Plants & Gardens Blog

Fawcett Terrace in Bloom

At the height of summer, when most of the Osborne Garden is blanketed in green, Fawcett Terrace is bursting with color and texture.

A paved entrance to a large garden with a circular concrete planter lush with flowers and grasses.
The entrance to the Osborne Garden. Photo by Michael Stewart.

The large circular concrete planter that greets you at the Eastern Parkway entrance provides a sampling of what’s to be revealed as you make your way along Fawcett Terrace, which runs above the western border of the Osborne Garden.

A concrete planter lush with grasses and colorful flowers.
Photo by Michael Stewart.

Mixed borders of woody plants and herbaceous perennials provide sprays of color that peek over stone retaining walls and soften the edges of the path.

Gardener Nancy Nieland, who curates the Osborne Garden, is experimenting with lilies this year. Their large and showy flowers carry your gaze along the border, blooming next to subtler perennials like yarrow, with umbels of tiny pale-pink flowers.

Large white flower with pink-striped petals
Lilium spp. (lily) in the Osborne Garden. Photo by Michael Stewart.

Get a glimpse of bright red behind the trees, where a sea of coppertips (crocosmia) are growing.

Red flowers bloom along narrow green foliage.
A swathe of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (coppertips) along Fawcett Terrace. Photo by Kathryn Tam.

This part of the garden is abuzz with movement, too. Insect-attracting native perennials like butterfly weed, purple coneflower, and brown-eyed Susan gently spill into the path.

Clusters of small orange flowers bloom along dark green foliage.
Asclpias tuberosa (butterfly weed) in the Osborne Garden. Photo by Michael Stewart.
A cluster of purple-pink daisy-like flowers.
Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower) in the Osborne Garden. Photo by Michael Stewart.
A cluster of yellow flowers spills into a paved path.
Rudbeckia triloba (brown-eyed Susan) in the Osborne Garden. Photo by Michael Stewart.

You might be taken by the scale and grandness of the Osborne Garden upon your first encounter. but it’s worth taking the time to appreciate the casual, whimsical gestures of the summer-blooming plants, and the beauty of each individual bloom. Just let the color, or scent, lead you. “It’s really a four-season garden,” Nieland notes. “You always find something blooming or fragrant.”

Purple bell-shaped flowers bloom along a dark green stem.
Campanula poscharskyana (Serbian bellflower) in the Osborne Garden. Photo by Michael Stewart.

Kathryn Tam is editor of Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s digital editorial content.

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Image, top of page: Michael Stewart