Plant Talk

Exploring the science of plants, from the field to the lab

One Last Week of Orchids in Spring

Posted in Around the Garden, Programs and Events on April 13 2012, by Matt Newman

This weekend we enter the home stretch of the Orchid Show balanced on a bittersweet note. Thousands of visitors have had the opportunity to experience Patrick Blanc’s inspiring vertical architecture, stepping under, around, and between the reaching walls of tropical foliage and luxuriant orchid flowers. This year’s spring display is a masterwork only “The Green Man” could have conjured.

Going into the final week of our tenth anniversary exhibition, we encourage everyone who hasn’t yet made the short trip to the Bronx to put on some comfortable shoes and step out for a day at the Garden. Between the sunlit brilliance of these spring afternoons and the rare form of the Orchid Show, there are few excuses for missing out.

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A Crabby Disposition

Posted in Around the Garden, Gardens and Collections on April 13 2012, by Matt Newman

I remember my dad telling me, rather gleefully, of fall afternoons spent pelting his friends with rock-hard crabapples flung from his homemade slingshot. It’s a Dennis the Menace trope in its purest form. But it also seems a fitting use for a fruit some say is named for its disagreeable nature. And if you were to take the dive and snack on a crabapple off the branch, with few exceptions you would probably find yourself cringing as if you’d just sampled a wedge of unripe lemon.

With the cherry trees doffing their hats until next year’s flower effusion, the questionably edible crabapples are only too willing to steal away the spotlight with looks (and being in the rose family, the crabapples have them in spades). The crabby name belies the abundance of blossoms which spot the grounds with cloudy displays of ivory, fuchsia, and burgundy. And the history of crabapples at The New York Botanical Garden is equally as rich, beginning early in the Garden’s life with a planting of trees near Twin Lakes. Later, in 1930, the collection moved to its current home in the southwest section of the grounds. Placed in neat rows along Daffodil Hill, the many cultivars–rare and common alike–burst into effervescent color just after the daffodils have faded. This year’s bizarrely early spring has, of course, given us the benefit of both beauties sashaying through flirty florescence in tandem.

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Morning Eye Candy: Filling In

Posted in Around the Garden, Photography on April 13 2012, by Matt Newman

I’m continually amazed by the subtle but rapid changes the Garden undergoes, sometimes seemingly overnight. No two days walking the grounds are spent in repetition–there is something new to see between each moment.

Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen