Plant Talk | Science Talk

Morning Eye Candy: Teensy

Posted in Photography on April 23rd, 2014 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

The tiny wonders just blooming in the Rock Garden get their own special beds, each one rounded off by dozens of cheering hellebores.

Rock Garden

In the Rock Garden – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Earth Day Every Day: Planting the Seed of Conservation

Posted in Programs and Events on April 22nd, 2014 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

Earth DayWhile it’s clear that every day is Earth Day at The New York Botanical Garden (look around!), we think of April 22 as another opportunity to break out our megaphone and remind the world that conservation and environmentalism are some of the most important concerns facing humanity today. But those are big, scary words to some people, and everyone could use some hints as to how they can best serve and better this planet we’ve been riding around on. That’s why, each year, we take part in hands-on activities that make it easy to learn greener, more sustainable means of supporting both yourself and our big blue-green orb.

If you’re out and about in the city today and feeling peckish, stop by one of Mario Batali’s gourmet restaurants for lunch or dinner and don’t forget to snag one of our seed packets on your way out. As always, our close pal Mario is dedicated to fresh, seasonal ingredients, and he’s paired up with us this year to provide these packets as part of our combined Edible Academy efforts. Each packet contains a healthy handful of Insalata Mista lettuce seeds ready to be sown at home, soon to save you a trip to the supermarket and provide healthy, delicious options for cooking at home. And if you can’t make it out to eat, we’ve also got a booth in Union Square for today only, giving out seed packets to anyone who’d like one!
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NYBG Certificate Alum: Planting Her Knowledge

Posted in Adult Education on April 22nd, 2014 by Jenifer Willis – Be the first to comment
Marlene Lyons

Marlene Lyons

Some people are born to garden. Some people are born to teach. And some people have a knack for both.

Marlene Lyons, a 2012 Gardening Certificate graduate, is a gardening educator for kindergarten through fifth grades at Western Connecticut Academy of International Studies, a magnet school in Danbury. Her students actively tend their school garden and are involved in planting, pruning, harvesting and composting. Lyons encounters teachable moments regularly.

“The kids enjoy having their hands in the soil,” she said. “Initially, many of the kids will treat the garden soil like sand on a beach, smoothing it and patting it down.”

She explains to her class that soil actually does its best work, and plants like it better, when it’s not packed down tightly.
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Morning Eye Candy: A Thousand Words

Posted in Photography on April 22nd, 2014 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

This magnolia status speaks for itself.

Magnolia stellata 'Waterlily'

Magnolia stellata ‘Waterlily’ along Magnolia Way – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Yard-Long Beans

Posted in Gardening Tips on April 21st, 2014 by Sonia Uyterhoeven – Be the first to comment

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


Vigna unguiculata 'Red Noodle' (Photo by GardenBetty.com)

Vigna unguiculata ‘Red Noodle’
(Photo by GardenBetty.com)

What does a bean with a good imagination look like? If you’ve got the same tastes as Dr. Seuss then the ‘Red Noodle’ Bean or the ‘Yard-Long bean should be right up your alley. We have grown the former for several years in our vegetable garden, and usually just eat it straight off the vine—it’s so sweet and tasty. But it stays crunchier if you cook it, whether stir fried or steamed. Boiling, however, isn’t recommended—these beans get water-logged and tasteless.

‘Red Noodle’ (Vigna unguiculata) is, as the name suggests, a burgundy red color. What is exceptional about the bean (aside from its brilliant color) is that its average size is 18 inches long. It looks more like a jumbo Twizzler than anything you’d normally call a healthy bean. And, like most beans, the smaller, slender ones are the most tender—try to harvest when they are about 12 inches long and still slim.
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Morning Eye Candy: Architectural Sunglasses

Posted in Around the Garden on April 21st, 2014 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

We’re getting out ahead of the spring warmth. Time for the post-winter whitewash on the Conservatory dome!

Conservatory

Enid A. Haupt Conservatory – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Morning Eye Candy: Plum Delightful

Posted in Photography on April 19th, 2014 by Matt Newman – 1 Comment

Prunus cerasifera var. divaricata

Myrobalan plum (Prunus cerasifera var. divaricata) near the Mosholu Gate – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Marvelous Magnolias

Posted in Horticulture on April 18th, 2014 by Matt Newman – 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.


Magnolia stellata 'Waterlily'

Magnolia stellata ‘Waterlily’

Late last week I brought a group of new Living Collections Phenology volunteers through the magnolia and oak collections just as the plants began hinting at spring. Of the earliest flowering species, the star magnolias (Magnolia stellata) were beginning to show off their crisp white flowers and the rarer Zen’s magnolia (Magnolia zenii) was in full flower, showing gorgeous pink watercolor streaks at the base of its tepals.

This week the magnolias are really strutting their stuff at The New York Botanical Garden. It is amazing how much things can change over the weekend! By this Monday the many saucer magnolias (Magnolia × soulangeana) in the collection were revealing their newly opened flowers and they continue to get prettier by the day.

Though you can’t go wrong with any of the magnolias here at the Garden, my favorite plant is one of the kobus magnolias (Magnolia kobus). We have a fantastic specimen just north of the Visitor Center that I believe is unparalleled across our 250 acres. This particular plant, accessioned in 1940, is over 35 feet tall and 45 feet wide. Its fragrant white flowers cover its branches like thousands of small white song birds about to take flight.
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This Weekend: Departing Key West, Beginning Earth Week

Posted in Programs and Events on April 18th, 2014 by Lansing Moore – Be the first to comment

The Orchid Show Key West ContemporaryOn April 21, the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory ends its journey through the Florida Keys. This weekend is your last chance to enjoy the modernist pergolas and reflecting pools of landscape architect Raymond Jungles! There are also plenty of programs this weekend to maximize your visit to The Orchid Show: Key West Contemporary before it closes. Better yet, the Garden will also be open on Easter Sunday and Monday, April 21, for the final day of The Orchid Show.

While activity may be winding down in the Conservatory, the party is just getting started on grounds. Spring was difficult to think of during the long winter, but now the magnolias, daffodils, and cherry blossoms are returning the Garden to its due brilliance. In advance of Earth Day at the Garden on Tuesday, visitors are invited to kick off Earth Week at Sunday’s Terrace Talk! This Science Program will include a special botany-inspired cocktail tasting, and an exciting look into the work of the Pfizer Lab. If you missed out on Orchid Evenings, this is your chance to enjoy the the Garden in style while getting an exclusive peek at its inner workings.

The Culinary Kids Food Festival also ends April 21, so this weekend is the perfect time to bring the kids on a delicious journey! Read on for the rest of this weekend’s activities at the Garden!

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Morning Eye Candy: Forsooth, Forsythia!

Posted in Photography on April 18th, 2014 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

Forsythia x intermedia

Forsythia × intermedia in the Benenson Ornamental Conifers – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen