Brooklyn Botanic Garden has announced its 2022 calendar of exhibitions, programs, and seasonal highlights. The spring bloom season at BBG, with explosions of cherry blossoms, magnolias, bluebells, and more, is one of New York City’s annual outdoor highlights. This year, extended hours and new programs let visitors make the most of this special season.
Birds have always been an important part of the Garden, but this summer and fall will be “extra avian” when BBG presents For the Birds, a multidisciplinary exhibition and program series presented in partnership with acclaimed movie music supervisor and exhibition creative director Randall Poster. Through both scientific and artistic lenses, For the Birds explores the connections between birds and plants and draws attention to urgent wildlife conservation needs.
This winter, Lightscape returns to BBG for its second year, offering new sights, sounds, and experiences along a magical, outdoor illuminated trail. Over 150,000 visitors came to Lightscape in its first year and made it one of the city’s most talked about holiday events of 2021. The 2022 trail promises more works of light art, more special events, and more chances to visit.
Throughout 2022, the Garden is offering extended hours, live performances, enriching tours and classes, and year-round botanical beauty across its 52 acres. Learn more at bbg.org.
Note to media: For high-res images, further information, or to request an interview or visit, please contact the Garden’s press office at [email protected].
Spring 2022 Highlights
Gardening in Place: A Virtual Making Brooklyn Bloom Event
Saturday, March 12 | 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Making Brooklyn Bloom is BBG’s annual kickoff of the spring gardening season. This year, the Garden will once again offer a fully virtual program to allow participants from Brooklyn and beyond to join in. The theme of this year’s Making Brooklyn Bloom, Gardening in Place, looks at the undeniable importance of the outdoors in our everyday lives. As we emerge from a collective experience of being anchored to home, we consider and celebrate the ways in which gardeners-along with the plants they know and love-shape the meaning of place, home, and belonging.
Talks include “In My Own Backyard: Turning Inward, Making Space,” a personal reflection by community gardening advocate Ena McPherson; and the Wilbur A. Levin Keynote Address, “Altering Brooklyn Forever: The Greening of a Beloved Borough,” by Wambui Ippolito, horticulturalist and landscape designer.
Free; preregistration required. Learn more at bbg.org/mbb.
loved.: A COVID-19 Memorial
March 15-31 | Hourly on the hour
To mark the second anniversary of New York City’s pandemic shutdown, Brooklyn Botanic Garden reprises loved., a site-specific sound installation created by NYC-based composer Michael Gordon to honor those we have lost. Performed by percussionist David Cossin, the meditative composition for seven vibraphones plays hourly on Cherry Esplanade and runs 5 minutes, 31 seconds.
loved. was first presented at BBG in August 2020 when the Garden reopened after its six-month pandemic-related closure. It was reprised in March 2021 on the anniversary of NYC’s shutdown and is presented again this year on the second anniversary. Free with Garden admission. Learn more at bbg.org/loved.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Bloom
April 15-May 15 | Extended morning and evening hours
The magic of spring at BBG is in the succession of bloom after bloom across the Garden’s many spring-flowering plant collections. From mid April through mid May, the Garden offers extended morning and evening hours to see them all, from early-spring-blooming magnolias and daffodils, through BBG’s acclaimed cherry blossoms, to bluebells, peonies, and more in late April and May. Learn more at bbg.org/spring.
Art in the Garden: Weekends in Bloom
April 23, 30; May 7 | 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Celebrate cherry blossom season and all the spring blooms at Brooklyn Botanic Garden with casual, pop-up music and dance performances, chances to talk with BBG gardeners, morning programming for kids and families in the Discovery Garden, and Garden tours. All programs free with Garden admission. Further details will be announced this spring. Learn more at bbg.org/spring.
Art in the Garden: Biophony Spring
Saturday, May 14 | 12-4 p.m.
During this walkabout listening experience conceived by the Grammy-nominated collective Metropolis Ensemble, more than 20 groupings of musicians sited throughout the Garden perform works including the world premieres (co-commissioned by BBG and Metropolis Ensemble) of 15 new musical pieces inspired by birds. Each listener’s experience of Biophony will be unique, determined by the wide range of instrumentations, the topography of the site, and the freedom given to participants to explore and discover.
Biophony at BBG is a four-year-long project that began last fall; future performances will take place in winter 2023 and summer 2024. Free with Garden admission. Further details will be announced in March. Learn more at bbg.org/spring.
Tuesday, June 7 | 5:30 p.m.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s annual Spring Gala benefit will celebrate the For the Birds multidisciplinary exhibition and program series cohosted by BBG from spring through fall. The Gala will take place on BBG’s famed Cherry Esplanade, with proceeds providing essential support for the Garden’s programs and collections. Tables and tickets for the Spring Gala will go on sale in April. Learn more at bbg.org/gala.
Dining in the Garden
Yellow Magnolia Café reopening this spring
Yellow Magnolia Café, the Garden’s restaurant overlooking Lily Pool Terrace, reopens April 1. This year, the seasonal, all-day menu features even more plant-forward options such as tempeh, satay, legumes, and ancient grains, along with returning favorites like its signature buttermilk biscuits, fried chicken, and house tacos. Select produce is harvested from BBG’s Herb Garden in collaboration with the Garden’s horticulturists and appearing on menus as items come into season. Learn more at bbg.org/cafe.
Summer 2022 Highlights
For the Birds
Opening celebration: Saturday, June 11 | On view June 11-October 23
For the Birds is a multidisciplinary exhibition and program series presented in partnership with acclaimed movie music supervisor and exhibition creative director Randall Poster. Through both scientific and artistic lenses, For the Birds explores the connections between birds and plants and draws attention to urgent wildlife conservation needs. The exhibition is inspired by BBG’s resident birds, as well as “For the Birds: The Birdsong Project,” a multialbum set of bird-inspired original songs written and performed by musicians across the globe and compiled by Randall Poster.
For the Birds is centered around two Garden-wide outdoor trail exhibits:
An interpretive trail exploring the relationship between birds, plants, and their ecosystems and tips for birding in the Garden.
An outdoor exhibition featuring dozens of site-specific birdhouses made by artists including Jessica Maffia, Eto Otitigbe, Maika’i Tubbs, Tom Sachs, Suchi Reddy, Julie Peppito, Joyce Hwang, Sourabh Gupta, Jeffrey Meris, Mary Frank, Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular, Amy Ritter, and many more. Inspired by bird species in residence at BBG, each birdhouse provides an opportunity to learn more about birds and their habitats through the eyes of artists working with a variety of materials and points of view.
In addition to the outdoor exhibitions, For the Birds will feature:
Kid-focused exhibits, a new Field Guide, and drop-in programming in the Discovery Garden teaching BBG’s youngest visitors about birds
Tours of the birdhouse exhibit
Bird walks led by expert birders
An exhibition in the Conservatory Gallery of bird paintings by Eva Gertrude Melady that are part of BBG’s library collection
Horticulture displays connected to the theme of birds and plants including a hummingbird garden
Live performances as part of BBG’s Art in the Garden series in the summer and fall
An opening celebration will take place Saturday, June 11. All programs free with Garden admission. Further details will be announced this spring.
Garden Happy Hour Tuesdays
Tuesdays in June, July, and August (excluding June 7 & July 5) | 5-8 p.m.
On Tuesdays throughout the summer, BBG offers evening hours with cocktails and chances to learn more about the Garden. Each month we’ll host a happy hour in a different location where you can learn more from Garden curators, take a tour, or enjoy live music.
Each month will feature a part of the Garden in peak bloom: the Cranford Rose Garden in June, the Herb Garden in July, and Lily Pool Terrace in August. Further details will be announced this spring.
Art in the Garden: Summer Evenings
Thursdays in June & July | 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Art in the Garden returns with Thursday evening outdoor music and dance performances in the Garden throughout June and July. BBG is partnering with local arts organizations to program each evening’s events, with a special emphasis on site-specific works. All programs free with Garden admission. Further details will be announced this spring.
Art in the Garden: Mother Lear
August 23-28 | 6 p.m.
Mother Lear, written and directed by We Players, comes to BBG this August for a seven-performance run in BBG’s outdoor Alfred T. White amphitheater. An irascible middle-aged scholar with dementia communicates with her caretaker daughter using only the text of King Lear, as the two struggle with aging, love, and their own balance of power. Each performance is immediately followed by a facilitated discussion with the audience. Mother Lear is a ticketed event. Further details and ticketing information will be announced this spring.
Greenest Block in Brooklyn
Registration open March 14-June 1 | Winners announced in August
BBG’s Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest returns in person this year for the first time since 2019. Brooklyn’s friendliest competition, the Greenest Block contest encourages streetscape gardening and tree care, block beautification, and most of all, community connection. The contest is free and open to all residential blocks, commercial blocks, and community gardens in Brooklyn.
Participants can attend a free workshop, How to Green Your Block, at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and host a free walk-and-talk block visit, led by BBG staff, to learn about their block’s greening opportunities. Registration runs March 14-June 1, and winners are revealed in August. Dozens of prizes are awarded for greening efforts. Learn more at bbg.org/greenestblock.
Fall 2022 Highlights
Art in the Garden: Fall Weekends
BBG’s Art in the Garden series of pop-up performances, Garden tours, and more continues with fall weekends in September and October. Savor the changing of the seasons with programs featuring Brooklyn arts partners, For the Birds connections, and fall and harvest time in the Garden. All programs free with Garden admission. Further details will be announced this summer.
Winter 2022 Highlights
November 2022-January 2023 | Tickets on sale in July
Lightscape returns to BBG this November following a spectacular debut in 2021! Hailed by visitors and critics as “the must-see after-dark experience,” an “utterly cool experience,” and an “enchanting winter wonderland,” Lightscape returns bigger and better this year with more works of light art, more special events, and more chances to visit.
Lightscape will run from mid November 2022 through early January 2023. Tickets for the 2022-23 season will go on sale in late July, with a BBG members’ presale starting in early July. Learn more at bbg.org/lightscape.