Given that it was the first nice weekend, it was VERY crowded. I prefer the garden when there aren't a lot of people there because it is a lot more relaxing. It is hard to contemplate the gardens when you have to navigate people who are all trying to take pictures of everything they see.
The magnolia trees were in bloom and they were gorgeous.
My absolute favorite was a variety called Yulan from China.
I read on the San Francisco Botanical Garden's website that this magnolia is:
"one of the most beloved of all magnolias. Called "Yulan" or "Jade Lily" by the Chinese, the exquisite lily shape of the white blossoms (some with a tinge of pink at the base of the tepals), has the longest history of magnolia cultivation going back to the Tang Dynasty – 618 AD. Its beauty was celebrated on ancient Chinese embroideries, scrolls and porcelains in scenes of the countryside. Its elegant flowers made it "a gift worthy of an emperor." The tepals (petals and sepals that aren't differentiated) are also known as a delicacy, dipped in flour and lightly fried. Today, very old gnarled specimens can be found in Chinese temples and other public places throughout China."
Given the fact that everyone was taking pictures in front of this tree, I can confirm that this magnolia is one of the most beloved.
However, my absolute favorite part of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is their Japanese garden. Winter, spring, summer, or fall it is beautiful and relaxing.
I then walked over to see their bonsai collection. It always blows my mind that some of these plants/trees are so old. Like this tree, which is almost 100 years old!
Can you imagine carefully caring for and pruning a tree for almost 100 years?
I also loved seeing all their giant bromliads and their ferns, which are some of my favorite houseplants.
After visiting the gardens, I wandered over to the garden shop to see what kind of plants they have for sale. I have become slightly addicted to collecting houseplants so I was looking for something unique. Unfortunately, most of the plants in the garden shop were ones you could buy at any big box store so I didn't end up purchasing anything. I toyed around with the idea of getting a venus flytrap, but I don't know if I could give it the right conditions to keep it alive. Given that I am trying to deal with some fungus gnats in my ferns right now, I am trying to stay away from anything that requires a moist environment.
All in all, it was a great day and given that I am now a member of the garden, I will be back soon.