Last weekend’s NYC weather was glorious and we celebrated by heading up to the Bronx for opening day of The New York Botanical Garden’s “Monet’s Garden” exhibit. Faithful readers will recall that we visited the Garden a few years back for their floral homage to Emily Dickinson. The Monet exhibit is less ambitious and is mostly confined to the conservatory, but still worth the trip.
We arrived late in the morning and we were pleasantly surprised to see that there were no lines at the entry. After a quick lunch at the cafe, we proceeded to the Seasonal Walk, which is embroidered with blooms chosen by High Line genius Piet Oudolf and Jacqueline van der Kloet.
The conservatory is the Garden’s stunning centerpiece and was saved from demolition by Enid A. Haupt, a sister of Walter Annenberg. Called “the greatest patron American horticulture has ever known” by the Garden’s president. Haupt, who died in 2005 at the age of 99 (proof that gardening is good for the soul!) is a reminder of why it’s handy to keep the 1% around – it must cost buckets of money to keep that enormous Victorian greenhouse going.
I remember being dragged to flower shows as a child and loathing every interminable minute of the adults ooh-ing and ah-ing over this bloom and that, but having long since passed through the looking glass to oldster-land, touring the exhibit inside the conservatory was a delight.
We were at Giverny last fall and saw sunflowers instead of spring blooms, but even so, this exhibit was more a nod in Monet’s direction than a deja vu. You have to give them an E for Effort, however: they added the obligatory water lilies and koi to the Conservatory pond.
And, of course, la plus chose importante – the Japanese Bridge:
The exhibit will continue until October 21. A note of caution: if you go, know that you will have to arrange your return transportation in advance. For reasons that remain mysterious to us (and which we had plenty of time to ponder during our hour-and-a-half wait for a car to pick us up), taxis are no longer available at the Garden exit…and it’s a looonnnggg walk back to Manhattan from the Bronx!
UPDATE: I’ve noticed many visits to this post from people searching for information on getting taxis at the Botanical Garden. Please note that there is a very handy Metro North train stop just outside the back gate to the Garden. More information on it can be found here.