Arboreal Delights


After the walk through the old-growth forest, I headed back to the cafe for some refreshments, and somewhere along the way, I came upon this amazing Chinese tree.

At the  cafe, unfortunately, there was only one cashier that day, and a zillion people waiting in line to pay, so I passed on the rehydration, despite the hot sun that was rising ever higher in a relatively cloudless sky.

A tip to the wise:  if you ever decide to visit NYBG:  bring your own water, as there are no drinking fountains along the trails and paths.  None I could see, at least.

I decided to avoid the tram route up the Berenson Ornamental Conifers, and took the back way there.

This eventually took me past an old and recently restored stone mill.  It was built by the Lorillard family in 1840, who had brought their tobacco milling operation to the Bronx in 1792, to take advantage of the Bronx River to power their equipment.  This gorgeous mill can be described architecturally as a vernacular industrial building, made of schist quarried on the site.

Here’s a pic of a 500-million year old outcrop of the local gneiss and schist, in a glacier rock formation known as the Wamsler Rock.

As the sign says, this area is planted and in the early spring is flush with crocuses, irises, squill and snow drops–now that is something I would love to see.

Along the way, I was particularly smitten with this ancient Black Oak.  Would you believe it was a mere sapling during the American Revolution?  Pretty incredible, in my book.

Absolutely stunning.

It took awhile and a lot of walking but I finally found the Berenson Ornamental Conifer Garden, a landscaped patch of mature shade trees that include century-old blue Atlas cedars, a 75-year old Montgomery Blue spruce, as well as miniature white pines, and a variety of dwarf conifers.  If you touch some of these huge trees with the palm of your hand, you can actually feel the sap running through their trunks, and, if you are quite still, absorb some of their incredible, peaceful energy.  Take my word for it.

I love evergreens and particularly the Japanese cypresses, abundant here.

My favorite is the Golden Hinoki, which you can see below, along with a selection of other plants that caught my fancy.

Here’s me checking out the Hinoki situation.

And here’s the famous and rare snake tree.

Let’s not forget Mr. Wabbit.

And Mr. Butterfly.

You won’t find this in Florida!

So there, in the Bronx, is an absolute treasure trove of plants, trees, rare salamanders, and small mammals. In December, they do a Holiday train exhibit in the same conservatory space where Monet’s Garden was presented, and replicate famous Manhattan landmarks, such as the Empire State Building, with completely organic materials.

Well done, New York Botanical Garden!!!! Bravo!  And I hope you enjoyed taking, as much as I did, this little tour of a very special part of New York City.

© Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016.

Images may be republished under


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s