Plant Talk

Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Volunteer Profile: Robert Gallanty

Posted in Garden News on December 7 2018, by Plant Talk

Photo of a volunteer

Started: 2005
Lifetime Volunteer Hours: 6,088

How long have you been a NYBG volunteer and what was the inspiration for becoming one?
After retiring from the Navy, I moved from Norfolk, Virginia, to Riverdale, New York, and saw an advertisement in The Riverdale Press from The New York Botanical Garden. I had volunteered at botanical gardens before and wanted to volunteer again at another garden. After visiting the Garden and learning about the diverse opportunities for volunteering, from helping out in the Children’s Adventure Garden to giving tours for visitors, I decided to sign up for the program.

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What’s Beautiful Now: Berries Abundant

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on December 6 2018, by Matt Newman

Wander through the Garden in December and you’ll see color, but not so much from flowers or changing leaves. Instead, it’s the winter fruits that are truly shining right now. From traditional holly berries to crabapple fruits and more, look for these bright additions to the landscape as you explore.

Ilex opaca

<em>Ilex opaca</em>
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NYBG Partners with Local Schools

Posted in Garden News on December 4 2018, by Plant Talk

James S. Boyer, Ph.D., is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Vice President for Children’s Education at The New York Botanical Garden.


With funding from the New York City Council, NYBG’s Children’s Education department piloted a new and engaging multisession program in 2017–2018 with five local partner schools that have a long-term relationship with the Garden. These P–5 schools had the option of visiting the Garden—several times throughout the year—providing the opportunity for children to learn multiple garden-based concepts, while experiencing the seasonal changes in this natural landscape. Each session included garden-based, science and nature investigations, allowing children to explore the Garden in different seasons. These field trips provided opportunities to address grade-appropriate standards and practice developmentally appropriate process skills.

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Private Gardens of the Bay Area

Posted in From the Library on December 4 2018, by Esther Jackson

Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.


Photo of the cover of Private Gardens of the Bay AreaPrivate Gardens of the Bay Area (2017) by Susan Lowry and Nancy Berner, with photographs by Marion Brenner, is a beautiful book. Lowry and Berner, seasoned garden writers, have teamed up for several other titles including Gardens of the Garden State, Gardens of the Hudson Valley, and Garden Guide: New York City. They know gardens, can write about gardens well, and seem to have a knack for finding beautiful landscapes that they know readers will adore.

It can be difficult to read books about California gardens without feeling envious of all the different plants—and extended growing season—available to designers and gardeners. Private Gardens of the Bay Area is no exception to this. However, even when it’s clear that certain plants wouldn’t be hardy in our Northeastern landscapes, the 35 gardens featured are inspirational and a joy to behold. With an interesting mix of modern and classical designs from four regions—the Peninsula, San Francisco, East Bay, and Marin Sonoma Napa—Private Gardens of the Bay Area is timely and inspirational eye-candy for gardeners, designers, and garden enthusiasts.

Exploring Urban Gardens with City Green

Posted in From the Library on November 29 2018, by Esther Jackson

Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.


Photo of the cover of City GreenCity Green: Public Gardens of New York (2018) is a delight. Written by Jane Garmey with photographs by Mick Hales, City Green highlights iconic and more hidden gardens in the five boroughs. Garmey is the author of several books about gardens including Private Gardens of the Hudson Valley and Private Gardens of Connecticut. For readers who enjoy gardens and who live in and around New York, the book is a lovely escape. Readers will see old friends in new ways and learn new details about the history and purpose of more familiar spaces.

Twenty-five gardens are featured, most of them in Manhattan and the Bronx, and most photographed at their peak seasonal interest. Three gardens at NYBG are treated—the Native Plant Garden, the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, and the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Some readers will have likely visited all of the gardens in City Green and will be inspired to revisit their favorites. For those who have not made it to all 25 featured gardens, the book represents a very achievable list of gardens to visit in the coming year. As the holiday season approaches, this book would make a very nice holiday gift for someone who loves gardens and loves New York.

 

Uncovering Rockefeller Center’s Historic Botanical Garden

Posted in History on November 28 2018, by Stevenson Swanson

Stevenson Swanson is Associate Director of Public Relations at The New York Botanical Garden.


Photo of 30 Rock replica
30 Rockefeller Center in the Holiday Train Show

Of the more than 175 New York landmarks in this year’s Holiday Train Show®, it’s particularly appropriate that Rockefeller Center’s soaring Art Deco skyscraper and other well-known features are included in NYBG’s annual display of building replicas made of bark, leaves, and natural materials. More than 200 years ago, a botanist-physician named David Hosack established one of America’s first public botanical gardens on Rockefeller Center’s site, cultivating rare and important plants on land that is now home to America’s most famous cluster of skyscrapers, shops, galleries, and, during the holidays, a towering, glittering Christmas tree overlooking the bustling plaza.

Dr. Hosack’s life and the story of his pioneering botanical garden are the subject of American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic, by Victoria Johnson, which was a non-fiction finalist for this year’s National Book Award and was recently named one of 2018’s 100 most notable books by The New York Times Book Review.

Born in colonial New York City in 1769, Hosack came of age as the young United States began to establish itself. “It fell to Hosack’s generation to build the civic institutions that would guarantee the future health and prosperity of the Republic,” writes Johnson, a Hunter College professor who conducted much of the research for her book at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library and William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, both of which have important collections of original Hosack material, including some of his preserved plant specimens.

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What’s Beautiful Now: Into the Trees

Posted in Around the Garden, What's Beautiful Now on November 28 2018, by Matt Newman

Fall color segues into pre-winter beauty this week as we work our way toward December. Make a point to find your way to the Ross Conifer Arboretum and Benenson Ornamental Conifers, quiet collections in the Garden where the green of the cool-weather months is best appreciated. And if you keep your eyes out, you can find the purples, reds, and oranges of winter berries like confetti among the bushes, often drawing a variety of overwintering birds.

Winter Berries

Winter Berries
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A vibrant collection of winter berries ripen across grounds as the leaves drop, providing food for overwintering birds.

Gardening Under Lights

Posted in From the Library on November 27 2018, by Esther Jackson

Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.


Cover of Gardening Under LightsGardening Under Lights: The Complete Guide for Indoor Growers (2018) is a great new book by Leslie F. Halleck for Timber Press. Offering “the latest tools and techniques for growing seedlings, orchids, cannabis, succulents, and more,” Gardening Under Lights is a wonderful introduction to growing indoors while also offering very technical and detailed guidance. Halleck, who holds a master’s in horticulture from Michigan State University and is a Certified Professional Horticulturist via The American Society for Horticulture Science, runs Halleck Horticultural, a company that provides consulting services to green industry businesses. In Gardening Under Lights she shares her over 25 years of horticultural experience with her readers.

It’s difficult to create an introductory book that can be used by more advanced growers, but Halleck has managed to do just that. The book is divided into three main sections: Light, Growing Conditions, and Plants. Within the first section, Hallack outlines the basics—why plants need light and how plants respond to light—followed by information about measuring light and different grow lamps. Section two includes information about managing one’s environment, common pests and diseases (along with suggested treatments), and propagation and plant care. Finally, the third section is heavily focused on edible plants (including Cannabis), with a healthy portion of the section devoted to the growing of ornamental plants. Appropriate both for readers who want to know what lights to find to make a few more houseplants happy, and for readers who envision a more industrial production, Gardening Under Lights is a timely and very useful new book.

Growing School Gardens and Growing Minds

Posted in Garden News on November 27 2018, by Plant Talk

Judith Hutton is the Manager of Teacher Professional Development at The New York Botanical Garden.


A photo of teachers in the Edible AcademyNow in its 24th year, the Garden’s Professional Development Program for Teachers reaches more than 3,000 teachers annually from the New York City and Tri-State area. Teachers participate in a range of high quality professional development, including customized workshops and Seasonal Institutes. Courses promote new pedagogy that goes beyond the classroom by utilizing outdoor and informal resources emphasizing real-life science learning.

Seasonal Institutes are dynamic, intensive graduate-level courses, which aim to deepen content knowledge in science, increase comfort level in incorporating science across an interdisciplinary curriculum, and provide tools to use informal resources to support instruction. Science-rich experiences help students understand the natural world, use appropriate scientific principles and processes in making personal decisions, and ultimately engage intelligently in public discourse.

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What’s Beautiful Now: Maples & More

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on November 14 2018, by Matt Newman

The Steinhardt Maple Collection is in prime form this week as fall’s peak of reds, oranges, and yellows winds down toward its wintry wardrobe. The many Japanese varieties in the collection stand on a hill near the Rose Garden, and their elegant leaves and winding branches can’t be missed. Catch the autumnal beauty in the Garden while you can!

Steinhardt Maple Collection

Steinhardt Maple Collection
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