Plant Talk

Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Kicking Off Children’s Book Week!

Posted in From the Library on May 1 2018, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Children's Book WeekIt’s the 99th anniversary of the Children’s Book Council – Children’s Book Week! Children’s Book Week is a national event that first started in 1919 to promote literacy among the nation’s youth. Each year readers are invited to celebrate this week in various ways. To join in on the fun, the LuEsther T. Mertz Library would love to share exciting new titles that have recently been added to our children’s circulating collection. Visit us in the library to see fantastic titles on display April 30th to May 6th!

To kick off the celebration we would like to highlight…

Floris Books is reintroducing the works of Sibylle von Olfers and Signe Aspelin to delight a new generation! Originally, the Story of the Root Children was printed in 1906 in German. It is now in its eighth printing in English. For readers not familiar with the story, it’s a celebration of the wonders that spring and summer offer each year. Winter is over and it is time for Mother Earth to wake up the Root Children. As they wake from their sleepy slumber, the Root Children begin to prepare to emerge for spring. In their bright colors, the Root Children— Snowdrop, Forget-me-not, Daisy, Buttercup, Poppy, and their insect friends—make their way above ground. Under the warmth of the sun, they all explore forests and meadows. As spring turns to summer, and summer to autumn, the Root children are ready for bed again.

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Wildlife at the Garden: Spring Colors

Posted in Wildlife on April 25 2018, by Patricia Gonzalez

Patricia Gonzalez is an NYBG Visitor Services Attendant and avid wildlife photographer.

Grackles are noisy and rambunctious birds, but have you ever really stopped to appreciate them? In the springtime sunlight, their iridescent feathers capture blacks, blues, purples, and everything in between.

Grackle

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) – Photo by Patricia Gonzalez

 

Remembering Gary Lincoff, An Amazing Teacher

Posted in People on April 24 2018, by Joyce Newman

Joyce H. Newman is an environmental journalist and teacher. She holds a Certificate in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden.


Gary Lincoff (Photo courtesy Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club)

Gary Lincoff taught for more than 40 years at NYBG. He passed on March 16 after a stroke at the age of 75. For those of us who took Gary’s classes, he remains so alive in our memories—his stories, the coursework he required, and his motivational advice are still working on our minds.

I first met Gary in the spring of 2011. I’m sure if he were alive that he wouldn’t remember me at all from among the thousands of students he taught. But his course “Introduction to Plant Science” was one of the all-time best classes for me.

In his class, which was required for a Horticulture Certificate, we handled plant specimens that Gary provided from 10 major plant families and closely read chapters of Brian Capon’s book Botany for Gardeners. But the most important course requirement for me was keeping a daily journal of plant “events”—what I saw each day on garden walks and how those things changed over time, using my own drawings and plant pressings. For the first time, I felt like a real scientist observing and discovering plants. Gary’s class truly opened up a new world.

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Sustainable Landscapes from East to West

Posted in From the Library on April 24 2018, by Esther Jackson

Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.


Northwest Garden ManifestoI have a soft spot for gardening books from the Northwest, and so although I live on the East Coast, The Northwest Garden Manifesto: Create, Restore, and Maintain a Sustainable Yard by John J. Albers, Ph.D. (photography by David E. Perry), for Mountaineers Books/Skipstone, is right up my alley. In Northwest, Albers has provided a book that is part instructional and part manifesto. The basics of garden (or “yard”) design are addressed, but the focus is on ecology and sustainable land management. While not explicitly a permaculture guide, Northwest includes useful information about topics such as composting, solar energy, and wildlife habitats. Although the plant recommendations are most appropriate for the Northwest, gardeners throughout the United States will find Albers’s book useful and informative. It is an especially appropriate book for someone who is considering becoming more hands-on with garden or yard care, and wants to understand how a person or community can affect positive ecological change.

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What’s Beautiful Now: Warmth & Abundance

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on April 23 2018, by Matt Newman

Spring is here. For real here, as far as I’m concerned. And with daytime temps looking to be in the 60s for the rest of the week (fingers crossed), it’s a great time for our flowers to catch our flowers waking for the season. You’ll find cherry blossoms galore, fragrant magnolias, and daffodils in abundance cascading across Daffodil Hill, Liasson Valley, and elsewhere throughout the Garden. The azaleas won’t be far behind!

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms
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Our cherries are bursting with color this week.

Pass it on… Preservation Week with the LuEsther T. Mertz Library!

Posted in From the Library on April 23 2018, by Samantha D’Acunto

Samantha D’Acunto is the Reference Librarian at The New York Botanical Garden‘s LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Map during treatment - lining 2
A map being treated in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library

This Preservation Week, we would like to highlight the wonderful work our conservation team does to ensure the longevity and care of the library collections. Caring for a collection as extensive as the LuEsther T. Mertz Library’s requires focus, consistency, precision, and passion. But first, you are probably wondering—what is Preservation Week? The American Library Association says it best:

“ALA encourages libraries and other institutions to use Preservation Week to connect our communities through events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections.”

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Timber Press Gets a Bird’s-Eye View

Posted in From the Library on April 18 2018, by Esther Jackson

Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.


Aerial GeologyAerial Geology: A High-Altitude Tour of North America’s Spectacular Volcanoes, Canyons, Glaciers, Lakes, Craters, and Peaks is a beautiful book by Mary Caperton Morton for Timber Press. Continuing with the publisher’s trend to offer more books on ecological and non-botanical scientific topics, Aerial Geology focuses, as the title states, on geology, the science of the earth’s physical structure and substance.

After a brief introduction to the discipline of geology, Caperton Morton showcases 100 “geological wonders” in North America arranged by geographic region, shot from above. Sometimes the prospect of domestic tourism seems daunting, but Caperton Morton is here to remind readers about the incredible North American landscape as a way of encouragement. Aerial Geology includes geological history and information about each feature, offering readers a richer understanding of the landscape than a coffee table book would provide. However, it must be said that the most eye-catching aspect of the book is its glorious photographs.

Although written for adults, Aerial Geology is the kind of book that science-minded young readers of a more advanced level would also enjoy. For all readers, Aerial Geology offers an introduction to geology and a reminder that these spectacular landscapes are, if not just around the corner, relatively close to home.

What’s Beautiful Now: The Show Begins

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on April 18 2018, by Matt Newman

The spring spectacle is just now starting in earnest, with daffodils, cherry blossoms, and early azaleas beginning to make moves throughout the Garden. Look for magnolias, too, as we head for the end of April and into the expected kaleidoscope of color that makes up May. The next few weeks should be incredible for flower lovers!

Magnolias

Magnolias
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Magnolias’ fragrant flowers are some of the first to herald spring’s arrival. The Garden’s collection showcases the many diverse shapes and lovely shades of these sweet-scented blooms. You’ll find a stroll along Magnolia Way never fails to delight with the promise of warm days to come.

Eat Neat & Budget Better

Posted in From the Library on April 10 2018, by Esther Jackson

Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.


Budget WiseThe Budget-Wise Gardener: With Hundreds of Money-Saving Buying & Design Tips for Planting the Best for Less is a new book by Kerry Ann Mendez with St. Lynn’s Press. Mendez holds class in the “Academy of Shrewd Plant Hunters” teaching readers how to purchase great plants for less, delving into topics including how to find good plant sources, design ideas with low-cost, high-performance plants, and container gardening on a budget. The information in Budget-Wise is presented in a conversational way, and the book is especially useful for those who are looking for advice about questions to ask and what to look for when purchasing plants from a store or online. Mendez’s advice about plant selection is useful for those who are on a budget and for those who are simply interested in learning more about buying plants. A great deal of the information is common sense for those who already regularly purchase plants, but the book is a good resource filled with information and tips, and even experienced gardeners may take away a new idea or two.

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What’s Beautiful Now: Rise of the Daffodils

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on April 9 2018, by Matt Newman

Seek out spring’s favorite visitors—the daffodils, Japanese apricots and cherries, dainty Scilla, irises, and more—as you make your way through the Garden this week. They’re finally starting their return for the season, and over the next few weeks we’re expecting to see oceans of color filling the Garden. You can keep track of the progress using several trackers in our Gardens & Collections pages as well!

Below, find just a few of the highlights of this week’s collections as we enter one of the most vivid and verdant times of year at NYBG.

Perennial Garden

Perennial Garden
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Early daffodils are complemented by sweet swathes of Scilla mischtschenkoana.