Gardens and flowers

See the full splendor of late-summer blooms at these green spaces.

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  • Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Bridge Park

    Brooklyn Bridge Park's Fresh Water Gardens

    Brooklyn Bridge Park's Fresh Water Gardens

  • Photograph: Ivo M. Vermeulen

    "Spanish Paradise: Gardens of the Alhambra"

    "Spanish Paradise: Gardens of the Alhambra"

  • Photograph: Rebecca Bullene

    "Patrick Dougherty: Natural History"

    "Patrick Dougherty: Natural History"

Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park's Fresh Water Gardens

Brooklyn Bridge Park's Fresh Water Gardens

Brooklyn Bridge Park's Fresh Water Gardens
The flora of this riverside oasis is at its peak right now—keep an eye out for pickerelweeds topped with purple flowers, and the cardinal flower, named for the bloom's red hue. These plants aren't just nice to look at; they soak up rainwater and drain it into underwater tanks serving Pier 1's annual irrigation needs. Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, Old Fulton St at Furman St, Dumbo, Brooklyn (718-222-9939, brooklynbridgeparknyc.org). Daily 6am--1am; free.

Moon Garden and Butterfly Garden
Visit this cozy floral patch at dusk to see a shimmering landscape of silver and white buds, including lilacs, lamb's ears and hibiscus flowers, which thrive from now until October. Before the sun sets, stop by the Butterfly Garden to witness gorgeous monarch butterflies feeding on shrubs before the winged creatures migrate south in the fall. Narrows Botanical Gardens, Shore Rd between Bay Ridge Ave and 72nd St, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn (narrowsbg.org). Daily 6am--1am; free.

"Spanish Paradise: Gardens of the Alhambra"
Modeled after La Alhambra, the famed residence-fortress in Granada, Spain, this exhibit culls native Mediterranean plants and flowers to evoke the lush landscape of the 13- to 14th-century Moorish complex. Replicas of the Spanish landmark's medieval architecture add to the authentic ambience. Stop by on the weekends to see free flamenco performances amid the blossoms (Sat, Sun 1, 2, 3pm). New York Botanical Garden, Bronx River Pkwy at Fordham Rd, Bronx (718-817-8700, nybg.org). Tue--Sun 10am--6pm; $8--$20. Through Aug 21.

"Natural History"
Patrick Dougherty's nest-like creationssculptures, made from saplings collected from Staten Island's Ocean Breeze Park, were installed at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in 2010. Over the past year, the twigs have changed with the seasons, and when the exhibit closes at the end of the month, what remains of each wooden sculpture will be recycled. See the naturally -wovenest-like structures before they disappear forever. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 900 Washington Ave at Eastern Pkwy, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-623-7200, bbg.org). Tue--Fri 8am--6pm; Sat, Sun 10am--6pm. $5--$10. Through Aug 31.

Lion's Sensory Garden
This green space was designed for those with physical limitations, featuring elements that stimulate different senses, like a babbling brook. It's open year-round, but visit now to discover the area at its most fragrant: You'll smell sweet orange trees, as well as patches filled with lemon balm and woody thyme. Snug Harbor Cultural Center, 1000 Richmond Terrace between Snug Harbor Rd and Tysen St, Staten Island (718-448-2500. snug-harbor.org). Open daily from dawn until dusk; free.

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