The weather couldn’t have been better yesterday for the grand opening of the one-acre Native Flora Garden expansion at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, the first in a series of renovations slated for the popular destination.
The garden is five years in the making, planted largely with seed species collected by horticulturists and scientists from across the New York metropolitan region during that time span.
Created by lead conceptual and ecological designer Darrel Morrison, with landscape architect and construction administrator SiteWorks, it re-creates five unique plant communities, representing over 150 species – 25 of which are considered of special conservation concern – and represents the unique pine barrens habitat of southern New Jersey and eastern Long Island.
The expansion, adjacent to the original two-acre Native Flora Garden, which opened as BBG’s first specialty garden in 1911, is part of the Campaign for the Next Century, which supports a suite of new and enhanced gardens, facilities, and programs created in response to increased attendance at the Garden and growing interest in urban horticulture and sustainability, BBG said in a statement.
A set of renovations are next in line at the southern end of BBG, including a new Water Garden, a water conservation project, and a new children’s Discovery Garden designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; as well as an expanded and redesigned public entrance at Flatbush Avenue, by Architecture Research Office.
Last month, the new expansion got a special visitor when it attracted a Virginia rail, a secretive bird of freshwater marshes, which hid among empty pots while making a pit stop en route to its summer breeding ground.
Representatives at BBG did not return calls and emails seeking comment in time for publication.