What’s beautiful now? The Zulu Giant (Stapelia gigantea)! Its tremendous, fuzzy flowers open to reveal what’s certainly more of a stench than an aroma, attracting flies to pollinate it with the smell of rotten meat. Maybe it’s best to admire from afar.
As part of #plantlove at NYBG, we’re talking with people from all over the Garden about what inspires their passion for plants. Today, meet Leslie Coleman, Plant Information Specialist.
I planted my first garden while living in Central London, and gardens changed for me—from places of flowers and sunshine to spaces of expression and restoration. I went on to get my certificate in horticulture on the grounds of the extraordinary Chelsea Physic Garden. What a world opened before me as the deeper beauty of plants came into focus.
I am particularly attracted to the science of plants. The ability to understand, explain, and predict is always exciting. But I also love the mixture of order, mystery, hope, and artistry in horticulture, and I think that plants often bring out the best in people. As a Plant Information Specialist at NYBG, it is gratifying to support so many different journeys in the engrossing world of plants.
Summer may be winding down, but the Garden is still full of adventures and experiences that give you an opportunity to make the best of the warm weather this extended Labor Day Weekend. Take in the rich greenery of the season as you enjoy outdoor music and dance performances, tour our collections, dig into children’s gardening activities, and so much more. And don’t miss the final weeks of our largest botanical exhibition ever, Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx.
We’re heading into September, the final month of Brazilian Modern before we segue into the crisp, colorful fall schedule, and our winding outdoor display isn’t all you’ll find here. Head into the Library to experience Burle Marx’s boldly creative yet precise landscape designs; see his paintings, drawings, and textiles; and discover how his artistic process helped him define the forms and shapes of his gardens. Meanwhile, you’ll find the music and dance of Brazil on offer each weekend, thanks to a rotating lineup of performers.
In the Edible Academy, kids can get hands-on with their food thanks to cooking demonstrations with seasonal produce from our vegetable gardens. And the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden is just as much fun, offering drop-in nature exploration and planting activities that let them pot up their own philodendron to take home and care for.
Come tour the collections, revel in the summer sun, and enjoy the Garden during our holiday Monday opening this weekend!
#plantlove: Anais Garcia, Summer Youth Employment Program Intern with Bronx Green-Up and the NYC Compost Project
As part of #plantlove at NYBG, we’re talking with people from all over the Garden about what inspires their passion for plants. Today, meet Anais Garcia, a Summer Youth Employment Program Intern with Bronx Green-Up and the NYC Compost Project at The New York Botanical Garden.
At a young age, I was exposed to plants while living with my grandmother. I may not have quite the green thumb she does, but I sure do like to have plants in my household—it just brings a calm aura to everything I do at home.
I’m glad I chose this internship because it opened my eyes to plants I wouldn’t normally see in my neighborhood. I have experienced the beauty of various community gardens and how they thrive, and not only did I get hands-on experience in these gardens, but I also obtained new job skills throughout my time in the program. Some of these skills included managing inventory, using various software in support of our initiatives, tabling at events, and much more.
One of many experiences I really enjoyed was building a garden bed at Morris Campus Educational Farm. It was fun working alongside the students as a team to build the bed from scratch. By the end of the program, I felt proud that I had taken part in this activity because it’s something most people my age haven’t experienced.
From meeting new plants to meeting new people, working with these two amazing teams—Bronx Green-Up and NYC Compost Project—has left me in awe of everything they do in the City. When I first met everyone, I realized that they are not only a team, but a family, always ready to make a big impact on this world.
Find your way to the entrance of the Ladies’ Border, pass under the overhanging greenery, and you’ll see the popping color of summer’s crape-myrtles blooming among the leaves. The punchy pink of Lagerstroemia ‘Choctaw’ and the vivid red of Lagerstroemia indica ‘Dynamite’ are absolute standouts.
Coming this fall, #plantlove takes to the trees in “Chorus of the Forest,” an original composition by NYBG Composer-in-Residence Angélica Negrón that combines choral accompaniments in the Thain Forest with her unique digital plant interface to turn the anatomy of the plants themselves into music. Get a peek into her process here.
The beauty of summer’s water lilies is both a vertical and horizontal experience, painting the surface of the Conservatory Courtyard Pools with purple and neon green lily pads while the flowers—in white, purple, blue, and pink—rise up and reflect on the water. The koi fish that take shelter among their stems are an added bonus.
Our giant water lilies (Victoria amazonica) are symbols of summer in the Conservatory Courtyard Pools, which you can currently see on view during our latest exhibition, Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx. Check in with Marc Hachadourian, Director of Glasshouse Horticulture, to see how we move them into their sunny homes.
NYBG’s palm dome is getting some #plantlove. While most of its galleries remain open, check out the work happening behind the scenes as we continue our restoration of the Haupt Conservatory’s most recognizable feature, assuring the beauty and survival of the plants within.
The “rooms” of the Perennial Garden—hot, cold, and beyond—boast a seasonal bouquet of many varieties of summer bloom, including daylilies, hibiscus, and other warm-weather favorites that thrive in the bright sun. It’s the perfect spot for a stroll, or a sketch, with its meandering paths and abundant color.