Annie Novak is the Manager of the Edible Academy at The New York Botanical Garden.
We introduced our first pair of beehives to the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden in 2010, the year beekeeping was re-legalized in New York City. We sited the apiaries—Langstroth hives—atop the single flat rooftop on our garden site, a one-story brick and concrete building home to both gardening and office equipment fondly called “the tool shed.” This gave our foraging worker bees zipping in and out of the hive a clear flight path above our vegetable plots, above and away from our visitors.
With the opening of the Edible Academy campus in the spring of 2018, our beehives moved to a much better location: the Kate Solomon Family Apiary, a flat, staff-accessible platform adjacent to the Gossett Overlook Pavilion. Now at eye-level (at a safe distance), visitors can observe the honeybees more readily. Unsurprisingly, a frequent query is what we do with their honey.
What’s your home garden aspiration? From purple fountain grass to dahlias and spiked cockscomb, the Home Gardening Center creates a palette of options and opportunities for abundant fall color in our region.
Your holiday plans are here! Get your tickets early for this year’s Holiday Train Show, featuring Central Park’s iconic landscape fashioned in mosses and hollies, and architectural treasures such as Belvedere Castle. View our sneak peek of the show here before it opens on November 23.
Together with our food service partner, Constellation, we are striving to bring a more eco-friendly and sustainable dining experience to NYBG, including the elimination of single-use plastic bottles at our Pine Tree Cafe. Watch here to learn more as #ClimateWeekNYC continues.
Which favorite fruits are ripening on your radar this week? From kousa dogwood berries alongside the Rose Garden, to blood oranges and dwarf pomegranates near the Home Gardening Center, we’re heading into fall with one last blast of fruity and festive color—in all its bright greens, pinks, and reds.
Hordes of gourds are coming! Starting this Saturday, explore a sea of pumpkins and more in all shapes and sizes, a host of silly scarecrows, and frightfully fun activities running into late October. The Spooky Pumpkin Garden is returning to NYBG—see what’s happening this fall.
What’s your favorite plant in this time of seasonal change? There are plenty of treasures to find at NYBG in this magical moment when summer transitions to fall. The beautiful, bombastic blooms of dahlias are a fan-favorite as the weather changes, and they’re unmissable in the Perennial Garden, while variegated sweetgum in the Liasson Narcissus Collection is a stunner with its patterned green leaves, waiting for cool weather to bring new color. And the fiery leaves of the Japanese maples hint at the new season in the Steinhardt Maple Collection.
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.
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.