Must See Spring Bloom Destinations
April 4, 2023
Spring is here in Prospect Park, and Brooklyn’s Backyard is flourishing with flowering cherry blossoms, vibrant witch hazel, peach and white magnolias and more. To help you make the most of the season, we’ve compiled a guide of our top bloom destinations throughout the park, with both hidden treasures and classic favorites.
Mary Keehbauch, Deputy Director of Landscape Management at Prospect Park Alliance, shares how the team is taking in the change of season and planning for what the upcoming months will bring, more specifically in the park’s 250 acres of woodlands. “We are collectively taking this time to scout and be inspired by the returning forces of nature,” said Keehbauch. “As yellow trout lilies and wildflowers such as trillium push through the leaves and vines, our team will clear the way for blooms to come. We welcome park visitors to stroll the chip lined trails in our woodlands, and watch as the transformation begins, assisted by the April showers, extended hours of soil-warming sun, and our hardworking team supported by wonderful dedicated volunteers.” As you admire the blooms of Brooklyn’s Backyard, remember to leave petals, leaves and berries on trees and flowers. These are essential to the pollinators and wildlife that call Prospect Park home, and by making the most of spring from a safe distance, you’re helping our ecosystem thrive.
Spring blooms at Grand Army Plaza and vibrant hues of Carmen’s Garden in front of the Litchfield Villa. c. Martin Seck + Michael Silverstone
Grand Army Plaza is Prospect Park’s formal entrance, and features some of the park’s most impressive architecture, and ornamental flowers and trees. Among them, early-blooming cherry trees and daffodils are the first to arrive. April welcomes Eastern redbud and pink-flowering cherry trees that give way to the white Silverbells in May. As summer approaches, watch for the clustered flowers of the bottlebrush buckeye.
At Lakeside, the spring blooms attract park visitors and wildlife alike! Park goers who visit the greenroof at Lakeside in early spring will be able to catch the vibrant yellows, oranges and reds of Witch Hazel. As April advances, Lakeside receives a fresh coating of delicate white blossoms from the many Serviceberry, Chokeberry, Cherry laurels, and Foxglove Beardtongue that are buzzing with activity, as well as blooms of yellow from the Fragrant Sumac and Spicebush. Late spring brings with it a crescendo of flowering dogwoods and dewberries, and those with a keen eye might just spot a few of the subtle, deep purple blossoms of Lakeside’s paw paw trees!
The historic Litchfield Villa is a well-known destination for flower lovers. In April, tulips and Juneberries electrify Carmen’s Garden, located directly in front of the pre-Civil War-era mansion, heralding the arrival of warm weather. In May, blossoming crabapple and hawthorn trees paint the landscape in pinks and whites, while perennial displays replace the fading tulips. Be sure to head around back to see cream-colored flowers of the Korean dogwood trees.
Magnolia trees in bloom along the Long Meadow in Brooklyn’s Backyard. c. Martin Seck
Passing through the Meadowport or Endale Arch in mid-April, visitors are welcomed by the peach and white bouquet of magnolia and dogwood trees that line the Long Meadow’s north end. The warmer weather brings out lilacs, as well as the hanging flowers of the yellowwood tree. Later in the season, enjoy the view under the shade of a flowering linden tree, and take in the sweet scent of the oakleaf hydrangea near the Picnic House.
Flourishing woodland flowers in Prospect Park’s woodlands. c. Martin Seck.
Those with an adventurous spirit should head across Binnen Bridge and past the Nethermead to the Park’s woodland Ravine. Look for spicebush with its clusters of yellow flowers and small red fruits that are rich in nutrients for small birds. Pond edges are home to chokeberry, and American elderberry, deciduous shrubs native to New York. These shrubs will later feature berries that attract a variety of wildlife, making them instrumental in the health and diversity of Prospect Park’s natural habitats. Watch for the rare and lively Pinxter azalea which will add a vibrant pop of color to the evergreening woodland areas.
Prospect Park is home to a few dedicated pollinator gardens. In addition to Grand Army Plaza and Carmen’s Garden, Bartel-Pritchard Square features a variety of springtime blooms. The arching Carolina allspice with its unique maroon flowers that smell of strawberry anchor the native pollinator friendly beds, and it’s hard to miss the old-fashioned weigela, an ornamental shrub with beautiful trumpet-shaped lavender flowers.