As part of #plantlove at NYBG, we’re talking with people from all over the Garden about what inspires their passion for plants. Today, meet Rob Naczi, Curator of North American Botany at The New York Botanical Garden.
I grew up north of Wilmington, Delaware, and I loved to explore, to discover, and to be out in nature. When I was in elementary school, my neighbor turned me onto birding. I would go on bird walks with him and our club nearby, the Delmarva Ornithological Society. On one of the trips, there were some people pointing down at some spring wildflowers, the ephemerals in the deciduous forest. I looked and thought, Hey, that’s interesting. Gradually I got so interested in plants that I wanted to take every moment I could to go out and explore.
Fallen leaves are no less beautiful. As this season of transition continues, don’t forget to look down as well as up—you might catch the bright yellows (like these Ginkgo leaves), reds, and oranges of the recent forest splendor still carrying on toward winter.
It’s almost here—the Holiday Train Show opens tomorrow! Hear from Laura Busse Dolan, President of Applied Imagination, giving you a sneak peek into what’s new this year from their workshop, including Central Park’s iconic landscape and architecture and all-new train track layouts. It’s all presented in an immersive indoor winter wonderland.
Shift your focus to the conifers. As we make our way through fall, the vibrant red and orange leaves falling from the deciduous trees give way to the rich, deep hues of the evergreens. Some of them, like Cupressus nootkatensis ‘Sparkling Arrow’, show fascinating variegated (the white scales lack chlorophyll) foliage, while the needles on Pinus strobus ‘Contorta’ take on unique, swirling forms you might not expect.
In honor of Veterans Day we’re pleased to announce the THRIVE program, an initiative that commemorates NYBG’s long history working with service members—dating back to World War I when we first invited returning veterans into the Garden for rehabilitation and learning new skills. Hear from Carrie Rebora Barratt, CEO and The William C. Steere Sr. President of The New York Botanical Garden, and discover how we’re continuing that legacy in collaboration with the James J. Peters Veterans Administration Medical Center in the Bronx.
This is a fall essential. In the Perennial Garden, the season is distilled down to its floral essence, with cardoons, flowering sage, and asters everywhere you look. Spend a few moments on a bench amid this collection and you’ll understand why it’s such a hotspot for plein-air artists.
Can floral design be more sustainable? The founder of Tin Can Studios, Ingrid Carozzi—whose long list of corporate and A-list clients includes Anna Wintour, John Legend, and Rachel Ray—is sure of it. And we’re so grateful that she visited NYBG to show our Adult Education Floral Design students how!
On October 22, Ingrid led the Art of Sustainability workshop, in which students fashioned a site-specific installation in NYBG’s Visitor Center using a lush and colorful combination of roses, dahlias, maple leaves, lilies, and hydrangeas. They explored ways to skip the usual floral foam and embrace eco-friendly materials such as watermelon, a fantastic alternative to keep flowers hydrated and in place when creating large-scale installations.
When it comes to fall beauty this week, our trees are the showstealers. Reds, yellows, and oranges peek out from every vantage point, allowing you to immerse yourself in the season as you traverse the trails of the Forest and beyond. And with this weekend’s Chorus of the Forest by Angélica Negrón set to premiere among this unparalleled color, now is the time to get to NYBG.
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.
Update: 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.