My birthday at the New York Botanical Gardens

In June of last year for my birthday, I was eager to get out of the city and experience some nature. I began researching great hiking trails nearby, but on a whim opted instead to go to the New York Botanical Gardens (NYBG) in the Bronx, which I hadn't been to in years. The NYBG is nearly five times larger than its Brooklyn counterpart, featuring 50 breathtaking gardens, indoor rain forests and deserts, 50 acres of native forest, a river, waterfalls, and rolling green hills across 250-acres. Best yet—it's just a short jaunt from the city!

After visiting NYBG, I decided to get a membership because I knew I'd take several more trips over the course of the year. It really is worth the cost because an individual adult ticket is $20 on the weekdays and $25 on weekends—and the workers there are more than happy to apply the money you spent on a ticket towards a membership. Additionally, certain garden centers, like my local plant store, Chelsea Garden Center, will honor a discount if you flash your membership card; and sometimes your membership to your local Botanical Garden is transferable to other Botanical Gardens across the U.S.—a helpful tip I picked up from a fellow member whilst standing in line to see the blooming corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum). Most of all, you'll be supporting a beautiful respite and botanical wonder out of the city center. 🌿

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You're greeted with purple pom pom flowers (Alliums sp.) walking up to the Botanic Gardens in the summer. 

You're greeted with purple pom pom flowers (Alliums sp.) walking up to the Botanic Gardens in the summer. 

Finding a spot of grass to lay on in the Botanical Gardens is a favorite activity! 

Finding a spot of grass to lay on in the Botanical Gardens is a favorite activity! 

Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota), all puckered up. 

Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota), all puckered up. 

Flowering dogwoods (Cornus florida) mimic snow in the trees in the summer months.

Flowering dogwoods (Cornus florida) mimic snow in the trees in the summer months.

Bromeliads in branches at the New York Botanical Gardens. 

Bromeliads in branches at the New York Botanical Gardens. 

Pelican flower (Aristolochia grandiflora) is always a crowd-pleaser.

Pelican flower (Aristolochia grandiflora) is always a crowd-pleaser.

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Cryptanthus and Fittonia at the New York Botanical Gardens. 

Cryptanthus and Fittonia at the New York Botanical Gardens. 

Fittonia, commonly known as nerve plant, clearly gets its name from its prominent veins.

Fittonia, commonly known as nerve plant, clearly gets its name from its prominent veins.

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A Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum  biflorum) dangles its buds in one of the native gardens.

A Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum  biflorum) dangles its buds in one of the native gardens.

A maple's samara (or helicopter as kids call them) lays in a leaf nearby.

A maple's samara (or helicopter as kids call them) lays in a leaf nearby.

My barefoot friend takes to the trails. Highly recommend going barefoot throughout some of the trails. Note: Don't get a pedicure before! It'll make your feet too sensitive. :)

My barefoot friend takes to the trails. Highly recommend going barefoot throughout some of the trails. Note: Don't get a pedicure before! It'll make your feet too sensitive. :)