Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Archive: February 2016

This Weekend: A World of Orchids Arrives at the Conservatory

Posted in Programs and Events on February 26 2016, by Lansing Moore

The Orchid Show OrchideliriumThis weekend is the grand opening of The Orchid Show: Orchidelirium! This year’s exhibition brings visitors through the thrilling history of “orchidelirium”—the Victorian-era orchid craze that led high-profile orchid collectors to spend astronomical sums accumulating rare specimens of these flowers from across the globe. Intrepid explorers met this demand with ever more daring and dangerous orchid-hunting expeditions. Pass through thousands of orchids in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and follow the story, while understanding more about NYBG’s ongoing role as a leading orchid conservator, rehabilitating orchids still being seized by customs at international borders in this day and age.

Complete your experience with Live dance performances that reflect the global diversity of orchid varieties, plus expert-led tours, Q&A sessions, and orchid care demonstrations. This weekend promises beautiful weather for New York City, so join us and embark on a tropical excursion at The Orchid Show! Continue reading for this weekend’s full schedule.

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Flowers in the Gallery: A Melding of Art, Botany, and Politics

Posted in Adult Education on February 25 2016, by Jenifer Willis

Bird’s-eye view, Memorandum of Understanding between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Government of Australia Relating to the Settlement of Refugees in Cambodia. Ministry of Interior, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, September 26, 2014, Paperwork and the Will of Capital, 2015 © Taryn Simon. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Stuart Burford Photography
Agreement Establishing the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation. Al-Bayan Palace, Kuwait City, Kuwait, May 30, 2006, Press III, Paperwork and the Will of Capital, 2015. Pigmented concrete press, dried plant specimens, archival inkjet prints, text on herbarium paper, and steel brace, 114.1 x 55.9 x 76.2 cm © Taryn Simon. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Stuart Burford Photography

Chelsea’s powerhouse Gagosian Gallery is not the most likely place you’d find pressed herbarium specimens.

But that’s exactly what you’ll see there as part of the gallery’s current show by multidisciplinary artist Taryn Simon.

In “Paperwork and the Will of Capital,” Simon recreates and photographs the elaborate centerpieces that sat between powerful men as they signed agreements designed to change the world. Preparing the exhibition, Simon worked with Daniel Atha, NYBG botanist and Conservation Program Manager, and Sheranza Alli, NYBG Senior Museum Preparator and Herbarium Aid, who teach a Plant Collection and Preservation Workshop at the Garden. 

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Bring Botanical History into Your Home with NYBG and Surface View

Posted in Shop/Book Reviews on February 25 2016, by Lansing Moore

‘Dreer’s Large Flowering’ Chromolithograph from Dreer’s Garden Book, Seventy-fourth Annual Edition, 1912 New York Botanical Garden Surface View
‘Dreer’s Large Flowering’ Chromolithograph from Dreer’s Garden Book, Seventy-fourth Annual Edition, 1912

Once again, we have delved into the Rare Book Collection of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library and brought out a new way to appreciate its exquisite array of botanical, architectural, and horticultural works of art. NYBG is proud to announce the launch of Surface View’s New York Botanical Garden Collection.

Surface View retrieves images from archival sources, which are then digitally remastered, retaining their unique character yet achieving the finest image quality, and then prints them onto a range of home decor. From hand-drawn botanical studies to aged seed packets and incredible insect illustrations, customers select the specifications and a size to perfectly suit any space. Bursting with vibrant floral imagery, this collection can be transformed into beautiful artworks and unique interior decorations by using the Surface View website to experiment with rescaling and cropping the imagery to create a thoroughly contemporary feel.

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See What’s Wonderful in Late Winter at NYBG

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on February 24 2016, by Lansing Moore

Hamamelis-vernalis witch hazelAs winter enters its final weeks—and not a moment too soon!—the earliest blooms of the year are beginning to appear on NYBG’s landmark grounds. Kristin Schleiter, our own AVP for Outdoor Gardens and Senior Curator, gives an overview of the unique and intrepid first flowers of this season, including fragrant snow drops and witch-hazel, in this new video.

Beyond the tropical color of The Orchid Show: Orchidelirium, there is still plenty of seasonal beauty to appreciate throughout the 250-acre landscape surrounding the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. View the video below, and join us in eager anticipation of much-awaited spring and many more blossoms to come!

Book Review: Selecting ‘The Indestructibles’

Posted in From the Library, Shop/Book Reviews on February 22 2016, by Lansing Moore

Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.

The Indestructible Houseplant by Tovah Martin. Timber Press
The Indestructible Houseplant by Tovah Martin. Timber Press, 2015. 288 pages, 160 color photos. Softcover. $22.95. ISBN: 9781604695014

The staff of the Plant Information Office in the Mertz Library are always excited to see a new book from Tovah Martin. Martin has written over a dozen gardening books, drawing from her 25 years of gardening experience to craft classics as well as new favorites. The Library has eighteen books authored or coauthored by Martin, and this month we have added her newest work—The Indestructible Houseplant from Timber Press—to our collection. The Indestructible Houseplant was written for beginners, but experienced gardeners will also enjoy the beauty and advice contained in this well-crafted volume.

Martin starts The Indestructible Houseplant with an accessible yet lyrical introduction that welcomes the “window-sill gardener wannabes,” telling them that this book is for them. Martin promises to help readers overcome obstacles—cost, time, light/environment—and develop their own “lush and verdant” interior paradises. Martin writes about her home gardening environment and then moves into practical guidelines for understanding limitations of indoor space, including selecting and placing containers. Here, too, her prose is crisp, accessible, and practical; Martin even includes a section about her selection process for plants to profile, addressing the omission of some historic houseplant favorites, such as flowering maples, Abutilon cultivars.

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