Thursday, August 19, 2010

Visit: Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Herb Garden!

photos: beth levendis

FROM TIME OUT NEW YORK: Change is afoot at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, currently celebrating its 100th anniversary. This year, the lush institution debuted a new iteration of its Herb Garden, long a popular feature; though visitors to the space have been able to see the new plants since June, the garden only recently began to bloom in full. “It’s just the nature of the beast,” explains Kate Blumm, communications manager at BBG. “The garden itself needed time to grow in a little bit, and take advantage of the warm weather.” But now that it has, spectacular things are happening: At 17,000 square feet, the garden is more than double the size of the previous one, with dozens of fruits, vegetables, herbs and other plants occupying the space.

“Our original Herb Garden was focused on traditional herbs, but we didn’t cover vegetables or fruits,” explains curator Caleb Leech. The new space also allows BBG to offer a lesson in seasonal, sustainable gardening practices. “There’s been so much interest in growing your own food, and we do demonstrate that,” Leech explains. Adds Blumm, “I think there’s an inspirational aspect to it. I know when I’m walking through it, I hear people saying things like ‘I didn’t know you could grow that here.’” (Just don’t try to pick any of the plants—when they’re ready to be harvested, the goods are donated to a local food pantry.) For more of what you’ll see in the new space, read on.

GO THERE NOW! Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 900 Washington Ave at Eastern Pkwy, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-623-7200). Tue–Fri 8am–6pm; Sat, Sun 10am–6pm. $8, seniors and students $4.

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