the Native Plant Garden at the New York Botanical Garden

scroll down to learn more

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.

Interactive Map

choose a starting point

Opening Weekend 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
Special talk: Plant It and They Will Come--Native Gardening for Birds
Sunday, May 5, 12 p.m.

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.

May 3th–5th,
2013

Get Your Tickets

Adult All-Garden Pass tickets start at $20. See prices by date.

Mother's Day Weekend Programs and Events

Guided Tours of the Native Plant Garden

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

Join a tour guide for 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 & Butterfly 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 and walk around the Native Plant Garden with an expert to also see what insects and fauna the plants attract.

Home Gardening Demonstrations--Going Native

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

Step outside and discover a plant paradise. Join us for the opening of the Native Plant Garden. Explore the contours of the new landscape, journeying through a woodland, wetland, and prairie garden.

Watercolor Painting

Near the Native Plant Garden

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.

Professional Photographer's Booth

In the Native Plant Garden

A professional photographer will be on hand to snap pictures of your family taken with the brilliant Native Plant Garden as your backdrop.

Lawn Games

On Daffodil Hill

Sign up for a round of croquet and see how you do at this traditional garden contest! Have a go at badminton, or if the wind is right, come fly a kite!

Music & Dance

At the Clay Family Picnic Pavilions

The band's all here to make a festive party for all our revelers! Dance along to the music from the returning Banjo Rascals!

Picnicking on Daffodil Hill

On Daffodil Hill

Food and refreshments will be for sale from various NYC food trucks from the New York Food Truck Association, including:

Savory:
Eddie's Pizza
Gorilla Cheese
Kimchi Taco
Morris Grilled Cheese
Red Hook Lobster (Sunday only)
Taco Bite

Sweet:
Andy's Italian Ices
Coolhaus (Sunday only)

Food Samplings

On Daffodil Hill

Enjoy food samplings all weekend from some of our great partners. Partners include:

Featured Sampler: Friendship Cottage Cheese (Sunday only)

Ola! Granola
Regal Vegan
Happy Family Brands
Z-Crackers
Brownie Crunch

Children's Outdoor Nature Explorations: Birds & Nest

On Daffodil Hill

Appreciate all of the moms in nature caring for their young! Weave a bird's nest and craft a bird out of clay to take home. Then head to the Everett Children's Adventure Garden to pick up a scavenger hunt and learn more about the birds found at the Garden. Record those that you see on our Citizen Science chart.

Make a Card for Mom!

Along the Wetland Trail

Decorate a special card for mom on her special day! Add the photo snapped in the Native Plant Garden for a great memory of the day.

Bronx Arts Ensemble Family Concert: Jack and the Beanstalk

In the Ross Hall, Sunday, May 12, 1 and 3 p.m.

This new production by Dante Albertie and the Children's Theatre Company at Lehman, with musical arrangement for oboe, clarinet and bassoon by William Scribner is a new twist on an old tale about a boy and his magic beans. Audiences will be introduced to each musical instrument by the Bronx Arts Ensemble players and be invited to join in the adventure! Admission included with an All-Garden Pass.

A Season in Poetry

In the Native Plant Garden Pavilion, Saturday, May 11, 4 p.m.

Celebrate the season with renowned poets, Alex Dimitrov, Harmony Holiday, and Patrick Rosal, reading classic favorites as well as their own work. Co-presented with The Poetry Society of America

May 11th–12th,
2013

Get Your Tickets

Adult All-Garden Pass tickets start at $20. See prices by date.

About the Native Plant Garden

The new Native Plant Garden is a cutting-edge 3.5-acre installation with a dramatic 230-foot-long water feature as its centerpiece, making it the most contemporary garden design ever created at The Botanical Garden. The Native Plant Garden, accompanied by educational materials and programs, and a major permanent endowment to secure its future, was made possible by a gift from the Leon Levy Foundation.

The Native Plant Garden was designed by Oehme, van Sweden, landscape architects specializing in the New American Garden style, to harmonize a stunning designed terrain with the diversity of microclimates across the site. The layout, in the middle of the Botanical Garden's historic grounds, is both sustainable and visually inventive, a radical blend of modern sensibilities along with environmentally friendly elements.

Built to inspire and teach visitors about the beauty of native flora throughout the seasons, it also illustrates how native plants can be used to produce attractive and imaginative gardens. The enclosed facility features a central pool with water cascading over stone weirs. A promenade of broad boardwalks made from black locust, a native hardwood, and intimate paths lead visitors through a range of settings, from the shaded woodland to the dry, open meadow, and lush wetlands featuring nearly 100,000 plants. The garden has as its framework a dramatic set of heritage oak trees and is bursting with native trees, shrubs, ferns, grasses, and wildflowers, confirming that native plants can be as magnificent as their exotic counterparts more commonly used in traditional gardens. A covered outdoor classroom pavilion offers a venue for school groups and others to learn about native plants and the birds and insects they sustain.

The Native Plant Garden celebrates the exquisiteness and diversity of native plants and the contributions they make to the Botanical Garden's landscape throughout the seasons. In spring, carpets of trillium, bloodroot, Dutchman's breeches, and a mix of other beautiful ephemerals, along with accents of lady slipper orchids, are all part of the great variety of stunning plants native to northeastern North America that are on display. Meadow grasses dance in summer winds as sunlight dapples through the canopies of the nearby stately oaks and other large native trees. Red- stemmed dogwoods and golden birches flash against the blue autumn sky above and the russet red and purple hues of the grasses and bulbs in their fall glory. Winter reveals the intricate architecture of the ancient trees towering above bedrock knolls, while abundant clusters of red winterberry fruit add eye-catching color to brown twigs.

The Native Plant Garden is as sustainable as it is aesthetically dazzling. Environmentally-friendly, locally-sourced, and recycled materials are used in many parts of this garden. The pool is fed by recycled stormwater captured on site and filtered by aquatic plants. Benches and buildings are constructed of salvaged, recycled, and sustainably harvested materials. Native plants, chosen for their visual impact, sustainability, and adaptability are the defining features of the regional biome. These plants evolved along with the physical conditions and living communities that coexist with them. Offering many environmental benefits, they filter water and air, prevent erosion, and provide shelter for wildlife while also supporting the food web.