Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Archive: April 2012

Morning Eye Candy: Native

Posted in Around the Garden, Photography on April 28 2012, by Matt Newman

The behind-the-scenes happenings in the Native Plant Garden are still our little secret until 2013, but we’ll occasionally pass along a rare sneak peak. We can’t wait either.

But there’s plenty to see in the meantime. Today and tomorrow we’re holding special Garden Tour Guide-led tours through the Rock Garden, as well as gardening demonstrations related to the Alpine plants we grow there. Make a plan to come and visit us, and don’t forget to vote for us through Partners in Preservation!

Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

A Weekend of Antique Charm

Posted in Around the Garden on April 27 2012, by Matt Newman

The sun is high, the tulips are flirtatious, and the workday already has one foot out the door. Tomorrow opens up a spree of exciting events at the NYBG as we work our way toward the beginning of Monet’s Garden. More importantly, we’re springing off our announcement of the Rock Garden’s inclusion in this year’s Partners in Preservation competition. We need your help to make this happen!

We’re encouraging everyone to stop by the Rock Garden at the heart of the NYBG when they come for a weekend visit. You’ll understand why I call it a zen experience. And once you’ve walked along the gently sloped gravel paths and looked up at the reach of the trees overhead, I think you’ll also come to understand what makes this Garden icon worth your time. After seeing the Rock Garden, think about throwing your vote in the hat for The New York Botanical Garden as we strive for the privilege of restoring this piece of Nature’s Showplace.

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Trendspotting at the Antique Garden Furniture Show and Sale

Posted in Around the Garden on April 27 2012, by Ann Rafalko

The Antique Garden Furniture Show and Sale is celebrating 20 years of fine garden antiques this weekend, and the dealers have pulled out all the stops. I just got back from taking a walk around, camera in-hand, and I noticed a few really cool trends. While dogs and bunnies and horses are all present in myriad materials, there’s a new hot animal on the scene this year: birds. But not just any old birds (and I’m most definitely not talking about pink plastic flamingos from Leominster, Ma., though flamingos have flocked to a few booths), these are avian exotics, with a few domestic foul thrown in for good measure.

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The Garden Rocks!

Posted in Around the Garden, Programs and Events on April 26 2012, by Matt Newman

After months of preparation, we’re not only proud, but ecstatic to announce our participation in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Partners in Preservation competition! Beginning today, the NYBG launches its campaign alongside 40 fellow historical places of New York in a race to win the vote.

We like to think of The New York Botanical Garden as more than a cultural institution. It’s a community–of horticulturists, of members, of contributors and fans. It’s thanks to the continued generosity of people like these (and you!) that our gates remain open today, over a century after these 250 acres were unveiled as one of the finest botanical gardens in the world. And if the thrumming excitement winging its way around the office today suggests anything, it’s that we aim to keep that title.

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From the Library: Mr. Roscoe’s Garden

Posted in From the Library on April 25 2012, by Matt Newman

Not many can recall the Liverpool Botanic Gardens. Though its glasshouse and extensive collection of orchids saw thousands of visitors pass through in the early decades of their existence, the middle years of the twentieth century were not kind. After over a century of high regard, the 1930s and ’40s brought the second World War, along with an errant German bomb that destroyed much of the botanic glasshouse and its contents. A decade-long effort to rebuild the architecture on a post-war budget proved shoddy, and within 15 years the replacement structure had fallen into disrepair. By the rapid decline of the 1970s, the glasshouse’s rotting wooden framework and broken glass panes had become emblematic of Liverpool’s floundering economy.

The Gardens closed without ceremony in 1984. With an unresolved labor dispute muddying the ground between the city council and the botanical workforce, Liverpool’s decision to shutter the space was labeled an act of political spite. What remained of the LBG’s extensive plant collection–now orphaned–was moved off-grounds. And, to some, the untold beauty and presence of a world-renowned paradise of exotic plants was lost to time.

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Native Plants 101: The Shadbush Story

Posted in Adult Education, Learning Experiences on April 25 2012, by Joyce Newman

Joyce H. Newman is the editor of Consumer Reports’, and has been a Garden Tour Guide with The New York Botanical Garden for the past six years.

One of the most wonderful native trees in our area is the Shadbush (Amelanchier arborea), which is sometimes called the Serviceberry, Shadblow or Juneberry tree. It’s an all-season beauty, especially in a natural landscape setting, and just one of the many native plants you can learn about in the upcoming class, Gardening with Native Plants.

The small tree features lovely grey bark and showy flowers, as well as terrific berries for pies and gorgeous fall color. But equally beautiful are the stories and folktales that have been associated with this tree for hundreds of years.

One story is that the first settlers in the New England area often planned funeral services at the same time that the tree bloomed. Its blooming was a sign that the ground had thawed sufficiently to be able to dig graves. So the tree became known as the ‘serviceberry tree.’

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