Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Archive: December 2013

Holiday Cheer is Evergreen

Posted in Around the Garden on December 31 2013, by Sonia Uyterhoeven

Sonia Uyterhoeven is the NYBG’s Gardener for Public Education.

NYBGWhile many of us are spending the last day of 2013 furiously editing our list of New Year’s resolutions into something manageable, The New York Botanical Garden is still running full steam ahead with holiday cheer. There are no signs of diets, abandoned gym memberships, or disorganized files to be found—quite the opposite, in fact! The Holiday Train Show is running through January 12 with some marvelous new attractions sure to capture the imaginations of first-time and frequent visitors alike. And for those of you looking to entertain small children, All Aboard with Thomas and Friends returns this Wednesday, January 1, for nearly a month of mini performance adventures featuring sing-alongs and photo opportunities with the famed locomotive.

Meanwhile, it’s a beautiful time of the year to bundle up and take a leisurely walk around the Garden grounds. The Benenson Ornamental Conifer Collection is looking its boreal best with its extensive collection of unusual evergreens suited to both sunny and shady locations.

Read More

Toot Toot! It’s Thomas Time!

Posted in Holiday Train Show on December 31 2013, by Ann Rafalko

thomasWhat’s better than the Holiday Train Show? How about when we combine the Holiday Train Show with All Aboard with Thomas & Friends! That’s right, starting on New Year’s Day your train-crazy little ones can get a double dose of all things train in one single day (and if you take Metro-North Rail Road to Botanical Garden Station, that’s a triple dose of all things train!).

Running through January 26, your kids can join Thomas and Driver Sam on a new fun-filled, sing-along, mini performance adventure by helping them decorate the station in time for the big Sodor surprise party before the guest of honor arrives! At the end, be sure to have your camera ready for an exciting photo op with the stars of the show!

Read More

Amy Henderson: Twice a Designer

Posted in Adult Education on December 30 2013, by Lansing Moore

Amy HendersonIt’s not only the born-and-raised green thumbs who find their way into professional horticulture. Among some of our Horticulture Certificate program’s accomplished alumni you’ll find horticulturists and landscape designers who started their careers in very different fields, and Amy Henderson, who spent much of her working life designing without a trowel at her side, is just such a person. We recently caught up with Amy to get her take on entering a Horticulture Certificate program, working in garden design, and more.

What drew you to the NYBG Horticulture Certificate Program?

Around 2009 I started visiting the Garden frequently and treated myself to a few Gardening classes. I was looking for a change from my decades of work in graphic design, and it dawned on me that I could use my design skills with a new, living medium—plants—and that maybe the Horticulture certificate could lay the foundation of a path to a new career. I settled on the Garden Design Horticulture track because to me, the plants are what it’s all about.

Read More

Morning Eye Candy: Color Confusion

Posted in Photography on December 30 2013, by Ann Rafalko

Lycianthes rantonnetii is unquestionably purple, yet is is commonly known as the blue potato bush. Go figure! Regardless of color, if you live in Zones 9 through 11, it is a lovely, scented ornamental plant for your garden.


Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Lycianthes rantonnetii ‘Linn’s Legacy’

In the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections

Morning Eye Candy: Hot Hues

Posted in Photography on December 29 2013, by Ann Rafalko

Neon bright colors are all the rage in fashion, and in the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections. Think of the Nolen Greenhouses as our permanent collection. It’s where we store rare specimens, and propagate beautiful blooms–like this orchid and these neotropical blueberries–for future display.

orchid blueberries

Photos by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Unknown orchid and unknown neotropical blueberry (Ericaceae)

Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections

This Weekend: Holiday Interlude

Posted in Around the Garden on December 27 2013, by Ann Rafalko

weekend4This weekend, it’s time to recover before heading into another mid-week celebration! Which means it’s time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Need some help? Here’s one we can endorse: Get outside more! Spending time outside is good for your physical and mental health, especially amongst our gorgeous 250 acres. This weekend we have several great walks planned that will help you get a jump start on this resolution.

Here’s another resolution we can help you with: Learn more about far-off lands. How? Two easy steps! One: Come see the fantastic Holiday Train Show. Two: Stick around and take a tour of the world’s plants with a leisurely walk through the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory‘s lush galleries.

Neither of those work for you? How about resolving to make new friends in 2014? That’s another one we have covered, especially if you want to make acquaintance with feathered friends (and the people who love them). Our free, weekly bird walks are a great way to learn about the dazzling diversity of birds that make New York City their permanent or temporary home, and to make friends with a fun group of like-minded hobbyists.

So there you have it! Three great New Year’s resolutions you can make ahead of time, and get started on. Because the best way to make a resolution stick is with practice and repetition. How can you come back to the Garden weekend after weekend? With a fourth resolution: Become an NYBG Member! Your support helps us protect plants around the world and in our backyard. It helps us teach New York City’s schoolchildren year round. And you can take your resolutions on the road with access to or discounts at over 200 gardens and arboreta nationwide. Plus, a portion of your NYBG Membership is tax deductible, which could help you with a fifth resolution in 2014: Saving money!

Read More

Faculty Recognition: Vincent Simeone Grows More with Less

Posted in Adult Education on December 26 2013, by Lansing Moore

Vincent SimeoneVincent Simeone is a well-respected horticulturist who teaches a number of plant-related courses in the Garden’s Horticulture Certificate program. He just released a new book, Grow More With Less: Sustainable Garden Methods (Cool Springs Press, December 2013), that offers the home gardener detailed and practical ways to create a sustainable home landscape with less work, less water, less money, and better results. Vincent graciously offered to share with us some tips from this valuable resource.

Proper plant selection is very important. What will your book cover and is there one general tip you can share?

There is an entire chapter in the book dedicated to properly selecting the right plant for the right place and it encourages gardeners to think outside the box. This chapter offers some popular, tried and true favorites such as flowering dogwood and winterberry, along with some lesser-known species plants and new cultivars that extend seasonal interest and are low maintenance once established. The resurgence of native grasses such as Little Blue Stem and Switch Grass have raised the bar in the horticultural industry giving us many new possibilities that we didn’t necessarily have before. The key is to do your homework and purchase plants from a reputable plant source.

Read More