Echinacea may be synonymous with the health supplement aisle in your local organic market, but it gets its name from a far older comparison: the Greek word echino, which means “sea urchin.” That spiny head is a dead giveaway.
Echinacea purpurea ‘Rubinstern’ — Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen
The Bronx’s own New York Yankees wrapped up HOPE Week 2012 (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) today in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden by celebrating the Children’s Alopecia Program (CAP) and the group’s founders, the Woytovich family. The Yankees say that HOPE Week is “rooted in the fundamental belief that acts of goodwill provide hope and encouragement to more than just the recipient of the gesture.” After spending a few hours mingling with the kids affected by this autoimmune disease and the club’s players, my face hurt from smiling, and I left with the opinion that HOPE Week does indeed bring joy to everyone it touches.
This might be a bittersweet Saturday for birders. Why? Well, truth be told, we’re bidding adieu to the Bird Walk! But don’t sweat–it’s only for a couple of months. As if the heat hadn’t already driven the point home, the calendar tells us it’s summer, and that means it’s time for a hiatus. Saturday marks this season’s last opportunity to don your boots and binoculars for an expert-led bout of birdwatching. (I am on an alliterative roll today.)
Debbie Becker has been at the head of these outings for over 25 years, making her the absolute authority on the NYBG‘s hawks, owls, and Pileated Woodpeckers (now resettled in the Garden after over seven decades). We can’t wait to have her back on September 1! But there’s no reason to make yourself wait that long, right? Come out tomorrow for the last walk of what I’m still stubbornly calling spring.
Back in January, I began posting photos in a new series tentatively titled “Past in Focus.” I had an aim of seeking out archived Garden images and recreating those scenes as they exist now–to see in today’s landscape hints of the last century. The photographers and I made the decision to wait until the NYBG was in its full spring growth to set out, though; we figured the pictures would carry more drama and gravity if the contrasts ran high, and now that everything is lush and lively, we come to find out that our well-meaning plan wasn’t quite feasible the way we envisioned it.
Last week, Ivo, Mark and I set out with tripods, cameras, a stack of lenses and a crumpled sheaf of old photo copies in hand. I’m not exactly Man Ray, so the other two did the hard work while I tagged along as a notebook-wielding nuisance; certainly they knew the ins and outs of the Garden’s layout better than I did at this point. After only 10 or 20 minutes and a few head-scratching shuffles around the front of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, we were already stymied. Not only were the spring trees too leafy in places for us to tie in many of the landmarks seen in the original photographs, but the actual landscape of the Garden had changed. Hills had been raised, pathways rerouted, new collections added.
From time to time I teach flower arranging. It gives me the opportunity to play with color and exercise my artistic side. It is also rewarding to teach Garden visitors simple tips and techniques for producing colorful displays for their homes. With Monet’s Garden in full swing, I decided last weekend to focus on French floral arrangements.
I wasn’t terribly successful in uncovering the art of French floral design. It seemed like it’s become trendy to designate a floral design as being French, and I have had a hard time deciphering between those who were simply jumping on a marketing bandwagon and the true Francophiles.
I did discover a few sources that discussed the art of French floral design, however, and their bouquets and centerpieces were breathtaking. They were too elaborate for me to recreate, but they provided me with some principles that I could replicate in my simpler renditions.
At the Garden’s weekly Greenmarket you’re going to find more than just beautiful veggies and fruits for sale. At the Greenmarket, we’re hoping you will also find the inspiration to grow your own healthy crops! And we’re here to help you along the way.
This week, amid the greens and beans and peas and cherries, you will also find experts from the NYC Compost Project who will demonstrate how to turn your food scraps into beautiful, rich garden soil that can feed you for years to come! While they say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, growing your own and using what would normally be thrown comes pretty close.
The weekly NYBG Greenmarket near Tulip Tree Allée happens every Wednesday through November 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission and parking are free to shop at the Greenmarket and EBT, WIC, and FMNP are accepted. Stay tuned to Plant Talk for information on weekly special events, produce updates, and recipes for using your freshly bought produce.
For a special healthy grilling recipe, head below the jump!
A spot of lily color (with a cultivar name I first mistook for ‘Pink Twinkie’) to distract you from the reality of a long week still ahead. This one’s chilling out in the Perennial Garden (also a decent place to escape workday doldrums).