More than just one tree grows in Brooklyn. Ask anyone who's looked in one of Brooklyn's many little backyards, since the borough has both deep roots and leafy tops. The borough is lucky to have parks, community gardens, numerous street trees, and little back gardens.
Here's where to find selections of plants, shrubs, trees, and seasonal flowers in Brooklyn.
Big-Box Stores vs. Mom-and-Pops
Of course, you can get mass-produced plants at Brooklyn's big-box stores, such as Home Depot and Lowe's. But the great little mom-and-pop shops peppered throughout the borough make garden shopping a more interesting, intimate Brooklyn experience. And, often you find things there that the mass-market retailers just don't bother with.
This is one annual sale not to miss! The annual Brooklyn Botanical Garden Sale, which occurs around early May, is a major gardening event. The event, held at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, showcases a slew of standard and also unusual plants at very good prices. Members get first picks.
In existence for decades, the Brooklyn Terminal Market has both wholesale and retail shops. You can get trees, shrubs, seasonal flowers, and even watermelons in this colorful, old-Brooklyn venue. It's the perfect place to come for standard varieties such as basic roses, tulips, impatiens, potting soil, planting seeds, fertilizers, pottery, and so on. It's nothing fancy, but it's fun and the prices are very good (and you can bargain a little). Your local flower seller probably gets his or her supplies here.
Shannon's family business has been supplying Brooklyn gardeners for years with a wide selection of basic indoor and outdoor plants. Prices are reasonable, and there's dedicated parking next door. Located near Green-Wood Cemetery and Borough Park, it is a Brooklyn favorite.
The wonderful little nursery has specialty items, unusual and beautiful plants, and well-educated and helpful staff. The nursery closes during the winter months, but when it reopens, it gets busy, so try to come early or during the week.
Kings County Nurseries, in business since the mid-1950s, is an old Brooklyn-style, no-nonsense place where you can joke with the owners, and get good, practical advice on gardening. You'll find seasonal perennials, annuals, vegetables, trees, shrubs, evergreens, and soils.
Chelsea Garden Center’s first Brooklyn branch opened in 2004, and it brings to the area a wealth of expertise. It's a huge place, with good prices and helpful staff located next to Fairway in Red Hook. It also moved its Manhattan location to Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Among the services offered by the center include garden design.
Brooklyn's farmer's markets, or greenmarkets, are wonderful since you can find the locations of local markets and when they occur. They sell flowers in season, perhaps at a higher price than some other retailers, but the selection is always fresh.