Inside The New York Botanical Garden

From the Library

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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The Return of Topiary

Posted in From the Library on April 3 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.


TopiaryTopiary is back! Or maybe it never really left. In Topiary, Knots and Parterres, author Caroline Foley writes about the history of these garden features and how they are utilized in contemporary landscapes.

Published by Pimpernel Press in association with the European Boxwood and Topiary Society, the book gives a comprehensive account of topiary as art and landscape. Presented chronologically, Topiary takes readers from the Patrician Gardens of Rome (AD 79–476) to the art forms and landscape designs envisioned and created by 21st-century gardeners. For those who love formal gardens, topiaries, knots, and parterres feel like familiar friends in new and historic landscapes. Foley, who has edited Topiarius—the pan-European journal of the European Boxwood and Topiary Society—for the past twelve years, covers much ground and provides readers with an excellent book. For those who love topiary or those who want to learn more about its usage in the landscape, historic and contemporary, Topiary, Knots and Parterres is a wonderful resource and engaging work.

Scholars of landscape design history will also appreciate the many historic designs and gardens featured in the book; the LuEsther T. Mertz Library here at NYBG holds many of the historic garden works featured in Topiary. Readers who are curious about historic garden design works at NYBG can learn more about these books in Flora Illustrata: Great Works from the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of The New York Botanical Garden, edited by Susan M. Fraser and Vanessa Bezemer Sellers and published in 2014.

 

The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables

Posted in From the Library on March 27 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.


Anne of Green GablesAnne Shirley, protagonist of Anne of Green Gables, has been a beloved literary favorite since the book was first published in 1908. In The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables: the Enchanting Island that Inspired L. M. Montgomery, author Catherine Reid takes readers on a journey through Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, the home of both Anne and Montgomery. A creative writer by trade, Reid at times focuses on Anne and her story, and at other points turns attention to Montgomery and her life. In many ways, Montgomery’s life was similar to Anne’s, although Anne of Green Gables is a work of fiction. Still, both the author and the character were immersed in the landscapes of PEI, as Reid illustrates. The journey that The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables takes readers on through the island, including both outdoor and indoor spaces, is reminiscent of Marta McDowell’s works, such as her recent book The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder : The Frontier Landscapes That Inspired the Little House Books.

In Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables, noteworthy plants are detailed alongside historic photos and select archival documents, and the overall design of the work is quite compelling. The photographs, in particular, are very evocative. Ultimately, The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables is a sweet book appropriate for those who wish to take a visual journey through PEI or learn more about a beloved childhood book.

Discover the Lives of Birds, Bats, & More from Arbordale

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

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


Bat CountNew titles from Arbordale Publishing have joined the children’s collection in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library! The titles featured below offer a perfect balance of education and entertainment with colorful illustrations, engaging storylines, and learning activities. All new titles are available for check out for library cardholders.

Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story by Anna Forrester / Illustrated by Susan Detwiler

Jojo and her family have always welcomed bats into their barn. It was not until a newspaper published a story about a disease that effected bats called white-nose syndrome that Jojo and her family decide to become citizen scientists and conduct a bat count. Throughout the years, they have noticed a drop in the number of bats they spot flying around their barn. Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story invites readers for an evening bat count with Jojo and her family. Read about bat facts, white-nose syndrome, and how to become a citizen scientist in the additional pages toward the end of the story! Bat Count is one of the selections for the National Science Teachers Association 2018 Outstanding Science Trade Books, as it is a wonderful way to encourage middle grade readers to explore and engage in science for fun.

If you do not have the opportunity to observe bats near your home consider taking a bat walk! Last autumn, staff at the NYBG Everett Children’s Adventure Garden hosted bat walks in collaboration with the Organization for Bat Conservation. Join us at future events! In the meantime, check your local bat or wildlife organization to find bat walks in your area.

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Interactive Reads from Charlesbridge

Posted in From the Library on March 9 2018, by Samantha D’Acunto

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


Plant Eat CookWinter is ending and warmer days are ahead of us. It’s time to spring out of your winter reading habits and practice being an active reader! The titles below from Charlesbridge publishing will inspire you to get up and get out with a book in hand.

With all the excitement going around about the opening of the Edible Academy, the LuEsther T. Mertz Library was very happy to receive a first look at Plant, Cook, Eat! by Joe Archer and Caroline Craig. Expect to see this book hit the shelves this month!

For all aspiring young chefs, Plant, Cook, Eat! is a wonderful invitation to explore the farm-to-table movement in a DIY fashion. Authors Joe Archer and Caroline Craig set readers up for success! Sections cover everything from seeds to harvest. Learn about composting, necessary tools to have handy, garden maintenance, including pest and daily chores, and finally harvesting your vegetables for meals. Additional growing information is provided about select vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, and more. Plant, Cook, Eat! offers guidance for growing vegetables in all spaces—whether you are growing indoors or outdoors, in a backyard or in a container, you will have the information and confidence you need to yield results.

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“Worms Eat My Garbage” Turns 35

Posted in From the Library on February 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.


Worms Eat My GarbageWorms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up and Maintain a Worm Composting System is a classic book about home composting written more than 35 years ago and now in its third edition. For this new edition, author Joanne Olszewski remains true to the style of the original author Mary Appelhof, but adds new scientific data and contemporary research about vermicomposting—or composting with worms.

Worms Eat My Garbage is an informative book that includes the most practical, accessible information about how to set up and care for a home worm bin. At just under 200 pages and written in the first person, it’s a friendly yet powerful reference resource for those who are thinking about starting a worm bin, trying to figure out how best to care for an existing bin, or just want to learn more about the practice of vermicomposting. Because the book is written in simple language and contains many helpful diagrams it is accessible to children and adults, and would also be very valuable for teachers.

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The Less is More Garden

Posted in From the Library on January 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.


The Less is More GardenThe Less is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing Your Small Yard by Susan Morrison for Timber Press delivers what it promises—big ideas!

Very few of us have the perfect backyard or garden. In fact, most people who have outdoor spaces to garden are probably “tormented” to various extents by peculiarities of their yards. If part of the problem is related to space—too little of it, say, or an oddly-shaped plot—Morrison’s designs might be just what you need to find a solution.

Morrison’s designs are, as Steve Aitken notes in his foreword, enviable. They are tasteful, practical, and beautiful. How does she accomplish these spaces? Although site analysis is a crucial part of garden design, Morrison starts with three simple questions. What will you be doing in the garden? When will you be outside? Who will be with you? With user experience in mind, Morrison crafts spaces readers can easily imagine themselves entering.

For readers new to garden design, Morrison mostly offers inspiration. More experienced designers will be able to learn from Morrison’s designs and gain practical ideas about how to use space—not just small or oddly-shaped areas but all shapes and sizes—to best effect in a garden.

In design, constraints such as limited space often inspire creative solutions and great ideas. Morrison’s work is evidence of this premise, although I suspect she would shine in any setting.