Interpreting the Garden
BBG’s new Visitor Center is undoubtedly captivating from the outside, but inside, both new and longtime visitors will find much more than just a beautiful building. State-of-the-art exhibits as well as orientation and educational tools will help visitors of all ages and levels of horticultural expertise appreciate the rich diversity, history, and multifaceted beauty of the Garden.
“Taking the time to really stop and notice the details around us is something we often forget to do as adults,” says Sonal Bhatt, BBG’s director of Interpretation. “Many of the exhibits in the new Visitor Center will remind people what to look for, what to slow down for, and what to take notice of. Inspiring a childlike sense of discovery will immensely enhance visitors’ enjoyment of the Garden.” In collaboration with award-winning exhibit designers Thinc Design and other consultants, BBG has created videos, interactive exhibits, a multimedia map with animated seasonal highlights, and even a plant ID game that will engage visitors’ senses while addressing often-overlooked key interpretive points.
“Visitors will learn the differences between a botanic garden and a park and why BBG is designed and organized as it is,” says Bhatt. “The exhibits show how the science of botany can offer an appreciation of the plant collections beyond just their external beauty, and also what BBG is doing for the community beyond its physical borders.”
A dedicated section of the Visitor Center gallery will highlight the concept of seasonal change in the Garden with an artistic time-lapse media display that illustrates the magnificent year-round nature of BBG. “The exhibits demonstrate what a dynamic, constantly evolving place the Garden is,” says Bhatt. “Whether you come to explore BBG for the first time or to revisit your favorite spots, you can discover fresh ways of seeing the Garden every time. We believe that visitors who tend to come to the Garden during one particular season will be inspired to come again throughout the year.”