Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Archive: July 2014

Horticulture is Thriving: 2nd Hortie Hoopla draws 125 NYC-area Interns

Posted in Adult Education on July 31 2014, by Matt Newman

Hortie Hoopla speakers
Left to right: Charles Yurgalevitch, School of Professional Horticulture; Uli Lorimer, Brooklyn Botanic Garden; Joseph Tychonievich, author and plant breeder; Lynden B. Miller, public garden designer; Ken Druse, garden writer and radio host; Nick Storrs, Randall’s Island Park Alliance; Brenden Armstrong, SoPH graduate

New as it is, Hortie Hoopla is already a key event for young horticultural professionals looking to find their footing in this fast-paced and challenging field, one that’s always on the look-out for fresh ideas and new faces. The New York Botanical Garden invites green industry interns from all over the New York metropolitan area and beyond to spend the day in the Garden, linking up with their fellow horticulturists, accomplished career plantsmen, and scientists, all while enjoying a day of tours, games, networking, and BBQ. But first: the inspiration.

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Aloe, Soothing Body and Soul

Posted in Horticulture on July 30 2014, by Christian Primeau

Christian Primeau is the NYBG‘s Manager of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.

aloe rauhiiWalt Whitman once wrote, “I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.” For a poet who glimpsed a universe of wonders in a mere sidewalk weed, his beard might have dropped off in amazement had he fixed his gaze upon little Aloe rauhii but it seems the best beard oil is serving him well, his beard did not fall off! Before turf-lovers get upset, it is not my intention to besmirch your lawns, good sirs and madams. Like Whitman, though far less eloquently, I simply hope to call your attention to the marvel of smaller things. Things that, perhaps, you might just miss. In a glasshouse like the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory—exploding with bold textures, extravagant colors and flowers that often flirt with the ostentatious—occasionally missing small things is a forgivable offense.

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This Week at the Greenmarket: Blue Skies and Blueberries

Posted in Programs and Events on July 30 2014, by Lansing Moore

NYBG Greenmarket blueberriesThis sunny and pleasant day is the perfect opportunity to get some shopping done al fresco. Discover culinary inspiration today at the NYBG Greenmarket from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. just inside Mosholu Gate—when admission to the Garden grounds is free. The Children’s Aid Society will be presenting Go!Healthy, an educational program focused on food justice and nutrition, with fun activities.

One staple of the Greenmarket these days is reliable blueberry. Tart, compact, and full of health benefits, these little guys can be rinsed and enjoyed raw as a summertime snack. For those of you with a sweet tooth—and a sense of adventure—click through for an appetizing yet simple recipe for Blueberry Galette with Cornmeal Thyme Crust.

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Kool Kohlrabi

Posted in Gardening Tips on July 29 2014, by Sonia Uyterhoeven

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

KohlrabiSome vegetables seem to have more cachet than others. Sometimes it’s due to their flavor, other times to their versatility of use. And sometimes, they simply look too cool to ignore…or perhaps I should say “kool.”

The curious thing about kohlrabi is that the majority of people have no idea what it is. Few even realize it exists. In terms of its popularity, it’s the runt of the cabbage family—until you lay eyes on it, of course. At that moment, it’s probably the coolest cole you’ve ever seen.

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage or Brassica family. Its Latin name—Brassica caulorapa—means “stem turnip.” This is not an auspicious start for an up-and-coming member of the cabbage family. It starts its life looking like all the other members of the Brassica family—cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower—but then it comes into its own as it begins to mature.

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Everyday Phenology

Posted in Horticulture on July 28 2014, by Jaime Morin

Jaime Morin is The New York Botanical Garden’s Assistant Curator in horticulture. She works with the plant records and curation teams to help keep the garden’s information on its living collections up to date. She also oversees the details of the garden’s Living Collections Phenology Project.

Nyssa sylvatica
Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) –
ripe fruit

Since its creation, the New York Botanical Garden has been a local haunt for scientists studying the phenology (the seasonally changing biological processes) of plants. More recently, the institution has invited the public to study these important seasonal markers as well through two citizen science programs.

In early 2001 the garden began a program that creates the opportunity for novice citizen scientists to collect data on the life cycle changes of plants in the Forest. Dedicated groups of volunteers traverse three different trails on a weekly basis, checking on 17 different kinds of forest plants to record their major seasonal benchmarks such as leaf emergence, flowering, and fruiting.

Starting in 2009, the Garden began to offer Citizen Science Professional Development for middle school teachers, focusing mostly on the native trees in the Forest. In turn, these teachers help their students conduct phenology research projects around their school at local parks, and on the Garden grounds. Over the years, with the support of the NYC Department of Education, the NYBG Professional Development Program has expanded its citizen offerings to K-12 teachers throughout the city.

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