Plant Talk

Inside The New York Botanical Garden

The Tying of the ‘Ozukuri’ Kiku

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on October 25 2019, by Matt Newman

Kiku is back—starting today.

The ‘Ozukuri’ style of kiku is the apex of this Japanese craft, transforming a single-stemmed chrysanthemum into a mountain of individually trained flowers that truly justifies the translation of its name: “Thousand Bloom.” See how our expert horticulturists spend 11 months each year creating this living spectacle.

Break Out Your Bike for the Tour de Bronx

Posted in Around the Garden on October 23 2019, by Matt Newman

Photo of a bike in fallUpdate: Due to inclement weather predicted for Sunday, the Tour de Bronx has been cancelled.

With the fall chill entering the air, that’s your signal to break out your bike—the Tour de Bronx is back this Sunday, October 27, and everyone’s welcome to register.

Each year, we’re proud to participate in the Tour, a beloved borough bicycle event with both 25- and 40-mile routes that takes riders on a scenic trip through much of the Bronx, with different highlights for each route. Established in 1994 by the office of the Bronx Borough President and The Bronx Tourism Council, the event has grown year on year to become the largest free cycling event in New York State—and each year it ends right here at NYBG.

Picking the 25-mile route takes you through the south, east, and mid portions of the borough, including the Mott Haven district, Clason Point along the East River, and Pelham Bay Park, a green NYC gem with 3,000 acres of forest. On the 40-mile route, you’ll pass historic Fort Schuyler on the Throggs Neck Peninsula, visit City Island’s maritime community, and hit the northern areas of the borough like Woodlawn and Riverdale.

Both paths ultimately bring you here to the Garden, the long-time finish line for the tour where you’ll celebrate your ride with treats, live music, mingling with your fellow riders, and a free T-shirt to remember your accomplishment. We’ll also be giving away tickets to the premiere of the Chorus for the Forest by Angélica Negrón, November 2 & 3 here in our Thain Forest.

It all happens this Sunday, October 27, and there’s still time to register. Head through for more information and we’ll see you on the road!

Palm Dome Restoration: Fall Update

Posted in Video on October 23 2019, by Matt Newman

The Haupt Conservatory houses living collections, from soaring tropical palms to unique desert cacti—and it’s also a living machine, with systems and processes to keep these plants thriving. Check out today’s story to see how we’re restoring its iconic palm dome to ensure this complex and beautiful structure continues to protect our important plants from around the world.

During the palm dome restoration, most of the Conservatory remains open for you to explore.

What’s Beautiful Now: Hordes of Gourds

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on October 18 2019, by Matt Newman

Large, lumpy, warty, and weird—the hordes of pumpkins and gourds in our Spooky Pumpkin Garden come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. And their names are just as strange! Take a peek at a few of the many varieties calling the Garden home right now, and visit to explore their incredible diversity.

Curcurbita pepo 'Warts Galore'

<em>Curcurbita pepo</em> 'Warts Galore'
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What’s Beautiful Now: Fall Flowers

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on October 10 2019, by Matt Newman

It’s a fantastic time for fall flowers. You’ll find clouds of seasonal color peeking up at you from the collections. Smooth aster and calico aster flaunting purples and whites in the Native Plant Garden; spritely, pink hardy begonia in the Rock Garden; spur flowers in the Adventure Garden; and toad lilies along Seasonal Walk. This is What’s Beautiful Now.

Symphyotricum laeve var. laeve

<em>Symphyotricum laeve</em> var. <em>laeve</em>
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Celebrating Our 9th Annual Fiesta de Flores

Posted in Around the Garden on October 8 2019, by Matt Newman

Elizabeth Figueroa is Associate Vice President for Community Relations at The New York Botanical Garden.


Photo of guests and award-winners at Fiesta de Flores
Left to right: Aaron Bouska, VP for Government and Community Relations; Benny Poy, Special Assistant to Senator Biaggi; Dianne Renwick, NYBG Board Member; Carrie Rebora Barratt, CEO & President of NYBG; NYS Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez; Elizabeth Figueroa, AVP for Community Relations; Ischia Bravo, District Manager, Community Board 7; NYC Councilmember Andrew Cohen

On Thursday, September 26, we were thrilled to host our ninth annual Fiesta de Flores, The New York Botanical Garden’s festival in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and the people of Latin America and the Caribbean.

We took part in fascinating guided tours of Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx in its final week, danced to the music of the Carlos Jimenez Mambo Quintet, and enjoyed amazing tamales, empanadas, alcapurrias, and so much more from some of the Bronx’s finest restaurants—all thanks to the continued support of Councilmembers Andy Cohen, Mark Gjonaj, Fernando Cabrera, and Ritchie Torres, and the NYC Council’s A Greener NYC initiative.

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Kiku Returns This October

Posted in Around the Garden on October 8 2019, by Matt Newman

It’s nearly kiku time—after 11 months of dedicated plantlove, with our horticulturists tending daily to these single-stemmed specimens to create spectacular sculptural designs. These chrysanthemums represent the apex of a centuries-old Japanese craft that demands precision, care, and patience. Check out today’s story to get a sneak peek of the display opening October 25, along with the traditional taiko drumming and other activities that make it such a treasured NYBG tradition.

Beekeeping in the Edible Academy

Posted in Around the Garden on October 7 2019, by Ann Novak

Annie Novak is the Manager of the Edible Academy at The New York Botanical Garden.


Photo of a honeybeeWe introduced our first pair of beehives to the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden in 2010, the year beekeeping was re-legalized in New York City. We sited the apiaries—Langstroth hives—atop the single flat rooftop on our garden site, a one-story brick and concrete building home to both gardening and office equipment fondly called “the tool shed.” This gave our foraging worker bees zipping in and out of the hive a clear flight path above our vegetable plots, above and away from our visitors. 

With the opening of the Edible Academy campus in the spring of 2018, our beehives moved to a much better location: the Kate Solomon Family Apiary, a flat, staff-accessible platform adjacent to the Gossett Overlook Pavilion. Now at eye-level (at a safe distance), visitors can observe the honeybees more readily. Unsurprisingly, a frequent query is what we do with their honey.

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What’s Beautiful Now: Inspirations in the Home Gardening Center

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on October 4 2019, by Matt Newman

What’s your home garden aspiration? From purple fountain grass to dahlias and spiked cockscomb, the Home Gardening Center creates a palette of options and opportunities for abundant fall color in our region.

Pennisetum × advena 'Rubrum'

<em>Pennisetum</em> × <em>advena</em> 'Rubrum'
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