Finally, it’s just about March, and we can stop dreaming about gardening and actually get going! Whether you’re a novice to the gardening game or a dyed-in-the-wool green thumb, pre-season education and preparation can go a long way. That’s where the NYBG’s Spring Adult Education classes come into play.
Here are my top picks for classes that will help make 2014 your best gardening season ever. I’ll be back next month with April picks, so be sure to keep an eye on Plant Talk for upcoming courses and workshops that you won’t want to miss!
Tomorrow is the first day of The Orchid Show: Key West Contemporary! This weekend also marks the beginning of March, so while it may still be chilly outside, you can be sure spring is just around the corner. In the meantime, the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory has all the warmth and color of the Florida Keys. To kick off this very special Orchid Show, we have a full array of programs scheduled this weekend to help visitors immerse themselves in the world of orchids.
The exhibit will host roaming guides, and Ross Hall will feature special live music by Jimmy Kenny & The Pirate Beach Band to complete the festive Florida experience. For those who want to keep these unique and enigmatic blooms at home, our Orchid Care Demonstrations will cover all the basics for you to cultivate with confidence. Gardening and orchid experts will also lead Orchid Q&A sessions at Shop in the Garden, helping guests choose the right orchid varieties for their home growing conditions. You can even pick up an orchid from the wide variety we have on sale at the shop. Click through for this weekend’s full program schedule, including new children’s activities!
Our annual Orchid Show begins this weekend, carrying us off to the warmth and greenery of Key West. I myself have eaten hearts of palm in Key West, toured Ernest Hemingway’s home, and gone swimming and sunbathing, but I never took the time to stop and admire the island’s orchids. On the key, the Audubon House and Tropical Gardens combine history and nature for the avid naturalist, showcasing a one-acre garden full of native and exotic orchids.
Florida boasts a large and diverse population of orchids owing to its climate, which ranges from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south. These variations support temperate and tropical orchids, respectively. Many epiphytic orchids that colonize the southern portion of the state, including Key West, are indigenous to the Caribbean and southern tropical regions.
Tom Lawson was a massage therapist until he bought a piece of property in the Hamptons.
The land was overgrown and neglected. Tom spent years lovingly redeveloping the landscaping. Then, over time, more and more people said to him, “You need to go do this professionally.”
So he tried. As projects fell into his lap, he realized he needed a language to communicate his ideas. Words weren’t enough.
“Most people don’t have the ability to visualize something that isn’t there,” Tom said.
He needed to learn how to sketch, how to draft. Tom found his way to The New York Botanical Garden Adult Education Program, where he earned Certificates in Horticulture (’12) and Landscape Design (’13), and continues to study.
With the debut of The Orchid Show: Key West Contemporary comes the much-awaited return of Orchid Evenings. To enjoy the kaleidoscopic display of orchids in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory with music and drinks in the soft evening light is one of the most exciting ways to experience the Garden, and beginning next Saturday, March 8, we will kick things off with the first in a series of signature cocktails. The first is called “The Ariana,” and it is an original creation from our friends at Jack from Brooklyn.
Evenings run from 6:30 to 9 p.m., and MasterCard holders can purchase tickets to attend a champagne pre-party at the Shop in the Garden, where a variety of orchids will be available for purchase. Afterwards you can enjoy a fine Italian dinner at any one of our partner restaurants in the neighborhood. Click through to find out what the exclusive cocktail recipe will be, and of course who will be DJing our first Orchid Evening of 2014!
The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is bustling with final preparations for the debut of The Orchid Show: Key West Contemporary this Saturday, March 1. Right now, rows and rows of orchids are patiently awaiting their final installation into our carefully arranged island landscape, a theme inspired by the designs of Key West’s own Raymond Jungles. While we wait, you can enjoy a peek behind the scenes in the Nolen Greenhouses, our staging area for nearly every NYBG exhibition.
Karen Daubmann, our Associate Vice President for Exhibitions, gives an overview of the orchids, as well as the myriad companion species that together will help transform the Conservatory into a modernist, Florida-style garden. It should be the sunny vacation we all need right about now!