Dancers in Mexican dress in front of the Conservatory

Connecting Gardening to the Arts & Humanities

Innovative Exhibitions and Visitor Attractions

The Garden’s multidisciplinary exhibitions and educational programs reveal the deep connections between plants and people, nature and culture. These initiatives illuminate the importance of gardens to human health and to the lives and work of influential artists and thinkers while also advancing scholarship in the sciences, arts, and humanities.

Each year the Garden ushers in spring with the dazzling beauty and fragrance of nature’s most diverse plant family during The Orchid Show, the country’s largest curated exhibition of orchids.

The beloved Holiday Train Show® continues to delight visitors of all ages in winter. Enchanting model trains zip through a display of 150 landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and Rockefeller Center, each re-created with bark, leaves, and other natural materials—all under the twinkling glow of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.

The months of May through October bring a rotating line up of innovative exhibitions that embody NYBG’s commitment to connecting gardening to the arts and humanites. In 2015 FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life broke new ground by examining the art of the iconic Mexican artist and her deep engagement with nature. Other recent exhibitions have included Kiku: The Art of the Japanese Garden (2016); Impressionism: American Gardens on Canvas (2016); Groundbreakers: Great American Gardens and The Women Who Designed Them (2014); Wild Medicine: Healing Plants Around the World, Featuring The Italian Renaissance Garden (2013); Monet’s Garden (2012); Manolo Valdés: Monumental Sculpture (2012); and Spanish Paradise: Gardens of the Alhambra(2011).

Public Education Programs Enhance the Visitor Experience

Public Education programs greatly enhance the NYBG visitor experience. The depth and breadth of offerings have been expanded to further complement the multidisciplinary exhibitions and other special Garden activities and events, connecting with our increasingly diverse and growing audiences in new and exciting ways.

These include music and dance performances; daily tours; home gardening demonstrations; poetry readings; special lectures and symposia; summer concerts; weekend celebrations such as the Daffodil Wine Weekend, Mother’s Day Weekend Garden Party, and Rose Garden Celebration; and evening events, including Orchid Evenings and Bar Car Nights.

Pace-setting Educational Programs

NYBG’s Adult Education Program is the largest and most diverse continuing education program at any botanical garden in the world, with annual registrations exceeding 9,400 and more than 700 classes offered at the Botanical Garden, the Midtown Education Center in Manhattan, and off-site locations in Dutchess County and Connecticut. Responding to the needs of career changers and learners at all levels, Certificates are offered in seven program areas: Botanical Art & Illustration, Botany, Floral Design, Gardening, Horticultural Therapy, Horticulture, and Landscape Design.

NYBG’s School of Professional Horticulture, established in 1932 by distinguished horticulturist Thomas H. Everett, is nationally accredited and offers a two-year, full-time diploma program, with academic courses in horticulture, botany, and landscape design, including native plants, green roofs, urban agriculture, sustainability, greenhouse management, and ecological garden design.