Inside The New York Botanical Garden

A Sweet, Stinky Summer Ahead

Posted in Around the Garden on June 22 2012, by Matt Newman

I read in the paper (I’ll give them up the minute subway tunnels offer 4G) that Wednesday’s thermometer topped out at 110 degrees Fahrenheit in Times Square, placing New York City’s temperatures almost on par with those of Dubai. We’re better off at the NYBG, of course; lush grass and acres of shady trees tamp down the heat some. But don’t get me wrong, Manhattanites–it’s not like I’m trying to rub it in or anything. Not really.

There’s an upside to summer in the city beyond fruity cocktails and flip-flops, and it’s none other than “Sweet and Stinky,” launched just this week to celebrate the passing of the solstice. As an amateur chef, albeit one paradoxically awful and ambitious, I feel like this is the kind of hot-weather activity every cook-out fan should get in on. This stuff smells heavenly with some heat behind it.

“If you’re walking around the Garden and you smell sauteed onions, you’ll know it’s us!” said Annie Novak, Assistant Manager of the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden.

Be it the savory-sweet scents of basil and oregano, or the pungent potency of onions and garlic, Sweet and Stinky is the most flavorful Family Garden adventure to be had this summer. The alliums and herbs are in full swing for the growing season, taking center stage–or at least center cutting board–in some sensational cooking demonstrations. You can prep on your own by trying out some of these aromatic recipes from last year’s event. And kids still a few years off from using the stove are covered, too. Bring them along for a bit of green thumbing with our gardeners, where they’ll pot up an herb of their own to bring home for the kitchen window sill.

Cooking demonstrations run at 2 and 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with the Family Garden open from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. But there’s so much more to see and do in the sun, not the least of which is the Monet’s Garden exhibition. And I haven’t even mentioned Leda Meredith’s wild edible cooking class, wandering the garden in search of “weeds” you didn’t even know were delicious! Would it be so wrong to get off the asphalt and into the green for a while? Didn’t think so.


Saturday, June 23

Bird Walk – 11 a.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool

The diverse habitats of the Botanical Garden offer visitors a chance to see dozens of species of birds throughout the year. Bring your binoculars and walk the Garden grounds with our expert, Debbie Becker, searching for the birds of the season and learning about bird-friendly plants that provide food, shelter, and nesting sites. You might even catch a rare glimpse of our Pileated Woodpeckers, which only just returned to the Garden after 73 years!

Cooking Class: Feasting for Free with Leda Meredith — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Northeast is rich in delicious wild edible ingredients, including plants you may have been composting as “weeds.” Learn how to safely identify and sustainably harvest the abundance of free gourmet ingredients growing in this region. Plant identification will be conducted throughout the Garden grounds, including the Thain Family Forest, so dress for the weather. Sign up here!

Rose Garden Tour – 12:30 p.m.
Meet at the entrance to the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden

Immerse yourself in the fragrance, color, and beauty of the award-winning Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden on a tour with a Garden docent. Learn the differences between Heritage and Modern roses and between floribundas and hybrid teas, as well as facts about rose history, cultivation, and folklore.

Home Gardening Demonstration: French Floral Centerpieces – 2 p.m.
In the Perennial Garden

Create a masterpiece in your home with a fresh floral centerpiece. Join Gardener for Public Education Sonia Uyterhoeven as she demonstrates how to arrange flowers in simple yet elegant centerpieces.

This French-themed home gardening demonstration is part of Monet’s Garden, a stunning tribute to French Impressionist Claude Monet showcasing a seasonally changing interpretation of the gardens that inspired his art.

Monet’s Garden Tour – 2:30 p.m.
Meet at the entrance to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Join one of the Garden’s docents for a tour inside the galleries of the historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, where horticulturists of The New York Botanical Garden bring to life stunning re-creations of Monet’s most iconic gardens at Giverny. In the Conservatory Courtyard, the focus on the artistry of the great Impressionist continues with a display of water lilies.


Sunday, June 24

Rose Garden Tour – 12:30 p.m.
Meet at the entrance to the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden

Immerse yourself in the fragrance, color, and beauty of the award-winning Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden on a tour with a Garden docent. Learn the differences between Heritage and Modern roses and between floribundas and hybrid teas, as well as facts about rose history, cultivation, and folklore.

Home Gardening Demonstration: French Floral Centerpieces – 2 p.m.
In the Perennial Garden

Create a masterpiece in your home with a fresh floral centerpiece. Join Gardener for Public Education Sonia Uyterhoeven as she demonstrates how to arrange flowers in simple yet elegant centerpieces.

This French-themed home gardening demonstration is part of Monet’s Garden, a stunning tribute to French Impressionist Claude Monet showcasing a seasonally changing interpretation of the gardens that inspired his art.

Monet’s Garden Tour – 2:30 p.m.
Meet at the entrance to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Join one of the Garden’s docents for a tour inside the galleries of the historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, where horticulturists of The New York Botanical Garden bring to life stunning re-creations of Monet’s most iconic gardens at Giverny. In the Conservatory Courtyard, the focus on the artistry of the great Impressionist continues with a display of water lilies.


Ongoing Children’s Programs

Children’s Outdoor Nature Explorations: Observe and Create
Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, May 19 through September 30
Weekdays 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. / Weekends 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Let your inner Monet run wild and be inspired by nature to create art in all different forms. Movement, music, drawing and painting abound in this outdoor studio for children. Stop by Inspiration Station to play our outdoor marimba. Paint with water and experiment with colors in our Color Clash Studio. Step inside to experiment with the engineering behind aquatic plants. Nature is art–discover it at the Adventure Garden. Also on view: an exhibition by students from Studio in a School.

Hands-On Gardening Activities for Families: Sweet and Stinky
Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, June 19 through July 27
1:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Aromatic alliums and spicy herbs thrive in the summer heat. Follow the sweet and stinky smells to the Family Garden and discover these culinary champions. Savor the scents and tickle your taste buds with cooking demonstrations and samples, and become a green thumb by planting your very own herb to tend at home.

Cooking demonstrations at 2 and 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

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