The New York Botanical Garden does not do anything by half measures. It has a sufficient number of deep-pocketed supporters to fund simultaneous construction projects that most gardens would contemplate once in a decade.
When you have access to the breadth of financial and horticultural resources that the NYBG can tap, the fear is always that ‘the money has to show’ and, as a corollary, fealty must be paid to those who supplied the funding. There are a few areas of NYBG where naming rights trump visual sensibilities. The new azalea garden is not one of them. It is glorious place.
Granted, we saw it at its most tranquil. We were in the azalea garden before 10 a.m. and, for a few minutes, had it entirely to ourselves. By noon (when we left), the character of the garden had changed significantly as crowds descended on it. When you go, make it early. For whatever reason, New Yorkers aren’t early garden goers.