The New York Botanical Gardens-a Natural Beauty in the Bronx

Located at 2900 Southern Boulevard in the Bronx, The New York Botanical Gardens (NYBG) is truly an oasis in the middle of a buzzing metropolis. Regardless of the season, this pristine, beautiful venue offers an impressive natural environment and a multitude of educational and recreational activities.

As an ongoing part of the NYBG, “A World of Plants,” located in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., offers visitors an indoor garden filled with exotic and breathtaking tropical rain forest collections, cacti from the desert, an array of palm plants from all over the globe, both water and meat-eating plant varieties as well as myriad other selections.

The annual Orchid Show will return to the NYBG beginning on Saturday, February 23, 2019, and last through Sunday, April 28, 2019. Hundreds of the world’s breathtaking natural orchids will be on display in both morning and afternoon as well as musical and champagne- accompanied evening showings. 2019 will mark the 17th visit of the “Orchid Show,” this year the stunning presentation dedicated to the country of Singapore –City in a Garden­– a land that is largely devoted to the cultivation and reverence of this native flora. The exhibition at the Botanical Gardens is a collaboration with Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Orchids of every conceivable color, shape, and size will be showing, and the scientific background relating to the cultivation of these outstanding flowers will be presented as well.

Floral and artistic displays are hardly the only offerings at the NYBG, as this venue is also devoted to continuing education for all. Current offerings include ongoing Landscape Design (Tuesdays from  fall through spring from 1:00 p.m. through 3:00 p.m.), and special classes including The Winter Lecture with Martha Stewart, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 31, 2019, a book review and lecture/conversation of The Overstory by Richard Powers featuring his novel about trees and people and the relationship between humans  and nature on Thursday, March 7, 2019, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., a documentary film featuring the work of  famed 20th century landscape designer, Beatrix Farrand, from 10:30 a.m. through noon on Friday, March 15, 2019, and on Thursday, March 28th, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., author and editor for Martha Stewart Living, and Newsday and gardener extraordinaire, Margaret Roach, will speak on horticultural therapy, organic gardening, and the science of “creating a 365-day garden to sustain both herself and

magnificent birds with whom she shares her country retreat.”

Another annual fête at the NYBG is the yearly antiques fair, which includes an array of collectibles from local dealers, including furniture and especially garden antiques. This event overlaps with the Orchid Show, and is scheduled for Thursday April 11, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. for the preview party, through April 14, 2019.

An additional ongoing event at the NYBG is the community gardening outreach program which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary. Known as “The Bronx Green-Up,” this effort helps more than 200 local gardening groups, schools and community clubs as they seek to enhance their local areas through projects that celebrate “being green.” With photos from the Bronx Documentary Center’s Bronx Junior Photo League, the continuing passionate work of these groups is documented in an impressive photographic collection, reflecting the wonderful efforts to connect with nature in the inner city that goes on, all too often unacknowledged, all across our area. This marvelous photographic presentation began last November and will continue through Sunday, April 28, 2019.

On Saturday, May 4, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., and continuing the same hours on the following day, will mark Lilac Weekend, and will include live music, gardening demonstrations, and a plein-air reception by renowned painter, James Gurney. On Saturday, May 18th from 10:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. (and the same time the next day), Spring Uncorked will be the event not to miss, with live music, wine tastings, and an open farmer’s market. From 11:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, 2019 (and the same hours the next day), a tribute to the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden and tours of the beautiful seasonal roses at the NYBG will be the focus.

Looking toward the joyous beginning of summer, Saturday, June 8, 2019 will welcome a much-anticipated arrival of The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx. The tribute, will fill the conservatory through late summer, when it will close its doors on Sunday, September 29, 2019. Marx (1909-1994), was a Latin American artist who received acclaim  for his unique garden designs, his investigations into botany, and his passion for the conservationist movement of plants. In addition to the conservatory horticultural display, this exhibition will also include a showing of Marx’s designs, paintings, drawing, textiles and prints. His unique landscape designs and vivid geometrics that characterized the horticultural and plant conservation efforts in Brazil will be the focus of this impressive installation. On June 22 and 23, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. a dedication to the Summer Solstice will be in full swing with the Edible Academy as the main feature, offering hands-on gardening and cooking activities and the opportunity to dip into the creation of some delectable culinary treasures.

Mid-autumn will feature a “Spotlight on Tradition,” with the focus on the much beloved Japanese plant, the chrysanthemum, called the kiku. The Nolen Greenhouses’ Bourke-Sullivan Display House will be home to the kikus that have been raised in keeping with the traditional and uniquely Japanese techniques of turning the simple chrysanthemum flower into bonsai creations including the Kengai (“cascade”) and the Ozukuri (“thousand bloom”). This very special tribute will be at the NYBG from Saturday November 2, 2019 through Sunday November 17, 2019.

Outdoor concerts are scheduled on the green on select evenings in the spring and summer months featuring music from a variety of backgrounds and styles.

It should be mentioned that a day at the New York Botanical Gardens is not complete without visits to one of the impressive eateries that are located on the property  the informal Pine Tree Café, and food venue built in the middle of a collection of magnificent pines from around the world, featuring salads, pizzas, sandwiches, custom deli sandwiches made to order (yes! Kosher offerings are available), and beverages, or the Hudson Garden Grill, a more upscale farm-to-table eatery with tablecloths and waiter service, open from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Friday, bar service, coffee and light snacks from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. On weekends and select Mondays a full menu is available from 11:30 to 6:00 p.m. Food trucks, featuring a delicious selection of ethnic delicacies, are seasonally available on the grounds as well. Finally, a visit to the NYBG is not complete without a stop at the magnificently curated gift shop that adorns the Gardens.  Tours of the NYBG are available, as is an annual membership, which provides reduced entry fees, as well as parking for members.

The New York Botanical Gardens is a short 20-minute Metro-North Harlem line train ride away from Manhattan, with service departing New York’s Grand Central Station. As part of Metro-North’s special “New York City Getaways” program, entry to the NYBG can be purchased in combination with train tickets at a discounted rate. Regular admission is priced at $26 (weekends) $21 (Tuesday through Thursday) for an adult, $24 (weekends) $18 (Tuesday through Thursday), for seniors/disabled individuals/Medicare recipients and students, $12 (weekends) $9 (Tuesday through Thursday) for children 2-12, and free for children under 2; special discounted rates are available from various Metro-North stations in the New York metropolitan area (specific stations have custom prices; this information is available on the NYBG website).

The New York Botanical Gardens are not to be missed, and are a magnificent, relaxing, and educational way to enjoy an afternoon or evening year-round.


The Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School is a prestigious NYC Jewish Day School in the heart of New York City.  Located in the Upper East Side, this Jewish Day School promotes academic growth through community and collaboration.