Morning Eye Candy: All in Red

Silene virginica

Fire pink (Silene virginica) in the Native Plant Garden – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/07/photography/morning-eye-candy-all-in-red/

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Morning Eye Candy: Intensely Edible

The Greenmarket‘s on today! If you join us near the Mosholu Gate, right at the end of Tulip Tree Allée, you’ll see tents and tables stacked with fresh baked goods, dairy, vegetables, and a colorful palette of summer fruits. The Greenmarket runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Wednesday through November, offering fresh local produce from around our region.

Greenmarket

At the Greenmarket – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/07/photography/morning-eye-candy-intensely-edible/

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Piet’s Pollinator Powerhouse

Sonia Uyterhoeven is NYBG’s Gardener for Public Education.


trifolium rubens Franz Xaver

Red feather clover (Trifolium rubens)
Photo by Franz Xaver

Over the years, I’ve often given tours of the High Line to NYBG Members as part of our Membership tour programs. In fact, I’ve already given several this year and have more planned for August and October. And as I lead the groups through this unique space, we discuss architecture, ecology, design, and garden-worthy plants. Perennials in particular are always a hot topic.

I often warn the participants against some of the more rambunctious perennials, as they tend to have a thuggish habit. Instead, I recommend many of the other outstanding selections that you can find in the planting scheme created by Piet Oudolf, the High Line’s designer. The perennials planted there are chosen for their durability. Growing in 18 inches of porous soil atop abandoned railroad tracks that stand 30 feet above the ground, these plants are regularly exposed to intense urban heat, sunlight, and heavy winds—they have to be tough.

Piet Oudolf’s naturalistic planting style fits in superbly with the unstructured urban environment. He designed the High Line with plant communities in mind, using primarily native, resilient, and ‘low-maintenance’ plants that provide great diversity, seasonal change, and height and color variation.

Three of the plants selected by Oudolf happen to be tough, underused perennials that will serve as pollinator magnets in your own garden. The color theme of the trio is purple or mauve to pink, and the botanical family is Fabaceae. Let’s just call this group “peas to please.”

The first one to come into flower is red feather clover (Trifolium rubens), which opens in May and flowers into June. It’s a showy and statuesque ornamental clover. When I point it out during tours and ask the participants to identify the plant, few can figure it out off the top of their heads; this ornamental clover is simply too glamorous.

The fat flowers on red feather clover start out as hairy silver buds that open up to a rosy magenta. The blooms are a magnet for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds from late spring into early summer. The plant reaches 18 to 24 inches tall and forms an impressive clump of oblong, globe-shaped flowers on upright stems.

Following hard on red feather clover’s heels is the diminutive but equally delightful purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea). Purple prairie clover has fine, feathery foliage and a nice vase-shaped habit. It grows 1-3 feet tall, but I generally see it reaching just over 2 feet in this area.

Purple Prairie Clover daea pupurea Blaine Hansel

Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea pupurea)
Photo by Blaine Hansel

Purple prairie clover flowers from mid June until August. The last time I was at the High Line, the plant was smothered in several different species of bees. Honeybees, bumblebees, Miner bees, and a whole slew of other species can’t help but love these flowers. But who couldn’t? They present as oblong, green-and-silver cones atop wiry stems. A cylindrical mass of purple wraps around the bottom of the cone and slowly moves its way to the top. When the tiny purple flowers and their bright yellow anthers reach the middle of the cone, it reminds me of Bozo the Clown’s bald head protruding above a wide band of hair. These whimsical flowers are a lovely addition to any environmentally savvy border.

The final flower in this trio is the lead plant (Amorpha canescens). It grows up to 3 feet high in a semi-erect fashion, although it starts into an elegant sprawl as it grows larger. The lead plant hasn’t made up its mind as to whether it’s a perennial or a deciduous shrub, however—the light green stems are hairy when young and become woody as they age.

leadplant Amorpha canescens

Lead plant (Amorpha canescens)
Photo by Blaine Hansel

The compound leaves on this perennial are bipinnate and have a soft, orderly, fern-like appeal. The lead plant has 2- to 6-inch flower spikes that cluster at the end of their stems. The purple blooms support striking orange-yellow anthers. Bees love these blossoms, and not just bumblebees but green metallic bees and many others. Lead plants flower for several weeks in mid summer.

Studies have shown that native plants are more likely to attract native pollinators and provide them with the food they need. Providing a continuous food supply through succession of bloom is equally important. In the trio of plants we have looked at today, the inflorescences all have small, open flowers that cluster together on a stalk. They offer small snacks for pollinators and the nectar is easy to reach.

As members of the pea family, these clovers are all nitrogen fixers and perform spectacularly in lean soil, although they can handle a wide range of soil. The latter two are prairie plants and their deep root system allows them to recover from fires. Unfortunately for many gardeners, they are also high in protein, and deer and other herbivores find them delicious. Nonetheless, they are definitely worth a try if you have space in your garden.


Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/07/tip-of-the-week/piets-pollinator-powerhouse/

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Morning Eye Candy: Lady Barbara

On a hint passed along by our Curator of Woody Plants, Deanna Curtis, Ivo headed out to the Azalea Garden for some hunting. His quarry was a flower, of course, and he was shooting with a camera—no worries there. He came back with photos of another winning deciduous azalea lighting up this collection during summer.

Rhododendron 'Lady Barbara'

Rhododendron ‘Lady Barbara’ by the Azalea Garden overlook – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Sunday Dinner at the Garden

Priceless NY Cooking Demo Whole Foods Family Kitchen GardenOn the heels of last month’s hugely successful Whole Foods 5% Day, we are very excited for the start of the next special event series to support the Garden’s Edible Academy initiative. This Sunday, MasterCard® Priceless® New York presents the first of four Family Dinners with Mario Batali’s Chefs!

Celebrated chef and NYBG Board Member Mario Batali is Honorary Chair of the Edible Academy Committee, and for four nights only the Garden will host chefs from the Batali Bastanich Hospitality Group‘s acclaimed restaurants to prepare a three-course, family-style menu to be served al fresco in the most secluded green oasis in New York City. Your family can join in the fun too, so read on for more details about the special menu and fun activities in store!
Each evening features a different culinary team visiting from some of New York’s hottest eateries–including Otto, Del Posto, and Eataly—to prepare the freshest ingredients from Mario Batali’s Kitchen Gardens, where kids learn about Italian heirloom vegetables and other nutritious edible plants. Enjoy hands-on gardening and craft activities alongside live cooking demonstrations by these top chefs in the outdoor Whole Foods Market Family Garden Kitchen.

Whole Foods Market Family Garden Kitchen

Each evening comes with its own unique menu and wine pairings. Explore the appetizing lineup and choose which date to bring your family for an unforgettable evening together. July 27 will include such summer treats as green beans with prosciutto, mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes; eggplant parmigiano with bianca aglio olio; and a mint and lemon semolina cake for dessert. Delicious!

Mario Batali's Kitchen Gardens

This garden-to-table meal is served in the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, the heart of the future site of the Edible Academy—a new, green building that will serve as the hub for edible education at NYBG. On June 25, Whole Foods shoppers and friends of the Garden raised over $131,000 to help realize this new educational platform that prepares children, their families, and their teachers for a lifelong interest in gardening and healthful living. But important funds still need to be raised to make this project happen! You can help us reach this goal, either by direct donation to the Edible Academy initiative, or by purchasing tickets to one of only four special Family Dinners with Mario Batali’s Chefs.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/07/garden-programming/mario-batalis-edible-garden/sunday-dinner-at-the-garden/

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Morning Eye Candy: Supernova

Echinops

Echinops along Seasonal Walk – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Morning Eye Candy: Fashion Forward

This daylily is a role model in that we can all aspire to dress this well. Look for it hanging out around the Daylily Walk on your way toward the Haupt Conservatory.

Hemerocallis 'Role Model'

Hemerocallis ‘Role Model’ along the Daylily Walk– Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Morning Eye Candy: A Friend to Bees

Thalictrum 'Elin'

Meadow-rue (Thalictrum ‘Elin’) along the Seasonal Walk – Photo by Amy Weiss

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Morning Eye Candy: Floating Along

The flower clusters of Sanguisorba tenuifolia float like dainty ghosts at the tips of their spindly stems, calling out the beauty of the Seasonal Walk in summer all the more.

Sanguisorba tenuifolia

Sanguisorba tenuifolia along the Seasonal Walk – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Jazz Age Evenings: Swing Under The Summer Sky

Phonograph DJ Jazz Age Evenings NYBGNext Thursday, July 24, is the second of only three special Jazz Age Evenings here at the Garden. This special event series whisks visitors back in time to the age of Groundbreakers for a magical summer evening. Sip vintage-style cocktails courtesy of our friends at Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer, and dance the night away to big band music from the one and only Michael Arenella His Dreamland Orchestra after an initial dance lesson at the start of the party.

Each evening is unique, so read on for the details on the special cocktail recipe and music theme for July 24! You will also see more exclusive photos of last month’s Jazz Age Evening, and get a peek of what’s in store for you and that special someone.

Next Thursday’s music hearkens back to the suave, romantic crooners of the 1930s. Sweet serenades complement smooth rhythms and more intimate dances. The evening kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with a dance lesson in the Foxtrot and the “Fred Ginger” until 7:15 so you and your special someone can sway to the live tunes.

Quench your thirst with the evening’s signature cocktail, the Crabbie Stormy, a twist on the classic that mixes dark rum with Crabbie’s all-natural ginger beer and a hint of lemon. The result is pleasantly spicy, but not too heavy for a warm night. Enjoy these scenes from our last evening, and buy your tickets now before they sell out!

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MasterCard Cardholders are invited to start the night off with a champagne pre-party at Shop in the Garden each night from 5 to 6 p.m. Get more information and tickets.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/07/garden-programming/jazz-age-evenings-swing-under-the-summer-sky/

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