Morning Eye Candy: Cold Light

We’re almost to that point where we can officially start admiring the long shadows and defined light of winter. The first day of the season is this Sunday, December 21.

Library Building

The Library Building – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/12/photography/morning-eye-candy-cold-light/

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Morning Eye Candy: Autumn Rose

Our floral design students have no trouble leaping on bold aesthetics ’round this time of year.

Continuing Education

Floral Design in Adult Education – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

 

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/12/photography/morning-eye-candy-autumn-rose/

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This Weekend: Holiday Harmonies & More

Rockefeller Center angels Holiday Train Show NYBGThis weekend marks the beginning of peak season for the Holiday Train Show® as families from around the area come to celebrate this beloved tradition in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Don’t wait another moment to get your tickets! Time slots remain available to come enjoy this beloved tradition this weekend, but the next couple of weeks are sure to sell out.

In fact, Bar Car Nights have already sold out for tonight and tomorrow, so don’t wait to reserve tickets for these special evenings in January—they’re sure to disappear.

Be sure to catch the final performance of our all-new Winter Harmonies Concert Series on Sunday afternoon, as well. An artful selection of classical favorites, inspired by the Holiday Train Show® and performed by Le Train Bleu, will complement your visit. Head below for more information about this unique musical experience, as well as the rest of this weekend’s programs and tours.

 

Saturday, December 20

Thain Family Forest Trail

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 2:30 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.

Holiday A Cappella – 1:30 3:30 p.m.
A part of the Holiday Train Show®
In the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Celebrate the holiday spirit with music performed by a cappella musical groups.

Holiday Film Screenings: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) – 2:30 p.m.
A part of the Holiday Train Show®
In Ross Hall
Enjoy some of the most cherished holiday films as they were meant to be seen: on the big screen! Expanding on last year’s program, this series will include classic films with train themes as well as traditional holiday fare

Bar Car Nights – 7–10 p.m. SOLD OUT
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, December 21

holly

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.

Plants of the Winter Solstice Tour – 12:30 p.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center
The Winter Solstice happens this evening! Many cultures throughout history have celebrated the Sun on the Winter Solstice, often using plants as part of the festivities. Echoes from a number of these celebrations have come down to us today in our holiday traditions, and some of the plants that were used then are growing not far from where you are standing now. Explore some timely Solstice traditions and plant folklore with a Garden Guide on this one-hour walking tour.

Holiday A Cappella – 1:30 3:30 p.m.
A part of the Holiday Train Show®
In the Leon Levy Visitor Center
Celebrate the holiday spirit with music performed by a cappella musical groups.

Holiday Film Screenings: A Christmas Carol (1951) – 1:30 p.m.
A part of the Holiday Train Show®
In Ross Hall
Enjoy some of the most cherished holiday films as they were meant to be seen: on the big screen! Expanding on last year’s program, this series will include classic films with train themes as well as traditional holiday fare.

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.

Winter Harmonies Concert Series – 4 p.m.
“A Winter’s Journey” with Le Train Bleu

In Ross Hall
A perfect way to celebrate the season with the glorious music of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos (#4 and #5) together with Vivaldi’s popular “Winter” movement from “The Four Seasons” performed by the dynamic young ensemble, Le Train Bleu, with renowned flutist Ransom Wilson as its music director. Special Tickets Required. Seating is first come first served.

Ongoing Children’s Programs

Penn Station Holiday Train Show Haupt Conservatory 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/2014/12/garden-programming/this-weekend-holiday-harmonies-more/

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Winter Comes to Seasonal Walk

Sonia Uyterhoeven is NYBG‘s Gardener for Public Education.


Molinia caerulea ssp. arundinacea 'Transparent'

Molinia caerulea ssp. arundinacea ‘Transparent’

While most of the Garden is being put to bed, our Seasonal Walk—designed by Piet Oudolf—is still putting on a notable display as the winter approaches. This is thanks to Oudolf’s naturalistic design which incorporates many plants that senesce well and provide interest even after they’ve passed their seasonal prime.

A week or two ago I was working on the Seasonal Walk, tidying up the border with my colleague, Katie Bronson, and we were admiring some of the sturdier perennials that still looked good even into December. One of the most striking features of the Walk at the onset of the hibernal months is the tall purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea ssp. arundinacea ‘Transparent’). This grass played an important role earlier in the season as it shot up to nearly six feet, towering over many of its neighboring perennial brethren. ‘Transparent’ has airy flowers with an open habit and long-lasting seedheads.

The stems of ‘Transparent’ turn into a vision of glowing embers late in the season, when they take on golden, orange, and raspberry hues. Those of you with a watchful eye may have noticed as you strolled down the border that some of the stems on certain grasses were upright, sturdy, and colorful, while other, similar grasses looked somewhat worse for wear and had only golden yellow stems. Katie told me that along with ‘Transparent’, some tall more grass (Molinia arundinacea ‘Skyracer’) had been planted. Presumably these plants will be removed in the spring and replaced with more ‘Transparent’. It was difficult to distinguish the two during the growing season, but their disparities became apparent in the fall.

There could be a number of reasons why two different grasses were planted. It’s possible that the nursery we ordered from ran out of ‘Transparent’ and sent us a substitute. There is always the chance that it was mislabeled somewhere along the way, too. Alternatively, we might have miscalculated on the numbers that we needed. I am sure ‘Skyracer’ will find a comfortable home next spring and there will be continuity in the border with the addition of more ‘Transparent’.

Eupatorium

Eupatorium hyssopifolium

For homeowners who like the upright, vertical accent that moor grass provides, along with its airy blooms, but who aren’t in the market for something as tall as the two grasses mentioned above, then Molinia caerulea ‘Moorhexe’ is your answer. Known as witch’s moor grass, it reaches only two and a half to three feet tall. The narrow, black-brown flower heads turn a lovely golden color toward the end of the season, and this grass intermingles beautifully with mountain fleece flower (Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Alba’) and foxglove-beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’) in our border.

It’s not just the grasses that have been looking good late in the season, either. The seedheads of the hyssop leaf thoroughwort (Eupatorium hyssopifolium) look like fluffy white clouds hovering above scrawny brown stems. The dried brown stems of the rusty foxglove (Digitalis ferruginea) rise like spires above another white haze created by the dried seedheads of Hervey’s aster (Eurybia × herveyi). Winter will eventually take its toll on these pleasant sights, but they’ve definitely had a good run this season.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/12/horticulture-2/winter-comes-to-seasonal-walk/

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Morning Eye Candy: Winter Sky

The days may be getting shorter, but they are just as beautiful as ever.

Rock Garden

By the Rock Garden – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/12/photography/morning-eye-candy-winter-sky/

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Morning Eye Candy: Ornaments

Who needs glass baubles with berries like this?

Idesia polycarpa igiri tree ross conifer arboretum
Idesia polycarpa in the Ross Conifer Arboretum – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Tree Tips for the Holidays

Sonia Uyterhoeven is NYBG‘s Gardener for Public Education.


Abies balsamea balsam fir

Balsam fir (Abies balsamea)

As the holiday season descends on us, it’s time for gardeners to spruce up their home in preparation for the seasonal festivities. I love the smell of pine in my home and I always try to create an evergreen holiday centerpiece for my table. The addition of a Balsam fir adds a lovely fragrance to my living room.

As a New Yorker, I am bombarded by Christmas tree vendors when I walk down the streets around this time of year. Having moved several times in my 10-year tenure in the city, I’ve discovered that Christmas trees are like Rainer cherries. Their price changes as you walk from east to west, and they drop the further north you walk. I have vivid memories of living on the east side and walking from 2nd Avenue to Madison during cherry season, watching the price rise from $4.99 a pound to $13.99—all within a four-block radius.

Now a Westsider, I buy my trees anywhere from West 106th to West 118th. Last year, I bought an eight-footer for a wonderful price. The tree took a ride on the M10 thanks to a generous driver who understood that my eyes were bigger than my arms. This year I am torn between the good prices I see at my local Whole Foods and the deals that I see on West 106th. It all depends on how far I want to lug the tree.

The most common Christmas tree that you’ll find is the Balsam fir (Abies balsamea). It’s fragrant with good needle retention and makes an excellent cut tree for your living room. It is also one of the cheapest varieties you will find this season.

The Frasier fir (Abies fraseri) comes in a close second in terms of popularity. It is slightly more expensive, although I notice that the prices this year are competitive with the Balsam. It also has good needle retention and will be welcome in your home. While Balsams grow in cold northern climes, the Frasier fir—with its blue-green cast—is from southern regions in the Alleghany mountain area.

Firs do well in the home environment. Pines also do well, but their branches are flimsier and generally not suited for heavy Christmas decorations. While people also purchase blue spruce as their Christmas trees, they are notorious for dropping their needles indoors and the needles are sharp.

Frasier fir (Abies fraseri)
by mindfrieze on Flickr, via Wikimedia Commons

Whichever tree you decide to buy, there are some important rules to follow to have them last as long as possible. When you buy your tree, have the vendor saw a half inch from the bottom of the trunk. It’s the same philosophy—or in this case, the same physiology—as with cut flowers. Once the cut stem is exposed to air, it starts to create a seal, just as our open wounds create scabs to protect us.

Cutting off the end of your tree’s trunk helps with water absorption and will ensure that your tree lasts for a long time. You will also notice that your conifer will drink a lot of water once it is cut, then slow down over time. Make sure to keep an eye on the water level throughout the tree’s stay in your home.

In preparation for the arrival of your tree, measure the area where the tree will live. The tree should be one foot shorter than the height of your ceiling to compensate for the height of the stand. Buy your tree early, before it dries out on the open lot. Try bending its needles—they should be flexible, not brittle. Finally, once you get the tree home, keep it in a cool part of the room away from heat sources. All that’s left is to decorate, check the water occasionally, and enjoy the sight and scent.

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/12/horticulture-2/tree-tips-for-the-holidays/

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Morning Eye Candy: Macro Magic

Aeonium leucoblepharum var. leucoblepharum
Aeonium leucoblepharum var. leucoblepharum in the Nolen Greenhouses – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/12/photography/morning-eye-candy-macro-magic/

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Tree Tips for the Holidays

Sonia Uyterhoeven is NYBG‘s Gardener for Public Education.


Abies balsamea balsam fir

Balsam fir (Abies balsamea)

As the holiday season descends on us, it’s time for gardeners to spruce up their home in preparation for the seasonal festivities. I love the smell of pine in my home and I always try to create an evergreen holiday centerpiece for my table. The addition of a Balsam fir adds a lovely fragrance to my living room.

As a New Yorker, I am bombarded by Christmas tree vendors when I walk down the streets around this time of year. Having moved several times in my 10-year tenure in the city, I’ve discovered that Christmas trees are like Rainer cherries. Their price changes as you walk from east to west, and they drop the further north you walk. I have vivid memories of living on the east side and walking from 2nd Avenue to Madison during cherry season, watching the price rise from $4.99 a pound to $13.99—all within a four-block radius.

Now a Westsider, I buy my trees anywhere from West 106th to West 118th. Last year, I bought an eight-footer for a wonderful price. The tree took a ride on the M10 thanks to a generous driver who understood that my eyes were bigger than my arms. This year I am torn between the good prices I see at my local Whole Foods and the deals that I see on West 106th. It all depends on how far I want to lug the tree.

The most common Christmas tree that you’ll find is the Balsam fir (Abies balsamea). It’s fragrant with good needle retention and makes an excellent cut tree for your living room. It is also one of the cheapest varieties you will find this season.

The Frasier fir (Abies fraseri) comes in a close second in terms of popularity. It is slightly more expensive, although I notice that the prices this year are competitive with the Balsam. It also has good needle retention and will be welcome in your home. While Balsams grow in cold northern climes, the Frasier fir—with its blue-green cast—is from southern regions in the Alleghany mountain area.

Firs do well in the home environment. Pines also do well, but their branches are flimsier and generally not suited for heavy Christmas decorations. While people also purchase blue spruce as their Christmas trees, they are notorious for dropping their needles indoors and the needles are sharp.

Frasier fir (Abies fraseri)
by mindfrieze on Flickr, via Wikimedia Commons

Whichever tree you decide to buy, there are some important rules to follow to have them last as long as possible. When you buy your tree, have the vendor saw a half inch from the bottom of the trunk. It’s the same philosophy—or in this case, the same physiology—as with cut flowers. Once the cut stem is exposed to air, it starts to create a seal, just as our open wounds create scabs to protect us.

Cutting off the end of your tree’s trunk helps with water absorption and will ensure that your tree lasts for a long time. You will also notice that your conifer will drink a lot of water once it is cut, then slow down over time. Make sure to keep an eye on the water level throughout the tree’s stay in your home.

In preparation for the arrival of your tree, measure the area where the tree will live. The tree should be one foot shorter than the height of your ceiling to compensate for the height of the stand. Buy your tree early, before it dries out on the open lot. Try bending its needles—they should be flexible, not brittle. Finally, once you get the tree home, keep it in a cool part of the room away from heat sources. All that’s left is to decorate, check the water occasionally, and enjoy the sight and scent.

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Morning Eye Candy: Who Is Buried in Grant’s Tomb?

Nobody—at least not in this one! The Holiday Train Show® is full of these lovingly constructed plant-based models.

Holiday Train Show Grant's Tomb
In the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

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Article source: http://blogs.nybg.org/plant-talk/2014/12/photography/morning-eye-candy-who-is-buried-in-grants-tomb/

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