Garden News Blog

Bluebell Wood Bursting With Color

All the rain in Brooklyn this past week has made the blooms in Bluebell Wood incredibly vivid and lush. Designed by Robert Hyland, BBG's former VP of Horticulture, in 1994, this planting of 45,000 Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica 'Excelsior') has become a much-loved spring feature of the Garden. Prior to the redesign, this area of BBG was a lawn that was increasingly being shaded out by the beech, birch, oak, and elm tree collection that is also planted there. As any home gardener knows, a shady area can be a tough place to grow and maintain a lawn, so the solution of a shade-loving underplanting for these tress was born and the bluebells were planted. Today the area is lovingly cared for by Anne O'Neil and is a top destination for BBG visitors and photographers looking to be immersed in waves of sweet-smelling blue blooms. In fact, one photographer, Ben Miflin, was awarded third place in the "Spirit of the American Garden" category of the 2011 International Garden Photographer of the Year contest for a photo he took in Bluebell Wood.

Ben Miflin's winning shot of Bluebell Wood

This photo by Ben Miflin was taken in BBG's Bluebell Wood and was the third place winner in the 2011 International Garden Photographer of the Year contest. All rights reserved.

The bluebell blossoms last for about two weeks and are at their peak now, so if you have a chance to make it to the Garden this weekend be sure to take a stroll through the wood!

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.


  • bill marrin May 29, 2011

    I am interested in planting my own bluebell woods but I wonder what happens after they bloom and fade. Do you cover with other ground cover, ie: interplant with another plant or cover with mulch? Anxious to know!

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