Let’s just say it’s not your everyday cubicle. The grids of Victorian glass and arching metal framework make for a view you’ll never find behind drawstring blinds. Come to think of it, desktop computers have a rough time with the falling mist in the rain forest houses, too. But as Manager of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Christian Primeau’s workspace is as much an office as yours or mine. Just bigger, brighter, and more…flush with growing life. For our part, we make do in the Library Building with a potted basil plant, and one or two ferns to hold down the window sill. But that’s not to say a novelty cactus is your last hope for office decor!
Instead, take a hint from the Tumblr crowd’s fascination with these living bubbles and get involved with terrariums; it’s like having a mini conservatory sitting on your desk, and you don’t even have to get a permit to run hose attachments into the building.
There’s a notion floating around that growing water lilies is a hobby best left to conservatory curators and nursery managers. Maybe it’s driven by the fact that Nymphaea are so alien to what the average home gardener is comfortable working with; aquatic plants are a far cry from the ever present office philodendron. Or maybe it’s because Claude Monet built an entire artistic movement on the exploration of their fragile elegance. “I’d have to refinance my house to dig that!” you think, looking at Giverny’s carefully-arranged water lily pond.
Relax. You won’t even need a trowel, much less a construction team with a backhoe.
As we slip into the late summer height of our water lily display, Christian Primeau–Manager of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory–is ready to share a few key pointers with Nymphaea hopefuls. All you’ll need is a basic soil blend, some pea gravel, a large container, and a spot in or around your house with full sun exposure.
The Children’s Gardening Program at the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden gives kids ages 3-12 a chance to team-up to plant, tend and harvest their very own plot in the Garden. But that’s only half of the story — of course the most fun part is eating all of that homegrown produce!
Stop by the Family Garden to enjoy cooking demonstrations throughout the week, offering simple but delicious ideas on how to take advantage of our garden’s bounty. Our hands-on activities will help you to remember that growing, preparing and eating good food needs to be FUN!
All this month, the gardening fun in the Family Garden focuses on plants that are pickled. Enjoy the harvest of fresh cucumbers by making your own pickles to take home. For a rundown of what’s happening now, check the “plan your visit” section of our website.
Here’s a short video featuring two of the amazing staff members in the Family Garden, Rachel and Annie, showing you one of the easiest dishes around – a simple herb confetti. But as you’ll see, harvesting and preparing the dish is almost more fun than eating it!
Rich has an upcoming class that will be based out of our Midtown Education Center but will take photo trips to the High Line Park. Be sure to sign up while spots are still available. The flora should be amazing in May!
Do you have a burning question garden photography question that we can pose to Rich? Maybe your question will turn into the next tutorial! You can leave your suggestions in the comments.