Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Building Botanics in Brooklyn

Botanical gardens come in all shapes and sizes.  That is obvious from Brooklyn.  One just has to take a look at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden which has been in existence for over a century and spans 52 acres.  But botanical gardens need not be so big actually as Raphael Steinberg of Raphael Steinberg Landscaping has encountered in his work.  One of the main criteria for a gardener to consider in the initial planning is sizing but so much can be done within all shapes and sizes.  It is just a matter of correct planning.  Is the area they have to work with merely a small patch of a rooftop garden, a large industrial space or something in between?

What are botanical gardens exactly?  The dictionary definition is “an establishment where plants are grown for display to the public and often for scientific study.”  Education through experience within a botanical garden setting is a wonderful way for kids (and adults) to become familiar with greenery and plant life.

“What I really enjoy when clients request a botanical garden is the amount of leeway that is available.  Such gardens provide so much Zen for the client, as well as a natural education for those curious enough to ask,” Raphael Steinberg explained.

Botanical gardens are far from new. In fact, they have been around since about the 16th century.  Initially they were used for medicinal and research purposes.  Today though the more common uses are educational, as a sanctuary and a space to create new plant life. Botanical gardens are often found in community centers, offering locals the chance to view stunning ornamental plants arranged in a way which depicts special relationships.  Before a landscape gardener designs one, they need to be aware of the main purpose of the client.  Some ideas include: the preservation of a collection; an exhibition or a private Zen area.

Whatever you decide to do ultimately, it is important to consult with a professional landscaper who has had experience in the design, building and maintenance over some years of a botanical garden and has examples to show you.