Plant Talk

Inside The New York Botanical Garden

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.

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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.

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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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#plantlove: Raquel Nazario, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer

Posted in People on October 4 2019, by Matt Newman

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 Raquel Nazario, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer at The New York Botanical Garden.

Photo of Raquel Nazario

My appreciation of plants began with my appreciation of the Robert Burns poem “A Red, Red Rose.”

O my Luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune…..

I love the fact that plants, throughout our shared human cultures, are symbolic of expressions of love, life, remembrance, and appreciation.

I take a walk through the Garden grounds nearly every day, and find moments, unique to each season, that capture these feelings. Nature, in its resiliency, offers a reflection of life and a time to reflect on our triumphs and hardships. Having the opportunity in the middle of the workday to experience the wonderments of nature helps me reconnect with myself and allows me to take on the remains of the day with the renewed vigor that only plants and nature can give.

Orchid Modern with Marc Hachadourian

Posted in From the Library on October 3 2019, 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.

Rendering of the cover of Orchid ModernWhile the NYBG Library’s Plant Information Office answers thousands of questions per year from the public about plant care, sometimes there’s a tricky orchid question about obscure plant identification or growing a less common species or genus. In those cases, we look to Marc Hachadourian, Senior Curator of the NYBG Orchid Collection, for his guidance and his extensive plant knowledge.

Now, readers can take advantage of Marc’s expertise by picking up a copy of his recent bookOrchid Modern: Living & Designing with the World’s Most Elegant Houseplants (2019). In addition to his role as Curator, Marc is also the Director of Glasshouse Horticulture at the Garden overseeing the cultivation of tens of thousands of plants for the Garden’s many displays. He has been fascinated with orchids since he was a child, expanding his expertise over the years. He is also an author of Botanica Magnifica: Portraits of the World’s Most Extraordinary Flowers & Plants (2009) and a guest on Martha Stewart, where he answers questions about orchid care and talks about topics from orchid varieties to the NYBG Orchid Show.

Orchid Modern is designed and organized similarly to other books on orchid care. After a general introduction to orchids as a group, there is a general care section; a seasonal chore/care section; approximately 40 pages devoted to decorating projects with orchids (the diagrams here are exceptionally helpful and the projects are beautiful); approximately 80 pages of “easy-care orchids from A to Z;” and a short resources section at the end. The book is appropriate for new orchid enthusiasts who want some general guidance about how to care for their plants, more advanced growers who are looking for information about less common orchid houseplants, and floral arrangers seeking to develop creations with living plants. On the whole, the book is well-designed, well-written, and a great addition to any orchid-lover’s home library.