Plant Talk

Inside The New York Botanical Garden

The Works of Joyce Sidman Come to the Mertz Library Children’s Collection

Posted in From the Library on December 15 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


SongNow circulating from The LuEsther T. Mertz Library children’s collection are the exciting and imaginative works by award-winning children’s book author Joyce Sidman. I invite you to explore shapes, seasons, wildlife, plants, and soil with the lyrical poetry and whimsical illustrations by Sidman and her peers. Her most notable work The Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems, illustrated by Beckie Prange, is the winner of the Caldecott Honors and the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. Its riddle-like poetry encourages readers to use the images on the pages as clues.

Sidman continued to dazzle critics and readers by winning another Caldecott Honors and the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award for Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski. Experience the changing of the seasons with the bursts of color and the flowing verse throughout.

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December Gems from the Mertz Library

Posted in From the Library on December 7 2017, 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.


WilderThe World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books by Marta McDowell was published in October of this year. This eclectic work documents the plants chronicled in the various landscapes of Wilder’s works. With a heavy dose of historical content, many images, and a narrative that is accessible to advanced younger and seasoned readers alike, this work is a lovely gift for anyone who loves or has loved the Little House books. Readers new to botany will find McDowell’s writing clear and easy to understand, and those who enjoy travelogue writing will appreciate the personal diary entries she sprinkles throughout the text. This project is near and dear to the hearts of those in the NYBG Plant Information Office (a part of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library), as Anita Finkle-Guerrero, Leslie Coleman, and Samantha D’Acunto assisted McDowell with the identification of some of the violet species mentioned in Wilder’s works.

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New Children’s Titles at the LuEsther T. Mertz Library from Barefoot Books!

Posted in From the Library on December 5 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Grandpa's GardenWe’re happy to share our newest titles from Barefoot Books. These charming stories will invite you to bring your storytime outdoors! All titles featured below are available for checkout for library cardholders. We hope to see you in the library soon!

Grandpa’s Garden by Stella Fry / Illustrated by Shelia Moxley (2012)

Billy and Grandpa begin to garden at the very first sign of spring. This will be Billy’s first year gardening with Grandpa, so there will be much to learn! After churning the soil and planting many seeds, Billy is finding it hard to wait patiently for results, so garden chores and exploring the wildlife around the garden keep him busy. Before you know it, Billy and Grandpa’s garden is bursting with lush green leaves and many vegetables. Grandpa’s Garden offers readers a realistic perspective on the seasonal chores necessary to achieve a successful garden. Throughout the book you will find plenty of new garden vocabulary, and at the end of the book there are seasonal chore tips and even a diagram of a suggested garden plot design. Grandpa’s Garden is inspirational and informative—you shouldn’t be surprised if even the youngest of readers are ready to start planting after reading this delightful story.

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Carmontelle’s Jardin de Monceau

Posted in Humanities Institute on November 29 2017, by Vanessa Sellers

Colloquium
Louis Carrogis de Carmontelle (1717–1806), Jardin de Monceau, published in Paris in 1779

On September 7, 2017, The New York Botanical Garden’s Humanities Institute and the Foundation for Landscape Studies, New York, co-hosted the Colloquium Carmontelle’s Jardin de Monceau: Celebrating the unique Garden Culture of 18th-century France, held in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library’s Shelby White and Leon Levy Reading Room.

The Colloquium marked the starting point of an important project: the publication of a facsimile edition in English of the richly illustrated Jardin de Monceau, an impressive folio-sized volume by Louis Carrogis de Carmontelle (1717–1806), published in Paris in 1779. Designed by Carmontelle for the Duc de Chartres, the actual garden of Monceau still survives today, though in different form, as the much-frequented Parc Monceau at the heart of Paris. The original layout of the garden, with its rich architectural and sculptural features, formed an ideal social setting for the fashionable elite shortly before the French Revolution—a watershed moment in European history that would bring to an end the glamorous lifestyle and mode of garden design reflected in this work. Carmontelle’s Jardin de Monceau is a key cultural monument in the history of European landscape design, garden architecture, and horticulture, as well as printmaking and fashion design.

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Environmentally Conscious Children’s Books by Miranda Paul

Posted in From the Library on November 16 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Miranda PaulWisconsin-based children’s book author Miranda Paul has made her debut in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library circulating children’s collection. She’s won numerous awards and has received glowing reviews for the titles featured below. Paul’s passion, personality, and voice echo from the pages of each of her books. Her collaboration with various illustrators allow for unique experiences with all of her characters and environments. To learn more about Miranda Paul and her other titles, visit her website. We hope you find your way to the library to check out one of these titles for yourself!

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The Many Lenses of Robin Wall Kimmerer

Posted in From the Library on November 14 2017, 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.


I first discovered the writings of Robin Wall Kimmerer, Ph.D., when taking the NYBG Plant Diversity course taught by Dr. James Boyer. As we covered the different groups of plants in class, I wanted to learn more. When it came time to learn about mosses, Kimmerer’s Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses was my supplemental reading of choice. By the time I was done with the book, I was hooked. I quickly purchased and read Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, eventually donating my copy to the NYBG Library’s circulating collection and heartily recommending it to those who visit the library looking for reading suggestions. When I learned that Kimmerer would be lecturing at NYBG in December, I leapt at the chance to tell readers of Plant Talk about these two books that I had so enjoyed.

Kimmerer is a compelling writer who has the ability to look at plants—organisms—through multiple lenses. Her formal training in botany has given her the ability to write about plants as a scientist, while her work with indigenous cultures and their history gives her writing a highly-personal and humanized perspective. Her works are immensely readable and delightful to those who love plants, ecology, and the interactions between humans and the environment. Although a collection of personal essays, Gathering Moss has more of a scientific grounding, whereas Braiding Sweetgrass is more interdisciplinary, and more appropriate for a general audience. Both are interesting and engaging and can be enjoyed by scientists and non-scientists.

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A Menagerie at the Garden

Posted in Wildlife on November 6 2017, by Patricia Gonzalez

Patricia Gonzalez is an NYBG Visitor Services Attendant and avid wildlife photographer.


Today we take a look back at just a few of the animals that have made themselves known—especially in the Perennial Garden—over the last few months. The transition from summer to fall brought out all sorts of characters!

Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Ants

Posted in From the Library on November 6 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Cover of Common AntsIn the bustling streets of New York City, there are small details that are often drowned out by the sensory overload of the environment. One of the smallest of those details would be the ants of the five boroughs. At only a little over 100 pages, Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Ants of New York City is a rich resource that will satisfy curiosities about these small communities. Authors Eleanor Spicer Rice and Rob Dunn aim to highlight the remarkable strengths of these small animals and the large impact they have on our city.

Organized in fourteen chapters titled after individual ant species, each chapter offers a concise narrative packed with information. Before exploring the chapters, pay close attention to the preface and the introduction as they provide a base of information that will be useful as you read further. Each chapter begins with species name (scientific name), AKA (common name), size (mm), where the species lives, and what the species eats. The narrative is accompanied by the brilliant macro photography of Alex Wild, allowing the readers to experience the intricate visual details of the ants and their environments.

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What’s Beautiful Now: Fall Finery

Posted in Around the Garden, What's Beautiful Now on October 30 2017, by Matt Newman

Fall is here at last, and you can feel it in the air (we actually have to wear jackets this week!). That means the collections are dressing up in their autumn finery, from the changing leaves of the Forest, to the fall blooms of the Perennial Garden. It’s a great time to enjoy the outdoor collections before everything buttons up for winter.

Home Gardening Center

Home Gardening Center
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The autumn hues of our Grass Garden are a bright beacon for the change of season. Come take a look at these awesome specimens as they’re backlit with early-morning or evening light. They won’t disappoint!