Darwin's Garden: An Evolutionary Adventure

"...a stunning, multipart exhibition”
—The New York Times, April 25, 2008

New York Voices, Thirteen/WNET's award-winning public affairs series, recently featured Darwin’s Garden: An Evolutionary Adventure, looking at Charles Darwin's legacy and how his theories still impact the world of science today.
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Charles Darwin is best known for his theory of evolution and other natural history achievements, but little is known about his enduring and insightful work with plants and the important role they played in formulating his ideas. Yet from cradle to grave, botany played a pivotal role in Darwin's life. From counting peonies and playing under the apple trees in his father's garden as a boy to collecting "all the plants in flower" on his famous voyage to the Galápagos as a young man and testing the sex and sensitivity of plants at his home, Down House, in his later years, plants were a lifelong preoccupation for Darwin.

Darwin's Garden: An Evolutionary Adventure explores the untold story of Darwin's botanical influences, his research, and his contribution to our understanding of plants, and ultimately, of life in general. The exhibition is featured in the William D. Rondina and Giovanni Foroni LoFaro Gallery of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library and the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. It includes an "evolutionary tour" of living plants that demonstrate key points on the Tree of Life, which links all living beings through a common ancestry. A re-creation of Darwin’s garden at Down House, where he lived in the English countryside for the last 40 years of his life, was presented in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.


The New York Botanical Garden is pleased to have historian and renowned Darwin expert David Kohn, Ph.D., as guest curator and advisor of Darwin's Garden: An Evolutionary Adventure.

Enhance your enjoyment of Darwin’s Garden: An Evolutionary Adventure with the Botanical Garden’s full-color catalog featuring an illustrated essay by Darwin scholar and guest curator David Kohn. The catalog also provides descriptions of the historical documents displayed in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library gallery and of Darwin’s plant experiments, a sample Darwin activity for children, and a fold-out diagram of the “Tree of Life.” Purchase at Shop in the Garden or online.