Plant Talk | Science Talk

Take a Dry Run at Drought Gardening

Posted in From the Library, Shop/Book Reviews on December 6th, 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.


The Water-Saving Garden by Pam Penick (with Ten Speed Press)

Gardening with less water and drought-resistant plants is currently a relatively hot (but not dry) topic in the world of horticulture. Two new books, The Bold Dry Garden by Johanna Silver (with Timber Press) and The Water-Saving Garden by Pam Penick (with Ten Speed Press) address this topic in very different ways.

The Water-Saving Garden is an all-around excellent book for those who already have existing gardens or who are in the process of designing and/or installing new gardens and are looking for water-saving landscape design ideas. Not so much a how-to guide as it is inspirational, this book offers practical advice and projects for garden designers and home-owners alike. The projects suggested are very modular, and even those who don’t have a lot of space to work with or redesign may find inspiration.  The truly inspired will find enough projects to redesign an entire yard or property.

In many cases, especially when hardscaping is concerned, supplemental reading would be needed to complete the suggested projects. Ultimately, Water-Saving is a very nice introduction to some possible water-saving projects for the gardener.

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Puerto Rican Heritage Month Celebration at The New York Botanical Garden

Posted in Around the Garden, Learning Experiences on December 5th, 2016 by Elizabeth Figueroa – 3 Comments

On Tuesday, November 22, NYBG held its annual Puerto Rican Heritage Month event celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of Puerto Ricans. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 400 pre-registered school groups and visitors attended workshops and presentations throughout the Watson Education Building, Ross Hall, and Ross Gallery.An array of facilitators led workshops commemorating Puerto Rican Heritage Month:

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Community Holiday Open House Menorah and Tree Lighting Ceremony at The New York Botanical Garden

Posted in Around the Garden, Holiday Train Show, Programs and Events on November 30th, 2016 by Elizabeth Figueroa – 6 Comments
Senator José Serrano and family

New York State Senator José Serrano and family

On Sunday, November 20, NYBG held its annual Community Holiday Open House and Menorah and Tree lighting ceremony. Aaron Bouska, NYBG’s Vice President for Government & Community Relations at NYBG, welcomed the audience, which included many members of the Bronx community as well as several elected officials with their families.

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Weekly Wildlife at the Garden: Bluejay Days

Posted in Wildlife on November 30th, 2016 by Patricia Gonzalez – Be the first to comment

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


Bluejay

A bluejay (Cyanocitta cristata) in the Ross Conifer Arboretum – Photo by Patricia Gonzalez

Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life

Posted in From the Library on November 29th, 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.


Half-EarthHalf-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life is the newest book from acclaimed biologist E. O. Wilson. In addition to Half-Earth, Wilson has authored dozens of books. Unsurprisingly, Half-Earth has echoes of Wilson’s other environmental works. With that in mind, this new book is still a very good stand-alone book about environmentalism, biology, and natural resources. It’s written accessibly both for those working in the sciences and for non-scientists who are eager to learn more about environmentalism and conservation. Half-Earth is ultimately quite philosophical, but includes the framework of a practical call to action.

Wilson writes with great conviction, and Half-Earth is replete with wonderful passages in praise of science. This is a sobering yet useful book to read when so many science writers and others are touting the value of “novel ecosystems” and downplaying the problems associated with invasive species. Wilson doesn’t sugarcoat the challenges that the environment currently faces—the Earth is in trouble in many ways, overpopulation not the least of its worries. There are no simple solutions. The first step is to be educated and informed about the world around us.
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Garden Revolution

Posted in From the Library on November 21st, 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.


Garden RevolutionTimber Press has really been hitting the mark over the past few years with books related to landscape design, land management, and ecology. Planting in a Post Wild World, read as a landscape design manifesto, was my favorite recent book of this ilk, and Cultivating Chaos offered some truly breathtaking examples of “wild” plantings and garden design.

When I opened Garden Revolution, I expected a book like Post Wild World or Cultivating Chaos. In fact, Revolution looks at the same big questions of land management and ecology, but leads the reader on a rather different journey.
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Morning Eye Candy: Reflections

Posted in Photography on November 16th, 2016 by Matt Newman – 1 Comment

Bronx River

Along the Bronx River – Photo by Patricia Gonzalez

A Gardener for All Seasons

Posted in From the Library on November 14th, 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.


NY & NJThe seasonal chores related to gardening can be both a comfort and a pressure for the horticulturally inclined. This selection of recent books details various seasonal aspects of gardening, including the weather, nature journaling, and monthly chores to tackle in our area.

For the practical-minded, there is New York & New Jersey Month-by-Month Gardening by Kate Copsey. Do you feel like you might be forgetting a November chore? Copsey’s book shares guidance with home gardeners who love to-do lists and careful seasonal planning. New York & New Jersey Getting Started Garden Guide by Vincent Simeone is another title that can be used in tandem with Copsey’s recent publication.

Moving from to-do lists to more academic pursuits, next comes the topic of nature journaling with Flora Forager: A Seasonal Journal Collected from Nature by Bridget Beth Collins. I first came across Collins’s work through her Instagram account, where you can see her use of leaves, petals, and other natural materials to create beautiful scenes, landscapes, and animal portraits. Located in the Pacific Northwest, Collins uses materials from her garden and forages from “urban wild areas” in her neighborhood. The journal is laid out into four seasons, each one featuring a unique, full-page collage. Empty, lined pages are adorned with smaller floral pieces that repeat throughout the work. Regular visitors to the NYBG Shop might recall the notecards Collins produced with the Garden last year, now available through Collins’s website.
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Weekly Wildlife at the Garden: Hooter the Owl

Posted in Wildlife on November 9th, 2016 by Patricia Gonzalez – Be the first to comment

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


Hooter the Owl

This past weekend, for the fourth consecutive year, The New York Botanical Garden had a live birds of prey demonstration as part of its ongoing Fall Forest Weekends programming. Returning for their second year was the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, a non-profit organization based in Long Island. In addition to 305 stunning acres of protected land, they also serve as a permanent home to wildlife that can no longer be released.

For this year’s presentation, they brought along a great-horned owl, two screech owls, a snowy owl, and a red-tailed hawk. Garden visitors were given a wonderful photo opportunity as the presenters walked through the aisles while explaining the stories of each bird of prey. During their talk they briefly touched on the fact that many resident and migrant raptors call NYBG their home. And just like last year, Hooter the great-horned owl stole the show!

Reimagining Rock Gardening

Posted in From the Library on November 7th, 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.


Rock GardeningRock Gardening: Reimagining a Classic Style is the newest book from Joseph Tychonievich, published with Timber Press. Tychonievich has previously authored Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener: How to Create Unique Vegetables and Flowers and The Complete Guide to Gardeners: The Plant Obsessed and How to Deal With Them. Organic Gardening Magazine has called him one of “six young horticulturists who are helping to shape how America gardens,” and those who move in the horticulture social media world may recognize his charming and relatable comics about plant geeks.

Rock gardening is back in vogue, according to this new book. For those who live in the greater NYC and Westchester regions, it may never have left entirely. Because of the rocky terrain that our region boasts, “The art of growing alpines and other miniature plants in the company of rocks to recreate the look of rugged mountaintops” is a savvy and beautiful use of space. Beyond beauty, an additional utility can be found in creating drought-tolerant plantings for water-wise gardens. Rock gardens have the potential to be sustainable and low-maintenance while still providing great color and texture. For gardeners looking for an introduction to rock gardening, Tychonievich’s book is a great start.
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