What’s beautiful now? The Zulu Giant (Stapelia gigantea)! Its tremendous, fuzzy flowers open to reveal what’s certainly more of a stench than an aroma, attracting flies to pollinate it with the smell of rotten meat. Maybe it’s best to admire from afar.
Around the Garden
Summer may be winding down, but the Garden is still full of adventures and experiences that give you an opportunity to make the best of the warm weather this extended Labor Day Weekend. Take in the rich greenery of the season as you enjoy outdoor music and dance performances, tour our collections, dig into children’s gardening activities, and so much more. And don’t miss the final weeks of our largest botanical exhibition ever, Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx.
We’re heading into September, the final month of Brazilian Modern before we segue into the crisp, colorful fall schedule, and our winding outdoor display isn’t all you’ll find here. Head into the Library to experience Burle Marx’s boldly creative yet precise landscape designs; see his paintings, drawings, and textiles; and discover how his artistic process helped him define the forms and shapes of his gardens. Meanwhile, you’ll find the music and dance of Brazil on offer each weekend, thanks to a rotating lineup of performers.
In the Edible Academy, kids can get hands-on with their food thanks to cooking demonstrations with seasonal produce from our vegetable gardens. And the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden is just as much fun, offering drop-in nature exploration and planting activities that let them pot up their own philodendron to take home and care for.
Come tour the collections, revel in the summer sun, and enjoy the Garden during our holiday Monday opening this weekend!
Find your way to the entrance of the Ladies’ Border, pass under the overhanging greenery, and you’ll see the popping color of summer’s crape-myrtles blooming among the leaves. The punchy pink of Lagerstroemia ‘Choctaw’ and the vivid red of Lagerstroemia indica ‘Dynamite’ are absolute standouts.
The beauty of summer’s water lilies is both a vertical and horizontal experience, painting the surface of the Conservatory Courtyard Pools with purple and neon green lily pads while the flowers—in white, purple, blue, and pink—rise up and reflect on the water. The koi fish that take shelter among their stems are an added bonus.
The “rooms” of the Perennial Garden—hot, cold, and beyond—boast a seasonal bouquet of many varieties of summer bloom, including daylilies, hibiscus, and other warm-weather favorites that thrive in the bright sun. It’s the perfect spot for a stroll, or a sketch, with its meandering paths and abundant color.
Look for treasures along the paths of the Rock Garden, which invites you to explore its quiet and secluded displays, where small and vibrant alpine plants flourish. Flowers and wildlife alike call this peaceful collection home, so keep an eye out for chipmunks, dragonflies, and more.
Plants and wildlife go hand in hand, and as the Garden grounds grow ever more green for the summer, birds, insects, and amphibians are out and about in abundance, including goldfinches, orchard spiders, dragonflies, green frogs, and more.
This week’s fireworks high above are met with a similar show down below, with summer’s Crocosima, water lilies (Nymphaea), torch-ginger (Etlingera), and more now bursting in abundance in the Perennial Garden, the Conservatory Courtyard Pools, and beyond. See these and other colorful characters from NYBG’s collections in this glimpse into what’s beautiful now.
As part of #plantlove at NYBG, we’re talking with people from all over the Garden about what inspires their passion for plants. Today, meet Nsombi Woodson, Floral Designer and Instructor for Adult Education at NYBG.
My #plantlove started in my grandmother’s garden. Back then, my absolute favorite flower was the rose. Nana, as we called her, planted a rose bush for each of her grandchildren. For me, she planted a variety of tiny pink sprays. Born and raised in the Bronx, I treated The New York Botanical Garden as my backyard—class trips, birthdays, and summer vacations were spent on its lawns. During these visits to NYBG, I’d head straight to the rose garden and claim every pink spray rose as my very own.
I’ve been blessed to turn my love of flowers into a career in floral design, and now my favorites are too numerous to name. However, I must say that spring inspires me the most. Just like me, the flowers have survived the dark, cold winter and are ecstatic to be out in the sunshine again. Blooming branches burst with color; scents of hyacinths fill the air; and the happy faces of daffodils pop up waving hello.
In the end, what feeds my #plantlove the most is its ability to evoke sweet memories of the past, excitement for the future, and gratefulness for the present.