BBG’s New Herb Garden Is Open! - Brooklyn Botanic Garden
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BBG’s New Herb Garden Is Open!

After two years of construction, Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s new Herb Garden opened to the public the first week of June. With a focus on the origins, botany, and beauty of the plants we know as food, the garden’s herbs and vegetables are grouped geographically according to where they were first domesticated and brought into cultivation. The garden is designed to be a decorative but utilitarian kitchen garden that freely mixes medicinal and culinary herbs, vegetables, berries, fruit trees, and flowers.

Some of the regions and crops visitors can see in the new Herb Garden include:

The Americas

Today tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, corn, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes are ubiquitous in cuisines worldwide; it’s hard to believe that most were introduced from North and South America only a few hundred years ago.

Northern Mediterranean

The quintessential culinary herbs rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano all hail from the northern Mediterranean. Vegetables from this part of the world include plants from the cabbage family as well as carrots, beets, and artichokes.

The Fertile Crescent and Sub-Saharan Africa

A large percentage of the world’s food plants originated in this relatively small region, comprising the modern-day countries Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran. From this “cradle of civilization” came grains like wheat, barley, and rye, as well as onions, garlic, lettuce, and many legumes.

East, South, and Southeast Asia and the Pacific

This vast area ranging from India to the South Pacific originated staples like rice and soybeans as well as several major tropical food crops like taro and sugarcane.

The new Herb Garden also displays medicinal herbs and fruit trees including cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines, apples, and pears. It truly is a remarkable garden, and we hope you’ll come to visit and see it grow this summer.

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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Image, top of page: Antonio M. Rosario