Inside The New York Botanical Garden

From the Library

The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden

Posted in From the Library on May 17 2018, 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.


The Know Maintenance Perennial GardenThis week’s book review is a #ThrowBackThursday to the popular classic The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden. Written in 2014 by Roy Diblik for Timber Press, the text is a favorite of gardeners who love perennials. Diblik, who worked closely with designer Piet Oudolf on the Lurie Garden in Chicago, has brought his wisdom and knowledge to the public with Know Maintenance. Each of the 62 plans in this work are based on a 10’x14′ grid that is modular in design, offering home gardeners many combinations and plants to suit their landscape and needs, regardless of whether their space is larger or smaller than the example grid. The plans are inspired by works of art as well as existing gardens (for example, Monet, Great Dixter, and Swarthmore College), and are divided into two sections for areas with sun and shade. In addition, plant profiles for 74 plants offer readers suggestions for different plants to use in existing gardens or as a part of new plantings.

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Art and Gardens in Children’s Books

Posted in From the Library on May 15 2018, by Samantha D’Acunto

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


Meet GeorgiaWith the new Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i exhibition opening May 19, the LuEsther T. Mertz Library thought it would be fun to break out some of our existing titles and introduce some new titles that explore art, artists, and plants.

New to our collection is Meet Georgia. Author Marina Muun explores the life and works of American artist Georgia O’Keeffe in an activity book. The book invites readers to travel from New York to New Mexico with Georgia, all the while learning about the art that was inspired by the landscapes she visited. Readers are prompted to get creative with various activities. Fill out skyscrapers in the New York City skyline, illustrate the sound of music, and paint the colors of a New Mexico sunset.

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Healing in the Garden

Posted in From the Library on May 8 2018, 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.


Therapeutic GardensTherapeutic Gardens: Design for Healing Spaces is a 2015 book by Daniel Winterbottom and Amy Wagenfeld for Timber Press. The authors draw on a body of research that suggests nature and gardens can be healing spaces for people with disabilities and illnesses. However, they also pose the question—is every garden a therapeutic garden? The authors follow this question with a quote from Rodale: “Gardens are where people and the land come together in the most inspiring way.” This is the guiding sentiment throughout the book, making it a useful resource for horticultural therapists, those who would like to design gardens with accessibility in mind, and those who are interested in learning more about the health benefits of many different kinds of gardens.

Starting with a historical sketch about therapeutic gardens, proceeding chapter titles include “Collaborative Design,” “Gardens for Movement and Physical Rehabilitation,” “Gardens for Solace and Comfort,” “Learning Gardens,” “Sensory Gardens,” and “Community Gardens,” ending with a section about garden maintenance. Throughout the text, the authors highlight different successful therapeutic gardens within each category, including gardens for children with cancer, gardens for homeless populations, and peace gardens. For those who believe in the healing power of nature, or those who are interested in the history of therapeutic garden design and philosophies, Therapeutic Gardens is a great resource and a fascinating book.

In the Great Dixter Kitchen

Posted in From the Library on May 1 2018, 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.


The Great Dixter CookbookGreat Dixter is known for its bountiful and beautiful vegetable garden. The garden has been the subject of a blog by gardener Aaron Bertelsen since 2013, and now it is the centerpiece of The Great Dixter Cookbook: Recipes from an English Garden by Bertelsen with photographs by Andrew Montgomery for Phaidon. On gardening and cooking, the author writes: “Both cooking and gardening require a willingness to learn from experience and to adapt what you are doing … both cooking and gardening offer tremendous scope for creativity … as with everything at Great Dixter, neither the vegetable garden nor the kitchen ever stands still.”

Part cookbook and part gardening book, The Great Dixter Cookbook is filled with beautiful photographs of food, plants, and gardening. Approximately 70 pages address gardening topics while 136 pages are devoted to recipes. Gardening sections include chapters on growing fruits and vegetables as well as a garden diary with suggested garden chores for each of the four seasons. The recipes section includes breakfast, soups, mains, salads and side dishes, biscuits, cakes and desserts, preserves, and basic recipes for foods like stock and pastries.

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Kicking Off Children’s Book Week!

Posted in From the Library on May 1 2018, by Samantha D’Acunto

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


Children's Book WeekIt’s the 99th anniversary of the Children’s Book Council – Children’s Book Week! Children’s Book Week is a national event that first started in 1919 to promote literacy among the nation’s youth. Each year readers are invited to celebrate this week in various ways. To join in on the fun, the LuEsther T. Mertz Library would love to share exciting new titles that have recently been added to our children’s circulating collection. Visit us in the library to see fantastic titles on display April 30th to May 6th!

To kick off the celebration we would like to highlight…

Floris Books is reintroducing the works of Sibylle von Olfers and Signe Aspelin to delight a new generation! Originally, the Story of the Root Children was printed in 1906 in German. It is now in its eighth printing in English. For readers not familiar with the story, it’s a celebration of the wonders that spring and summer offer each year. Winter is over and it is time for Mother Earth to wake up the Root Children. As they wake from their sleepy slumber, the Root Children begin to prepare to emerge for spring. In their bright colors, the Root Children— Snowdrop, Forget-me-not, Daisy, Buttercup, Poppy, and their insect friends—make their way above ground. Under the warmth of the sun, they all explore forests and meadows. As spring turns to summer, and summer to autumn, the Root children are ready for bed again.

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Sustainable Landscapes from East to West

Posted in From the Library on April 24 2018, 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.


Northwest Garden ManifestoI have a soft spot for gardening books from the Northwest, and so although I live on the East Coast, The Northwest Garden Manifesto: Create, Restore, and Maintain a Sustainable Yard by John J. Albers, Ph.D. (photography by David E. Perry), for Mountaineers Books/Skipstone, is right up my alley. In Northwest, Albers has provided a book that is part instructional and part manifesto. The basics of garden (or “yard”) design are addressed, but the focus is on ecology and sustainable land management. While not explicitly a permaculture guide, Northwest includes useful information about topics such as composting, solar energy, and wildlife habitats. Although the plant recommendations are most appropriate for the Northwest, gardeners throughout the United States will find Albers’s book useful and informative. It is an especially appropriate book for someone who is considering becoming more hands-on with garden or yard care, and wants to understand how a person or community can affect positive ecological change.

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Pass it on… Preservation Week with the LuEsther T. Mertz Library!

Posted in From the Library on April 23 2018, by Samantha D’Acunto

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


Map during treatment - lining 2
A map being treated in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library

This Preservation Week, we would like to highlight the wonderful work our conservation team does to ensure the longevity and care of the library collections. Caring for a collection as extensive as the LuEsther T. Mertz Library’s requires focus, consistency, precision, and passion. But first, you are probably wondering—what is Preservation Week? The American Library Association says it best:

“ALA encourages libraries and other institutions to use Preservation Week to connect our communities through events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections.”

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Timber Press Gets a Bird’s-Eye View

Posted in From the Library on April 18 2018, 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.


Aerial GeologyAerial Geology: A High-Altitude Tour of North America’s Spectacular Volcanoes, Canyons, Glaciers, Lakes, Craters, and Peaks is a beautiful book by Mary Caperton Morton for Timber Press. Continuing with the publisher’s trend to offer more books on ecological and non-botanical scientific topics, Aerial Geology focuses, as the title states, on geology, the science of the earth’s physical structure and substance.

After a brief introduction to the discipline of geology, Caperton Morton showcases 100 “geological wonders” in North America arranged by geographic region, shot from above. Sometimes the prospect of domestic tourism seems daunting, but Caperton Morton is here to remind readers about the incredible North American landscape as a way of encouragement. Aerial Geology includes geological history and information about each feature, offering readers a richer understanding of the landscape than a coffee table book would provide. However, it must be said that the most eye-catching aspect of the book is its glorious photographs.

Although written for adults, Aerial Geology is the kind of book that science-minded young readers of a more advanced level would also enjoy. For all readers, Aerial Geology offers an introduction to geology and a reminder that these spectacular landscapes are, if not just around the corner, relatively close to home.

Eat Neat & Budget Better

Posted in From the Library on April 10 2018, 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.


Budget WiseThe Budget-Wise Gardener: With Hundreds of Money-Saving Buying & Design Tips for Planting the Best for Less is a new book by Kerry Ann Mendez with St. Lynn’s Press. Mendez holds class in the “Academy of Shrewd Plant Hunters” teaching readers how to purchase great plants for less, delving into topics including how to find good plant sources, design ideas with low-cost, high-performance plants, and container gardening on a budget. The information in Budget-Wise is presented in a conversational way, and the book is especially useful for those who are looking for advice about questions to ask and what to look for when purchasing plants from a store or online. Mendez’s advice about plant selection is useful for those who are on a budget and for those who are simply interested in learning more about buying plants. A great deal of the information is common sense for those who already regularly purchase plants, but the book is a good resource filled with information and tips, and even experienced gardeners may take away a new idea or two.

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Get Informed About Insects with New Children’s Titles

Posted in From the Library on April 6 2018, by Samantha D’Acunto

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


The WormIt’s almost time to begin welcoming our insect friends back into our gardens! The LuEsther T. Mertz Library has new titles in our children’s circulating collection that will help readers of all ages learn more about bees, slugs, worms, and butterflies. All titles below are available for checkout for NYBG library cardholders. Get ready for spring with these new books!

The Disgusting Critters series by Canadian author and illustrator Elsie Gravel sheds a new perspective on worms, slugs, and other critters. Deep down in the soil, you may encounter the worm. Worms are beneficial to gardens, as they provide nutrients for plants and aerate the soil. In The Worm, readers will learn all about the different types of worms, their habitats, and their anatomy. Much of the book is dedicated to the most well-known worm, the earthworm. The playful language Gravel uses to explain scientific concepts and vocabulary is perfect for readers who may be new to reading or new to the subject! Similarly, The Slug highlights the wonders of the underappreciated mollusk with the same humor, color, and science as the other books in the series. Readers will begin to greet worms and slugs with enthusiasm after reading Gravel’s books.

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