This Weekend: Winter Light, Tropical Color

Author: admin  //  Category: landscaping ideas

It’s frosty outside, I’ll give you that, but the quintessential winter beauty covering much of the Garden right now makes the few extra layers of clothing so worth it. Pristine fields of snow are everywhere, dotted with the patterns of tiny squirrel and bird feet. The spots of color—berries, conifer needles, the remains of the leaves—are that much more high-contrast with so much white surrounding them. But you don’t have to track down color in the winter landscape if you’d rather have a warmer go of things. That’s what Tropical Paradise is for!

Our spotlight on the permanent collections of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is crowned by one of my absolute favorite events of the year: the Tropical Paradise photography contest. It’s a chance for our visiting shutterbugs, expert and novice alike, to snap a few shots of beautiful plants and locations in our glasshouse. More importantly, there are prizes up for grabs. And all you need is a camera—DSLR, iPhone, whatever you’re comfortable with—and a Flickr account (they’re easy to make). You’ll find the full rules, schedule, and submission guidelines here. But don’t wait too long—while there are still five weeks to go in the contest, participation will start to pick up, and each of those weeks is a new chance toward winning!

Even if you’re not much for photography, there’s plenty to see and do around the Garden this weekend, both indoors and out. Just a reminder that this is the last weekend of All Aboard with Thomas Friends, so register soon—those tickets won’t last long. In the meantime, check out our full schedule below!


Saturday, January 25

Tropical Interactive Encounters 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
In the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Lowland Rain Forest Gallery

See, smell, and taste the rejuvenating and healing powers of tropical plants like coconut, nutmeg, annatto, and banana through interactive demonstrations and samplings. This showcase will provide insight to the historical and cultural importance of various plants throughout the world.

All Aboard with Thomas Friends™ – 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.
In the Ross Hall

Join Thomas and Driver Sam on a new fun-filled, sing-along, mini-performance adventure by helping them decorate the station in time for the big Sodor surprise party before the guest of honor arrives! Bring your camera to have a photo-op with Thomas and capture the special day!
Seating is first come, first served and special tickets are required.

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.

Landmarks of the New York Botanical Garden: The LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building – 12:30 p.m.
Meet in the Orchid Rotunda of the Library Building

Learn how this historically significant structure complements our magnificent landscape and discover the ways this space is used to promote and advocate for the plant kingdom.


Sunday, January 26

Tropical Interactive Encounters 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
In the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Lowland Rain Forest Gallery

See, smell, and taste the rejuvenating and healing powers of tropical plants like coconut, nutmeg, annatto, and banana through interactive demonstrations and samplings. This showcase will provide insight to the historical and cultural importance of various plants throughout the world.

All Aboard with Thomas Friends™ – 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.
In the Ross Hall

Join Thomas and Driver Sam on a new fun-filled, sing-along, mini-performance adventure by helping them decorate the station in time for the big Sodor surprise party before the guest of honor arrives! Bring your camera to have a photo-op with Thomas and capture the special day!
Seating is first come, first served and special tickets are required.

Winter Plant Tree Tour – 12:30 p.m.
Meet at the Reflecting Pool at the Leon Levy Visitor Center

With the deciduous trees now stripped of their leaves, explore the many colorful winter berries found throughout the Garden and marvel at the sculptural forms of trees and tree bark.


Ongoing Children’s Programs

Tropical Discoveries and Wintertime Wonders
In the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden

Inside the cozy Discovery Center, kids of all ages can take a closer look at the differences between tropical and temperate plants. Pot up a specimen plant to take home and compare its characteristics with foliage in your neighborhood. Use a field notebook to explore the Adventure Garden and discover the vital sparks of life that lie just below the surface of this quiet season.

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