Morning Eye Candy: Just Deserts

Winter never touches the Desert Room in the Haupt Conservatory.

Desert Room Enid A. Haupt Conservatory
In the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/11/photography/morning-eye-candy-just-deserts/

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Morning Eye Candy: Bright Lights, Little City

Here’s a sneak preview of what awaits tonight’s guests for our first Bar Car Night of the season. Tonight is also the kick-off of our new LGBT@NYBG event series, and we cannot wait to welcome everyone to come enjoy the Holiday Train Show® by night. Tickets are still available for all ten Bar Car Nights, including tonight and tomorrow, so come celebrate with us!

Holiday Train Show bar Car Nights New York Botanical Garden Enid Haupt ConservatoryIn the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/11/photography/morning-eye-candy-bright-lights-little-city/

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This Weekend: Ring in the Season with Bar Car Nights

Photo: Victor Chu

Photo: Victor Chu

Tonight is the first of ten special Bar Car Nights at the Garden. The Holiday Train Show provides the backdrop for these special evenings, with the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory aglow with festive lights and a number of stations around the Garden, from live music to delicious food. Sip on a complimentary cocktail as you admire the glittering miniature city and enjoy the magical atmosphere. Tonight’s inaugural Bar Car Night is also the first event of our new LGBT@NYBG campaign. Tickets are still available for tonight’s event geared towards the LGBT community, as well as for tomorrow’s Bar Car Night. However, tickets for the most popular dates and events do sell out quickly!

As the Holiday Train Show® continues to delight visitors of all ages in its 23rd year, the latest Garden News provides an overview of what you can expect to find this year. View the video below, and click through for the full schedule of programs for this weekend.

Saturday, November 22

Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Holiday Lights Bar Car Nights

Holiday Guides – 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
A part of the Holiday Train Show®
In the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory
Learn more about the exhibition and its model trains from our knowledgeable guides, who will show up-close samples of the plant parts used to make buildings, reveal behind-the-scenes images of the show’s installation, and share other special insights.

Bird Walk – 11 a.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
The diverse habitats of the Botanical Garden offer visitors a chance to see dozens of species of birds throughout the year. Bring your binoculars and walk the Garden grounds with an expert to learn about bird-friendly habitats, migrating species, and birds that make a permanent home at the Garden.

Winter Wonderland Tree Tour – 12:30 p.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Even in cold weather there’s plenty of interest in our gardens and collections. Meet at the Reflecting Pool and embark on an invigorating 45-minute walk to view the Garden’s stately conifer collection and old growth Forest amid the beauty of winter.

Native Plant Garden Tour – 2:30 p.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Join a tour guide for an insider’s view of the newly designed Native Plant Garden. Enjoy a mosaic of nearly 100,000 native trees, wildflowers, ferns and grasses designed to flourish in every season.

Bar Car Night – 7–10 p.m.
In the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory
On these nights exclusively for adults 21 and over, the wintry landscape of NYBG sets the scene for festive and romantic outdoor adventures, with an after-dark viewing of the Holiday Train Show® as the centerpiece. Sip a complimentary cocktail as you journey through a series of station stops, including ice carving demonstrations under the starlight, festive treats like signature spiked hot cocoa and roasted chestnuts, an intimate jazz session in the warmth of the Pine Tree Café, and in the playful performances of Cirque de Light.
Non-Member $35/Member $25 (Adults 21 and over) Advance tickets recommended; includes one complimentary beer, wine, or cocktail of your choice. Although your ticket provides access to the entire event between 7–10 p.m., when purchasing tickets you will need to select an entrance time for the Holiday Train Show® in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.

Sunday, November 16

NYBG Winter Wonderland Christmas

Holiday Guides – 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
A part of the Holiday Train Show®
In the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory
Learn more about the exhibition and its model trains from our knowledgeable guides, who will show up-close samples of the plant parts used to make buildings, reveal behind-the-scenes images of the show’s installation, and share other special insights.

Forest Tour – 12:30 p.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Experience the beauty of the Garden’s 50-acre Thain Family Forest on this one-hour walking tour with an expertly trained Guide. You’ll learn facts about the trees, history, geology, and ecology of this original, uncut woodland.

Holiday Landmarks Tour – 2:30 p.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Meet at the Reflecting Pool for a fascinating overview of the Garden’s history and its importance as a vital NYC cultural destination. With an expert guide, explore the Allée, the Fountain of Life, and the Mertz Library. Then stroll along the Poetry Walk ending at the beloved Holiday Train Show® exhibition in the Haupt Conservatory, the Garden’s preeminent NYC Landmark building.

Notable Tree Tour Tour – 2:30 p.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center
What makes a tree notable? It could be its size, its bark, its uses, or a variety of other features. Some of our trees have been here since before the Garden was formally established in 1891. Join one of the Garden’s Guides for a tour highlighting some of the most interesting trees across this historic 250-acre site.

Ongoing Children’s Programs

Model Train Holiday Train Show NYBG

Evergreen Express
Saturdays – 10 a.m.–6:30 p.m.; Sundays – 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

A part of the Holiday Train Show®
In the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden
Hop aboard the Evergreen Express for lively activities in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, where each station stop offers something new to create or explore! Build your own train puppet with master puppeteer Ralph Lee, join a musical marching parade around the collection, and visit the William and Lynda Steere Discovery Center, where a hands-on workshop with cones, needles, and other winter plant parts helps you craft your own miniature balsam fir pillow.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/11/garden-programming/this-weekend-ring-in-the-season-with-bar-car-nights/

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Morning Eye Candy: Hearthlight

Ross Conifer Arboretum

In the Ross Conifer Arboretum – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/11/photography/morning-eye-candy-hearthlight/

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Giving Herbs the Space to Succeed

Sonia Uyterhoeven is NYBG‘s Gardener for Public Education.


Sage and thyme in an NYBG planter

Sage and thyme in an NYBG planter

I was watering containers around the Café one weekend in September when a woman stopped me to ask some questions about herbs. She had seen the large containers of parsley on display and was wondering what we did to keep the plant so healthy.

She explained that she had purchased parsley this summer and had placed it on her windowsill in her kitchen. It was not as verdant and vibrant as ours, and she was wondering what she had done wrong. I explained that our container displays comprised several plants to create a lavish appearance, but it was not simply quantity but also the size of the container that produced the bountiful display.

For your herbs to thrive, they need ample space to grow. Herbs are generally sold in spring in small, three- to four-inch pots. The small sizes of the pots are convenient for growers and it keeps the price down. Once you bring it home, the herb will need a bigger home so the root system can expand to support the plant.

If the herb is to be placed on your windowsill within arm’s reach of your cutting board, you probably won’t be able to repot it in a larger container, but even bumping it up to a six-inch pot will make a world of difference.

Most of the herbs you grow on your sill will thrive in full sun. If you only have partial light, then growing parsley, chives, and mint are probably your best options. Herbs are light feeders and do not need to be fertilized on a regular basis. Adding a small dose of organic fertilizer once a month should be adequate. Alternatively, a handful of compost added to your potting soil will keep most herbs satisfied.

Basil thrives when given room

Basil thrives when given room

If you have space for larger outdoor containers, there are many culinary and ornamental herbs that will thrive while adorning your patio.

This year we combined tricolor sage (Salvia officinalis ‘Tricolor’) and silver thyme (Thymus vulgaris ‘Argenteus’) to create a pleasing infusion of purple, green, and white. The similar shape of the leaves of the two herbs—in dramatically different sizes—created a textured display, and the under-planting of the variegated thyme enhanced the variegation of the sage and brought out the intensity of its purple stems.

The thyme and sage were complemented by another container which paired variegated lemon-scented basil (Ocimum × citriodorum ‘Pesto Perpetuo’) with oregano (Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum). The variegated basil, with its tall columnar shape and purple flowers, blended beautifully with the adjacent containers.

As for the parsley, a blast of color was added to the container of curly parsley (Petroselinum crispum) with the inclusion of golden oregano (Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’). These low-maintenance herbal containers added an attractive edible element to our café container display this year.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/11/horticulture-2/herbal-containers/

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NYC Council Leadership Tours New York Botanical Garden

From left to right: Councilman Andrew Cohen, Councilman Ritchie Torres, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Gregory Long, CEO and The William C. Steere Sr. President of NYBG

From left to right: Councilman Andrew Cohen, Councilman Ritchie Torres, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Gregory Long, CEO and The William C. Steere Sr. President of NYBG

On Saturday, October 18, I was honored to host a Garden tour for the Speaker of the New York City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito. Joining us were two Councilmen—Ritchie Torres and Andrew Cohen—whose Council districts include a part of the Garden.

The day’s schedule called for a golf cart tour through the grounds, viewing The Haunted Pumpkin Garden and Ray Villafane’s masterful carvings, taking in the elegant Kiku exhibition in the Haupt Conservatory, and touring much of the Garden’s historic permanent collections. In addition, the Speaker spent a good deal of time in the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden learning about NYBG’s edible gardening program and the Edible Academy project soon to break ground.

Speaker Mark-Viverito pitches in at the Family Garden

Speaker Mark-Viverito pitches in at the Family Garden

For nearly a century, the New York Botanical Garden has been a leader in garden-based education as well as the edible gardening headquarters for schools, families, community groups, home gardeners, and urban farmers. The immensely popular edible gardening program at the Garden will soon extend this impact and greatly broaden its reach through the new Edible Academy. Childhood obesity and other health problems caused by poor nutrition have brought a heightened interest in learning about growing fresh fruits and vegetables and preparing healthy foods, and the Edible Academy will facilitate this education by offering its programs to over 80,000 children, parents, and teachers annually.

The City of New York has made a wonderful commitment totaling $8.5 million in support of the Edible Academy project, and the New York City Council played a key leadership role in securing that funding.

Speaker Mark-Viverito also paid a visit to the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, where she was greeted by some of our volunteer teen Explainers—scientists in the making who teach young children about science as part of a youth leadership initiative that NYBG is proud to host. This past year alone, Speaker Mark-Viverito, Councilman Torres, and the Bronx Delegation of the City Council secured $2 million in capital funding supporting crucial upgrades to this nationally recognized program for informal science education.

In the Family Garden

Visiting supporters join NYBG staff in the Family Garden’s vegetable beds

We can’t thank Speaker Mark-Viverito, Councilman Torres, and Councilman Cohen enough for their ongoing support of NYBG, and we’re proud to have hosted their autumn tour of the Garden. Thanks also goes out to Councilman Torres’ Chief of Staff, Sindri McDonald, and Special Assistant Luisa Benedetto, who both helped to arrange this wonderful visit. All in all, it was a perfect day, and we’ll be excited to have the Speaker and City Council back for our upcoming Holiday Train Show.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/11/people/nyc-council-leadership-tours-new-york-botanical-garden/

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Morning Eye Candy: A Window into the Past

A landmark full of landmarks! The Holiday Train Show  opened this weekend in our historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.

Enid A Haupt Conservatory

The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

 

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Autumn’s Arboreal Bounty at The New York Botanical Garden

Todd Forrest is the NYBG’s Arthur Ross Vice President for Horticulture and Living Collections. He leads all horticulture programs and activities across the Garden’s 250-acre National Historic Landmark landscape, including 50 gardens and plant collections outside and under glass, the old-growth Thain Family Forest, and living exhibitions in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.


Azalea GardenApproximately thirty thousand trees add shade and scale to the Garden, including thousands of mature oaks, maples, sweet-gums, beeches, birches, tulip-trees, black-gums, and other deciduous beauties in the Native Plant Garden, Azalea Garden, and dotted across the hills and dales of our historic landscape. All of these wonderful shade trees make fall at the Garden a heart-breakingly beautiful mosaic of yellow, orange, burgundy, scarlet, and brown, particularly when late October and early November days are bright and nights are crisp but not freezing.

All of these wonderful shade trees also make the annual ritual of fall leaf pick-up a Herculean task for Garden horticulturists, who take up rakes, blowers, mowers, vacuums, and any other tool they can think of and spend the better part of three months each year in an elaborately choreographed leaf gathering and transporting dance across the Garden’s 250 acres. If all goes as planned, leaf pick-up begins in early October and is mostly finished before winter’s first substantial snowfall.

Following a few simple rules when gathering leaves helps ensure that the work is done quickly and safely with the greatest possible benefit to the health of the landscape. These rules are:

  1. Wherever possible, leave a leaf where it lies. For example, we do not pick up leaves in the Forest, from beneath the azaleas in the Azalea Garden, or in large parts of the Native Plant Garden. The best thing for soil and plant health in these locations is to allow the leaves to decompose naturally so that they return nutrients to the soil, feed soil microorganisms, and conserve soil moisture.
  2. Wherever possible, mulch leaves directly in place. While we don’t allow leaves to sit on turf all winter long, we do use mulching blades on our lawn mowers to chop the leaves up. We do this until the leaves become so thick that they cannot be properly mulched using a lawn mower.
  3. Wherever possible, use rakes instead of blowers. In short, leaf blowers are among the most obnoxious of all human inventions. Unfortunately, our landscape is so large that we must use them in order to get our work done. We have upgraded our leaf blowers to the quietest, least-polluting models available and still use old fashioned rakes wherever we can.
  4. Save those leaves!: All told, we gather about one thousand cubic yards of leaves from our landscape each year. These leaves are manna for plants (and gardeners). Garden horticulturists transport all the leaves we collect to the Green Materials Recycling Center, where they are composted and ultimately recycled. These recycled leaves provide essential organic matter for the soil mixes we use to grow all of our plants for Conservatory exhibitions, seasonal displays, and collections and make our rich, dark mulch the envy of every gardener who visits.

While picking up and moving around millions of leaves each year is a gargantuan undertaking, we believe that both the fall color that proceeds the task and the many benefits these leaves provide to all of the Garden’s plants make all that work more than worthwhile.

023

Of course, that’s easy for me to write as I sit in my warm, dry office with a view of my colleagues, drowning in fall’s bounty.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/11/horticulture-2/autumns-arboreal-bounty-at-the-new-york-botanical-garden/

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NYC Council Leadership Tours New York Botanical Garden

From left to right: Councilman Andrew Cohen, Councilman Ritchie Torres, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Gregory Long, CEO and The William C. Steere Sr. President of NYBG

From left to right: Councilman Andrew Cohen, Councilman Ritchie Torres, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Gregory Long, CEO and The William C. Steere Sr. President of NYBG

On Saturday, October 18, I was honored to host a Garden tour for the Speaker of the New York City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito. Joining us were two Councilmen—Ritchie Torres and Andrew Cohen—whose Council districts include a part of the Garden.

The day’s schedule called for a golf cart tour through the grounds, viewing The Haunted Pumpkin Garden and Ray Villafane’s masterful carvings, taking in the elegant Kiku exhibition in the Haupt Conservatory, and touring much of the Garden’s historic permanent collections. In addition, the Speaker spent a good deal of time in the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden learning about NYBG’s edible gardening program and the Edible Academy project soon to break ground.

Speaker Mark-Viverito pitches in at the Family Garden

Speaker Mark-Viverito pitches in at the Family Garden

For nearly a century, the New York Botanical Garden has been a leader in garden-based education as well as the edible gardening headquarters for schools, families, community groups, home gardeners, and urban farmers. The immensely popular edible gardening program at the Garden will soon extend this impact and greatly broaden its reach through the new Edible Academy. Childhood obesity and other health problems caused by poor nutrition have brought a heightened interest in learning about growing fresh fruits and vegetables and preparing healthy foods, and the Edible Academy will facilitate this education by offering its programs to over 80,000 children, parents, and teachers annually.

The City of New York has made a wonderful commitment totaling $8.5 million in support of the Edible Academy project, and the New York City Council played a key leadership role in securing that funding.

Speaker Mark-Viverito also paid a visit to the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, where she was greeted by some of our volunteer teen Explainers—scientists in the making who teach young children about science as part of a youth leadership initiative that NYBG is proud to host. This past year alone, Speaker Mark-Viverito, Councilman Torres, and the Bronx Delegation of the City Council secured $2 million in capital funding supporting crucial upgrades to this nationally recognized program for informal science education.

In the Family Garden

Visiting supporters join NYBG staff in the Family Garden’s vegetable beds

We can’t thank Speaker Mark-Viverito, Councilman Torres, and Councilman Cohen enough for their ongoing support of NYBG, and we’re proud to have hosted their autumn tour of the Garden. Thanks also goes out to Councilman Torres’ Chief of Staff, Sindri McDonald, and Special Assistant Luisa Benedetto, who both helped to arrange this wonderful visit. All in all, it was a perfect day, and we’ll be excited to have the Speaker and City Council back for our upcoming Holiday Train Show.

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Morning Eye Candy: A Sunlit Stroll

Seasonal Walk NYBG
At Seasonal Walk – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/11/photography/morning-eye-candy-a-sunlit-stroll/

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