Inside The New York Botanical Garden
Posted in People on May 10 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 Daryl Beyers, Adult Education Gardening Program Coordinator and instructor at The New York Botanical Garden.
I grew up with a love-hate relationship with plants. I loved all the trees and flowers surrounding my childhood home but hated the three acres of lawn my father made me mow on the weekends. This consideration of plants as either inspiration or chore formed the horticultural ethic of my university studies in landscape design and my early professional practice in gardens. Then, while teaching my first gardening course at NYBG nearly a decade ago, I unearthed another plant-people relationship: “To grow a plant is to know a plant.”
The fierce curiosity of my students to learn and understand the how and why of gardening showed me how and why we all connect with plants. Our #plantlove manifests in many ways, such as through the care and attention given to a houseplant, the calming influence of a groves of trees, or the exuberance of walking through wildflowers. Every plant has its charm, but as they charm us we charm them too, into forms and functions that shape where and how we live. That’s what gardening is.
Posted in Adult Education on October 30 2013, by Lansing Moore
Daryl Beyers is a landscape designer with over 20 years’ worth of experience who teaches Gardening and Landscape Design for the Garden. However, he first came to the Garden as a student in the spring of 2000 when his employers at a 10-acre estate in Connecticut sent him here to take classes in composting and orchid care. Daryl had earned a degree in Environmental Design, but it was here that he polished his horticulture skills, since, as he explains, “Not all landscape design programs stress plant knowledge, let alone gardening skills.”
The pitfalls facing new gardeners are familiar to Daryl, who built his skills both in the classroom and on the job, first as a laborer—“the guy pushing the wheel barrow”—then as a nursery worker—“the college kid holding a hose out in the container field.” He also had the same amateur gardener’s idealism: “Not knowing any better, my unstated goal first starting out was to keep every plant in my care alive… I share this experience with my Fundamentals of Gardening students because it demonstrates a common thread of how most inexperienced gardeners think. They believe, unhappily, that if a plant dies they have failed, when in fact the death of a plant is just a lesson. I quote a gardener friend who once said, “You don’t really know a plant until you have killed it three times.”