The New York Botanical Garden was inspired by Kew Gardens in England and it is truly impressive. The grounds are meticulously attended to, with every flower bed in full flower and every hedge sharply groomed. The rose garden is not gigantic but very nice, but more interesting are the other unusual gardens displaying cacti, ferns, and other less common landscaping plants. We enjoyed the rock garden especially for its unusual display, and the flowering cacti located in the conservatory.
Tickets for the conservatory are expensive and are needed for admission to several of the other gardens so if it is your first visit I recommend shelling out the $ for the full experience, therafter, Wednesdays are free for grounds only trips as a refresher. You might also want to call and see if any of the gardens or parts of the conservatory are closed before you go. There are cafes in two locations, and a shop with high quality (and therefore high-priced) gifts and garden tools.
You can drive there and park, take the Metro North Harlem line directly to the main gate, or take the subway to a stop about 20 minutes away. A bus comes about every 10 minutes that connects the subway stop to the gardens (Mx26)which is a free transfer with your metro card. Once you're in the garden, familiarize yourself with the tram route so you don't get tired out or lost going from the main attractions area to the gardens further out.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.