Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Claire Lyman

Peony Paradise

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on June 4 2019, by Claire Lyman

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It’s peony paradise at the Garden right now! We’re racing through peony season this year with the tree peonies done, the intersectional peonies halfway through their flowering, and the herbaceous peonies now at peak bloom. Here’s a little primer to help you understand the differences between these bombastic spring beauties.

Herbaceous peonies have stems that die back to the ground in the winter, and are the most common peonies found in home gardens. Intersectional peonies (also known as Itoh peonies) are a delightful hybrid cross between tree and herbaceous peonies that exhibit a wonderful blend of traits. These peonies produce tree peony flowers and leaves on plants that behave like herbaceous peonies, dying down to the ground in winter and reemerging each spring. You will also find more yellow hues in Itoh peonies than herbaceous. Finally, tree peonies have woody stems that remain year round, with deciduous leaves and a distinctive flower form.

Hardy Fern Collection

Posted in Garden News on May 20 2019, by Claire Lyman

Claire Lyman is the Assistant Curator of Outdoor Gardens at The New York Botanical Garden.

Photo of the hardy fern collectionThe F. Gordon Foster Hardy Fern Collection was established in 1985 with the generous donation of Mr. Foster, fern hobbyist, lecturer author, and honorary fern horticulturist at NYBG. This core of donated plants was supplemented by hardy ferns already at NYBG and its Mary Flagler Cary Arboretum in Millbrook, N.Y. This sparked a massive wave of effort from a team of NYBG horticulturists and botanists to further develop, interpret, and create a long-term plan for the now sizable hardy fern collection. In 1987 John T. Mickel, Senior Curator of Ferns, and Joseph M. Beitel, Horticultural Taxonomist and Curator of Plant Records, wrote A Guide to The F. Gordon Foster Hardy Fern Collection at The New York Botanical Garden, which has remained an important resource on hardy ferns for the past 32 years.

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