Plant Talk | Science Talk

Popular Black Rock Field Study Returns This Fall

Posted in Adult Education on July 1st, 2015 by Jenifer Willis – Be the first to comment
Marc Wolf sketches during the 2014 field study.

Marc Wolf sketches during the 2014 field study.

Back by popular demand, ecological landscape designer Darrel Morrison, FASLA, will lead a five-day workshop in the beauty of New York’s Black Rock Forest Consortium this October, focusing on the botanic composition, aesthetic character, and ecological dynamics of native plant communities in the New York City region.

Aspiring horticulturist Marc Wolf attended the field study in its inaugural year and sat down with us to share his take on this total immersion workshop. read more »

Staghorn Ferns: Not So Alien

Posted in Horticulture on July 1st, 2015 by Christian Primeau – Be the first to comment

Christian Primeau is NYBG‘s Manager of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.

Staghorn fern

Staghorn fern (Platycerium sp.)

My office is situated in a most advantageous location adjacent to the ever-changing exhibition houses, my beloved desert houses, and steps from the breathtaking courtyard pools brimming with flowering lotus and water lilies. Voltaire might say “it is the best of all possible worlds.” Directly outside my door hang several beautiful specimens of Staghorn Fern (Platycerium sp.) As I sit at the computer, I am delighted by the amazed exclamations these plants elicit—so much so I feel compelled to write this post in hopes of answering the many wonderful questions visitors seem to have.

For the most part, patrons agree that the plant appears otherworldly. “It looks like some type of alien!” is a commonly overheard remark. I completely understand the sentiment, but these plants are most certainly of this world—found throughout the tropics and subtropics from the Philippines and Australia to Madagascar, Africa, and South America, to be exact. The way they grow in habitat and the unique way we display them in the Conservatory certainly present an unusual spectacle.
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Morning Eye Candy: Split Rock

Posted in Photography on June 30th, 2015 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

The seasons may paint the Native Plant Garden with whites and browns, yellows and reds, or—as is the case in summer–blues and greens, but Split Rock is nothing if not stubbornly static.

Split Rock

Split Rock in the Native Plant Garden – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Weekly Wildlife at the Garden: In the Lengthening Grass

Posted in Wildlife on June 30th, 2015 by Patricia Gonzalez – Be the first to comment

European starling

A European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) in the Ross Conifer Arboretum – Photo by Patricia Gonzalez

Morning Eye Candy: Look, But Do Not Touch

Posted in Photography on June 29th, 2015 by Lansing Moore – Be the first to comment

Cacti produce beautiful flowers—but pick them at your own risk!

Ferocactus hamatacanthus ‘Mexican form’ in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

This Weekend: Summer Bliss

Posted in Programs and Events on June 26th, 2015 by Lansing Moore – 2 Comments

Frida Kahlo Art Garden Life New York Botanical Garden Haupt Conservatory Casa AzulThe weekend is upon us again! And NYBG’s weekend programming is back this Saturday and Sunday with live dance and film screenings for FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life—alongside our Octavio Paz Poetry Walk.

Don’t forget to take advantage of our Frida Mobile Guide, accessible on all smartphones, for more interactive information about the exhibition, as well as our Frida Selfie generator. Read on for the full schedule of weekend programs, and check out What’s Wonderful in Summer at NYBG!

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Floral Designers Fast Track Their Dreams With the Summer Intensive Program

Posted in Adult Education on June 26th, 2015 by Plant Talk – Be the first to comment

Floral Design GraduationFor nearly 40 years, NYBG has offered its prestigious and world-respected Certificate in Floral Design.

And this year, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Floral Design Summer Intensive Program, in which designers looking to jump start their careers can complete all Certificate-required classroom hours in just five weeks!

This past month, in a beautiful Garden ceremony, 32 new graduates received their Floral Design Certificates. Many are already working in the industry, and for many, the journey to their dream began on the Summer Intensive track.

These graduates now belong to a large and influential network of alumni across the Metropolitan area and beyond, joining such well-known designers as “NYC’s Rose Queen” Alix Astir (2010 Graduate), who runs a successful floral and botanical beauty business; BRRCH Studio’s Brittany Asch (2013 Summer Intensive), whose work has been featured in Vogue, Martha Stewart Weddings, Elle Décor, and more; and Marcela Bonancio (2012 Summer Intensive), who serves a host of corporate clients from her NY-based Lotus Blossom Atelier.
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A Collaboration Thrives in the South Bronx

Posted in Learning Experiences on June 25th, 2015 by Ursula Chanse – Be the first to comment

Ursula Chanse is the Director of Bronx Green-Up and Community Horticulture and Project Director for NYC Compost Project hosted by The New York Botanical Garden. For more information about these programs and upcoming workshops and events, please visit Bronx Green-Up.

© 2015 Clif Bar & Company

© 2015 Clif Bar & Company

During the dry days of May, In Good Company, a collaboration of values-driven businesses spearheaded by Clif Bar & Company, brought together individuals from across the country and Canada to be put to work in the South Bronx. Two week-long service projects in early and late May took place at Brook Park, a thriving community garden bordered by schools and an accessible resource for learning and play in the urban outdoors.

In appreciation, Harry Bubbins, Director of Friends of Brook Park, had this to say:

“Thanks to the expertise and incredible support from the staff at Bronx Green-Up of The New York Botanical Garden and GrowNYC, along with the In Good Company consortium and all their company members and employees, we have entirely transformed our almost one-acre site here in the South Bronx. We are honored to continue to receive the support of Bronx Green-Up and the partnerships and resources they are able to leverage for community gardens like ours. Without them The Bronx would be a lot less green.”
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Citizen Science: Emerging Macroinvertebrates

Posted in Children's Education, Learning Experiences on June 25th, 2015 by Madeline Breda – 2 Comments

Madeline Breda is a GreenSchool Science Education Intern at The New York Botanical Garden.

Citizen Science at NYBG

Students performing abiotic water tests on a sample of water from the Bronx River

In early March, I posted a primer on the Garden’s Citizen Science program, focusing on the biotic water quality testing workshops offered to visiting students at NYBG’s own GreenSchool. Presented in partnership with the New York City Department of Education STEM Matters, Citizen Science workshops aim to educate children from all five boroughs about ongoing, “crowd-sourced” scientific research that is accessible to amateur scientists and laymen alike.

Over the course of the month of March, I had the pleasure of working with the students of P.S. / I.S. 87 Middle Village as they sorted leaf packs, bravely handled and identified macroinvertebrates, and ventured into the Thain Family Forest in order to perform site surveys. Under the guidance of science teacher Ms. Vivian Alforque, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders were all given the chance to participate in meaningful scientific research on the grounds of our historic institution.

Now, on to what I’m sure you’ve all been wondering: which macroinvertebrates did we find?
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Morning Eye Candy: Tropical Indulgence

Posted in Photography on June 24th, 2015 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

Our cocoa tree is fruiting for the summer in the Haupt Conservatory. Keep an eye out for it when you stop by to see the Casa Azul installation.

Theobroma cacao

Cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao) in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen