Plant Talk | Science Talk

Art in the Garden: NYBG’s First Plein-Air Invitational

Posted in Programs and Events on July 26th, 2016 by Miriam Flores – Be the first to comment
James Gurney, "Garden Walk"

James Gurney, Garden Walk

On June 19, we welcomed Artist in Residence James Gurney and 24 of the region’s top plein-air painters for NYBG’s first ever Plein-Air Invitational.

Organizing a Plein-Air festival was a new experience for all of us. We worked with different internal teams as well as James Gurney, who provided valuable suggestions. With his help, we selected the best locations for paintings and included models dressed in Victorian period attire. We also took pictures of the different gardens for the artists to visualize our surroundings before they arrived. We sent these images along with the event guidelines and each of the artists responded with their three ideal locations. We collected all their responses and finalized all of the logistics.

On Sunday morning, our staff was ready to welcome these expert artists. We brought lunch, welcome kits, nametags, and all of our energy to greet them. For many of the artists it was their first time visiting our grounds, and everyone was excited to share their talent and see the Garden as their muse.
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Gardening on a Shoestring: 100 Fun Upcycled Garden Projects

Posted in From the Library on July 25th, 2016 by Esther Jackson – Be the first to comment

Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.


shoestringGardening on a Shoestring: 100 Fun Upcycled Garden Projects speaks to the home crafter in us all. The newest book from Alex Mitchell (author of several titles including The Edible Balcony: Growing Fresh Produce in Small Spaces), Shoestring offers simple gardening tips, plant recommendations, and money-saving shortcuts to achieve popular garden plantings.

My initial expectation was for Shoestring to be laid out somewhat like Pinterest, but in book form. I expected each project to be numbered, and each task to be a simple, one-off guide for a particular gardening craft. Actually, Shoestring is laid out more like a conventional gardening book, with sections dedicated to topics such as initial garden set-up, container gardening, food gardening, and pest control. Although this wasn’t what I was expecting, the format works incredibly well. Not only does Mitchell offer garden projects within a variety of topics, the layout of the book acts as a clear narrative for the beginner gardener. A section of Shoestring even addresses how to achieve particular garden designs—such as a prairie garden or a topiary “garden”—on a budget.
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Creating Handcrafted Planters: An Interview with Elizabeth Benotti

Posted in Shop/Book Reviews on July 19th, 2016 by Susie Eldred – Be the first to comment

Elizabeth Benotti cermic planters

Elizabeth Benotti creates wonderful ceramic goods at her studio in Concord, NH. Her unique planters are some of our favorite products. Carefully crafted from porcelain and then hand painted and glazed, her work is stunning and unique. Hoping to bring back an appreciation for handmade goods and emphasize the importance of creating a strong feeling of home is what motivates Elizabeth. We had the pleasure of speaking with her and finding out more about her creative process and how she got started.
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Morning Eye Candy: Abundance

Posted in Photography on July 19th, 2016 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden

In the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden – Photo by Marlon Co

A Botanist’s Vocabulary

Posted in From the Library on July 18th, 2016 by Esther Jackson – Be the first to comment

Esther Jackson is the Public Services Librarian at NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library where she manages Reference and Circulation services and oversees the Plant Information Office. She spends much of her time assisting researchers, providing instruction related to library resources, and collaborating with NYBG staff on various projects related to Garden initiatives and events.


A Botanist's VocabularyThe library staff at The New York Botanical Garden has been eagerly awaiting A Botanist’s Vocabulary arrival on the market and in our collection. Finally, this beautiful new book from Susan K. Pell and Bobbi Angell has arrived!

The first, visceral impressions were positive. The size and heft of the book is pleasant, and not overwhelming. Those who have studied botany, or interacted much with botanists, will know that talking about plants in technical terms can sometimes feel like speaking another language altogether. How can one begin to pack all of that vocabulary into a single book, or even, really, a single brain? A Botanist’s Vocabulary is a beautiful and balanced start.

The red cover catches the reader’s eye right away, especially considering how frequently books about plants are accented in green. A quick leaf through the pages immediately draws the reader in—Angell’s illustrations are lovely in their botanical detail, and also in their simplicity. Angell, writing about this project in the June 2016 issue of The Botanical Artist, says of the book, “My focus was to make clear, crisp drawings for easy understanding by gardeners and botanical artists,” a focus that carries through beautifully in the work.
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Helen Dillon’s Dublin Garden

Posted in People, Shop/Book Reviews on July 14th, 2016 by Joyce Newman – Be the first to comment

Joyce H. Newman is an environmental journalist and teacher. She holds a Certificate in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden.


Dillon GardenHelen Dillon, Distinguished Counselor to the NYBG Board of Trustees, has created an exquisite garden in the suburbs of Dublin, and she is considered one of Ireland’s greatest gardeners, as well as a world-famous teacher and garden writer.

In her book, Down to Earth with Helen Dillon (Timber Press, $29.95), available at NYBG Shop, Dillon describes the evolution of her garden, first started in 1972 with her husband Val. Surrounded by stone walls on less than an acre, the property, including a house built in the 1830s, already had roses, apple trees, a wobbly greenhouse, hen houses, a large bed of bearded iris, a vegetable patch, and a rockery pile of stones in the middle of the lawn. But all of this was to change.

The main garden is at the back of the house facing south where Dillon has organized plants by their preferred habitat. The biggest change was replacing the lawn in the main garden with a lovely canal set in Irish limestone. Several small gardens are tucked behind the main garden with gravel pathways and a charming sitting area that features lovely bird cages. There’s also a Victorian style greenhouse built in 1976.
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Weekly Wildlife at the Garden: Peek-a-boo

Posted in Wildlife on July 13th, 2016 by Patricia Gonzalez – 2 Comments

Patricia Gonzalez is an NYBG Visitor Services Attendant and avid wildlife photographer.


Italian wall lizard

An Italian wall lizard (Podarcis sicula) in the Native Plant Garden – Photo by Patricia Gonzalez

What’s Beautiful Now: Summer Color at NYBG

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on July 8th, 2016 by Lansing Moore – Be the first to comment
Southern catalpa

Southern catalpa

At NYBG we’re enjoying a lush summer season, with flowers and greenery abounding across our historic landscape. The Native Plant Garden is full of colorful perennials and graceful ferns, while Daylily Walk is ablaze with these warm flowers. In the Rose Garden, you’ll still find a wealth of blooms—hundreds of varieties of floribundas, hybrid teas, and shrub roses creating an unbelievable palette of colors.

Come admire the seasonal beauty of summer at NYBG, and be sure to experience Impressionism: American Gardens on Canvas in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, which features an exciting array of weekend programs and events! View more highlights from the Garden below.


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Morning Eye Candy: Stocking Up

Posted in Photography on July 6th, 2016 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

Carrots, string beans, black raspberries, sugar snap peas, and fresh-baked brownies are just a few of the summer highlights from today’s Greenmarket. Stop by until 3 p.m. today—and don’t forget your reusable bag—to stock up for the week!

Greenmarket

At the Greenmarket – Photo by Emily Hubbard

Small Treasures in the Library: From Bibliothec Bignon

Posted in From the Library on July 5th, 2016 by Jane Lloyd – 1 Comment

Jane Lloyd is a volunteer in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of The New York Botanical Garden.


Jean Paul Bignon

Jean Paul Bignon

Old and rare books are most prized for their special characteristics of publication and form, less so for inscriptions and signatures put in them by their owners. However, these inscriptions and signatures, bookplates, and other marks of ownership often vividly illuminate the lives and times of their owners.

A copy of Quadripartitum botanicum de simplicium medicamentarium facultatibus… by Simon Paulli (1603–1680), published in 1708, in the Rare Book Collections of the Mertz Library reveals through its notable first owner European society being transformed by science and a new spirit of international cooperation at the beginning of the 18th century. This thick volume of materia medica written by a Danish scholar and court physician was regarded at the time as the standard work on medical pharmacology and an essential reference volume for contemporary physicians and scientists.
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