Native Plant Garden Grand Opening

May 3–5 & May 11–12

Celebrate the opening of the newly designed Native Plant Garden, a showcase of the beautiful and diverse native plants of northeastern North America, with music, wine, food, expert tours, workshops, family fun, and more.

The Native Plant Garden is a gift of the Leon Levy Foundation.

Opening Weekend Celebration Programs and Events

Tour the Native Plant Garden

Meet at the entrance to the Native Plant Garden, regularly, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Guides along the paths provide an insider's view of the newly designed Native Plant Garden. Curators will also be on hand to answer any native plant-related questions.

Bird Walks

Meet at the Reflecting Pool, 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The diverse habitats of the Botanical Garden offer visitors a chance to see dozens of species of birds throughout the year. Bring your binoculars!

Home Gardening Demonstrations: Going Native

In the Native Plant Garden Gazebo, 12 and 2 p.m.

Step outside and discover a plant paradise by joining us for the opening of the Native Plant Garden. Explore the contours of the new landscape and learn what plants will thrive in a woodland, wetland, and prairie garden.

Watercolor Painting along the Paths

Near the Native Plant Garden, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Pick up a palette and let the Garden be your muse. Borrow materials and set yourself up in a number of inspiring overlooks near the Native Plant Garden.

Music by Milton

At the Reflecting Pool, 12 - 4:30 p.m.

Partake in the revelry of the Opening Weekend fanfare with bluegrass and folk tunes played by Milton, leader of a lively stage collective known for exploring the deep-set roots of American music.

Festival Partner Activity Booths & Workshops

10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Meet the members of various local organizations who also celebrate and steward native plants and habitats. Special talks to occur at select times.

New York City Audubon
Special talk: Nature Tweets: Native Plants and the Birds that Love Them
Saturday, May 4, 3 p.m.

Bronx Green-Up

Butterfly Project
Special talk: Searching for Butterflies and Dragonflies
Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5; 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.

Connecticut Botanical Society

The Naked Grape
Enjoy sampling wine varieties each afternoon from 12 - 5 p.m.

Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College

Teatown Lake Reservation

Torrey Botanical Society

Family Story Circle: Native Folklore

Plaza in the Children's Adventure Garden, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Take a break from the day's activities and enjoy listening to local folklore about native plants.

Family Fun

Everett Children's Adventure Garden, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Pick up an Urban Hike Kit and start exploring the flora and fauna of the Native Plant Garden with the help of a scavenger hunt for families.

Shop for Native Plants, Meet Authors, and More

Stop by the Shop in the Garden booth at the Native Plant Garden for a variety of new plants to use in your garden, and tools and books to be sure they thrive. Also, find handcrafted wooden bowls created by Ivan Braun from fallen trees of the Botanical Garden.

Featured Booksignings

Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast: A Natural History by Carol Gracie
Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5; 1 - 3 p.m.
This exquisitely illustrated volume provides an in-depth look at spring-blooming wildflowers of the Northeast, from old favorites to lesser-known species. Featuring more than 500 full-color photos in a stunning large-sized format, the book delves deep into the life histories, lore, and cultural uses of more than 35 plant species. The rich narrative covers topics such as the naming of wildflowers; the reasons for taxonomic changes; pollination of flowers and dispersal of seeds; uses by Native Americans; related species in other parts of the world; herbivores, plant pathogens, and pests; medicinal uses; and wildflower references in history, literature, and art. The photos capture the beauty of these plants and also illustrate the concepts discussed in the text.

Principles of Ecological Landscape Design by Travis Beck
Saturday, May 4, 1 - 3 p.m.
Native plants are key players in sustainable landscapes and gardens. This groundbreaking new book explains how an understanding of ecology can help us combine plants successfully while supporting the larger environment. Meet author Travis Beck, Landscape and Gardens Project Manager at The New York Botanical Garden, and pick up a signed copy.