Plant Talk

Presently at NYBG: Rain or Shine

Posted in What's On at NYBG on July 7, 2023, by Marlon Co

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

This week on Presently, days of mixed weather had kept me on my toes and preparing for weather was paramount lest one be caught in a sudden shower. But should that happen, would it really be so bad? With proper preparation it can be downright fun, and I certainly think so.

Of particular note, raindrops collecting on plants is always fun to observe and photograph, with each plant doing so in their own way. In the Conservatory pools you might see liquid jewels dancing on water-repellent lotus leaves, but in the Native Plant Garden they cling to the nooks and crannies of meadow plants like flowering spurge. Other organisms adjust their behavior accordingly, too. On this occasion I witnessed many an insect seeking shelter under broad leaves, but it was a milkweed bug on its namesake plant that stood out to me most, hiding among the flower clusters above.

Eventually though, the clouds parted and sunlit landscapes returned, perhaps even more vibrant and alive with the recent watering. From the summit meadow of the Azalea Garden to the whimsical plantings of the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, plants around the Garden perk up. Water, in addition to providing food and facilitating chemical exchange, also provides structural support for herbaceous plant parts like stems and leaves. With the revitalization rains provide, plants can then devote energy to things we all love, like flowers, fruits, or seeds, at which point they become irresistible to not only pollinators, but us as well.

Check back next week to continue the journey of discovery around NYBG.

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