“Every time I imagine a garden in an architectural setting, it turns into a magical place. I think of gardens I have seen, that I believe I have seen, that I long to see, surrounded by simple walls, columns, arcades or the facades of buildings – sheltered places of great intimacy where I want to stay for a long time.” ~ Peter Zumthor
The first time I explored the Botanic Gardens it was before I was living in the city. When an hour train ride was nothing to scoff at and I had no qualms going to Brooklyn.
Now I know better. Kidding. Kind of. I still don’t have the time to take an hour train ride to Brooklyn and it has been a couple years since I last sojourned there. Which is why when my Gemini Twin visited me I knew it was the perfect autumn activity.
My friend and I are two peas in a pod. We never run out of conversation, so an hour train ride goes by quickly, as we gabbed away. Before we knew it, we had arrived at the Franklin Avenue Station and casually strolled the five minute walk to the gardens which is next to the Brooklyn Museum as well as borders Prospect Park and where you can buy a day pass for both the gardens and museum.
The day had already started off promising with breakfast at my favorite french restaurant Maison Kayser. It became even more so, when the clerk asked both my friend and I if we were students. I said that yes I was, but I had forgotten my ID. It didn’t matter! She gave me the discount anyway. Score! Even dressed in leather and lace I still had the baby face. At my age I will definitely take it!
The last time I had explored the gardens, it had been with the balmy rays of summer kissing my skin. On this occasion, it was with the trappings of fall whispering softly in my ears, with wind swept hair and bouts of chilliness that would turn warm at the turn of the sun. The weather teased of autumn and was the perfect day to welcome in and stroll amongst the nature.
The amazing thing about the Botanic Gardens is that there is something for everyone. You do not have to be a flower, nature enthusiast or even a conservationist to appreciate the fifty-two acres of grounds. From the Shakespeare garden which does in fact fit its name, to the Japanese gardens, pond, and pagoda. To the various fountains, statues, grassy fields, and buildings scattered about with exquisite architecture you truly can spend hours there if not days.
It certainly won’t fit in one blog post! And I fear my Instagram will be taken up with pictures for months!
The Botanic Gardens are incredibly diverse, always changing with the seasons. With each chosen path you take, you are walking into a new world of flowery designs and imagined settings and with every trip, there is a new magical place to discover. For me it was the orchards that transported me back to Versailles. Countless people were reading and lounging about. My friend and I had a blast taking an array of pictures and just admiring the shadows dance amongst the trees and grass.
With autumn in the air, the Shakespeare Gardens seemed to come alive with expertly trimmed shrubbery, and vibrant colors interspersed with statues and benches to sit and admire. My imagination began to drift to Elizabethan times and I longed to don a corset and silk.
Another favorite was the rose gardens which seemed an endless smorgasbord of flowers. For honesties sake, I admit I am not a huge fan of roses. Perhaps because it is what every guy gives a girl, or the fact I would get them when an ex had screwed up, except for rarer colors including the fabled black rose, I could take or leave this flower.
All this said, the Rose Gardens were truly spectacular. Despite it being the off season for these romantic blossoms, the creative way they were laid out, interspersed with delicate trellises, going on and on for what felt like miles, it really was a different world, and emphasized how quickly the Botanic Gardens could transport you to different horticultural worlds.
For this country girl who grew up in the White Mountains it really is like coming home. It is a piece of calm in a city that is known for its craziness. A mixture of horticultural paradise amongst concrete. I can not wait to go back! And while it is open year round, I just might have to wait for the cherry blossoms in spring to truly enjoy it.