Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Archive: April 20, 2012

Dining Out for Earth Day with Mario Batali

Posted in Around the Garden, Programs and Events on April 20 2012, by Matt Newman

If you’re coming to the NYBG on Sunday for The Nature Conservancy‘s Picnic for the Planet, try not to overdo it during lunch! You’ll want to save room for an evening outing sure to have gourmands salivating, because long-time Friend of the Garden Mario Batali is jumping in with an event of his own.

Building on his success in last year’s Family Garden events, the legendary Babbo chef will once again join with the NYBG in raising awareness about the power of the foods we buy and eat. Along with Mario’s partners, Lidia and Joe Bastianich, the trio’s B&B Hospitality Group honors this year’s Earth Day with a special promotion at each of its restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, sending every patron of their fine B&B restaurants home with a special Earth Day gift. Not only will you leave well-fed, but you’ll do so with a packet of B&BHG’s organic Cherry Belle™ radish seeds. It also doubles as a two-for one ticket offer to visit the NYBG this summer, all in the name of bringing environmental responsibility home.

Read More

A Blooming Great Weekend to Visit!

Posted in Around the Garden on April 20 2012, by Matt Newman

It’s been a whirlwind of excitement for the past two months, but the Orchid Show is soon to bid adieu to another successful year. More than successful, really–the tenth anniversary exhibition is being called one of the most triumphant showings our orchids have had to date, thanks in no small measure to the transcendent designs of botanist Patrick Blanc.

For any of our fans who spent the past few weeks bickering with themselves over the choice to take a day in the Bronx, now is absolutely your last chance to experience the vivid verticality of “The Green Man’s” living walls in person. And I can tell you without the shadow of a doubt that there’s plenty for you to see alongside the exhibition–as if the otherworldly flowers of several thousand orchids weren’t enough to get you on your feet and out the front door.

Read More

Tree Peonies: Better than Jade

Posted in Around the Garden on April 20 2012, by Matt Newman

Moss covered paths between scarlet peonies,
Pale jade mountains fill your rustic windows.
I envy you, drunk with flowers;
Butterflies swirling in your dreams.

— Qian Qi, Tang Dynasty

In the words of poet Billy Collins, the lyricists of Imperial China had “nothing up their ample sleeves” as they scribbled down the world around them. There’s a candid linearity to the early Chinese wordsmiths. Never dawdling in the roundabout of ten dollar adjectives or subtlety, they explain what they see with directness and clarity, and in doing so pull the reader into a rich history of images.

Today, standing on the hill overlooking the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden among prim rows of rounded tree peony shrubs, I found the same honest verse in each flower. It’s right there in the names. From time to time I would crouch to part the branches in an effort to see the cultivar titles on the small signs below each plant. Behind the leaves I discovered shaped words, often as straightforward as dynastic verse, at other times more like flash fiction–short stories in a staccato of concrete nouns. Our tree peonies are a lyrical bunch, blooming as they are in this early spring.

Read More