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.
Around the Garden
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.
The Marjorie G. Rosen Seasonal Walk is the place to be as we boldly move into summer. You’ll see an abundance of beauty among the white lace flowers (Orlaya grandiflora), moor grass (Molinia caerulea ‘Moorhexe’), rusty foxglove (Digitalis ferruginea), queen of the prairie (Filipendula rubra ‘Venusta’), Chinese astilbe (Astilbe ‘Vision in Pink’), and Culver’s root (Veronicastrum ‘Adoration’). And that’s only the beginning of this season of verdant color.
June is a colorful month among the flowers where the lushness of summer finally takes its place on grounds. Beyond the brilliant tropical greens of the newly opened Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx exhibition, there’s plenty to discover across our 50 collections as we near the warmest season of the year.
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.
Rose alert! These late spring beauties are the absolute stars of the show as we head into Rose Garden Weekend at NYBG. Join us as we jump into two days of floral beauty, live music, poetry, and more in the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden. And while you’re here, don’t miss the herbaceous peonies, now at peak color and flaunting their colorful flowers. This is what’s beautiful now.
From the bobbing purple globes of the blooming ornamental onions along Daylily Walk and the showy herbaceous peonies, to the lush green collections of the Native Plant Garden and the greening trails of the Forest, this Memorial Day Weekend is a picture-perfect time to visit the Garden and spend some time among the late spring beauty. We’ll even be open this coming Monday, May 27, for the holiday!
The Edible Academy is once again a thriving spot to visit with your kids as we get into spring gardening and cooking demonstrations among the vegetable beds. It’s a welcome chance to get their hands dirty and celebrate nature’s bounty as warmth returns to the city. You’ll also find new discoveries in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, where all-day nature exploration teaches them about the plants and animals they share their world with.
For those looking for a beautiful stroll, jump in on our Saturday Bird Walk to look for spring’s scarlet tanagers and rose-breasted grosbeaks, or join one of our many experts for tours on the history of NYBG, and our Native Plant Garden’s unique plants.
Don’t forget that we participate in Blue Star Museums between Armed Forces Day and Labor Day! If you’re active duty military, we currently offer free All-Garden Pass admission to you and up to five family members with your military ID.
There’s so much to see in this season of beauty. Hopefully we’ll see you in the Garden, too!
Late spring brings a richness to the Garden grounds in anticipation of the arrival of summer, with a cascade of flowers among the herbaceous peonies opposite the Conservatory, and the marching blooms of the ornamental onions popping up all along the Daylily Walk. The Native Plant Garden, too, is a spectacle you shouldn’t miss—reds, yellows, and greens fill this verdant landscape and create a utopia for local wildlife.
The Azalea Garden is filled with spring color for our Mother’s Day Weekend Garden Party! Here, see some of Senior Curator of Woody Plants and Landscape Project Manager Deanna Curtis’s favorite semi-evergreen varieties in bloom, along with other surprises you can find in this unmissable spring collection.