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A Toast to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The arresting and dramatic glass-walled visitor’s center at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a wonderful addition to this 103-year-old institution.

I am lucky enough to live in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn, a wonderful community situated within minutes of amazing cultural options. The Brooklyn Museum sits just down bustling Flatbush Avenue, as does the Prospect Park Zoo. And stunning, 526-acre Prospect Park is just around the corner.

And don’t even get me started on the joys of my almost-next-door neighbor, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG). Nestled on 52 verdant acres, the 103-year-old BBG is truly a stunner and well worth a visit next time you find yourself in New York City. A few weeks ago, BBG hosted its annual Spring Gala, and we put on our party clothes to take in the fabulous al fresco function. This year’s theme celebrated the just-opened expansion of the magnificent century-old Native Flora Garden, which is home to 15,000 new plants representing more than 150 species, many of them rare or threatened and most propagated from seeds collected from the wild by BBG experts.

The evening began with knockout cocktails and nibbly appetizers in the new Visitor Center that features an impressive energy-efficient design including earth-sheltered construction, a geoexchange system for heating and cooling, a living roof and glass walls. Surrounding the building is a new garden filled with native plantings and water-capturing beds.

Lose yourself amongst the billowing blooms in the Cranford Rose Garden.

Midway through the cocktail reception, Delirious Dances, a local dance troupe, performed a routine in handcrafted costumes inspired by a native ecosystem surrounding New York City and represented in the Native Flora Garden.

The night continued with a special toast honoring landscape architect and ecological designer Darrel Morrison led by the always-charismatic Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. Later, the party shifted to a large tent magnificently setup on Cherry Esplanade for a festive dinner and after-party with more cocktails, dessert and dancing.

Happily, our home is just down the street, so John and I stumbled home in style with dreams of blowsy blooms filling our heads.

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About Jason Oliver Nixon

Jason Oliver Nixon

Global Lifestyle Editor Jason Oliver Nixon is always on the prowl for the latest and greatest finds, whether it’s ferreting out the grooviest new restaurant in Paris or unearthing a home design store in Dubai. "I am attracted by color and energy, passion and verve," says Nixon. "Who wants to be beige and boring?" The former Editor in Chief of Gotham, Hamptons, and Los Angeles Confidential magazines, Nixon makes frequent appearances on television as a style authority. A resident of Brooklyn, New York, Nixon escapes to London whenever possible, where he can be found happily ensconced at Fortnum & Mason perusing new-fangled jams.

To contact Jason Oliver Nixon with your comments, questions and blog suggestions, email him at jasnixon@gmail.com. Or, post your comment on his blog!