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From the Library

The Works of Joyce Sidman Come to the Mertz Library Children’s Collection

Posted in From the Library on December 15 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


SongNow circulating from The LuEsther T. Mertz Library children’s collection are the exciting and imaginative works by award-winning children’s book author Joyce Sidman. I invite you to explore shapes, seasons, wildlife, plants, and soil with the lyrical poetry and whimsical illustrations by Sidman and her peers. Her most notable work The Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems, illustrated by Beckie Prange, is the winner of the Caldecott Honors and the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. Its riddle-like poetry encourages readers to use the images on the pages as clues.

Sidman continued to dazzle critics and readers by winning another Caldecott Honors and the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award for Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski. Experience the changing of the seasons with the bursts of color and the flowing verse throughout.

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December Gems from the Mertz Library

Posted in From the Library on December 7 2017, by Esther Jackson

Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.


WilderThe World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books by Marta McDowell was published in October of this year. This eclectic work documents the plants chronicled in the various landscapes of Wilder’s works. With a heavy dose of historical content, many images, and a narrative that is accessible to advanced younger and seasoned readers alike, this work is a lovely gift for anyone who loves or has loved the Little House books. Readers new to botany will find McDowell’s writing clear and easy to understand, and those who enjoy travelogue writing will appreciate the personal diary entries she sprinkles throughout the text. This project is near and dear to the hearts of those in the NYBG Plant Information Office (a part of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library), as Anita Finkle-Guerrero, Leslie Coleman, and Samantha D’Acunto assisted McDowell with the identification of some of the violet species mentioned in Wilder’s works.

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New Children’s Titles at the LuEsther T. Mertz Library from Barefoot Books!

Posted in From the Library on December 5 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Grandpa's GardenWe’re happy to share our newest titles from Barefoot Books. These charming stories will invite you to bring your storytime outdoors! All titles featured below are available for checkout for library cardholders. We hope to see you in the library soon!

Grandpa’s Garden by Stella Fry / Illustrated by Shelia Moxley (2012)

Billy and Grandpa begin to garden at the very first sign of spring. This will be Billy’s first year gardening with Grandpa, so there will be much to learn! After churning the soil and planting many seeds, Billy is finding it hard to wait patiently for results, so garden chores and exploring the wildlife around the garden keep him busy. Before you know it, Billy and Grandpa’s garden is bursting with lush green leaves and many vegetables. Grandpa’s Garden offers readers a realistic perspective on the seasonal chores necessary to achieve a successful garden. Throughout the book you will find plenty of new garden vocabulary, and at the end of the book there are seasonal chore tips and even a diagram of a suggested garden plot design. Grandpa’s Garden is inspirational and informative—you shouldn’t be surprised if even the youngest of readers are ready to start planting after reading this delightful story.

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Carmontelle’s Jardin de Monceau

Posted in Humanities Institute on November 29 2017, by Vanessa Sellers

Colloquium
Louis Carrogis de Carmontelle (1717–1806), Jardin de Monceau, published in Paris in 1779

On September 7, 2017, The New York Botanical Garden’s Humanities Institute and the Foundation for Landscape Studies, New York, co-hosted the Colloquium Carmontelle’s Jardin de Monceau: Celebrating the unique Garden Culture of 18th-century France, held in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library’s Shelby White and Leon Levy Reading Room.

The Colloquium marked the starting point of an important project: the publication of a facsimile edition in English of the richly illustrated Jardin de Monceau, an impressive folio-sized volume by Louis Carrogis de Carmontelle (1717–1806), published in Paris in 1779. Designed by Carmontelle for the Duc de Chartres, the actual garden of Monceau still survives today, though in different form, as the much-frequented Parc Monceau at the heart of Paris. The original layout of the garden, with its rich architectural and sculptural features, formed an ideal social setting for the fashionable elite shortly before the French Revolution—a watershed moment in European history that would bring to an end the glamorous lifestyle and mode of garden design reflected in this work. Carmontelle’s Jardin de Monceau is a key cultural monument in the history of European landscape design, garden architecture, and horticulture, as well as printmaking and fashion design.

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Environmentally Conscious Children’s Books by Miranda Paul

Posted in From the Library on November 16 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Miranda PaulWisconsin-based children’s book author Miranda Paul has made her debut in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library circulating children’s collection. She’s won numerous awards and has received glowing reviews for the titles featured below. Paul’s passion, personality, and voice echo from the pages of each of her books. Her collaboration with various illustrators allow for unique experiences with all of her characters and environments. To learn more about Miranda Paul and her other titles, visit her website. We hope you find your way to the library to check out one of these titles for yourself!

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The Many Lenses of Robin Wall Kimmerer

Posted in From the Library on November 14 2017, by Esther Jackson

Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.


I first discovered the writings of Robin Wall Kimmerer, Ph.D., when taking the NYBG Plant Diversity course taught by Dr. James Boyer. As we covered the different groups of plants in class, I wanted to learn more. When it came time to learn about mosses, Kimmerer’s Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses was my supplemental reading of choice. By the time I was done with the book, I was hooked. I quickly purchased and read Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, eventually donating my copy to the NYBG Library’s circulating collection and heartily recommending it to those who visit the library looking for reading suggestions. When I learned that Kimmerer would be lecturing at NYBG in December, I leapt at the chance to tell readers of Plant Talk about these two books that I had so enjoyed.

Kimmerer is a compelling writer who has the ability to look at plants—organisms—through multiple lenses. Her formal training in botany has given her the ability to write about plants as a scientist, while her work with indigenous cultures and their history gives her writing a highly-personal and humanized perspective. Her works are immensely readable and delightful to those who love plants, ecology, and the interactions between humans and the environment. Although a collection of personal essays, Gathering Moss has more of a scientific grounding, whereas Braiding Sweetgrass is more interdisciplinary, and more appropriate for a general audience. Both are interesting and engaging and can be enjoyed by scientists and non-scientists.

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Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Ants

Posted in From the Library on November 6 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Cover of Common AntsIn the bustling streets of New York City, there are small details that are often drowned out by the sensory overload of the environment. One of the smallest of those details would be the ants of the five boroughs. At only a little over 100 pages, Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Ants of New York City is a rich resource that will satisfy curiosities about these small communities. Authors Eleanor Spicer Rice and Rob Dunn aim to highlight the remarkable strengths of these small animals and the large impact they have on our city.

Organized in fourteen chapters titled after individual ant species, each chapter offers a concise narrative packed with information. Before exploring the chapters, pay close attention to the preface and the introduction as they provide a base of information that will be useful as you read further. Each chapter begins with species name (scientific name), AKA (common name), size (mm), where the species lives, and what the species eats. The narrative is accompanied by the brilliant macro photography of Alex Wild, allowing the readers to experience the intricate visual details of the ants and their environments.

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Three Titles for Transforming Your Garden

Posted in From the Library on October 26 2017, by Esther Jackson

Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.


Photo of Garden RenovationGarden Renovation: Transform Your Yard into the Garden of Your Dreams by Bobbie Schwartz for Timber Press is a practical guide to giving an existing yard area a “make-over.” Homeowners can use Garden Renovation to assess current landscapes and decide on redesign projects of varying complexity. Especially interesting is a section on evaluating current hardscaped areas such as driveways and paths. Refreshingly, little in the book is dedicated to “plant palettes,” making Garden Renovation singularly focused on landscape assessment from a higher level. 

In Garden Renovation Schwartz has created a resource for those who know that something in their landscape has to change but aren’t sure about the next steps.  Whether the solution is a DIY project or hiring a professional, Garden Renovation will teach readers how to assess a landscape and make informed decisions about its future.

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New Children’s Titles from Candied Plums

Posted in From the Library on October 25 2017, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Cover of Picking TurnipsThe LuEsther T. Mertz Library is very happy to feature our newest titles! Candied Plums is a start-up independent publisher that aims to create contemporary Chinese children’s books. Their books are offered in simplified Chinese, English, and Pinyin. Candied Plums achieves carefully illustrated and visually engaging stories for children of all ages and languages to enjoy. All titles listed below can be found in our circulating children’s collection and are available for check-out to library card holders. See you in the library!­

Picking Turnips by Xu Zhou / Translation by Adam Lanphier (2017)

Picking Turnips reimagines Tolstoy’s The Gigantic Turnip in a surprising way! The tale is told from the perspective of a mouse. Of course, living among piles of books, the young mouse is familiar with the tale but he quickly admits that he prefers his uncle’s version much better. Each page reveals a split scene of the struggle to remove the turnip above ground and the efforts to pull the turnip underground. Both farmers above and the mice below want the turnip for themselves. So who will succeed in pulling the turnip?

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The Living Forest

Posted in From the Library on October 12 2017, by Esther Jackson

Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.


Photo of the cover of The Living ForestThe Living Forest: A Visual Journey into the Heart of the Woods is a new book from Timber Press written by Joan Maloof with photography by Robert Llewellyn.  Living Forest is another in the line of more ecology-minded books from this popular publisher of gardening and garden design books.

First and foremost, The Living Forest is a beautiful book. Llewellyn, as some keen readers might recall, is the photographic mind behind the extremely appealing series Seeing Trees, Seeing Flowers, and Seeing Seeds, which I reviewed for Plant Talk earlier this year. As is the case in the Seeing series, Llewellyn’s photographs are detailed, brilliant, and immersive. With a mix of subjects including flora and fauna, shot both close-up and in landscape views, Llewellyn’s work and Maloof’s words evoke the forest on every page. My personal favorite photo is a landscape shot of beech trees (possibly Fagus grandifolia) in late autumn. Love for the woods knows no season, but, for me, autumn is the time that I like best. Llewellyn simply and eloquently captured one of my favorite forest scenes and all of the emotions such a scene inspires.

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