A Children’s Garden of Wildflowers

next slide previous slide
    • A young visitor hunts for butterflies along the Discovery Garden meadow path. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
A young visitor hunts for butterflies along the Discovery Garden meadow path. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
    • The main entrance to the Discovery Garden meadow overarches a wooden bridge. Photo by Ashley Gamell.The main entrance to the Discovery Garden meadow overarches a wooden bridge. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
    •  Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), in the foreground, has fragrant leaves and flowers and a range of medicinal uses. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), in the foreground, has fragrant leaves and flowers and a range of medicinal uses. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
    • Swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata, is a host plant for monarch butterflies and a bee favorite. Photo by Ashley Gamell.Swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata, is a host plant for monarch butterflies and a bee favorite. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
    • 
The petals of skyward-reaching autumn sun coneflower, Rudbeckia ‘Herbstonne,’ look like skirts dancing in the wind. Photo by Ashley Gamell. The petals of skyward-reaching autumn sun coneflower, Rudbeckia ‘Herbstonne,’ look like skirts dancing in the wind. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
    • Clustered mountain mint, Pycnanthemum muticum, a threatened species, boasts fragrant (and edible) silver foliage and is a magnet for a diversity of bees. Photo by Ashley Gamell.Clustered mountain mint, Pycnanthemum muticum, a threatened species, boasts fragrant (and edible) silver foliage and is a magnet for a diversity of bees. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
    • Anise hyssop has licorice scented leaves and long-lasting blooms that draw bees and cabbage white butterflies. Photo by Ashley Gamell.Anise hyssop has licorice scented leaves and long-lasting blooms that draw bees and cabbage white butterflies. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
    • Charmingly button-shaped sneezeweed flowers, Helenium autumnale, smell sweetly of hay. Photo by Ashley Gamell.Charmingly button-shaped sneezeweed flowers, Helenium autumnale, smell sweetly of hay. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
    •  The geometric seed heads of northern sea oats, Chasmanthium latifolium, dangle from arching stems from summer through winter. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
The geometric seed heads of northern sea oats, Chasmanthium latifolium, dangle from arching stems from summer through winter. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
    • The inflorescences of Culver’s root, Veronicastrum virginicum, have a whimsical look. Photo by Ashley Gamell.The inflorescences of Culver’s root, Veronicastrum virginicum, have a whimsical look. Photo by Ashley Gamell.
    • Swamp milkweed pods release wind-blown seeds with silky parachutes. Photo by Ashley Gamell.Swamp milkweed pods release wind-blown seeds with silky parachutes. Photo by Ashley Gamell.

    The meadow in BBG’s Discovery Garden has undergone an overhaul since 2009, when the central beds had to be excavated in order to remove a failing ginkgo tree. New native meadow species were selected based on their allure for kids and wildlife alike, propagated in BBG’s greenhouses, then laid out to create winding paths and intimate nooks.

    Why natives? They attract and sustain scores of creatures for children’s viewing pleasure. Many native plants boast enticingly fragrant foliage and flowers, graceful forms, and a rich cultural history. They also require minimal care because they’re adapted to local conditions.

    The new array of native perennials was started from seed early last year. Just 18 months later, an outlandish thicket of wildflowers and grasses is swarming with a diversity of bees, wasps, butterflies, and moths. In a garden geared toward wildlife, a mark of success was the kingbird that appeared midsummer, making steep aerial dives to score a meal of insects.

    Here are a few of our favorite perennials from this summer’s display. Visit them in the Discovery Garden before summer is out, or try them in your own garden next year.


    Add Your Comment

    Please keep your comments relevant to this article. Comments are moderated and will be posted after BBG staff review. Your email address is required; it will not be displayed, but may be needed to confirm your comments.

    Name:

    Email:


    WeddingsGarden News BlogCalendarOnline ShopPress Room

    Hours

    Tuesday–Friday:
    8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Saturday & Sunday:
    10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Closed Mondays
    (but open Columbus Day,
    10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

    More Information

    Admission

    Members Free
    Adults $10
    Seniors (65 and over) $5
    Students with a valid ID $5
    Children under 12 Free
    Chile Pepper FestivalSpecial Pricing

    More Information

    Directions

    150 Eastern Parkway
    990 Washington Avenue
    Brooklyn, NY 11225

    subways

    Maps, Parking, and Directions

    Join BBG

    Become a Member

      

    BBG Member Benefits
    Free Admission, Special Events,
    Discounts, and More!