Morning Eye Candy: Dropping By

The snow has receded, leaving only snowdrops in its wake.

Snowdrops

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

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2015/03/photography/morning-eye-candy-dropping-by/

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LGBT@NYBG Continues March 19 at Orchid Evenings

The next of our popular Orchid Evenings is this Thursday, March 19, and this special night will be dedicated to our friends in the LGBT community as part of the Garden’s new LGBT@NYBG initiative. In partnership with the NGLCCNY, NYBG will dedicate one of our special ticketed cocktail evenings to LGBT outreach for each exhibition.

Guests on Thursday will be able to admire The Orchid Show: Chandeliers and even enter for a chance to win prizes from our friends at Guerlain. Enjoy some beautiful snapshots from our last Orchid Evening below, and get your tickets for one of the remaining dates between now and April 19!

 

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2015/03/exhibit-news/the-orchid-show/lgbtnybg-continues-march-19-at-orchid-evenings/

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Fine Foliage and Bold Bracts

Sonia Uyterhoeven is NYBG‘s Gardener for Public Education.


Aechmea 'Del Mar'

Aechmea ‘Del Mar’

I find myself surrounded by bromeliads twice each year. During the early summer, when temperatures have sufficiently warmed, high-end landscape designers use these intriguing tropical beauties to dress up window boxes and the small front gardens of Manhattan town houses. And in frosty February and fickle March, though the temperatures make it an unlikely time for a northerner to encounter bromeliads, you’ll find colorful Neoregelia, showy Vriesea, and floriferous Aechmea thriving in the safe haven of our Conservatory.

Bromeliads add an important element of design to The Orchid Show with their color and texture. Their broad, lance-shaped foliage emerges gracefully from their vase-like form, adding structure and drama to the display. This year they are complemented by an array of lush, tropical and subtropical ferns. In nature, bromeliads often grow alongside orchids—the show takes this natural association and transforms it into a vibrant and stylized display.

Like orchids, bromeliads can be epiphytic, terrestrial, or lithophytic, making their homes in the heights of the forest canopy, on the ground, or on rocks. They tolerate a broad range of temperatures from near freezing to 100°F, but prefer temperatures that range between 65–90°F during the day and 50–65°F at night.

Aechmea 'Burning Bush'

Aechmea ‘Burning Bush’

If you grow a bromeliad as a houseplant, they do best in bright, indirect sunlight. When grown outdoors in the summer, they prefer dappled light and thrive when given the mild morning sun. Potting soils need to hold moisture yet drain quickly. A mix of 50% soilless potting mix with 50% fine grade orchid mix works well.

Tank bromeliads are plants that hold water in the reservoirs of their leaves. The roots serve to anchor the plants, while the leaves take on the function of water and nutrient absorption. The cups (at the center of the vase-like form) should be full of water at all times, so flush them with water once a week. The potting medium should be watered but allowed to approach drying out between each watering.

Many bromeliads die after flowering. They produce “pups” or small offshoots that develop around the base of the plant. These can be separated from the parent when the pups are 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the parent plant. You can also cut the dead parent back to its base and leave the pups to grow and fill in the remaining space. Other bromeliads form colonies by producing clusters of plants on stolons (long shoots that grow along the surface of the soil).

In The Orchid Show: Chandeliers, we have a non-stop supply of fine foliage and colorful bracts. Aechmeas are tank bromeliads that have some of the most fanciful inflorescence. One of my favorite is Aechmea ‘Del Mar’. It has grassy green leaves and a hot pink flower spike replete with cobalt blue bracts and whitish-blue flowers.

If you like a plant with a bit more sizzle, then Aechmea ‘Burning Bush’ is the one for you. It’s glossy, bright green foliage acts as a foil for the red-orange inflorescence. Aechmea chantinii ‘Little Harv’ has thick, lance-shaped silver foliage with a salmon-pink spike and bracts that sport yellow flowers. It creates a formidable cacophony of color—one that startles in just the right way.

Vriesea gigantea 'Nova'

Vriesea gigantea ‘Nova’

While bromeliads can be beautiful, some can also be ferocious. The edges of their lance-shaped leaves carry small, sharp spines. While the three Aechmeas mentioned above are spiny, Aechmea ‘Harvito’ has spineless, dark green foliage with a vivid pink bloom. If you are interested in colorful foliage as well as flowers, then a good choice is Aechmea ‘Frappuccino’, with white striations running through its copper-colored foliage.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, perhaps some explanation is called for. A bract is a modified leaf with a flower or cluster of flowers in its axil. Chances are good that you’ve seen one before. The classic examples are poinsettia and bougainvillea. The colorful structures that have the appearance of flower petals are actually bracts, and the miniscule or insignificant flowers are tucked in their center. In many instances, the bracts are there to attract and guide pollinators to the small flowers.

I mentioned earlier that in many bromeliads the mother plant dies once it flowers and creates “pups.” Aechmeas fall into this category. But here’s the good news: the inflorescence on many of these bromeliads lasts for several months—almost the lion’s share of a year on some plants. The mother plant also takes her time while she declines and the pups are being formed.

Vriesea are also typically tank bromeliads. Their foliage is variable in color, ranging from shiny grass green to intricately mottled leaves. The flowers are born on sword-shaped spikes with colorful bracts and tubular flowers.

Neoregelia 'Guacamole' and Delta Maidenhair Fern

Neoregelia ‘Guacamole’ and
Delta Maidenhair Fern

The Orchid Show coincides with the display of two beautiful, mottled-leaf varieties of bromeliad. Vriesea gigantea ‘Nova’ is an epiphyte or lithophyte from Brazil that forms a large rosette with green and creamy yellow foliage. Vriesea ospinae var. gruberi is a native of Columbia that has a variable striped color pattern ranging from pale yellow to cream mixed with shades of burgundy.

Neoregelia do not have showy flowers, but they compensate with exceptional foliage. They look their best when the light levels are on the higher side (not too shady). If you over-fertilize these bromeliads, the colorful foliage will remain green. We have Neoregelia ‘Cookie’ and ‘Guacamole’ in the show. The latter is an appetizing mélange of bright burgundy red and apple green. ‘Cookie’ is variegated with a trio of pronounced green, rosy pink, and cream stripes.

If showy and somewhat exotic are traits you love in a houseplant, bromeliads are a likely choice at almost any time of year—and, with the proper care, that counts even here in New York. Keep an eye out for these lush beauties during The Orchid Show: Chandeliers, now through April 19.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2015/03/horticulture-2/fine-foliage-and-bold-bracts/

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Morning Eye Candy: A Long-Awaited Return

Welcome back, Spring. We missed you.

Perennial Garden NYBGIn the Perennial Garden – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Morning Eye Candy: A Long-Awaited Return

Welcome back, Spring. We missed you.

Perennial Garden NYBGIn the Perennial Garden – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Greet Spring with the Children’s Gardening Program!

Children's Gardening ProgramPull on your galoshes and best gardening gloves, because spring is just two weeks away! Soon, kids ages 3–5 and 6–12 will learn about spring crops and beautiful early bloomers, like tulips and daffodils, in the Children’s Gardening Program, which kicks off later this month.

Kids in the Children’s Gardening Program learn about plant life, from soil all the way to the treetops. They get to take part in the process by planting their own veggie garden plots and digging for worms—key players in the composting and soil enrichment processes. There’s plenty more fun with songs, crafts, and nature-inspired activities that indulge in kids’ desire to know more about the inner workings of the environment around them.

One parent pointed out her little gardener’s enlightenment about where food comes from. “My child can see that plants are not ‘born’ in the grocery store,” she said. Other parents have said their children are less picky about eating their vegetables after learning where they come from and tasting them firsthand, garden-fresh, with their peers in the program.

Children's Gardening Program

But the Children’s Gardening Program is so much more than that—it’s an opportunity to connect with nature when there otherwise is little opportunity. “I love that the kids watched plants grow week-to-week, and then took it home to eat,” another parent commented. “For a city kid with no access to a garden most of the year, that’s wonderful.”

Children's Gardening ProgramThis spring, Crafters, the program for green thumbs ages 6–12, is held on Saturdays beginning March 28th. Children ages 3–5 can join in the fun with a parent or guardian as part of the Sprouts program beginning Wednesday, April 29th. Families can also participate in the Sprouts program on Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays.

For a full listing of dates, visit the Children’s Gardening Program website.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2015/03/children-2/greet-spring-with-the-childrens-gardening-program/

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This Weekend: Escape with Orchid Evenings

The Orchid Show: ChandeliersOrchid Evenings kicked off last week, and the next of these popular evening events is this Saturday, March 14—and tickets are still available! Come enjoy the lingering sunset through the glass of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Admire The Orchid Show: Chandeliers alongside a live DJ with a cocktail in hand. The Pine Tree Cafe has a full bar and menu of snacks available for purchase while a live band sets the mood with Latin Jazz. Shop in the Garden will be open for those who wish to bring home an orchid or some orchid care products.

This year, Guerlain’s famed makeup artists will be on site offering free lipstick touch-ups. You can also visit the Guerlain Rare Orchid collection and post your pictures to Instagram with #GuerlainOrchid for a chance to win a couple’s spa day at the Waldorf Astoria. Visit our Guerlain page to get more information, and learn how you can also text for a chance to win luxurious Guerlain products!

Orchid Evenings have all you need for a night of romance and adventure under the intoxicating fragrance of New York’s favorite flower exhibition. Use your MasterCard to buy tickets and attend a pre-party at Shop in the Garden with a complimentary glass of champagne. Click through for more information about Orchid Evenings and the rest of this weekend’s schedule of tours and programs.

Saturday, March 14

Roaming Guides – 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
In 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
Bring your binoculars and tour the grounds with a National Audubon Society member to encounter and learn about the birds that call the Garden home.

Garden Highlights Tour – 12:30 p.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Sights and scents flourish across the 250 acres of the Botanical Garden. Join a Garden Guide for a walking tour featuring highlights of the gardens and plant collections.

Ballroom’s Best: Tango, Waltz, and Cha-Cha — 1 3 p.m.
In Ross Hall
Dancers from Ballet Hispanico’s BHdos troupe lead audiences through dances such as the waltz, tango, mambo and cha-cha are gorgeously costumed and choreographed. A guided instruction gives you insights on how to master the moves yourself.

Orchid Expert QA – 1:30–4:30 p.m.
Shop in the Garden
Drop in and ask about orchid care tips. Plants in need of care will be available as testers so that you can learn how top repot and replant.

Orchid Care Demonstrations: Fantastically Fragrant Orchids — 2 3 p.m.
In the Conservatory GreenSchool
Interested in orchids that will tickle your nose and stimulate your senses? Join us for a discussion of some of the best orchids to grow at home for both color and fragrance. Learn basic orchid care and experience the fragrance of many orchid varieties.

Notable Tree Tour – 2:30 p.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at 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.

Orchid Evenings — 6:30–9 p.m. In the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory
Enjoy a cocktail while viewing The Orchid Show and its thousands of spectacular flowers. The unforgettable beauty makes for one of New York City’s most romantic date destinations. While taking in the elegance of the show, stop for quick lipstick touch-ups by one of Guerlain’s famed make-up artists, and indulge in a specialty cocktail inspired by Guerlain’s Orchidée Impériale line.
Non-Member $30/Member $20 (Adults 21 and over)
Advance tickets recommended; includes one complimentary beer, wine, or cocktail of your choice.

Sunday, March 15
The Orchid Show Chandeliers NYBG Enid Haupt Conservatory

Roaming Guide – 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
In 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.

Historical Landmark Tour – 12:30 p.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Join us for a fascinating overview of the Garden’s history and its importance as a vital New York City cultural destination. With an expert guide, explore the Allee, the Fountain of Life, and the Mertz Library.

Ballroom’s Best: Tango, Waltz, and Cha-Cha — 1 3 p.m. In Ross Hall Dancers from Ballet Hispanico’s BHdos troupe lead audiences through dances such as the waltz, tango, mambo and cha-cha are gorgeously costumed and choreographed. A guided instruction gives you insights on how to master the moves yourself.

Orchid Expert QA – 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Shop in the Garden
Drop in and ask about orchid care tips. Plants in need of care will be available as testers so that you can learn how top re-pot and replant

Orchid Care Demonstrations: Fantastically Fragrant Orchids — 2 3 p.m.
In the Conservatory GreenSchool
Interested in orchids that will tickle your nose and stimulate your senses? Join us for a discussion of some of the best orchids to grow at home for both color and fragrance. Learn basic orchid care and experience the fragrance of many orchid varieties.

Garden Highlights Tour – 2:30 p.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Sights and scents flourish across the 250 acres of the Botanical Garden. Join a Garden Guide for a walking tour featuring highlights of the gardens and plant collections.

Ongoing Children’s Programs

The Orchid Show Chandeliers NYBG Enid Haupt Conservatory

Little Landscapes – 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
In the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden
Pot up a desert plant inside a terrarium container and craft a figurine to inhabit your tiny world. Compare your habitat to terrarium displays in the Discovery Center and explore our life-size terrarium—the Bendheim Global Greenhouse.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2015/03/garden-programming/this-weekend-escape-with-orchid-evenings/

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Not For Sale: Invasive Plants Regulated in New York State

Jessica Arcate Schuler is NYBG‘s Director of the Thain Family Forest.


Invasive Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) outcompetes native understory and prevents forest regeneration in New York State (NYS DEC, 2015).

Invasive Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) outcompetes native understory and prevents forest regeneration in New York State (NYS DEC, 2015).

On March 10, 2015, the sale of 75 plant species will be prohibited or regulated in New York State because of their invasiveness and “to help control invasive species, a form of biological pollution, by reducing the introduction of new and spread of existing populations there by having a positive impact on the environment (NYS DEC, 6 NYCRR Part 575 Prohibited and Regulated Invasive Species, 2014).” This is a big step in the ongoing battle with invasive species or non-native species that cause harm—harm to human health, economic harm, or ecological harm (Executive Order 13112, 1999).

New York first proposed these regulations through the Invasive Species Council in 2010, “A Regulatory System for Non-native Species,” that defined a process to prohibit, regulate, and evaluate unlisted non-native species. As you read through the 75 listed plant species in New York’s regulations, they are all species already known to cause ecological harm and are broadly established in the region. Blacklisting a species in law is one way to prevent further spread. However, “it is difficult to get a species on a blacklist unless it has already caused damage, and by then it is usually too late because the great majority of established introductions are irrevocable (Simberloff, 2001).”

In this era of the Anthropocene, species are circumventing the globe at a greater rate than ever before. The reality is that there are currently many non-native species already established and it is extremely difficult to predict which ones will become invasive. So, what does this all mean to gardeners, landscape architects, landscape designers, landscape professionals, and students alike?

Thain Family Forest Staff and School of Professional Horticulture students weed Amur corktree (Phellodendron amurense) seedlings. (Credit: Jessica A. Schuler)

Thain Family Forest Staff and School of Professional Horticulture students weed Amur corktree (Phellodendron amurense) seedlings. (Credit: Jessica A. Schuler)

The answer has two folds: (1) There are common garden plants that have been used for decades that can no longer be used, including Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii), border privet (Ligustrum obtusifolia), bamboos (Phyllostachys aurea and Phyllostachys aureosulcata), and should no longer be used, such as Norway maple (Acer platanoides), Japanese virgin’s bower (Clematis terniflora), burning bush (Euonymus alatus), winter creeper (Euonymus fortunei), Chinese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis), and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia); (2) This is simply a wakeup call to be conscientious horticulturists that are aware of the complex conservation issues at stake, the role we play while working in the creative spaces we make, and being fully aware that our gardens can have a tremendous and potentially detrimental impact on the surrounding landscape.

New York Natural Heritage biologist documents biodiversity in a mature beech-maple mesic forest (New York Natural Heritage, 2015)

New York Natural Heritage biologist documents biodiversity in a mature beech-maple mesic forest (New York Natural Heritage, 2015)

We have to be exceptional plantsmen and plantswomen as well as ecologists and conservation biologists. Scientists are busy working to better understand the mechanisms that cause invasiveness but, in reality, every species is different and every landscape is different. It is an extremely difficult and complex problem to predict future invasive species. By being aware and taking a step back, we need to learn from our past and help prevent future invasions. This starts from being observant and educated horticulturists. If you see a species becoming “aggressive” or naturalizing, say something. If you can use a native alternative in a design, do. If you have a customer that insists on planting an invasive or potentially invasive species, educate them. Most importantly, keep up to speed on the most recent research and conservation issues effecting the region. We can all work together to prevent future invasions and to conserve the wonderfully biodiverse ecosystems of New York State and the Tristate region.

Attend the iMapInvasives Training at the Garden on March 18, 2015 12 p.m.–3 p.m. Head through for more info and registration.

Simberloff, D. 2001. Biological Invasions—How are they affecting us, and what can we do about them? Western North American Naturalist 61(3): 308-315.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2015/03/horticulture-2/not-for-sale-invasive-plants-regulated-in-new-york-state/

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Morning Eye Candy: A Window Into Beauty

The Orchid Show Chandeliers NYBG

The Orchid Show: Chandeliers in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

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Organic Orchid Care

Sonia Uyterhoeven is NYBG‘s Gardener for Public Education.


Orchid careThe best way to avoid or eliminate pest and disease problems when growing orchids in your home is to follow good cultural practices. Correct water practices, consistent low-level fertilizing, a good growing medium, proper light requirements, and adequate humidity levels are all essential to getting your exotic friends to thrive.

Don’t worry if you were unable to check off all of those boxes—few of us ever do. Sometimes, all that we do to take care of our leafy little friends still isn’t enough. But let’s take a look at some user-friendly products that we have on hand to treat an ailing orchid. The first on the list is a grapefruit.

If you notice that something is munching holes in the leaves of your orchid, but you can’t find the culprit, then it’s probably a slug. They nestle into the loose, moist pieces of your fir bark potting mix and wait until dark before they strike. These nocturnal creatures can do quite a bit of damage. Leave an overturned grapefruit or citrus rind in your pot to deal with this problem. The slugs will crawl up into the damp cavity and you can then toss it out (slug and grapefruit rind together) in the morning. If you’re not a citrus person, then a large leaf of lettuce will do. Alternatively, the famous beer-in-a-shallow-bowl trick (about 1/2 an inch of beer) will make everyone happy.

For more common pest problems such as aphids, mealybugs, and scale, try reaching into your household cupboard and pulling out the rubbing alcohol or the Murphy’s Oil Soap®. You can dilute the soap by adding two tablespoons of it to a quart of water. Spray the foliage—top and bottom—and let it sit for 15–20 minutes before you rinse off the leaves. For scale, take a soft toothbrush or a cotton swab soaked with rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol) and give it a spot treatment.

Any new treatment should first be tried on a single leaf or isolated part of the plant to see how your orchid is going to respond. Spray early in the morning or late in the day. Some sprays dry off quickly in the middle of the day and lose their potency while other times the combination of the spray and the intensity of the mid-day sun can burn the leaves. You will miss some insects the first time you spray, so repeat the treatment once a week for several weeks.

Orchid care

If your orchids have black or brown spots that start to grow and look watery or mushy, there is a good chance that they have a bacterial or fungal problem. For this scenario, stick your hand back into the cupboard and grab the cinnamon—nature’s favorite natural fungicide. Cut off the infected portion of the leaf and sprinkle cinnamon over the area. Alternatively, you can create a thick paste of cinnamon and either cooking oil or Elmer’s® glue and apply it to the cut edge. For smelly, yellow-brown bacterial infections, cut off the infected portion of the plant and apply Neosporin® to the cut edge with a Q-tip.

There is no guarantee that these household remedies will work in all instances, but they often do, and they will certainly make you feel better as you fret over your languishing orchid. And chances are good that you already have a number of these solutions in your cupboard at home.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2015/03/horticulture-2/organic-orchid-care/

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