Garden News Blog

Bright Blooms in the Osborne Garden

Azaleas, wisteria, and rhododendrons are in bloom in the Osborne Garden offering a stunning kaleidoscope of color.

The Osborne Garden was originally designed in 1935 by landscape architect Harold Caparn and dedicated to Dean Clay Osborne in 1939 by his wife Sade Elizabeth Osborne. It was designed as a showcase for ornamental plants and built in part by laborers in the Civil Works Administration and the Works Progress Administration. 1947, landscape architect Alice Recknagel Ireys designed plantings of large masses of white, red, and pink azaleas, rhododendrons, wisterias, and evergreens to frame the central lawn. Today, this three-acre, Italian-style formal garden is maintained by curator Dan Ryniec who has been with BBG for over 30 years.

When you come to admire the azaleas and other blooms within the Osborne, be sure to take time to rest on the semicircle of limestone benches near the fountain. Sit at one end and you can whisper clearly to someone sitting at the opposite side. These “whispering benches” are a much beloved feature of the Osborne Garden and great place to sit back and take in the beauty of thousands of spring blossoms.

Rebecca Bullene is a former editor at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She is the proprietor of Greenery NYC, a creative floral and garden design company that specializes in botanical works of art including terrariums, urban oasis gardens, and whimsical floral arrangements.

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