Morning Eye Candy: Frontrunner

First tulips, first tulips! The Rock Garden is clearly the frontrunner in this sudden season of flowers.

Tulipa 'Ice Stick'

Tulipa ‘Ice Stick’ in the Rock Garden – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/04/photography/morning-eye-candy-frontrunner/

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Morning Eye Candy: Dog’s Day

Cornus mas

Cornelian cherry dogwood (Cornus mas) – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/04/photography/morning-eye-candy-dogs-day/

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‘Pink Peignoir’ Awakens the Azalea Garden

Kristin Schleiter is the NYBG’s Associate Vice President of Outdoor Gardens and Senior Curator. She oversees the wonderful gardening team that keeps our flowering gardens looking topnotch, curates the herbaceous gardens and collections, and manages the curator of woody plants. She lives and gardens in Fairfield, CT.


Rhododendron mucronulatum 'Pink Peignoir'At very long last, spring has well and truly come to the Azalea Garden. I can tell because the Korean rhododendron, Rhododendron mucronulatum, is decorating the ridge at the top of the garden near the overlook with its delicious candy colors. My favorite is the earliest-to-bloom ‘Pink Peignoir’ in a shade of cotton candy pink that sings against our often drizzly grey skies and is cheerily visible from a long distance.

Korean rhododendron make marvelous garden plants. They prefer an acid soil (which is what most soil in the tri-state area is naturally) and at least a half a day of good light. They are hardy down to a chilly zone 4. They are deciduous and lose their leaves with a late and lasting foliage show of simmering orange, gold, and scarlet.

I so love the spring when the gardens are all full of promise and you feel that this will be the season that everything grows just as you see in your mind’s eye. The Korean rhododendron is the perfect plant to keep that hope alive, at least until a late frost shows you that you might have to wait until next year for your horticultural utopia.

Rhododendron mucronulatum 'Pink Peignoir'

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/04/horticulture-2/pink-peignoir-awakens-the-azalea-garden/

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This Weekend: Island Hopping for Orchids

yellow orchidOnly ten days left to visit The Orchid Show: Key West Contemporary, but this weekend there are many ways to get the most out of your visit to the Garden. While this year’s Orchid Show focuses on the Florida Keys, hundreds more varieties of this lovely flower grow throughout the tropics. This Sunday we are pleased to present Island Hopping for Caribbean Orchids in conjunction with the Torrey Botanical Society. Dr. James Ackerman Jr. will read from—and sign copies of—his latest book on the orchids of the Greater Antilles, a peek into one of the most beautiful and biologically diverse regions of the globe as seen through their most stunning flora.

While April 12′s Orchid Evening has already sold out, the good news is that tickets are still available for both Orchid Evenings taking place next weekend, April 18 and 19. That’s right, for the closing weekend of The Orchid Show, there will be an after dark event on both Friday and Saturday, with a different DJ and signature cocktail each night! But it’s your last chance to experience this flamboyant exhibition at night, so get your tickets soon.

Next week The Culinary Kids Food Festival returns April 14 with all new Activity Stations for hands-on learning of the science behind your family’s favorite treats! See what we have in store for the spring edition of one of our most popular family programs here. Or read on to see what’s in store at the Garden this beautiful April weekend!


Saturday, April 12

Hyacinth blue eyes

Roaming Orchid Guides – 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Meet in the Palm Dome of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Garden guides highlight parts of the permanent collection and special exhibition to add insight to your experience of The Orchid Show. They will provide an in-depth look at rare and extraordinary orchid specimens on display.

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.

Garden Highlights: Spring Awakening Tour – 12:30 p.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center

Sights and scents emerge across the 250-acres of the Botanical Garden. Join a Garden Guide for a walking tour featuring highlights of the gardens and plant collections, like the Native Plant and Perennial Gardens.

Escape to Paradise: The Music of Key West – 1 3 p.m.
In the Ross Hall

The sounds of tropical rock and island music transport you to Key West with lyrics that evoke a warm, lush locale and a laid-back lifestyle, plus rhythms of the acoustic guitar, congas, and percussion instruments.

About the Band: Jimmy Kenny and The Pirate Beach Band‘s musicians have over 20 years of live playing experience. They pride themselves on bringing the most authentic listening experience possible in a tribute to the music of Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney and the Zac Brown Band among others, including your favorite tropical hits, reggae, Top 40 Americana, and the best in New and Classic Country.

Orchid Care QA – 1:30–4:30 p.m.
In Shop in the Garden

Gardening and orchid experts share their best secrets and explain the simple steps to healthy plants as they help you choose the right plant for your home.

Orchid Care Demonstrations: Troubleshooting with Orchids – 2 3 p.m.
In the Conservatory GreenSchool

Is your orchid distressed? Join us for a lesson on basic orchid care and a list of dos and don’ts that will keep your plants thriving. Some of the most common mistakes and maladies will be covered, including tips on how to rescue ailing orchids.

Rock Garden Tour – 2:30 p.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitors Center

The Rock Garden is a 2 1/2-acre oasis complete with a pond and waterfall and featuring alpine plants from six continents. Join an expertly trained Garden Guide for a walking tour to see and learn more about these jewel-like plants.

Orchid Evenings – 7–9 p.m.
In the Conservatory

Tomorrow’s Orchid Evening is SOLD OUT! But don’t worry, tickets are still available for our two Orchid Evenings next week! That’s right, we have an Orchid Evening on Friday, April 18, and Saturday, April 19 for the last weekend of The Orchid Show: Key West Contemporary. Come join us to say goodbye to this special exhibition with a cocktail in hand. Music and unforgettable beauty make for one of New York City’s most romantic date destinations. Your ticket includes a complimentary cocktail and special dinner offers at our restaurant partners on Little Italy’s Arthur Avenue and beyond. On Friday, April 18, we welcome DJ Ayesha Adamo. Saturday, April 19, sees the return of DJ Julio Pezua spinning tunes for the event. More details below:

Cocktail Partner: Would you prefer fruity or fresh? We have a different signature cocktail for both Orchid Evenings. Friday, April 18, guests will enjoy The Diamond Spring Spritz, a refreshing blend of Russian Diamond Vodka and freshly squeezed lemon and lime juices, sweetened with organic agave nectar and topped off with a splash of sparkling wine, a dash of Blue J Syrup, and a sprig of spring mint. Courtesy of Russian Diamond Vodka. The next night, The Yvette Cup will be on offer, courtesy of Cooper Spirits. This is a perfect fruity, herbal, and botanical blend of a cocktail. Ginger, cucumber, and mint are muddled and topped off with gin and Crème Yvette and a squeeze of lime.

Non-Member $30/Member $20 (Adults 21 and over) Advance tickets recommended; includes one specialty cocktail.
Start the night off with a champagne pre-party at Shop in the Garden from 6 to 7 p.m. Learn more at priceless.com/newyork.


Sunday, April 13

daffodil bud dewdrops

Roaming Orchid Guides – 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Meet in the Palm Dome of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Garden guides highlight parts of the permanent collection and special exhibition to add insight to your experience of The Orchid Show. They will provide an in-depth look at rare and extraordinary orchid specimens on display.

Spring Highlights Tour – 12:30 p.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center

Join a Garden Guide for a walking tour featuring highlights of the gardens and plant collections that stand out in late winter, and start to look for early signs of spring.

Ross Conifer Arboretum Tour – 12:30 p.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center

The Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum is a historic, 15-acre collection of towering pines, elegant spruces, and mountain firs from around the world. These irreplaceable trees were among the first planted at the Garden, some as far back as the early 1900s. Join an expertly trained Guide for a tour of these exquisite specimens.

Escape to Paradise: The Music of Key West – 1 3:30 p.m.
In the Ross Hall

The sounds of tropical rock and island music transport you to Key West with lyrics that evoke a warm, lush locale and a laid-back lifestyle, plus rhythms of the acoustic guitar, congas, and percussion instruments.

About the Band: Jimmy Kenny and The Pirate Beach Band‘s musicians have over 20 years of live playing experience. They pride themselves on bringing the most authentic listening experience possible in a tribute to the music of Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney and the Zac Brown Band among others, including your favorite tropical hits, reggae, Top 40 Americana, and the best in New and Classic Country.

Orchid Care QA – 1:30–4:30 p.m.
In Shop in the Garden

Gardening and orchid experts share their best secrets and explain the simple steps to healthy plants as they help you choose the right plant for your home.

Orchid Care Demonstrations: Troubleshooting with Orchids – 2 3 p.m.
In the Conservatory GreenSchool

Is your orchid distressed? Join us for a lesson on basic orchid care and a list of dos and don’ts that will keep your plants thriving. Some of the most common mistakes and maladies will be covered, including tips on how to rescue ailing orchids.

Nature Journaling in the Native Plant Garden Tour – 2:30 p.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool

Enjoy a mosaic of nearly 100,000 native trees, wildflowers, ferns and grasses designed to flourish in every season through the lens of a naturalist. Participants will practice nature journaling techniques through inquiry, observation and other hands-on activities.

Torrey Botanical Society Talk and Booksigning: Island Hopping for Caribbean Orchids – 4 p.m.
In the Ross Hall

“…orchids are universally acknowledged to rank among the most singular and most modified forms in the vegetable kingdom…” — Charles Darwin

Dr. James Ackerman, Jr., Professor of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, unveils the beauty and unravels the mysteries of the public and private lives of the species he portrays in his new book, published by the NYBG Press, Orchid Flora of the Greater Antilles, volume 109 of the series Memoirs of The New York Botanical Garden. He will be signing copies of the book following the talk.

From Anegada in the northeastern corner of the Caribbean to the tip of western Cuba, the Greater Antilles stretch across nearly 1,500 miles comprising a geologically complex group of islands that are home to a remarkably species-rich flora and fauna, making the region one of the world’s Biodiversity Hotspots. Nearly 600 orchid species reside on these culturally diverse islands, and to get a good sense of this diversity, their intriguing biology, and the habitats in which they reside, ideally one must go where they are in nature.

Co-Presented with the Torrey Botanical Society.


Ongoing Children’s Programs

daffodils narcissus

Little Landscapes – 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
In the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden

The plant world comes alive in a big way at the Discovery Center this winter. Take a step inside the world of plants and create your own terrarium to bring home. Be inspired to create a rocky, mossy, or floral world in a jar by looking closely at a wide array of artistic and scientific terrariums. While you are at it, use a microscope to take a closer look at some of the featured terrarium characters like moss, lichens, and rocks.

Dig! Plant! Grow!: Wake Up, Garden!– 1:30–5:30 p.m.
In the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden

Rise and shine Family Garden! Help get the garden off to a good start by sowing seeds, planting seedlings, spreading compost, and digging. Observe the rapid changes and new growth on the trees, shrubs, and bulbs in our meadow, and explore germination of seeds up close with microscopes and magnifiers.

Mario Batali’s Kitchen Gardens – 1:30 – 6 p.m.
In the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden

Kids can explore with Mario’s Menu Mystery game, featuring favorite vegetables and herbs from nine of his restaurants’ kitchens, including Otto and Del Posto.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/04/garden-programming/this-weekend-island-hopping-for-orchids/

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Morning Eye Candy: Clouds of Aroma

If you know its scent, you’ll never forget it. The lemony aroma of a springtime caught red-handed.

Lonicera fragrantissima

Winter honeysuckle by the Watson Building (Lonicera fragrantissima) – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/04/photography/morning-eye-candy-20/

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Morning Eye Candy: Disdainful Goose

“I step out for a few weeks and suddenly everyone in New York City has a jacket with my name on the sleeve. What gives?”

Canadian Goose

By the Bronx River – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/04/photography/morning-eye-candy-disdainful-goose/

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From the Library: The Orchid Illustrated

Ed. Note: In art, as in life, the orchid has enjoyed many decades of popularity throughout the world. But some might be surprised to find that these “exotic” flowers were en vogue with the horticultural set well before the 20th century made their cultivation rote. Even in the 1800s—and as far back as Charles Darwin’s investigation of his eponymous star orchid—there was a fervent interest in these elegant blooms.

Andrew Tschinkel, the LuEsther T. Mertz Library’s Digital Imaging Technician, gives us a glimpse into the orchid’s illustrated past.


Lager and Hurrell front coverMertz Digital, the LuEsther T. Mertz Library’s online collection, has just added several vintage nursery catalogs from the firm of Lager Hurrell. The firm of Lager Hurrell was established in 1896 in Summit, New Jersey and was, for decades, the largest commercial producer and distributor of orchid plants in the Americas.

John E. Lager (1861–1937), who founded Lager Hurrell in 1896, was a legendary orchid hunter whose exploits took him to the most remote jungles of the world in a life long quest for extraordinary and beautiful orchid specimens. He was the subject of a 1933 TIME magazine profile for discovering a specimen that the writer described as “the world’s rarest orchid,” the pure white Cattleya Gigas Alba, sold by Lager Hurrell to the Baron Firmen Lambeau of Belgium for the then astronomical price of $10,000! [Potentially $180,000 by modern estimates.]

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A splendid example of the preeminence of Lager Hurrell was its “Grand Orchid Exhibit” at the American Orchid Institute in New York City in 1905. The firm’s display won first place with 359 plants of 103 species and varieties. It was described as the most remarkable exhibit of orchids ever shown here or abroad.


The NYBG’s current ode to the orchid, The Orchid Show: Key West Contemporary, ends its 2014 run on Monday, April 21—and it’s not something you want to let pass you by. Orchid Evenings also continue with two more events following April 12′s sold-out night, so don’t miss out on tickets to the April 18 and 19 celebrations!

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/04/from-the-library/from-the-library-the-orchid-illustrated/

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Morning Eye Candy: At Last

Magnolia stellata

Magnolia stellata near the Library Building – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/04/photography/morning-eye-candy-at-last/

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Weird, Wild, & Wonderful: The NYBG Triennial Explores Another World of Botanical Art

Polystichum sp. Julia Trickey

Polystichum sp., © Julia Trickey

Plants aren’t all pink petals and dainty blossoms. Nature has a strange side, and botanical artists with a sense of adventure can find all sorts of singular subjects among the world’s… well, weirder specimens.

That is the inspiration behind the second New York Botanical Garden triennial exhibition, Weird, Wild, Wonderful, a juried show co-presented with the American Society of Botanical Artists. In homage to the beauty of the botanical world’s most bizarre flora, the Garden invited members of the society to participate in a study of the eccentric, creating works of art based on visually unusual plants chosen by the artists themselves.

The exhibit will debut in the Ross Gallery on Saturday, April 19. The show includes 46 captivating paintings and illustrations of exotic specimens, in media such as watercolor, oil, colored pencil, tempera, graphite, gouache, acrylic, aquatint etching, and pen and ink. Nearly 240 entries were submitted, and the exhibition features artists from the United States, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The selection jury consisted of Lugene Bruno, Curator of Art at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation; Jean Emmons, award-winning botanical artist; and Marc Hachadourian, Manager of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections at The New York Botanical Garden.

heirloom tomato Solanum lycopersicum Watercolor on paper Asuka Hishiki

heirloom tomato, (Solanum lycopersicum), Watercolor on paper, © Asuka Hishiki

Weird, Wild, Wonderful features plants not always thought of as beautiful but rather eccentric, intriguing, and mysterious. Some of the artworks depict common plants presented in a dramatic new way, such as the “heirloom tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)” or “shield fern (Polystichum sp.)”. Others have more exotic names that you may not have heard, such as the dramatic “Capparidastrum sola and the, um,Dog turd fungus with pill bug (Pisolithus tinctorius Armadillidium vulgare)”—if the names are any indication, you can expect to see plants as you have never seen them before.

Capparidastrum sola Ann Hoffenberg

Capparidastrum sola, © Ann S. Hoffenberg

You can get more information about the triennial exhibition here. If the artwork on display inspires you to portray a weird, wild, and wonderful plant of your own, NYBG Adult Education offers a wide array of Workshops and Certificate classes in Botanical Art Illustration for all experience levels.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/04/garden-programming/weird-wild-wonderful-the-nybg-triennial-explores-another-world-of-botanical-art/

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Morning Eye Candy: The Faintest Blue

Ice-blue squill paints Wamsler Rock as if filling in for the absent winter snow. Or mocking its departure!

Scilla mischtschenkoana 'Tubergeniana'

Scilla mischtschenkoana ‘Tubergeniana’ at Wamsler Rock– Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/04/photography/morning-eye-candy-19/

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