Nothing drives home the sheer enormity of our latest exhibition, Manolo Valdés:Monumental Sculpture, like seeing it built from the ground up. Over the course of two weeks, dozens of people and at least a few multi-ton machines were on the scene to put the final strokes on a work many, many months in the making. Naturally, we couldn’t pass up capturing some video.
From the first sketch put to paper in Valdés’ Manhattan studio, to the foundry in Madrid, and back across the 4,000 miles separating Spain and New York City, this production has proven nothing short of a massive undertaking. Carrying the collection of sculptures from the docks required a fleet of seven flatbed trucks. Once at the Garden, towering cranes were called in, gingerly rolling onto our lawns to settle each piece into its chosen site. And at 50 feet across and weighing nearly 20 tons, shipping any one of these sculptures as a single piece was out of the question; assembly called for even more precision cranework, with muscle on the ground to ensure everything was arranged to specification.
We’re back in the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden this week to check in with Assistant Manager Annie Novak and the busy cast of pollinators keeping our flowers in business!
As one of the experienced caretakers behind the success of our beehives, she’s our go-to source for all things buzzing (and fluttering, for that matter; we’d never think to leave out the monarch butterflies). It doesn’t hurt that she rocks a beekeeping suit like no other. And while we like to leave the actual hands-on apiculture duties to our Family Garden staff, you’re welcome to join them for “Pollinator Pals,” running now through October 5 from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. daily.
Another bright spot on our radar: Mario Batali’s Edible Gardening Festival! If you think of “food” as one of your action words, and a day spent cavorting around Mario’s Kitchen Gardens is your idea of a Sunday well-spent (it’s definitely ours), be here September 23 for cooking demonstrations, a packed schedule of garden fun, and–best of all–a four-course meal prepared and served by the great chef himself. There are different tickets for different events during the festival, all of them going quickly, so be sure to see what’s available beforehand.
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.
Skip your morning affair with the everything bagel and get to the root of summer’s freshest garlic and onions! As Assistant Manager of the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, Annie Novak’s got a direct line to the most basic of foodie cravings–a knack for not only raising all things allium, but putting them through their paces in the kitchen. So if you happen to catch a whiff of this pungent pair as you wander the NYBG between now and the end of the month, simply “follow your nose” to our Sweet and Stinky events.
That’s just what we were doing when we found Annie hard at work in the Family Garden yesterday, tending to the herbs and alliums that star in this flavorful summertime activity. But she can explain the fun of Sweet and Stinky far better than I can, as you’ll see below. Just think of it as a double whammy: you’ll have something to engage your kids while they’re out of school, and they’ll be trying new things in our one-acre vegetable garden to boot.
Claude Monet’s careful brush strokes have intrigued art critics, collectors, and museum-goers for well over a century, yet the masterworks seen on canvas exceed simple impressions of nature’s vistas. From his admiration for Japanese landscape painters to his tours through the tulip fields of Holland, Monet’s experiences directly influenced his creations–both in paint and within the trellised borders of Giverny. And few so thoroughly understand the nuances of the man behind the palette like Professor Paul Hayes Tucker.
The world’s foremost Monet scholar, Professor Tucker joins The New York Botanical Garden as the esteemed curator of Monet’s Garden, celebrating the life of the master painter and gardener while bringing to light a career spent in pursuit of art’s highest achievements. Here he presents a brief journey, walking us through a story hidden within the subtleties of Monet’s artwork–that of an Impressionist with an ever evolving sense of what art could (or should) be.
As NYBG horticulturists preen the nasturtiums and primp the poppies, we draw closer to the opening of the year’s most spectacular exhibition. Monet’s Garden goes live this weekend! And just in time for our grand opening, we’re putting the finishing accents on the scenery that makes Monet’s Giverny a destination for gardeners and art aficionados the world over.
Karen Daubmann, Director of Exhibitions and Seasonal Displays, gives us a rare peek at the behind-the-scenes efforts taking place under the glass of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. But by the time you visit the NYBG on Saturday, what you see below will have come a long way. Claude Monet’s garden has always bridged the gap between untamed art and flawless design; we think you’ll see that our homage is taking things in the right direction.
Creating a masterpiece takes more than simple inspiration. It requires preparation–arranging each color and readying the canvas. And as with a painting, Monet’s Garden at the NYBG is a work of art with as much going on behind the scenes as happens in the open.
Marc Hachadourian, Manager of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections, takes us through the expansive collection of delphiniums, poppies, nasturtiums and other flowers that will soon embody our homage to Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny. Months of careful tending in specialized growing environments have allowed us to tease the flowers into bloom all at once, re-creating the artist’s living muse at its kaleidoscopic peak. But you won’t have to wait that long to see them.
If you haven’t reserved your tickets yet, get to our ticket page! The doors to the French master’s private paradise open to New York on May 19.
To punctuate the beauty of the tenth annual Orchid Show with a glimpse of the prismatic flower pageant taking place outdoors, Friend of the Garden Jim Franco was generous enough to share some of his latest video footage with us. The man clearly has a knack for capturing just what it is that embodies the perfect spring day (and I can say without question that today is one of those days–the packed tour trams are a pretty good indicator if the blue skies aren’t enough).
There are so many flowers bursting to life throughout the Garden that we’re almost having trouble keeping track of them all. But that’s our job. All you have to do is show up, explore, and take in spring’s colors.
The 10th annual Orchid Show may be the most alluring exhibition in the northeast, but the vivid, climbing blooms under the glass of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory are surely complemented by the stunning landscape just beyond the doors. Arriving weeks earlier than expected, a new season is sweeping across The New York Botanical Garden, waking the sublime flowers and foliage that make spring in the Bronx the most memorable time to visit!
Join NYBG President Gregory Long as he tours the grounds, stopping in to see the jewel-like miniature orchids and tropical jade vines of the Conservatory before setting out across a Garden in colorful transformation. You won’t believe how quickly our outdoor collections have burst into life with the first hints of warm weather. From the soft white petals of the Kobus magnolia to the delightful fragrances of the Rock Garden‘s petite blossoms, The New York Botanical Garden’s season of renewal is already well underway.
The Garden’s many diverse landscapes will only grow more dazzling as we move further into this early spring. If you haven’t already picked up your tickets for the Orchid Show, be sure to reserve them soon. And when the day comes, feel free to explore! The beauty of New York City is here.