The Historic Landscape

At The New York Botanical Garden we are devoted to the stewardship and interpretation of our picturesque 250-acre site, a designated U.S. National Historic Landmark.

Upon a native forest site, featuring hills, valleys, springs, and other landscape features, none more dramatic than the gorge of the Bronx River, architect Calvert Vaux created the initial design for the Botanical Garden in 1895. Vaux's plan was developed by the Olmsted Brothers landscape design company into a formal master plan in the 1920s. Today's 50 gardens and plant collections were planned and developed against the backdrop of these distinguished natural and designed landscapes.

Many other outstanding landscape designers have built and continue to build upon this tradition of excellence, such as Beatrix Jones Farrand (Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden), Thomas H. Everett (The Rock Garden), Penelope Hobhouse (Nancy Bryan Luce Herb Garden), and Lynden B. Miller (Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden).

The Garden continues to improve upon its priceless historical gardens in ways that respect the beauty, spirit, and integrity of our landscape. One current example is the creation of the Azalea Garden, an 11-acre garden featuring thousands of new azaleas amid massive rock outcrops and beneath mature native trees. Deigned by Towers/Golde and Oehme, van Sweden & Associates, the Azalea Garden is just the latest example of the Garden's preservation and enhancement of the historic landscape.

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