Plant Talk | Science Talk

Kool Kohlrabi

Posted in Gardening Tips on July 29th, 2014 by Sonia Uyterhoeven – Be the first to comment

Sonia Uyterhoeven is the NYBG’s Gardener for Public Education.


KohlrabiSome vegetables seem to have more cachet than others. Sometimes it’s due to their flavor, other times to their versatility of use. And sometimes, they simply look too cool to ignore…or perhaps I should say “kool.”

The curious thing about kohlrabi is that the majority of people have no idea what it is. Few even realize it exists. In terms of its popularity, it’s the runt of the cabbage family—until you lay eyes on it, of course. At that moment, it’s probably the coolest cole you’ve ever seen.

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage or Brassica family. Its Latin name—Brassica caulorapa—means “stem turnip.” This is not an auspicious start for an up-and-coming member of the cabbage family. It starts its life looking like all the other members of the Brassica family—cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower—but then it comes into its own as it begins to mature.
read more »

Morning Eye Candy: A Coven of Coneflowers

Posted in Photography on July 29th, 2014 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

Coneflowers

Coneflowers in the Home Gardening Center – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Everyday Phenology

Posted in Horticulture on July 28th, 2014 by Jaime Morin – Be the first to comment

Jaime Morin is The New York Botanical Garden’s Assistant Curator in horticulture. She works with the plant records and curation teams to help keep the garden’s information on its living collections up to date. She also oversees the details of the garden’s Living Collections Phenology Project.


Nyssa sylvatica

Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) –
ripe fruit

Since its creation, the New York Botanical Garden has been a local haunt for scientists studying the phenology (the seasonally changing biological processes) of plants. More recently, the institution has invited the public to study these important seasonal markers as well through two citizen science programs.

In early 2001 the garden began a program that creates the opportunity for novice citizen scientists to collect data on the life cycle changes of plants in the Forest. Dedicated groups of volunteers traverse three different trails on a weekly basis, checking on 17 different kinds of forest plants to record their major seasonal benchmarks such as leaf emergence, flowering, and fruiting.

Starting in 2009, the Garden began to offer Citizen Science Professional Development for middle school teachers, focusing mostly on the native trees in the Forest. In turn, these teachers help their students conduct phenology research projects around their school at local parks, and on the Garden grounds. Over the years, with the support of the NYC Department of Education, the NYBG Professional Development Program has expanded its citizen offerings to K-12 teachers throughout the city.
read more »

Morning Eye Candy: Sunny Nonetheless

Posted in Photography on July 28th, 2014 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

Gray skies don’t really dim the view much.

Conservatory

Planters by the Conservatory Pools – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Morning Eye Candy: Leafy Greens

Posted in Photography on July 27th, 2014 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

Our Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden is definitely the hub of NYBG‘s food efforts. And tonight we’re going big with the first of our Family Dinners with Mario Batali’s Chefs. If you’ve got tickets, bring a big appetite.

Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden

In the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Morning Eye Candy: Rather Generous, Really

Posted in Photography on July 26th, 2014 by Matt Newman – 1 Comment

No, this crepe myrtle isn’t named for its stinginess. It’s actually quite generous with its flowers! But it’s also very compact.

Lagerstroemia indica Tightwad Red

Dwarf crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica Tightwad Red®) along the Ladies’ Border– Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

This Weekend: Warm Nights, Hot Food

Posted in Programs and Events on July 25th, 2014 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

The NYBG WeekendWe’re well into a relatively mild summer here at NYBG, which means evenings make for one of the best times to get outside and relax! To that end, we’re prepping the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden and all its plush vegetable beds for the first of this year’s series of Family Dinners with Mario Batali’s Chefs. We’re breaking out the tablecloths, the grill’s being readied, and you’ll find plenty of hands-on crafts and activities waiting for your kids when you get here.

This weekend’s opening dinner event will be helmed by Chef Josh Laurano of Lupa and Chef Dan Drohan of Otto, who are teaming up to create three decadent courses to remember. Among the items on this weekend’s menu, you’ll find green beans with prosciutto, mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes; eggplant parmagiano with bianca aglio olio; mint and lemon semolina cake; and more. Don’t worry about wine, either—we’ve got a pair of options selected to perfectly complement the dishes.

There are still some tickets available for Sunday night’s event, along with tickets to future dinners in the coming months, so don’t miss out! Head past the jump for the full weekend schedule, including Groundbreakers activities and tours.
read more »

Morning Eye Candy: Big as an Elephant’s Ear

Posted in Photography on July 25th, 2014 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

They don’t call them elephant ears without reason. Big and bright enough to make the flowers insecure, the Colocasia in the Home Gardening Center are of the genus responsible for the edible taro root. Not that you should head right out with a spade and start digging them up in your own yard—they can be poisonous if not prepared correctly!

Colocasia

Colocasia in the Home Gardening Center – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Morning Eye Candy: Constellation

Posted in Photography on July 24th, 2014 by Lansing Moore – 1 Comment

Aster twilight

Aster ‘Twilight’ in the Seasonal Walk — Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Piet’s Pollinator Powerhouse

Posted in Gardening Tips on July 23rd, 2014 by Sonia Uyterhoeven – Be the first to comment

Sonia Uyterhoeven is NYBG’s Gardener for Public Education.


trifolium rubens Franz Xaver

Red feather clover (Trifolium rubens)
Photo by Franz Xaver

Over the years, I’ve often given tours of the High Line to NYBG Members as part of our Membership tour programs. In fact, I’ve already given several this year and have more planned for August and October. And as I lead the groups through this unique space, we discuss architecture, ecology, design, and garden-worthy plants. Perennials in particular are always a hot topic.

I often warn the participants against some of the more rambunctious perennials, as they tend to have a thuggish habit. Instead, I recommend many of the other outstanding selections that you can find in the planting scheme created by Piet Oudolf, the High Line’s designer. The perennials planted there are chosen for their durability. Growing in 18 inches of porous soil atop abandoned railroad tracks that stand 30 feet above the ground, these plants are regularly exposed to intense urban heat, sunlight, and heavy winds—they have to be tough.

Piet Oudolf’s naturalistic planting style fits in superbly with the unstructured urban environment. He designed the High Line with plant communities in mind, using primarily native, resilient, and ‘low-maintenance’ plants that provide great diversity, seasonal change, and height and color variation.
read more »