Sunday, April 6, 2008

Spring in New York: BBG

A Wordsworthian host of golden daffodils beneath old trees near the Eastern Boulevard entrance of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

The earliest of fiddeheads beside a glacial pond in the quiet and empty woodland part of the gardens.

Like a miniature water lily: Sanguinaria canadensis was the first flower we spotted - the only flower we spotted - in the native woodland walk. The contrast between the shouting daffodils we'd passed and the modest brown carpet of dead leaves in the large woodland section spoke volumes about the spring we think is real and the spring that lives in our forests, which is much, much later than the imported version. The buds were wrapped in the cloaks of their leaves - really touching and lovely.

Just opposite the lilac garden - much too early for them - was the hugest winter hazel (Corylopsis) I have ever seen. It was buzzing with bees carrying heavy pollen cargo and the air smelled like sweet lemons.

The tall Canadian dwarfed by the taller, many-branched tree.

In the perennial gardens near the conservatories and ponds, lots of daffodils and narcissus, and this tiny anemone.

Below, a predictable but still minutely perfect grape hyacinth.

And an upside-down view of a nodding and delicate fritillaria - don't know what species.

Lonicera fragrantissima - a shrub form of honeysuckle, subtle and unspectacular and almost audibly scented.

...and the magnolias. I had hoped they would be in bloom and was not sure.

Clouds of them. And again, the clouds were perfumed. I prescribe these to anyone low in spirit. Visit this week, when it's quieter, and stand under them, and breathe.

Seurat would have been driven dotty (sorry) by all this pointillist reality. Corylopsis in front of the magnolias...

Like snow on mountains -

A M. stellata opening.

M. dawsoniana

I think a M x soulangeana cultivar. Smelling like tuber roses. I distinctly heard a woman say to her husband, rather doubtfully, They don't look like cherry blossoms...

...and a yummy end. Eating our spinach and lamb pies from Damascus Bakery with the corners dipped in garlicky yoghurt, as well as the two gifts of falafel; and drinking the cold red wine that is sold at the outdoor cafe...


  1. Our trees are still bereft of even a whisper of life, lawns dry and strewn with stompies and detritus.. thank you for the promise of what is to come, tho I've never seen a flower that wraps up in a blankie..
    Tannie Judes in Milwaukee.. sigh!

  2. You know, I still can't believe that someone as madly in love with flora as you are would choose to live in...New York. Seems like a paradox to me :)

  3. Don't you like the New York flowers? :-)

    New York is a paradox. That's why I like it.

  4. Tannie Judy: stompies? I don't suppose you heard the story about my dad and the dassies addicted to stompies??

  5. What a strange beautiful world where anemones are actually flowers, tall Canadians are dwarfed, magnolias disguise themselves as cherry blossoms and heavy cargo is that of bees...


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