Founded in 1891 by botanist Nathaniel Lord Britton, the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is today a National Historic Landmark and one of the world's outstanding horticultural and educational resources.
A place of serene beauty, NYBG occupies a 250-acre site in the Bronx and features 27 outdoor gardens and plant collections, the nation's most beautiful Victorian conservatory and a 40-acre pre-settlement forest. That means 40 acres of forest that has remained unmolested since before the area was settled.
Each year more than 500,000 visitors enjoy all the NYBG has to offer. Home gardeners looking for some good tips, serious botanists wanting to know the latest discoveries or learn the newest technology, students doing a great education program, or a family simply out for a Sunday stroll in a beautiful place -- all come to the New York Botanical Garden. People even come here to get married.
The centerpiece of the Garden is the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, New York City's own Crystal Palace. The structure itself is beautiful to behold. Truly breathtaking. And passing through its doors visitors enter a new world, A World of Plants.
A World of Plants
Practically a planet unto itself, A World of Plants features more than 3,000 specimens that visitors can see and learn about as they travel through four distinct environments. Upon entering, visitors will see the largest collection of New World Palms exhibited anywhere under glass in the Palms of the Americas Gallery. Then they move on through The Lowland Tropical Rain Forest, The Upland Tropical Rain Forest, The Desert of the Americas, and The Desert of Africa. Traveling through these environments, visitors will not only see a seemingly endless variety of plant life, but they will also learn about the interrelationships among the species. The effects of climate on the evolution of plant life and the interaction of plants with animals and humans is demonstrated.
In addition to the permanent exhibitions, the Conservatory features two galleries that are dedicated to the changing, seasonal flower shows that have been a long standing tradition at NYBG.
By themselves, the Conservatory and A World of Plants can bring you hours of beauty, pleasure and knowledge and would be one of the world's premier cultural resources. But there is much more to explore throughout the Garden's 250 acres.
The landscape of the New York Botanical Garden features beautiful natural terrain with dramatic rock outcroppings, a river and cascading waterfall, wetlands, ponds, and 40 acres of uncut forest. Visitors can also enjoy more than eighteen specialty gardens, collections and displays, a few of which are described here briefly.
The Everett Children's Adventure Garden
This is a fantastic state-of-the-art 12-acre indoor-outdoor museum. Here children can learn about plants, science and the natural world through hands-on activities that are fun and educational. Topiaries, mazes, friendly explainers and interactive exhibits combine to provide the best learning environment ever. Adults will have fun here, too. Call for admission fee information.
The T.H. Everett Rock Garden
Displaying tens of thousands of delicate flowers from mountainous regions throughout the world, this 2.5-acre rock garden is one of the most beautiful. Features include a picturesque waterfall, a large alpine meadow, a sand bed for American West alpine species, a moraine with a sophisticated underground watering system, and other beautiful plant habitats. Call for admission fee information.
The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden
Here visitors can enjoy the beauty of the rose and get ideas for their own gardens. The triangular-shaped garden contains more than 2,700 plants -- over 230 different types of roses. There are 108 kinds of old garden and shrub roses, including the red- and white-striped Rosa gallica Versicolor. The Rose Garden is the place to go if you enjoy roses or are interested in cultivating them. Call for admission fee information.
The Native Plant Garden
Eleven different habitats are recreated here, displaying plants found primarily in the northeastern United States. The 2.5-acre garden blooms with wildflowers from January through November and also features a collection of more than 200 kinds of ferns. Call admission fee information.
The Arlow B. Stout Daylily Garden
Named for the plant breeder and geneticist that worked at NYBG for almost four decades, this garden features 12 species that Dr. Stout used as building blocks as well as 67 of his hybrids. This garden is truly spectacular in July. Call admission fee information.
The Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden and Beth's Maze
Divided into 90 small plots, this 1.5-acre garden is a marvelous place for children to learn to plant, cultivate, and harvest vegetables and flowers. For an invigorating challenge the can run through a 900-square foot maze of 3-foot-high arborvitae hedges. Call admission fee information.
The Nancy Bryan Luce Herb Garden
Herbs are big news these days, so many will enjoy this special garden displaying 92 species of European and American herbs. Call admission fee information.
Other Specialty Gardens and Collections
- The Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden
- The Demonstration Garden Complex
Five demo gardens for gardeners
- The Chemurgic Garden
Plants grown for chemical, medical and industrial purposes
- Tulips, Annuals and Chrysanthemums
- The Sarah Davis Smith Orchid Collection
- Irises and Peonies
- The Endangered and Threatened Plant Collection
- Flowering Trees
- The NYBG Forest
- The Montgomery Conifer Collection