Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Giant Pumpkins

Morning Eye Candy: Calaveras & Calabazas

Posted in Photography on October 26 2015, by Lansing Moore

We’re thrilled to present this year’s eagerly anticipated Giant Pumpkin Carving! Ray Villafane has outdone himself with this spooky and monumental homage to the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) as a nod to FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life. The design is based on an early 20th-century satirical cartoon by the famous Mexican printmaker and illustrator Jose Guadalupe Posada. See it in person at the Clay Family Picnic Pavilions, alongside our annual Giant Pumpkin Display, through November 1!

Ray Villafane Giant Pumpkin Carving La Calavera Oaxaqueña Ben Hider

This Weekend: Celebrate Day of the Dead with Frida & Our Giant Pumpkins!

Posted in Programs and Events on October 23 2015, by Vilina Phan

Pumpkins at NYBGFRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life goes out on a particularly high note in its closing weekends, with a bevy of exciting Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) activities! Live performances from Calpulli Danza Mexicana, Jarana Beat, and The Villalobos Brothers with Los Chinelos de Morelos dancers take over the Conservatory lawn and steps throughout the weekend. Giant skeletons, La Catrina puppets, and Los Zancudos de Zaachila stilt dancers will be roaming the Garden for all to enjoy. In addition see the Day of the Dead ofrenda, or altar, honoring Kahlo in the Conservatory, and Humberto Spíndola‘s The Two Fridas come alive (literally) in the Library Rotunda. You’ll also have fun with hands-on activities such as mask-making and face painting.

And because Halloween is right around the corner, we are pleased to welcome back master carver Ray Villafane, who will carve a giant pumpkin inspired by the Day of the Dead. Come watch, and enter for a chance to win a carving from the master himself.

Come to the Garden this weekend and celebrate a wonderful Mexican tradition with us!

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A Weekend of Giant Pumpkins and Día de los Muertos Fun!

Posted in Programs and Events on October 21 2015, by Lansing Moore

Dia de los Muertos ofrenda altar Frida Kahlo Enid A. Haupt ConservatoryThis weekend NYBG is thrilled to welcome back the Master Carver himself, Ray Villafane, who will once again lead our annual Giant Pumpkin Carving Weekend with a live demonstration of his remarkable skills and daily Q&A sessions with his team of carvers—with a special twist in honor of Día de los Muertos!

This year’s larger-than-life pumpkin tableau will represent this traditional holiday from Mexico and will remain on display alongside the largest pumpkins in North America—some weighing more than a ton—as part of the Giant Pumpkin Display from October 24 through November 1. It’s all part of the first Día de los Muertos Weekend on October 24 & 25! Click through to view details about this special weekend celebration and see more photos of the programs and activities to come.

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Morning Eye Candy: Giants in the Adventure Garden

Posted in Photography on October 21 2015, by Matt Newman

The last of the giant pumpkins arrives at the Garden today, just in time for our Giant Pumpkin Carving Weekend and Día de los Muertos celebration beginning this Saturday. If you’ve never seen Ray Villafane and his crew of expert sculptors turn these monstrous fruits into works of spooky art, it’s not to be missed!

This year’s record-breaking pumpkin from the North American crop, weighing in at 2,230 pounds, is right here at the Garden—come check it out!

Giant Pumpkins in Everett Children's Adventure Garden

Giant pumpkins in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

This Weekend: Día de los Muertos is Near!

Posted in Programs and Events on October 16 2015, by Matt Newman

The NYBG WeekendTime’s running out for FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life, and there’s so much going on in the final weeks of October that you won’t want to let this one pass you by. Fall’s presence is undeniable as you walk through the Garden, tinging the trees with reds and yellows, and Halloween is fast approaching. More importantly, Día de los Muertos is just around the corner. It would be an understatement to say that we’re celebrating the holidays with style.

Alongside this weekend’s schedule of outdoor tours, music, food, and other exhibition programming, we’re preparing for the coming week of after-dark events and lively holiday fiestas that all begin with Frida for Families: A Spooky Nighttime Adventure. On Friday, October 23, grab tickets and bring your little ones (don’t forget their costumes!) for a night of trick-or-treating in the Garden, hands-on Halloween fun in the Adventure Garden, live costumed performers, giant puppets, and more. It’s a safe and exciting way to celebrate the holiday a little early.

For adults, join us during our Frida al Fresco LGBT night on Thursday, October 22, and don’t forget to register for our last Frida Look-Alike contest of the exhibition—accepted entrants get free admission to the evening event and a chance to win prizes from NYBG Shop!

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The Giant Pumpkins’ Giant Friends

Posted in Around the Garden on October 14 2013, by Ann Rafalko

longgourdThey’re getting closer. All across the United States farmers are loading up moving vans and flatbed farm trucks with hulking pumpkins and heading for the Bronx and the Haunted Pumpkin Garden. And this year, the pumpkins are bringing friends.

For the first time, the Garden is excited to play host to the new world record-setting watermelon and the new world record-setting long gourd, too! Who names these world records? Our partners in giant pumpkin fun, the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth, of course.

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Kiku in the Conservatory, Pumpkins in the Garden

Posted in Around the Garden, Exhibitions on October 3 2013, by Ann Rafalko

kiku3You probably know (or at least think you know) all about bonsai, the Japanese art of growing, tending, and shaping miniature trees in trays. But do you know about kiku? Where bonsai is small, kiku is large. Where bonsai is about long life, kiku is about ephemerality. Where bonsai is about a minimal aesthetic, kiku is about color, pattern, and profusion.

Or at least that is how we interpret this tradition of shaping and tending chrysanthemums in Kiku: The Art of the Japanese Garden, opening Saturday in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Many of these huge chrysanthemum “sculptures” begin as one single stem, despite looking like brilliant tapestries of many flowering plants woven together. They are tended for months on end to bloom for just a few weeks. There is no way for us to extend kiku beyond their natural lifespan, so to see them in their full glory, you have got to act fast!

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This Just In – Breaking Giant Pumpkin Spider News!

Posted in Around the Garden, People on October 27 2011, by Rustin Dwyer

Breaking developments in the world of giant pumpkin spiders! — How often do you get to write a sentence like that in all seriousness?

Artist Michael Natiello will be here this weekend carving up one of the world’s largest pumpkins. (You might know him as the man behind the Great Jack ‘O Lantern Blaze as well as the Haunted Pumpkin Garden here in the Children’s Adventure Garden).

That’s not the breaking news, though.

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The Carving Begins!

Posted in Around the Garden on October 21 2011, by Ann Rafalko

I got a nice surprise this morning when I stopped by the big pumpkins; I found Brant and Elanor Bordsen, of Marysville, Calif. standing beside their beautiful, pearly pumpkin chatting with Garden visitors and staff. I told them I was surprised and excited to see them here (I had no idea they were coming!), and they said that they decided that they wanted to be here when Ray Villafane cut into their 1,693 pounder, to remove the seeds themselves, and to watch the progress of his sculpture. I asked them if they had seen the concept drawing for his sculpture yet. They said no, so I pulled it up on my BlackBerry and showed it to them. They agreed that it was certainly spooky and would be quite the spectacle!

Learn more about why the Bordsens flew all the way from California for pumpkin seeds below.