Inside The New York Botanical Garden


Holiday Plants: A Two-Sided Coin

Posted in Uncategorized on December 25 2011, by Matt Newman

HollyAfter putting together my story on poinsettia the other day, I realized that there’s more to seasonal decor than a few colorful leaves. There are quite obviously berries, too–red and white–and boughs of pine woven into wreaths and garland. Of course there’s the classic Christmas tree. Frankincense, myrrh. Growing things have made their way into every nook and cranny of this decidedly green and red season.

But as with every decoration, every tradition, there’s a backstory to be dug up. I decided to tackle a few of these plants topically with the “poinsettia treatment,” and came up with some interesting results.

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Video Tip of the Week: Simple Autumn Centerpieces

Posted in Uncategorized on November 2 2010, by Sonia Uyterhoeven

Sonia Uyterhoeven is Gardener for Public Education. Join her each weekend for home gardening demonstrations on a variety of topics in the Home Gardening Center.

Join The New York Botanical Garden’s Sonia Uyterhoeven as she shows off some easy and simple tips for your home and garden. In this installment Sonia showcases some easy and quick botanical ideas for autumn inspired centerpieces.

You can always ask Sonia (or our other gardening experts) your own questions online.

A Few of Our Favorite Things

Posted in Shop/Book Reviews, Uncategorized on October 27 2010, by Plant Talk

Ann Rafalko is Director of Online Content.

It seems hard to believe, but the holidays really are just around the corner. We love the holidays here at The New York Botanical Garden. The holidays mean the return of one of New York City’s most cherished family traditions, The Holiday Train Show in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. It also means the arrival of beautiful new goodies at the Shop in the Garden, and on the Shop’s website. The selection of gifts in the Shop this holiday season is all about favorites, but they’re not just ours. We’re inviting some of the Garden’s most stylish, culinarily-minded, crafty, and green-thumbed friends to share a few of their favorite things with you!

So, take a spin around the Shop, whether in person while you’re visiting the giant pumpkins this weekend, or virtually. And if you happen to spot something that you’d like to call your favorite, you can use the “Tell A Friend” feature to give Santa a gentle hint.

So watch this space to see what some of your favorite bloggers will be giving as gifts this holiday season!

In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite things.

Get a jump-start on your holiday shopping list with a few recommendations below.

For Earth Day: A New Effort in Composting

Posted in Uncategorized on April 22 2010, by Plant Talk

You Are Part of the Solution in the Garden’s Cafe Waste Program

Daniel Avery is Sustainability and Climate Change Program Manager at The New York Botanical Garden.

Every day New York City’s households and not-for-profits that receive waste handling services from the City of New York such as The New York Botanical Garden generate about 12,000 tons of garbage and recyclables that must be hauled away by trucks to distant landfills and incinerators. The city’s businesses contribute an additional 10 million tons per year of garbage, recyclables, construction waste, and fill material.

Of the 11,500 tons per day of so-called municipal waste, about 36 percent is recyclable material as designated under the city’s current recycling program. That means that, even if every accepted item was recycled, there would still be almost 7,360 tons of waste a day to get rid of.

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Tip of the Week: Compost, Mulch, and Good Soil Practices

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19 2010, by Sonia Uyterhoeven

Sonia Uyterhoeven is Gardener for Public Education. Join her each weekend for home gardening demonstrations on a variety of topics in the Home Gardening Center.

This week we’ll celebrate Earth Day by focusing on sustainable practices. In the Home Gardening Center from Thursday through Sunday we’ll present demonstrations on composting, compost teas, vermicomposting, and vegetable gardening.

You can greatly improve your soil by adding compost to your garden, as I wrote in last week’s blog.

Compost can be added any time, but is usually applied in the spring and often repeated in the fall after garden cleanup. Spread a half-inch to an inch of compost around your trees, shrubs, and perennials, on your lawn, and in your annuals and vegetable gardens. In established gardens, spread the compost on top of the soil, where it will eventually seep into the ground below; or you can lightly fork it over. This will improve the first 6–15 inches.

Shredded leaves are a cheap and easy way to add organic matter to your garden. They decompose quickly and add nutrients to the soil. To shred the leaves, run your lawn mower over them or use a leaf shredder. Leaves that aren’t shredded take longer to break down and if too thick can become matted, impenetrable clumps. Remember to use caution when using a leaf shredder or any powered equipment. Avoid wearing dangling scarves or loose clothing.

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Treat Your Valentine to a Romantic Day at the Garden

Posted in Uncategorized on February 12 2010, by Plant Talk

Stroll the warm greenhouses of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, take a winter walk in the 50-acre Forest, cuddle up on a brisk Tram Tour (weather permitting), pick out a gift at Shop in the Garden, and hold hands over a cup of hot chocolate in the cafe. Then go for a wonderful Italian dinner on Arthur Avenue.

The New York Botanical Garden is waiting for you and your Valentine this holiday weekend. The New York Times and the Daily News both list the Garden as among the most romantic places in the city.

Come see for yourself. And then let us know the best spot in the Garden for stealing a kiss!

Plan Your Weekend: Holiday Train Show Opens!

Posted in Exhibitions, Holiday Train Show, Uncategorized on November 20 2009, by Plant Talk

Excitement Builds Waiting to See Show for First Time  

Laura Collier is Marketing Associate at The New York Botanical Garden.

_DSC9408Ah, yes. The first month of a new job. So many exciting possibilities, but also so many questions! I just moved to New York City and just started at The New York Botanical Garden, so there certainly is a lot to learn. Since my first day, I’ve been happy to be thrown right into the mix, learning quickly about the Garden, the events, collections, location of the lunchroom—the general “first-week 101.”

It’s an especially busy time here, preparing for the huge Holiday Train Show, which opens this weekend. It’s been interesting to see how much the staff and volunteers look forward to this event. Whenever someone mentions the Holiday Train Show, their voice changes a bit. When they find out that I’ve never been to the show, they immediately drop what they are doing to tell me about how beautiful the Conservatory looks when it’s all decorated and lit up or about their favorite landmark replica, like Yankee Stadium or the Brooklyn Bridge. Maybe they even mention that they secretly like The Little Engine That Could™ Puppet Show and that they are glad to have a 3-year-old nephew to use as an excuse to see it again this year. (Don’t worry; your secret is safe with me.)

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Visitor Center Revisited: Among New York’s “Coolest” Structures

Posted in Uncategorized on November 12 2009, by Plant Talk

Designer Takes Fresh Look at Its Matured Melding with Landscape

Hugh Hardy of H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, was the principal designer of The New York Botanical Garden’s Leon Levy Visitor Center, which opened in 2004 and was included in the recently published book, 101 Cool Buildings: The Best of New York City Architecture 1999–2009.

NYBG_Visitor_19Appropriately enough, the original 19th-century entrance to The New York Botanical Garden was located by the railroad station. This was logical for the time; from there pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages could explore a landscape that stretched out before them to the south. Passing by an impressive axial view of the Library building, framed by a broad allée of tulip trees, this roadway connects directly with the axis of the new Visitor Center. This second access point is more centrally located, with a parking lot for cars and buses. It is focused on a broad walkway of bluestone paving blocks that leads to a small fountain and reflecting pool where open views of the surrounding landscape present an extraordinary collection of trees, offering a tantalizing promise of exploration.

The intent of the new Visitor Center was to make a place where the Garden is revealed and discovered in all its seasonal variety, not to create a place embellished by buildings. First-time visitors can enter here, learn about the large extent of the Garden’s various collections and displays, rendezvous with each other, enjoy refreshments or investigate the gift shop. It is surprising to see how quickly a talented staff has made the bookstore and plant shop a destination in their own right.

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Eating Local in the Big Apple

Posted in Uncategorized on July 22 2009, by Plant Talk

Leda Meredith holds a Certificate in Ethnobotany from the Botanical Garden, is author of Botany, Ballet, & Dinner from Scratch: A Memoir with Recipes, and hosts her own blog, Leda’s Urban Homestead.

leda&beetsmedWhen I set out to eat almost exclusively food grown within 250 miles of New York City, I had a lot of questions. I knew that eating a local-foods diet would reduce my carbon footprint as well as support small local farms and the local economy. I knew from my visits to farmers markets and from growing vegetables in a community garden how fabulous fresh food picked at its peak could be. But…

All of the other locavores I’d read about, including Barbara Kingsolver and Michael Pollan, had advantages over me when it came to eating local. They lived in a mild climate with a longer agricultural season, or had huge gardens or even farms. What I wanted to find out was could it be done by someone living in a tiny apartment on a limited budget, and with a hectic, multi-employer urban lifestyle? And what would I eat in winter?

I discovered that it is completely possible to eat a deliciously varied and healthy local foods diet in NYC without breaking the bank or requiring a 28-hour day. Local, organic food can be pricey, but it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to make a local foods diet almost as convenient as picking up the phone to order takeout or delivery.

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