cacti. Can you find the two of them?
The last stop of our garden tour was the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden. Recognized as the most beautiful rose garden in the US, it is an easy place to rest and relax amongst the massive collection of rose varieties. Inhaling the air of delicate mixed rose fragrances, is a blessed way to rest your spirit … and your feet!
FLOWER-SAVVY DESIGN TIP – Whether you love tropical plants, garden flowers, Cacti, orchids, river walks or most any of nature’s other blessings, the New York Botanical Garden has something you can enjoy. Choose your favorite season and give your spirit the gift of a visit. Ready to learn more? Sign up NYBG classes.
For More Information –
The New York Botanical Gardens 2900 Southern Boulevard Bronx, NY 10458-5126
General Info: 718.817.8700 Tickets: 718.817.8716 Adult Education: 800.322.NYBG
If NYGB is not within the reach of your travel plans, research local Botanical Gardens that are in your local area: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_botanical_gardens_and_arboretums_in_the_United_States
For more NYBG photos visit – http://www.sharonmcgukin.com/photo-gallery