This past Wednesday was my mom’s birthday, and as a lover of flowers and the most talented “green thumb” I know (seriously, she brings all plants back to life and not-so-silently judges all of the dying plants in my apartment), she asked to spend the day at the NY Botanical Garden. I was pretty excited about her request, because I’ve been wanting to visit NYBG since I moved to New York more than two years ago. In fact, I had a goal of visiting the Garden at least once during each season – summer, fall, winter, spring — which, when I think about it, is pretty ambitious given I’d never even been there once. Hmmm.
Well, after this visit, I’ve at least confirmed that the goal of making regular visits is certifiably worthwhile, and I’m keeping it. The weather was fantastic on Wednesday, so Jameson and I hopped on the Metro North from Harlem, and it was a short ride up to the Garden.
Flowers and her grandson?! This lady was one happy birthday girl. And with her birthday falling on a Wednesday this year, it was the perfect day to visit, because the grounds are free every Wednesday. The Garden is also featuring a special Frida Kahlo exhibit that I’d been wanting to see. Her life and art are both pretty thought-provoking.
We kicked our visit off with lunch from the cafe and then made our way to the Conservatory, which had a re-creation of Kahlo’s home in Mexico, Casa Azul.
This exhibit was beautiful. It was both serene and energizing at the same time, with the plants, the fountains, and the bright colors. I really think I could have posted up in the spot below for hours. Jameson seemed to relax too, as he fell asleep in the ergo baby the moment we walked into the Conservatory.
I’m a big fan of succulents, both for their beauty and resiliency (see my note above regarding plant-killing tendencies), and they have a huge succulent display in the Casa Azul.
In addition to the beautiful grounds, the gift shop was filled with all kinds of colorful, Mexican- and Frida-themed items. They even had women creating traditional Mexican weavings outside of the shop. I tried to scratch my itch of wanting to buy lots of things by taking photos instead.
A little replica of Frida’s paint set and desk.
Such a wonderful day! There’s something really special about being surrounded by pristine nature and feeling like you’re miles away from the city, all while never leaving.
And there’s something really special about my mom, so I’m so glad she got a great birthday. She’s the most compassionate person I know. In fact, when I think about it, that’s probably what makes her so great with plants — she watches, she listens, she cares, she tends.