Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Archive: November 2013

Morning Eye Candy: Nature’s Decorations

Posted in Photography on November 30 2013, by Ann Rafalko

Thanksgiving generally marks the time when it becomes socially acceptable to start decking out your home for the holidays. Someone forgot to tell our trees. A few of them have been preparing for quite some time now!


Crataegus viridis ‘Winter King’

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Morning Eye Candy: Thank You

Posted in Photography on November 28 2013, by Ann Rafalko

On Thanksgiving, we like to say thank you to you–our visitors, our Members, our staff, our volunteers, our researchers, our neighbors, and our supporters in the community. Here’s hoping that, no matter what you are celebrating today, you are surrounded by friends and family, light and merriment! We are nothing without you! Thank you.


Twin Lakes (photo by our longtime Saturday Bird Walks leader, Debbie Becker)

Alum of the Month: Rob Bennaton

Posted in Adult Education on November 27 2013, by Lansing Moore

Rob BennatonMost people think of gardening as a solitary activity, but Horticultural Therapy is a unique profession because it turns plant care into an opportunity for human interaction. It was that human element that brought plantsman Rob Bennaton back to The New York Botanical Garden to pursue a Certificate in Horticultural Therapy. With a previous NYBG Horticulture Certificate and 18 years’ worth of experience in community development and habitat restoration under his belt, Rob told us why he returned to study the therapeutic effects of plant care on people.

“Working with plants through a nurturing process has tremendous healing potential because people are motivated by success in caring for living organisms. That process helps us understand our place in the world, and our ability to help make it a better place, and that’s what brought me to Horticultural Therapy.”

As a student, Rob is learning the therapeutic skills and horticultural techniques needed to serve a broad population of people in need. “In order for the activities to be therapeutic, they must be well planned, address specific treatment needs, offer steps towards personal growth, and be considerate of the client population’s desire for independence.”

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Q&A with Yolanda LaGuerre, Floral Design Instructor

Posted in Adult Education on November 27 2013, by Lansing Moore

Yoli LaGuerreFor someone who is a tireless entrepreneur, the owner of YL Event Design, and an NYBG Floral Design Instructor, Yolanda LaGuerre still knows how to enjoy life. Not surprisingly, she finds it to be a strong advantage in the party business! Here she shares with us her trend predictions going into 2014, industry advice, and how she came to discover a career in flowers.

You say you started your floral design career at age 15?

That’s correct. I lived in the city and took full advantage of living so close to one of the best flower markets in the world! With a sheet of oak tag, a pair of scissors and a marker I made myself business cards with my name, beeper number, and tag line, “Designer willing to do anything,” and passed them out all over the New York Flower Market at 5 a.m. every day! After a while I got my first break and freelanced with many designers for a few years before attending NYBG.

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This Weekend: Post-Turkey Promenade

Posted in Around the Garden on November 27 2013, by Matt Newman

The NYBG WeekendWhile we won’t be open on Thanksgiving Day, a fact the Garden’s turkeys are all too fond of, there’s still the entire holiday weekend to go! We’ll be taking advantage of it with the ongoing Holiday Train Show, several tours of specific collections and seasonally fascinating autumn plants, and some fun for the kids in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden.

It’s also a perfect opportunity to get a head start on working off those Thanksgiving and Hanukkah carbs before any incoming December feasts you have planned. Of course, there’s no better place to do this than our Forest trails. While most of the leaves have already fallen, there’s a certain elegance to the netting of branches that overlays the trails in our 50-acre old growth woodland, and I doubt you’ll find many places in this bustling city quite so insulated from the urban world outside.

Check out our relaxed schedule below for detailed information on the tours we’ll be having throughout the weekend, and if you’re leaving town for the holidays, here’s to safe and stress-free travels!

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Morning Eye Candy: Don’t Panic

Posted in Photography on November 27 2013, by Ann Rafalko

It’s alright ladies, we’ve got you covered. You’re safe here! What’s more, we’ll be closed tomorrow, so just in case anyone has forgotten to procure their Thanksgiving “main event,” our gates will be locked, and you’ll be safe and sound. Happy Thanksgiving girls!


Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen


This Week at the Greenmarket: Season’s End

Posted in Around the Garden on November 26 2013, by Matt Newman

The NYBG GreenmarketOnce more unto the crisper drawer, dear friends, once more. As with all good things, the Greenmarket has a beginning and an end (at least as far as 2013 goes), meaning Wednesday, November 27 is your final chance this year to stock up on fresh fall flavors picked from the best farms in our neck of the woods. And with winter peeking in on us here in New York, now’s as good a time as any. Whether you’re planning to replenish your surplus of fruits and vegetables used for Thursday’s Thanksgiving feast or you’re still looking for a few choice items to top off your cornucopia, we’ll have you covered.

The autumn harvest highlights the heartiest stick-to-your-ribs edibles of the year, including all sorts of root vegetables—potatoes, breakfast radishes, turnips—and familiar favorites like broccoli, cauliflower, and winter squash. Fruits are still a big draw, as well, with apple varieties like Shizuka, Golden Russet heirloom, Margil, Braeburn, and Keepsake leading the pack. You might even get lucky and find some end-of-season Seckel pears. There are greens in abundance, and no shortage of seasonal pies, savory breads, cookies, and other baked goods to fill out your holiday table. And did I mention ciders and juices of all kinds? Yeah, we’re not about to miss out on hot toddies.

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A Conversation with Green Kitchen Guru Alice Waters

Posted in Shop/Book Reviews on November 25 2013, by Joyce Newman

Joyce H. Newman holds a Certificate in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden and has been a Tour Guide for over seven years. She is a blogger for Garden Variety News and the former editor of Consumer Reports

Alice WatersVisitors to Stone Barns Center’s farm and food gardens in northern Westchester were treated to an engaging interview with Alice Waters this past weekend, as well as the 200 new recipes in her latest vegetable-focused book, The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor, and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden, out this month from Clarkson Potter ($35.00) and available in the NYBG’s Shop in the Garden.

Ms. Waters, a kind of legend in her own time, has authored something like 14 books, launched the Edible Schoolyard Project all over the world, and is a chef and owner of the famous Chez Panisse restaurant and cafe, which she founded with others in 1971. She pioneered the cooking philosophy that today we call “farm-to-table.” Her restaurant, located in Berkeley, California, uses only fresh, flavorful seasonal ingredients that are shopped for and produced locally and sustainably.

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