Plant Talk

Exploring the science of plants, from the field to the lab

Plein-Air’s Greatest Paint the Garden

Posted in Video on June 16 2016, by Matt Newman

Plein-Air InvitationalThis Sunday, June 19, we’re opening our gates to a cadre of some of the finest out-of-doors painters the region has to offer during our Plein-Air Invitational—over 20 plein-air artists who will set up their canvases across grounds and look to our 250 acres for inspiration.

Among them is James Gurney, one of our area’s leading artists and a nationally recognized painter whose work you might’ve caught during the opening weekend of our Impressionism: American Gardens on Canvas exhibition. If you weren’t so lucky to see him in May, now is your chance to see the master in action. You can find a full list of participating artists here, and we invite everyone to visit their personal websites after the Invitational and it was amazing to see his following, some might even say he needs to buy views on Instagram to grow it even more—they’ll be selling the works they create!

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All Aboard for the Final Weeks of the Holiday Train Show!

Posted in Video on January 4 2016, by Matt Newman

Holiday Train ShowWe’re into 2016, now, and though winter’s been slow to wake since December, we’re finally starting to see a dip in the thermometer–I even saw some flurries on the way in this morning! With thoughts of snow on our minds, and the Holiday Train Show keeping up the cheer through January 18, it’s a great time to visit the Garden and make your holidays last.

This month features more Bar Car Nights for adults, the start of All Aboard with Thomas & Friends mini-performances for kids, and plenty of tours—both indoor and out—to take advantage of during this interesting season of transition. Check out the video below for more info on what to expect during the final weeks of our holiday exhibition!

Explore What’s Wonderful in Summer at NYBG

Posted in Gardens and Collections, Video, What's Beautiful Now on August 11 2015, by Lansing Moore

The summer season is at its height here at NYBG, with plenty of seasonal beauty appearing each week. In this latest video, our own Brian Sullivan, Vice President for Gardens, Landscape and Outdoor Collections, highlights some of the gorgeous flowers of summer that visitors can admire in the Native Plant Garden and the Perennial Garden.

Escape the heat with a pleasant walk beneath the shaded canopy of the Thain Family Forest, admire the dramatic waterlilies and lotus blossoms adorning the Conservatory Pools, and be sure to plan your visit on a day with activities and tours for the whole family!

Take a Sneak Peek at The Orchid Show: Chandeliers

Posted in Exhibitions, Video on February 19 2015, by Lansing Moore

In less than two weeks, a beloved annual exhibition returns to the Garden in a dramatic new form as The Orchid Show: Chandeliers. For its 13th year, The Orchid Show is taking over every gallery in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory with a series of hanging installations of living chandeliers. Check out the exclusive teaser trailer below for a first look at the hundreds of the many colorful and fragrant species that will be on display!

Bring a Piece of the Garden Home With You

Posted in Shop/Book Reviews, Video on January 16 2015, by Lansing Moore

Ivan BraunIn NYBG’s latest Artist’s Spotlight video, join the talented woodcarver Ivan Braun as he guides you through his artistic process. You may recognize Ivan from his live woodcarving demonstrations at the Garden as part of Fall Forest Weekends, but what you may not know is that his beautiful bowls and vases are made from the fallen trees on NYBG’s own grounds.

The winter storm season sees a lot of felled trees and branches, but rather than send these pieces of NYBG’s world-renowned tree collection straight to the chipper, Ivan gives new life to these beautiful and unique woods that span the globe, carving them into elegant and unique bowls that are available for purchase right here at Shop in the Garden! Peruse a selection of Ivan’s latest handiwork and bring home a souvenir of your Garden visit that is truly one-of-a-kind. Watch the video below to see the craftsman in action.

Bar Car Nights: See the Holiday Train Show After Dark

Posted in Exhibitions, Video on December 3 2014, by Lansing Moore

Enid Haupt Conservatory lights at night Holiday Train ShowWith Bar Car Nights, adults enjoy access to the Holiday Train Show® alongside delicious cocktails, seasonal treats, and live entertainment, all beneath the glow of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory‘s colorful evening lights. Our latest Garden News video with Kevin Character takes viewers into the Haupt Conservatory after dark during one of these intimate events.

See what’s in store for our eight remaining Bar Car Nights and hear from visitors on what they love most about the Holiday Train Show® in the clip below. This year features more Bar Car Nights than ever, so reserve your tickets today! MasterCard cardholders also enjoy free access to a champagne pre-party in Shop in the Garden on select nights, but spots won’t stick around forever. Reserve now!

A Bit of Scientific History Takes Root at NYBG

Posted in Video on November 3 2014, by Lansing Moore

neil degrasse tyson apple tree nybg todd forrest
Todd Forrest with Neil deGrasse Tyson

The New York Botanical Garden recently received a very special gift from none other than Neil deGrasse Tyson—a sapling, grown from a cutting of Sir Isaac Newton’s famous apple tree! The astrophysicist and host of the hit series Cosmos has his own roots here in the Bronx, so when Dr. Tyson came into possession of this very unique specimen (and found it impractical to keep an apple tree in his New York City apartment), he kindly thought of NYBG as a good home for this special little tree.

As the legend goes, Newton was first inspired to develop his law of universal gravitation when an apple from his ‘Flower of Kent’ apple tree fell on his head. Like so many legends, the truth is less dramatic. In this video below commemorating his visit to NYBG, Tyson explains that Newton was observing apples fall from the tree while noticing the moon in the sky. This image may be less comical, but it is nonetheless humbling to be brought so close to one of history’s greatest scientific advancements through a living plant—and a humble sapling no less!

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Inside Ray Villafane’s Apocalyptic Zombie Carving

Posted in Exhibitions, Video on October 22 2014, by Lansing Moore

Ray Villafane Zombie carving The Haunted Pumpkin GardenLast weekend was our Pumpkin Carving Weekend with Ray Villafane, and the Master Carver himself executed a massive pumpkin sculpture, after his own design, with the help of his crack team. The fruits—or gourds—of his labor are on display through October 31 as part of The Haunted Pumpkin Garden.

In case you missed the opportunity to see Ray’s zombie carving come to life, we have a video with Ray himself taking you through the process of carving his pumpkin sculpture for NYBG. The end result is a bone-chilling zombie climbing out of a 1700-pound pumpkin! Check out the installation this weekend as part of our annual Award-Winning Giant Pumpkin Display, or for the full Halloween experience get tickets to one of our upcoming Spooky Nighttime Adventures and see Ray’s creation fully illuminated for the first time in his four years working with the Garden.

Weird, Wild, & Wonderful Exhibition Extended to October 26!

Posted in Exhibitions on October 2 2014, by Joyce Newman

Capparidastrum sola  Ann S. Hoffenberg
“While wandering around the lowland Peruvian Amazon rainforest, I came across this unique and intriguing seedpod dangling from a long stem.”
Capparidastrum sola © Ann S. Hoffenberg

Weird, Wild, and Wonderful, the stunning botanical art exhibit in the Ross Gallery, has been extended through October 26. This exhibition invites artists from around the world to seek out visually unusual plants and create works of art that celebrate the bizarre—yet beautiful—flora of the world. From 240 submissions, members of the American Society of Botanical Artists selected 46 works created by 45 artists from the U.S., Australia, Canada, India, Japan, and the U.K.

According to NYBG instructor and botanical artist Dick Rauh, the show’s emphasis is definitely on the “weird.” He writes, “There are certain botanical categories that provide us with almost limitless examples of strange-looking plants.” He mentions “the parasites,” such as the white stalks of Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora) and the “evil-looking” Hydnora africana, also known as Jackal Food.

Other weird plants that Rauh notes include insectivorous plants, fungi, ferns, and those plants whose size would qualify as unusual, such as “the two-foot-wide inflorescence of the onion Allium giganteum, the huge bloom of Stapelia giganea, or living stones (Lithops spp.)—a rare example of floral camouflage. Many of these plants are featured in a gorgeous 76-page catalog of the artwork in the show, available in the Shop in the Garden.

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This Thursday: Kiku Takes Over the Conservatory

Posted in Exhibitions, Exhibitions, Kiku, Video on September 30 2014, by Lansing Moore

KikuThis Thursday is the opening of Kiku: The Art of the Japanese Garden, NYBG‘s stunning tribute to Japan’s most celebrated fall flower, the chrysanthemum—or kiku. For many months, NYBG’s specially trained experts have been painstakingly cultivating hundreds of Japanese chrysanthemum flowers along frames in a variety of traditional and contemporary styles. Masters of the art of kiku can coax hundreds of blossoms from a single stem. The end result will debut in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory on October 2, when these flowers blossom simultaneously to create showstopping displays.

NYBG will offer a variety of programs throughout the run of this special exhibit, from weekends dedicated to bonsai and ikebana to a special Japanese Pop-Up Restaurant in the Garden Café. Below, enjoy a behind-the-scenes, time-lapse video showing the progress of one of our kiku displays: the monumental ozukuri.