This Sunday is the last day of Kiku: The Art of the Japanese Garden, so don’t miss your chance to see hundreds of chrysanthemum blossoms take over the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory in a variety of contemporary and traditional Japanese designs. While you’re here, enjoy our Japanese Pop-Up Restaurant in its final days of serving up delicious Japanese cuisine.
October 25 and 26 is also our Award-Winning Giant Pumpkin Display. We have the largest pumpkins in North America, plus Ray Villafane’s massive zombie carving, all here for family photo ops. This weekend is also the The Haunted Pumpkin Garden‘s last before it departs for another year on October 31. Now is the time to bring the family to check out Creepy Creatures of Halloween, Spooky Nighttime Adventures, Budding Masters Creepy Pumpkin Carving Adventures (exclusively for MasterCard cardholders), and other weekend activities that will say goodbye this weekend.
In case you’re still on the fence about this weekend’s Spooky Nighttime Adventure, last week’s completely sold out, so don’t wait too long to grab your tickets!
Read on for the full schedule of special programs, and plan your visit to admire some of the largest plant displays you’ll ever see!
Don’t get frustrated, the long wait is over and fall foliage has arrived at NYBG!
In the Native Plant Garden – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen
Joyce H. Newman holds a Certificate in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden and has been a Tour Guide for over seven years. She is a blogger for Garden Variety News and the former editor of Consumer Reports GreenerChoices.org.
Fall is a good time to identify many of the common invasive plants and wildlife that may be threatening your garden. While you’re cleaning up your leaves and garden beds, you can spot the invaders including mile-a-minute vine, multiflora rose, Norway maple, oriental bittersweet, phragmites, porcelain berry, Tree of Heaven, winged euonymus, and more.
Many of these exotic species were intentionally introduced from other countries more than a century ago. Some were used as packing material, while others just took a ride on ships from Asia and Europe. Some plants were cultivated for their ornamental value without regard for the fact that they could out-compete important native species. A detailed list of prohibited and regulated invasive plants in New York State with pictures is provided here.
You can learn to identify some of these invasive plants right in your own backyard and then report your findings by signing up on a new smartphone app, online database, and website called iMapInvasives.
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Last weekend was our Pumpkin Carving Weekend with Ray Villafane, and the Master Carver himself executed a massive pumpkin sculpture, after his own design, with the help of his crack team. The fruits—or gourds—of his labor are on display through October 31 as part of The Haunted Pumpkin Garden.
In case you missed the opportunity to see Ray’s zombie carving come to life, we have a video with Ray himself taking you through the process of carving his pumpkin sculpture for NYBG. The end result is a bone-chilling zombie climbing out of a 1700-pound pumpkin! Check out the installation this weekend as part of our annual Award-Winning Giant Pumpkin Display, or for the full Halloween experience get tickets to one of our upcoming Spooky Nighttime Adventures and see Ray’s creation fully illuminated for the first time in his four years working with the Garden.
The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory catches the morning light beautifully.
The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory – Photo by Ivo M. Vemeulen
We are heading into the final weekend of Kiku: The Art of the Japanese Garden. The show is awash with vivid autumnal color and exotic chrysanthemum blooms in every shape and size imaginable.
For those curious, there are 13 different classes of chrysanthemums. Some of my favorites are the Edo varieties which fall into the last class of mums—Class 13: Unclassified or Exotic. These are the chrysanthemum flower shapes that do not fit into any established category. They often have twisted, bi-color florets that change their shape as they open.
Beyond these, there are many fun and fanciful chrysanthemum flower forms to cover. Chrysanthemums from the Brush and Thistle class look like an artist’s paint brush. Spider mums look like fireworks exploding in the sky. They have long, tubular ray florets that hook or coil at the end. Anemone-type mums have centers that are raised up like a pincushion, and chrysanthemums from the Spoon class have long ray florets with tips that are shaped as their name suggests.
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The centerpiece of the Thain Family Forest, the Bronx River, lends a calm backdrop to a crisp fall day at NYBG.
The Bronx River in the Thain Family Forest – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen
Who doesn’t love a sharer? Not an over-sharer, like Harold in Accounting, whose detailed inquest into his latest digestive afflictions has positively ruined my lunch hour three days running (I’m a horticulturist, not a doctor, Harold…we’ve been over this). No, I’m referring to the sweet woman who makes popcorn and secretly gifts you a handful, or the savior who brings coffee for everyone on Monday morning. And while you won’t even get within visual range of any popcorn or coffee in my possession, I am a prolific sharer of plants, so I do have a few friends left about the office.
Propagating plants can be as painless and satisfying as popping corn, pressing “brew” on the coffee machine, or simply eating lunch outside under a shady tree to avoid Harold. This is especially true of rosette succulents like Echeveria. Often referred to as Mexican Hens and Chicks, these Central and South American species adore sun, tolerate neglect, and exhibit a vast array of captivating leaf forms as well as flower and foliage colors. Truth be told, it’s a painfully easy group of plants to become enamored with and collect. The good news is that propagating and sharing your echeverias is a great way to make someone’s day and assuage the guilt of having spent far too much money on internet plant auctions. Be sure to remind your very patient and understanding spouse that smiles are priceless. PRICELESS.
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