We may not see the budding leaves of spring just yet when wandering the Forest at NYBG, but a careful eye will make out many signs of life nonetheless. Look closely at the trunks of trees, both standing and fallen, and you may catch sight of shelf fungi, lichen, mosses, and any number of unique lifeforms weathering winter with aplomb. It’s a joy for those who like to hunt for treasure.
Around the Garden
While we’re still waiting for the snowdrops to nod up out of the frosty winter grounds, another signal of the impending spring is already here: witch-hazels! Keep your eyes open as you make your way around NYBG, and you might catch the streamer-like red, orange, and yellow flowers of Hamamelis opening here and there. They’re certainly hard to miss.
While the genius of Applied Imagination is on display in the Holiday Train Show, there is an equally captivating exhibition of plant architecture just steps away in the Deserts of the Americas Gallery in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. This is just a sampling of the hundreds of cacti and other arid-land plants on display. Don’t touch!
Swaying grasses, seed heads, and the persistent husks of past flowers lend a sunset golden light to certain outdoor collections at the Garden this time of year. The slightest breeze sets them to wavering like a botanical sea, and at the right time of day, the scene is the definition of peace.
While winter plays out in our outdoor collections, the Haupt Conservatory is always dressed for summer. Explore just a few of the vibrant fruits, nodding flowers, and unique leaf structures of the plants within.
A recent light dusting of snow made the scenery pop with the colors of winter, from Japanese stewartia bark like forest camouflage to the golden seedheads of our plants along Seasonal Walk.
As the leaves disappear and we cozy up for the chills of winter, the trees take on an entirely different beauty defined by arching branches and unique bark patterns. See what’s beautiful now at the Garden among our own trees, then take a stroll around your block and see which street trees you can identify.
Wander through the Garden in December and you’ll see color, but not so much from flowers or changing leaves. Instead, it’s the winter fruits that are truly shining right now. From traditional holly berries to crabapple fruits and more, look for these bright additions to the landscape as you explore.
Fall color segues into pre-winter beauty this week as we work our way toward December. Make a point to find your way to the Ross Conifer Arboretum and Benenson Ornamental Conifers, quiet collections in the Garden where the green of the cool-weather months is best appreciated. And if you keep your eyes out, you can find the purples, reds, and oranges of winter berries like confetti among the bushes, often drawing a variety of overwintering birds.
The Steinhardt Maple Collection is in prime form this week as fall’s peak of reds, oranges, and yellows winds down toward its wintry wardrobe. The many Japanese varieties in the collection stand on a hill near the Rose Garden, and their elegant leaves and winding branches can’t be missed. Catch the autumnal beauty in the Garden while you can!