Plant Talk

Presently at NYBG: Guardians of the Forest

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on August 11, 2023, by Matt Newman

Marlon Co is the Photographer & Digital Media Manager of The New York Botanical Garden.

After returning to NYBG from taking a few days away, I was pleasantly welcomed by some of our largest stars, the Amazonian water lilies (Victoria amazonica), which had grown significantly since I last checked on them. Their large pads are a true wonder, as are their night-blooming flowers, a few of which have already begun to appear (pro-tip: visit in the morning to view these and other night-blooming species).

Sometimes, though, it’s the littlest members of our community that are the most inspiring. NYBG has a long history of providing educational opportunities for children, and that continues to this day. This week I was delighted to attend some of these programs in the Edible Academy and Thain Family Forest. At the Edible Academy, the Children’s Gardening Program was in full swing with participants learning about the anatomy of tomato plants as well as engaging in harvesting and planting scallions. Nearby in the forest, summer campers learned about invasive plants, eventually taking matters (literally) into their own hands, happily pulling out invasive mugwort. Afterward, they continued their botanical work by heading deeper into the forest to plant sweetgum saplings.

I truly believe forests facilitate conversations of all kinds, and walking out of the forest in this particular instance, the topic of superheroes came up. As they listed their favorites or made up their own, one camper declared herself to be the “Guardian of the Forest” saying she wanted to save the plants and animals. Soon after, others also wanted to be guardians of the forest. Superheroes indeed.

Check back next week as we continue the journey of discovery here at the Garden.

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