Photos: Brooklyn Botanic Garden blooms behind closed gates

brooklyn botanic garden
Brooklyn Botanic Garden

As businesses remain shuttered and Brooklynites continue to shelter indoors, spring is in full bloom at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where azaleas, tulips, and lilacs burst behind closed doors.

Ever since the garden closed on March 17 in an effort to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, a series of small, rotating teams of essential staff have continued tending to the garden’s 52 acres — becoming the sole witnesses of the blossoming plants’ beauty. 

Now, dozens of flowers are in bloom, including peonies, lilacs, and wisteria.

Hyacinthoides hispanica Excelsiors, known as bluebells, beginning to bloom.Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Blanca Begert
Japanese tree peonies in in the Tree Peony Collection.Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Morrigan McCarthy
‘Evangeline’ is about to bloom in the Lilac Collection.Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Elizabeth Peters

The closure has forced the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to cancel its springtime events through June, including Sakura Matsuri — the Japanese cherry blossom festival in late April — as well as the annual benefit Plant Sale, the Greenest Block in Brooklyn Contest, its members-only Rose Night, and all of its classes.

However, the garden has moved many of its programs online, and now offers a series of virtual garden tours, performance highlights from past Sakura Matsuri festivals, and a list of blooming plants updated daily. Green thumbs can also find useful gardening tips and projects for gardeners of all ages posted to the site.  

The Cherry Esplanade was in full bloom in late April, and still features a handful of of blooming trees.
A family of Canada goose swim in the garden’s pond.Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Steven Severinghaus
Japanese tree peonies are peaking in the Tree Peony Collection.Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Blanca Begert

A spokeswoman for the garden said that reopening is “a moving target,” but officials hope to reopen the garden by July 1. 

“We hope to reopen July 1, and if we are allowed and able to safely open sooner, we will,” says the garden’s website.