Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Archive: June 2008

NYBG in the News — 6/30/08

Posted in NYBG in the News on June 30 2008, by Plant Talk

People Are Talking About…

Shrub RosesJune is renowned for roses, and plenty of media took note of the magnificent Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden. But beyond the roses, which will be in bloom through the fall, people across the Web were talking about The New York Botanical Garden.

  • The The New York Sun featured the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden with a front page photo. Don’t fret if you missed it; you can still read the accompanying story and browse a cool photo slideshow of a gorgeous afternoon in the Rose Garden.

  • While there is nothing more glamorous than a beautiful rose in full bloom, the people at took notice that some of the products at NYBG Shop in the Garden are pretty snazzy in their own right. Reviewer Jennifer Kopf had plenty of nice things to say not just about the Rose Garden but also about the wide selection of terra-cotta pots, planters, and other garden-related items.

  • The New York Academy of Sciences Web site, Science & the City, listed the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden’s cooking demonstration Herbal Tea and Snack Sampling. Why not take their advice and come snack on savory eats and sip herbal tea, all from plants grown at the Family Garden, during July from 1 to 5:30 p.m. 

  • Blogger Marie from Bethlehem, PA, documented her recent trip to NYBG with a rundown of her favorite spots in the Garden, complete with full-color pictures.
  • Weekend Programming — Last Chance Weekend!

    Posted in Programs and Events on June 27 2008, by Plant Talk

    A Passionate GrowerAh, when to the heart of man
    Was it ever less than a treason
    To go with the drift of things,
    To yield with a grace to reason,
    And bow and accept the end 
    Of a love or a season?

    — Robert Frost, “Reluctance”
    (final stanza)

    Nothing lasts forever, and spring has given way to summer here at the Garden. We tried to stop it, but there are just some things that have to come to an end. Unfortunately, that holds true for some of the programming at the Garden as well. This weekend is the last time you can…

    • Go on a guided bird walk (until the fall)
    • Make your way to the strawberry patch in the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden and create your very own berry botanical button and sample a strawberry smoothie (until next year)
    • Conduct a Charles Darwin-like experiment to explore how seeds travel by water, create herbarium specimens, or explore an interactive Tree of Life in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden (closing)
    • View the photography exhibit A Passionate Grower: Heirloom Melons and Squashes from the Gardens of Amy Goldman — An Exhibition of Photographs by Victor Schrager (closing)


    But that’s far from all the goings on at the Garden this weekend, check out:
    Saturday’s programming
    Sunday’s programming

    Casting Call: Climate Change Citizen Scientists

    Posted in Programs and Events, Science on June 26 2008, by Plant Talk

    Shadowy Forest WalkHow would you like to help us collect information that can lead to a better understanding of the impact of climate change on plants?

    The New York Botanical Garden is looking for volunteers who are interested in being trained by experts on various aspects of plant biology and ecology, data collection and input, and then gathering facts about the Garden’s own 50-acre, old-growth Forest, the last remnant of the forest system that once covered much of New York City. The time commitment is one to two hours per week in the spring and fall for one to two years. The program is in partnership with the Northeast Regional Phenology Network and Cool Air–Clean Planet, organizations whose renowned expertise in phenology and climate change will contribute to this dynamic effort.

    If you are interested in helping out, come to the open house on Friday, August 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. By becoming a Citizen Scientist, you will reap the benefits of being a Garden volunteer, including free admission, free parking, guest passes, and discounts on classes and at Shop in the Garden. For more information, contact Jackie Martinez, Director of Volunteer Services, 718.817.8564, or email

    NYBG in the News — 6/22/08

    Posted in NYBG in the News on June 24 2008, by Plant Talk

    Summer Sculpture Spectacular

    Knife Edge Two PieceSummer is descending on New York City, and that means it’s time to dust off those shorts and sandals. Right now the weather couldn’t be better, which is why it’s no surprise that NYBG’s current exhibition, Moore in America, has been noticed as one of the best outdoor sculpture exhibits in the city! gives a  nice rundown of the top five NYC oudoor sculpture exhibits this summer. Moore in America is compared favorably to the other shows in the city, outranking works by Jeff Koons, Richard Deacon, and Tom Otterness.

    While the art scene can seem a little stuffy and exclusive to the uninitiated, BLACK20 News breaks down Moore in America for the average Joe. According to its site, the weather commands you to come see the show: “Get a taste of culture amid your typically brain-numbing summer fare. Nature demands it!!!” How can you argue with that?

    Some of the Garden’s fans in Germany and France will get the chance to see a new documentary, The Gardens of New York. European filmmaker Veronika Hofer shot portions of the doc at the Garden and other locations across New York. Hopefully we’ll get an Engligh-language version soon.

    Channel Thirteen/WNET continues to air its captivating episode of New York Voices about Darwin’s Garden. Those of you who woke up too late to catch last Saturday’s 7 a.m. airing can always view the entire episode on-line. If that’s not enough, the program has an entire NYBG-devoted web page with interviews of people such as Dr. Dennis Stevenson and a tour of the Pfizer research lab.

    And just because he’s so cute, here’s a preview of WNET’s piece on Snowflake, the white gorilla. Try and resist his cuteness!

    Tip of the Week — 6/24/08

    Posted in Gardening Tips on June 24 2008, by Sonia Uyterhoeven

    Rose Companions

    Sonia Uyterhoeven is Gardener for Public Education at The New York Botanical Garden.

    New Gold LantanaEveryone needs a good friend, and roses are no exception. As the growing season progresses, the tops of roses remain nice and lush, but the bottom can start to look leggy and sparse. Hiding their bare legs with a companion plant is a simple remedy.

    The wispy flowers and foliage of ornamental sage (Salvia), Russian sage (Perovskia), and catmint (Nepeta) are three good options. Annuals to think about are cherry pie (Heliotrope), Lantana (Lantana), or summer snapdragons (Angelonia).

    Aside from aesthetic qualities, some companions are said to protect other plants or enhance their growth. Members of the onion family are rumored to ward off aphids and help prevent black spots, so plant your alliums around your roses. Scented geraniums (Pelargonium), rue (Ruta), and feverfew (Tanacetum) are reported to repel Japanese beetles.

    Remember that companions not only need to look good together, but also require compatible growing conditions. Roses perform best in full sun and in soil with good drainage; their companions should do the same.

    This Week at the Garden — The Farmers Market Is Coming!

    Posted in Programs and Events on June 23 2008, by Plant Talk

    This weekend saw rose-themed programming, the spectacular sculpture of Henry Moore, and equally spectacular weather! This week, the Garden will be especially exciting because the Farmers Market returns, chockful of sumptuous, locally-grown produce and other products. Check out our Farmers Market Flickr set for pictures of some of the lovely fruits and veggies the market has to offer. Of course, beyond the market, there are guided tours throughout the week, daily family programs, and the monumental sculpture of Henry Moore.

    Here’s a rundown of this week’s events

    Everything’s Coming Up Roses

    Posted in Programs and Events, Shop/Book Reviews on June 20 2008, by Plant Talk

    The new slogan for Shop in the Garden, isn’t simply a figure of speech—everything at the Garden is coming up roses.

    The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden is in full form. You’ve got plenty of chances to view these gorgeous specimens and to learn about them during the Garden’s five-month celebration, Resplendent Roses: Flower, Fragrance, and Form.

    Until you come to the Garden to see them live, here’s a beautiful set of photos on our Flickr page to tide you over until your next rose fix!

    NYBG Rose Curator Featured in Pruning Videos

    Posted in Gardening Tips, NYBG in the News on June 18 2008, by Plant Talk

    The gorgeous June weather has drenched the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden with plenty of sunshine, and the roses have responded. With roses on everyone’s mind, The New York Botanical Garden’s own Peter Kukielski, Curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, provided pruning tips for the folks at Fine Gardening Online
    Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden
    View Peter’s valuable tips for pruning:

    Shrub Roses

    Floribunda Roses

    Hybrid Tea Roses

    Tip of the Week — 6/10/08

    Posted in Gardening Tips on June 10 2008, by Sonia Uyterhoeven

    Cutting Back on Work

    Sonia Uyterhoeven is Gardener for Public Education at The New York Botanical Garden.

    Have you ever noticed how some plants look just great in the fall? They are nice, neat and full. Generally, that is not the natural growth habit. A little care has to be taken earlier in the season to ensure their fullness, and now is the time.

    You can pinch your mums starting in mid to late May to give them a nice full shape. An easier option is to wait until mid-June and just sheer them back by about half. I take a good pair of hedge sheers and cut them so they look like nice, rounded domes. They will keep the shape as they grow throughout the summer.

    If you don’t have sheers, just take your bypass pruners to make your cuts. Remember, gardening is not an exact science, so just shape them so they look nice. What you are doing with the cuts (heading cuts) is encouraging lateral shoots (side shoots) to branch out and create a more compact, full shape.

    With our tall Korean mums, which are the envy of every visitor in late October through early September, we cut them back twice. The initial cut is in mid-June and the second cut happens three weeks later, around July 4. The holiday is a helpful reminder of the cut-off date. If you continue sheering these late season bloomers throughout the summer, they will flower too late in the season and get knocked back by the frost.

    Asters also get cut back in this fashion. Often we further support our asters by placing a peony hoop over them early in the season. These hoops are raised as the plant grows to give added support.

    You don’t have to limit yourself to these two classics. Beebalm (Monarda) responds well to this treatment, as does Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium), Helen’s flower (Helenium), and a whole host of perennials. 

    Weekend Programming: Things Are Looking Rosy

    Posted in Programs and Events on June 6 2008, by Plant Talk

    Climbing Miniature Rose It’s not just Citizen Kane’s beloved childhood sled, because you can’t find a spot in the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at The New York Botanical Garden that is “Rosebud” free. Summer’s golden warmth has washed over New York and the roses are loving it.

    This weekend’s programming features these lovely flowers with a guided tour, a raffle to win your own roses, and even a mid-day concert in one of the loveliest setting imaginable. But that’s far from all. There’s behind-the-scenes tours, bird walks, kids programming focusing on Charles Darwin and Henry Moore, and even delicious strawberries!

    Check out Saturday’s programming

    Check out Sunday’s programming