Containing The Situation

Sonia Uyterhoeven is NYBG‘s Gardener for Public Education.


container gardening plantingTwo large containers adorn the entrance out by Bedford Gate. Traditionally, we have used the narrow leaf fig (Ficus binnendijkii ‘Alli’) as the centerpiece for these containers. Our specimens are multi-stemmed with long, narrow, lance-shaped leaves. Ficus binnendijkii ‘Alli’ is not as fussy as the ubiquitous weeping fig, Ficus benjamina. It is more tolerant of low light levels and does not have a tendency to drop its leaves when moved.

Our Ficus binnendijkii ‘Alli’ specimens are terrific candidates to under-plant with annuals. In late spring we place the narrow leaf figs into larger pots that provide ample space for seasonal plantings.

The combination for this year’s summer display started with good intentions and then went awry. The errors that were made are common and instructive. We under-planted Ficus binnendijkii ‘Alli’ with the following: angel wings (Caladium ‘Miss Muffet’), English ivy (Hedera helix ‘Green Needle Point’), begonia (Begonia ‘Pink Giraffe’) and coleus (Solenostemon ‘Wasabi’).

Begonia Pink Giraffe

Begonia ‘Pink Giraffe’

On paper everything looked good. The angel wings ‘Miss Muffet’ is a dwarf cultivar that grows 12 inches tall and has small to medium arrowhead-shaped leaves that are chartreuse with red spots that bleed through the foliage.

Begonia ‘Pink Giraffe’ is a mild-mannered version of the pink dragon wing begonia. It is a tall cane type begonia with apple-green leaves and pendulous pink flowers. The foliage is luxurious and it has a nice arching demeanor.

If, as Fine Gardening magazine tells us, a good starting point for container recipes is to include “thrillers, spillers, and fillers,” then the Ficus binnendijkii ‘Alli’, the angel wings, and the begonias were the “thriller.” The English ivy (Hedera helix ‘Green Needle Point’) provided a delicate perennial accent as the ‘spiller,’ and the coleus acted as a filler.

angel wings Caladium Miss Muffet

Caladium ‘Miss Muffet’

The coleus we selected, ‘Wasabi’, has lovely chartreuse foliage. The color was perfect for the shady container. Unfortunately, this specific coleus grows 18 to 30 inches tall, and it grew as if it were on steroids. Within no time, it had engulfed the other annuals. The begonia disappeared, the angel wings were smothered, and the ivy timidly peeked out from underneath the mass of coleus.

With a coleus, you can adjust the size by pinching it back. It is good practice to pinch your coleus—it will promote branching and it will prevent the plant from flowering. Flowering channels energy away from the foliage and into the flowers, so it is undesirable to grow for foliage in an annual.

As part of general container maintenance, grooming is imperative. There is, however, an important truth in gardening—if something wants to grow, it is better to let it grow. With all the choices we have on the market days, it is much easier to select a smaller cultivar rather than trying to force a plant to do something it doesn’t want to do.

Gardening, however, is about experimentation and learning. Now we know that Solenostemon ‘Wasabi’ is terrific for a shady border that requires height, volume, and color. For a container, it is probably better to plant Solenostemon ‘Dapple Apple’ or another similar variety, which also has chartreuse foliage but only grows 10–14 inches tall.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/10/horticulture-2/containing-the-situation/

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Morning Eye Candy: The World is Your Oyster

If the Garden is an oyster then this Grandiflora rose is certainly the pearl!

1014-Grandiflora-rose-Mother-of-Pearl-1200x800

Rosa ‘Mother of Pearl’™ in the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/10/photography/morning-eye-candy-the-world-is-your-oyster/

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Today at the Greenmarket: Trick or Treat!

Cauliflower GreenmarketToday our weekly Greenmarket is hosting a special Halloween Celebration! Come by before 3 p.m. for some extra fun and to enjoy your favorite fall treats. Try a taste of caramel corn and hot cider and snap a photo with a scarecrow! Kids can make some fall art, creating a leaf rubbing from one of NYBG’s many fallen leaves. Be sure to enter the New York Botanical Garden Raffle for a chance to win a bag of fresh produce and local goodies from the NYBG Greenmarket. Celebrate the season and learn about New York’s regional produce!

Our vendors have an abundance of healthy, fresh cauliflower for sale today, so it’s the perfect chance to share a little-known use for cauliflower—as a pizza crust! I kid you not, and speaking of kids, they won’t mind eating their vegetables when served like this. Click through for a quick and simple way to make a cauliflower pizza crust that you can cover with your preferred toppings.

Cauliflower Pizza Dough

Via The Rachel Ray Show

Ingredients

  1. 1 pound cauliflower florets
  2. 2 eggs

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a food processor, process cauliflower until finely chopped.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, cook cauliflower for five minutes or until tender. Place cauliflower in a towel, and squeeze out excess water so it is completely dry.
  4. In a bowl, mix egg and cauliflower until well-combined.
  5. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread cauliflower dough out until it resembles a pizza round. Bake for 40 minutes.
  6. Top however you want and bake in a 450°F oven for 7 minutes or until cheese and toppings have baked.

Serves 1 pizza round

Rachel Ray Cauliflower Pizza Crust Dough

Photo via The Rachel Ray Show

The market accepts food stamps, EBT, WIC/ FMNP, and Senior coupons, in addition to cash and credit or debit cards. The Hispanic Federation is at the NYBG Greenmarket every Wednesday providing assistance with the enrollment process in the New York State of Health Marketplace for Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and Qualified Health Path. Stop by the NYBG Greenmarket for more information.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/10/garden-programming/today-at-the-greenmarket-trick-or-treat/

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Morning Eye Candy: Blooms Over Easy

These anemones look like fresh country fried eggs if you get close enough—or maybe it’s just a breakfast craving.

Amy Weiss Anemone

Anemone × hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ in Seasonal Walk – Photo by Amy Weiss

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/10/photography/morning-eye-candy-blooms-over-easy/

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Escape With Fall Forest Weekends at NYBG

Thain Family Forest Bronx RiverThose who have been following our Fall Foliage Tracker know that peak color is just around the corner here at the Garden. While the rest of New York State’s leaf season has come and gone for the most part, the fun is just getting started here in the Native Plant Garden and the Thain Family Forest with the return of our popular Fall Forest Weekends this week and next.

Enjoy New York City’s largest remaining tract of old-growth forest at its most colorful alongside a variety of entertaining and educational activities to heighten your experience of this vital ecosystem. There will be plenty of color to appreciate during Forest tours and various live demonstrations. See live birds of prey, professional arborists demonstrating how they climb to the top of the tree canopy, and woodworking demonstrated by a skilled craftsman. You can even paddle a canoe down the Bronx River to take in rich scenery from the best vantage point there is!

Bring your family to a place that showcases the singular beauty of New York State while feeling a world away from the rest of the city. You can participate in NYBG’s Citizen Science program as you explore the trails, and your kids can improve their own natural knowledge in Tree-rific Trees in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. Check out the full schedule of programs for both Fall Forest Weekends, taking place November 1 2 and 8 9. Until then, enjoy these photos of what visitors can expect to see during fall at the Garden!

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/10/garden-programming/escape-with-fall-forest-weekends-at-nybg/

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Morning Eye Candy: Blooms Over Easy

These anemones look like fresh country fried eggs if you get close enough—or maybe it’s just a breakfast craving.

Amy Weiss Anemone

Anemone × hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ in Seasonal Walk – Photo by Amy Weiss

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Moning Eye Candy: Waving Goodbye

Can you believe each of these big, healthy blooms was trained from a single chrysanthemum plant? Kiku closes tomorrow, and the flowers’ curling petals look as if they are all waving goodbye.

Kiku the Art of the Japanese Garden chrysanthemum

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

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/10/photography/moning-eye-candy-waving-goodbye/

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Morning Eye Candy: Shades of Saffron

No saffron here, but this Shrub rose is mimicking its unmistakable golden shade quite competently.

Shrub Rose Postillion Kordes

Rosa Postillion® in the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/10/photography/morning-eye-candy-shades-of-saffron/

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Green Invaders: What You Can Do

Joyce H. Newman holds a Certificate in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden and has been a Tour Guide for over seven years. She is a blogger for Garden Variety News and the former editor of Consumer Reports GreenerChoices.org.


NYS InvasivesFall is a good time to identify many of the common invasive plants and wildlife that may be threatening your garden. While you’re cleaning up your leaves and garden beds, you can spot the invaders including mile-a-minute vine, multiflora rose, Norway maple, oriental bittersweet, phragmites, porcelain berry,  Tree of Heaven, winged euonymus, and more.

Many of these exotic species were intentionally introduced from other countries more than a century ago. Some were used as packing material, while others just took a ride on ships from Asia and Europe. Some plants were cultivated for their ornamental value without regard for the fact that they could out-compete important native species. A detailed list of prohibited and regulated invasive plants in New York State with pictures is provided here.

You can learn to identify some of these invasive plants right in your own backyard and then report your findings by signing up on a new smartphone app, online database, and website called iMapInvasives.

The site is designed with different layers so that gardeners and homeowners as well as scientists and natural resource specialists can use it. All users can sign up for email alerts and produce invasive species lists for specific geographical areas, by zip code, town, county, or region.

The idea behind the site is to map the areas where invasive plants and wildlife are located so that we can stop them in their tracks. The GIS-based data management system lets you use an interactive website or smartphone to identify invasive plants.

Various types of data are available in iMapInvasives: basic information about the species along with information about treatment, infestation, and area surveyed. Once you register—there are separate pages for each state—you will receive an email with information and a login. For New York State, the web address is: nyimapinvasives.org.

Training is also available to help use the site, depending on your level of interest.

Photos courtesy imapinvasives.org

 

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/10/tip-of-the-week/green-invaders-what-you-can-do/

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Morning Eye Candy: Seeing Red

Don’t get frustrated, the long wait is over and fall foliage has arrived at NYBG!

Native Plant Garden Fall Foliage

In the Native Plant Garden – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/10/photography/morning-eye-candy-a-splash-of-red/

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