Grey garden: Brooklyn Botanic offers free admission all winter

Japan-esque: The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden looks as alive as ever in the winter.
Brooklyn Paper
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This garden is evergreen.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is opening its doors to visitors this winter, offering free admission on Tuesdays through Fridays until the end of March. And though the spring growing season is still months away, those who brave the winter temperatures will find plenty of flora and fauna to gawk at during their visits to the garden near Prospect Park, said a spokeswoman.

“There are still things to see outside and indoors,” said Elizabeth Reina-Longoria, the Garden’s director of communications. “People love bird watching outside and seeing the plants in different seasons.”

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers special activities during cold weather, including outdoor bird walks, tours of the indoor conservatory, and workshops for kids. Those programs, and the free weekday admission, are designed to ensure that Brooklynites do not forget about the green space during the cold winter months, said Reina-Longoria.

“We want to remind people we’re still open in the winter and encourage people to come,” she said. “It does get quieter.”

The smaller winter-time crowds give those who do show up unfettered access to the garden’s stunning outdoors, allowing serene walks past the dawn redwoods by the water. The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, with its winding paths, Shinto shrine, and lush pine trees, offers especially nice views during the winter, said Reina-Longoria.

“If you can brave the cold, the Japanese Garden is always beautiful,” she said. “There are lots of evergreen trees that look beautiful in the snow.”

And inside, the Garden’s conservatory building hosts its Tropical, Desert, and Warm Temperate pavilions, along with the Aquatic House and other indoor plant exhibits, where gratis garden-goers can take refuge from the frigid temperatures outside.

The Aquatic House includes unique, multi-branched trees from the Americas and Africa that spread into a pond, and the Tropical Pavilion is the greenest part of the garden’s conservatory. And the warmest spot for winter may be the Desert Pavilion, which offers cacti and tall plants unlike anything else in Brooklyn. It is a must-see.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden [990 Washington Ave. between President and Carroll streets in Prospect Heights, (718) 623–7200,]. Free admission through March, Tue–Fri, 10 am–4:30 pm (Sat–Sun, $15; Mon, closed).

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Updated 5:51 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Morris from Mill Basin says:
I love this place! Hugs to all those who keep this treasure for us, the good people of Brooklyn.
Dec. 28, 2017, 10:04 am

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