Plant Sales This Week in and near Brooklyn

BBG Plant Sale, May 2009
BBG Plant Sale

It’s the week for the annual plant sale frenzy. All listed here are benefits for their respective gardens. It’s a great way to support your local gardens, meet other gardeners, and pick up some cool plants.

Saturday, May 1

Bay Ridge
Narrows Botanical Gardens (NBG)
Annual Spring Plant Sale and Art Show
(Rain Date: May 8)

Sunday, May 2

Kensington/Windsor Terrace
East 4th Street Community Garden
East 4th Street between Caton and Fort Hamilton Parkway
9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Veggies, flowers and herbs

Tuesday, May 4

Downtown Manhattan
The Battery (Battery Park)

The Battery Plant Sale, April 2008, with spectacular views. That’s the Statue of Liberty there in the background!
Battery Park Plant Sale

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Annual Plant Sale
Tuesday, 5/4: Members-Only Preview Sale
Open to the Public Wednesday, 5/5 and Thursday, 5/6
Hours vary by date; see the BBG Web site for details

Wednesday, May 5

BBG Plant Sale

Thursday, May 6

BBG Plant Sale

Sunday, May 8

Park Slope/Prospect Heights
Pacific Street Bear’s Garden, Pacific Street and Flatbush Avenue
Annual Plant and Bake Sale

Related Content

Plant Sale, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 2009-05-05


Narrows Botanical Gardens
The Battery (Battery Park)
BBG Annual Plant Sale

Times City Room defends its treatment of “South Brooklyn”

Several of us bloggers in Flatbush, at least, feel at best bemusement when the Times casts its gimlet eye upon our fair neighborhood. They sometimes seem to view us as some quaint suburban enclave, linking to a post about, say, raccoons, while ignoring local coverage of a rezoning proposal that will shape development for decades to come.

At least one reader of the New York Times City Room seems to feel the same:

Question: … There is no doubt, that when The New York Times writes about Brooklyn, one would think that Brooklyn is Park Slope, the Heights, Cobble Hill, Dumbo, and those environments basically north of Prospect Park. When areas such as Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Bay Ridge, Flatbush, and Sheepshead Bay are ever mentioned in your publication, they are usually treated in a condescending, disparaging, misinformed manner … Why the obvious slant, and why the ignorance from a publication that claims to be a bastion of serious and knowledgeable discourse?
Answers About City Room, Part 3, Sewell Chan, New York Times, June 19, 2008

The Times responds:

Answer: I’m not sure I agree with your rather harsh assessment. … The Times has devoted a lot of coverage of neighborhoods like Greenpoint and Williamsburg [still north of Prospect Park!], where young college graduates have spurred a housing boom over the last decade, and projects like Atlantic Yards, which has provoked fierce discussion about the future of economic development in Brooklyn and the preservation of small-scale neighborhoods. But I don’t think that coverage has meant that other neighborhoods receive “condescending, disparaging, misinformed” coverage. In recent months, The Times has written about a kosher soup kitchen in Borough Park, the history of Victorian Flatbush and access to the Sheepshead Bay waterfront. We’re always open to suggestions for news and feature stories in the city’s diverse neighborhoods, and The City section, published each Sunday, is filled with local updates on community news.

Related Posts

The Times discovers Kensington, May 24, 2008
Times admits past errors: We are not all Ditmas Park, March 15, 2008
Where is Flatbush, anyway?, December 1, 2007

When you gotta go …

… in Brooklyn, go to the 69th Street Pier in Bay Ridge, or the corner of Marcus Garvey Boulevard and Broadway in Bed-Stuy. These are two of the next four locations announced by the Department of Transportation today for the latest APTs: Automated Public Toilets.

Like all of the new street furniture, the APT’s have a simple, contemporary design, created for the City by Grimshaw Architects, incorporating stainless steel and tempered glass. The APT’s clean themselves after each use, and tamper-proof automatic doors that open from the inside will ensure security.
Press Release

The APT’s cost 25 cents to operate, with a time limit of 15 minutes and will be open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. Each APT is climate-controlled and includes a toilet, a wash basin with running warm water, and a mirror. An automated system controls the door and prevents unauthorized entrance, and the APT’s are fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

After 12 minutes of use, an acoustic alarm and red flashing lights go off for three minutes before the door opens. Once a user has exited, the APT doors will close and the 90-second automatic cleaning cycle will begin. During the cleaning cycle the interior surfaces of the APT are cleaned and dried. Once the self-cleaning process is complete, a new user can access the APT.

No news is not good news: Courier-Life Publications Web sites displaced

Earlier this afternoon, Brooklyn Junction noticed that the Web site for Flatbush Life was down:

No one ever accused of being the most regularly updated website in the world. Coming from me, that doesn’t mean much these days. But gone? Say it ain’t so.

At first, the Flatbush Life Web site was responding with “404 – Not Found.” Shortly after, it was redirecting to an unfamiliar Web site: I contacted the Webmaster for and got this response: [is] redirecting to the newly-designed combines the newspapers of the Courier Life publications, Times Ledger publications, and Bronx Times/ Times Reporter.

The domain is owned by Courier-Life’s parent company, News Community Newspapers Holdings, Inc. Within YourNabe, there are sections for different neighborhoods. For example, the new URL for Flatbush Life is

All Web sites for Courier-Life Publications‘ Brooklyn neighborhood newspapers are affected by this change:

  • Bay News
  • Bay Ridge Courier
  • Brooklyn Graphic
  • Canarsie Digest
  • Flatbush Life
  • Kings Courier
  • Park Slope Courier
  • Brooklyn Heights Courier
  • Carroll Gardens / Cobble Hill Courier
  • Fort Greene / Clinton Hill Courier

Saturday, May 3: Bay Ridge Narrows Botanical Gardens Spring Festival

Crabapple, taken last fall at the Narrows Botanical Gardens

This Saturday, May 3 (rain date Sunday, May 4), the Narrows Botanical Garden in Bay Ridge is holding their annual Spring Festival:

Join us for our 13th Annual Spring Festival on Saturday, May 3rd between 10am and 4pm (rain date Sunday, May 4th). Browse among our many Craft Booths where you are sure to find something that catches your eye. Stroll along the Shore Road Promenade and meet some of our talented artists whose Art Exhibits will be for sale along the fence line of the gardens.

If gardening is your love, you may just find that special plant, shrub or flower that would suit your taste just in time for spring planting at our Plant Sale! Or, maybe you just have a question that needs answering on plants or gardening, our NBG experts would be glad to help.

It’s a Family Event…so bring the kids! The NBG knows that kids are our future! What better way to introduce them to their environment then exposing them to the beauty of the gardens. Showing them how just a few people volunteering together made that difference.

Fun Stuff for Kids! Native Plant Tours: See who can spot a frog, turtle or fish in our pond! Paint a Flower Pot: plant it up in time for Mothers Day. Face Painting. Story telling.
– via email

Narrows Botanical Gardens is in Bay Ridge, along Shore Road between Bay Ridge Avenue and 72nd Street. When I visited it for the first time last fall, due to sidewalk construction along Shore Road, only the northernmost entrance, closest to Bay Ridge Avenue, was open. Unfortunately, the Native Plant Garden – and Turtle Sanctuary! – was also closed when I visited.

Nestled between beautiful Shore Road and the sparkling waters of The Narrows, in the welcoming community of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, four and a half acres of rambling parkland have been transformed by the inspiration and nurturing of a community of volunteers into the Narrows Botanical Gardens.

The Turtle Sanctuary in the Native Plant Garden. Since 1995, this verdant collection of hills, pathways, and gorgeous harbor views has blossomed into a lush conservatory of nature’s beauty and brilliance, providing an unequaled opportunity to stroll amid fragrant blossoms bustling with butterflies, a bubbling brook where turtles sun on the rocks, majestic Redwood trees that seem to touch the sky, and delicate orchids growing wild in a Native Plant Garden. Linger at our city’s only roadside lily pond, or promenade through the towering Linden Tree Allée. Snap portraits at the picturesque Rock Wall bench, or find meditative calm in the Zen Garden.

… And, when you have visited the Narrows Botanical Gardens, strolled its pathways and smelled its roses, you will be amazed to learn it is wholly created by, built by, and nurtured and maintained by volunteers, making the Narrows Botanical Gardens one of the largest community gardens in our great City of New York.

Related Posts

Narrows Botanical Gardens, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, October 22, 2007


Narrows Botanical Gardens

The Bay Ridge Blogade

Corrected: Eli of Brooklyn Junction arrived after I left. Sorry we didn’t get to meet this time, neighbor!

Some of the Bay Ridge Blogade at Omonia Cafe. Left to right: Rob Lenihan (Luna Park Gazette), Claude Scales (Self-Absorbed Boomer), David Sheffler (Swell Designs), and Tony/Brooklyn Beat (Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn)
Bay Ridge Blog, Omonia Cafe
This past Sunday I attended the fourth Brooklyn Blogade at the Omonia Cafe in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Omonia Cafe, 7612 3rd Avenue, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Omonia Cafe, 7612 3rd Avenue, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

I had to leave early to get back to my nabe to attend the inaugural concert of the Victorian Place Cultural Center later that afternoon. I was sorry I had to cut out. The conversation was lively. When I left, we were talking about – gasp – blogging, not real estate. You never know what’s going to happen at a Blogade.

I rarely do portrait photography. Lesson learned from this attempt: Take photographs of people while they’re listening, as in the photo at the top of this post. It’s difficult to get good still shots of animated speakers. All you get are grimaces, psychotic, deer-in-the-headlights, open-eyed stares, and other images that don’t capture the spirit of the speakers. These are the best I got of those whom I met there on Sunday.

Our radiant host, Rob Lenihan of Luna Park Gazette
Rob Lenihan, Luna Park Gazette

Petra, Bed-Stuy Blog
Petra, Bed-Stuy Blog

Chandru Murthi, I’m Seeing Green
Chaundru Murthi, I'm Seeing Green
Tony/Brooklyn Beat, Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn
Brooklyn Beat, Brooklyn Junction

Claude Scales, Self-Absorbed Boomer
Claude Scales, Self-Absorbed Boomer

I’m afraid I did the worst job with David Sheffler of Swell Designs. This was the best of about a dozen shots I got of him. Sorry, David!
David Sheffler, Swell Designs

Because I left early, I also didn’t get to partake of the tempting delicacies offered up in Omonia’s huge, wrap-around horseshoe of cakes, pastries, cookies, and everything.

Treats, Omonia Cafe
Treats, Omonia Cafe
Meringues? Omonia Cafe
Mmmmm, Cake! Omonia Cafe
Jordan Almonds Under Glass, Omonia Cafe

Narrows Botanical Gardens, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

Update 2007.10.24:

  • The insect nymphs have been identified as Large Milkweed Bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus.
  • A work colleague translated the Russian sign for me.

Crabapple, Narrows Botanical Gardens


Yesterday I visited Bay Ridge for the first time to attend the fourth Blogade, organized by Rob Lenihan of Luna Park Gazette. This gave me a chance to visit the Narrows Botanical Gardens (NBG) earlier in the day.

NBG is a 4.5 acre community garden run entirely by volunteers. It lies between Shore Road and the waterfront trails along the Narrows between Brooklyn and Staten island in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. You enter NBG from Shore Road. Unfortunately, my visit yesterday was ill-timed. Two of the three entrances were closed for construction. And the gate to native plant garden at the north end of NBG, which I was most looking forward to, was locked off.

It was another of those warm, sunny days we’ve been having, more like late May or June than October. There was lots in bloom, and lots of animal activity. I was surprised at the number of things I didn’t recognize or couldn’t identify. If you can identify any of these “unknowns”, please leave a comment!

Water Lily
Water Lily, Narrows Botanical Garden

Modern Rose
New Rose, Narrows Botanical Gardens


Pennisetum, I think


Sleepy Bee
Sleepy <del/>Bee Flower Fly” width=”500″ height=”333″></a></p>
<p>Unknown Sparrow<br />
<a title=ID REQUEST: Unknown Sparrow

Nymphs of Large Milkweed Bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus
ID REQUEST: Insect nymphs
Thanks to Hannah Nendick-Mason, Contributing Editor to BugGuide and urtica (Flickr), whom I know better as Jennifer Forman Orth, author of the long-running and indispensible Invasive Species Weblog.

Monarch on Butterfly Bush
Monarch on Butterfly Bush

Bamboo, Zen Garden
Bamboo, Zen Garden, Narrows Botanical Gardens

Morning Glory
Morning Glory, Narrows Botanical Gardens

Fruit of unknown shrub
ID REQUEST: Fruit of unknown shrub

Monarch Butterfly on unknown purple-flowering shrub
Monarch on unknown shrub

“Please, don’t pick the flowers”
Probably says Don't pick the flowers in Russian
One of my work colleagues translated the sign for me. Here’s the Google English to Russian Translation:

Russian: Не ставят цветы, пожалуйста

The word for “PICK” doesn’t match the sign.

Another Modern Rose
Rose, Narrows Botanical Gardens

Amaranth flowers

Opuntia in Fruit
Opuntia Fruit
(Firefox’ spell-checker didn’t recognize “Opuntia.” It suggested Jauntily Haunting Prudential Aunties.)


Bay Ridge Blogade This Sunday, October 21

The fourth Brooklyn Blogade, a more-or-less-monthly roving meetup of Brooklyn bloggers, neighborhood residents, and others interested in community-building, will be this Sunday, October 14. This month, Rob Lenihan of Luna Park Gazette is hosting in Bay Ridge at Omonia Cafe, 7612 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. His post has more details, including how to RSVP.