Plant Talk | Science Talk

Deadhead Now! (Or Don’t)

Posted in Horticulture on September 2nd, 2014 by Kristin Schleiter – Be the first to comment

Kristin Schleiter is the NYBG’s Associate Vice President of Outdoor Gardens and Senior Curator. She oversees the wonderful gardening team that keeps our flowering gardens looking top notch, curates the herbaceous gardens and collections, and manages the curator of woody plants. She lives and gardens in Fairfield, CT.


Verbena bonariensis

Verbena bonariensis

Deadheading or removing spent flowers is an important task in the late summer garden. Simply follow the stem under a spent flower down to the larger stem it branches off from and clip it off. Deadheading has several benefits, the most obvious being that it can make your garden look neater. Removing the spent flowers can also push side buds to break, yielding a thicker and lusher plant. Removing the spent flowers and thus the potential seed from the plant can make many plants continue to bloom in an effort to create seed and to propagate themselves. Of course, the extra benefit of removing seed is that you are also removing all the work you would have to do weeding out unwanted seedlings!

Some perennials that can be very heavy seeders are garden phlox (Phlox paniculata), hosta, columbine, many of the different decorative onions (Allium) and black-eyed Susan (there are lots of different Rudbeckia and most are heavy seeders if the conditions are right). Sometimes, as with the Rudbeckia, there is a trade off. You can remove the seeds to be sure of less work or you can leave them and enjoy the goldfinches that will sit on the seed heads and have a lovely lunch. Many seedheads can also look lovely into the winter, providing architecture in your garden long after the blossoms have faded. Of course, letting plants seed on their own can be a wonderful way to increase the size of your garden without spending any money!
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Morning Eye Candy: Spotted

Posted in Photography on September 2nd, 2014 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

Silver-spotted skipper

A silver-spotted skipper (Epargyreus clarus) in the Home Gardening Center – Photo by Patricia Gonzalez

Morning Eye Candy: Pool Day

Posted in Photography on August 31st, 2014 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

Conservatory Pool

Nymphaea in the Conservatory Pools – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Morning Eye Candy: Wind-Waved

Posted in Photography on August 30th, 2014 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

Visiting the Native Plant Garden right about now might bring a certain small cottage amidst a grassy landscape to mind.

Sorghastrum nutans

Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) in the Native Plant Garden – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

This Weekend: A Labor Day Lark

Posted in Around the Garden on August 29th, 2014 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

The NYBG WeekendAs one of the last gasps of summer, Labor Day weekend is a chance for NYBG to throw open its gates on a Monday and welcome everyone for what tends to be the closing week of our summer exhibition. And this year, things are no different—we’re rapidly approaching the September 7 end of our Groundbreakers exhibition! If you haven’t found a moment to get away and visit us here in the Bronx, now’s as good a time as any and maybe even better.

Those of you with kids in tow will be happy to know that we’re going full-tilt in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden with our SousaKazooza events, the last of the season. Bring your little ones for some music, marching, and crafts to keep them busy. And for the adults, we’re still offering our full suite of Groundbreakers events alongside a sweeping schedule of tours—Azalea Garden, Rock Garden, Conservatory, Native Plant Garden and Garden Highlights among them—to help you make the most of your afternoon.

Head past the jump for the full schedule, and don’t let the last few weeks of warm sunshine get away from you!
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Art of the Heirloom

Posted in Adult Education on August 29th, 2014 by Jenifer Willis – Be the first to comment

Penstemon digitalisAdult Education is going to seed—but in a good way!

The new Fall-Winter course catalog showcases NYBG’s collaboration with Hudson Valley Seed Library, a farm-based company devoted to heirloom and open-pollinated seeds and garden-themed contemporary art. Every year, Hudson Valley Seed Library commissions unique, original artworks for its annual seed catalog—and this year a special NYBG seed pack coincides with the upcoming Art of the Heirloom exhibit. The Adult Education catalog features the Garden’s seed pack on the cover, with art from the exhibition included throughout.

On the cover, a wreath of Penstemon digitalis—a perennial native to New York also known as foxglove beardtongue—surrounds the iconic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
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Morning Eye Candy: Vividly Violet

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

Vernonia noveboracensis

New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) along the Mitsubishi Wetland Trail – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Morning Eye Candy: Sunny Side Up

Posted in Photography on August 28th, 2014 by Lansing Moore – Be the first to comment

How do you like your flowers—sunny side up or over easy?

Franklinia alatamaha

Franklinia alatamaha in the Native Plant Garden – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

An Urban Farm Flourishes on the Grand Concourse

Posted in Learning Experiences on August 27th, 2014 by Ursula Chanse – Be the first to comment

Ursula Chanse is the Director of Bronx Green-Up and Community Horticulture and Project Director for NYC Compost Project, hosted by The New York Botanical Garden. For more information about these programs and upcoming workshops and events, visit Bronx Green-Up.


New Roots Community GardenOn a sun-baked day in July 2012, we stood outside a new vacant lot, completely sterile and void of any plant or animal life, but there was an urban farm to come…

The International Rescue Committee (IRC), an organization that provides critical services to refugees and asylees, had signed a lease with the NYC Department of Transportation, envisioning a new community farm to support their clients and also benefit the surrounding community. They asked for the help of our program, Bronx Green-Up, the Garden’s community gardening outreach program which has helped create community gardens, school gardens, and urban farms in the Bronx for more than 25 years.

There was promise from the start. On one early visit I bent down to pick up a plastic bottle near the entrance when I noticed a small piece of paper tucked inside—surely, it couldn’t be a message—but yes, the words asked if we were starting a garden, and stated that the person would be interested in helping out.
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This Week at the Greenmarket: Bright & Robust

Posted in Programs and Events on August 27th, 2014 by Lansing Moore – Be the first to comment

Tomato Today’s Greenmarket includes tomatoes of all sizes and onions of every shade, plus kale, sweet chard, leeks, fresh garlic, and more!

Leeks have a very special flavor without being overpowering. Click through for a bit of seasonal inspiration in a simple, savory pasta recipe—fusili with creamed leek and spinach. Try it out over the long weekend!

Be sure to visit the upcoming schedule for future special programs, demos, and Q&As at the Wednesday Greenmarket. Now that summer is winding down, be sure to look at GrowNYC’s calendar of what’s in season and explore some future possibilities for exciting fall meals.
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