Plant Talk | Science Talk

From the Library: The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening

Posted in From the Library on February 11th, 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 Timber Press Guide to Vegetable GardeningLet’s say you’re new to vegetable gardening. Or, let’s say that you’re not new to vegetable gardening, but you have just relocated to a new region of the United States, and you want to start planning your garden. Where on earth should you begin looking for information?

Although it may seem obvious, it is sometimes overlooked that plants will have different care requirements depending on where they are grown. Methods used to grow tomatoes, for example, will be different depending on whether or not the same species or variety is grown in the Northeast or the Southwest. Often, specific varieties are suggested for specific regions, as a tomato that thrives in one area might languish in another. Like a good recipe, the art of growing a particular vegetable must be modified and refined by each individual gardener, as there can be differences in what a plant needs from region to region, state to state, and even yard to yard. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to vegetable gardening, but a recent series from Timber Press is a great start.
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Morning Eye Candy: Falling Water

Posted in Photography on February 11th, 2016 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

The Aquatic House in the Haupt Conservatory is an escape year round, but in winter it takes on the vibe of an oasis. Look for some of the medicinal plants featured in our Wild Medicine exhibition while you’re relaxing to the white noise of falling water.

Aquatic House

The Aquatic House in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Medicinal Herbs: Favorite Recipes for a Healthy Winter

Posted in Shop/Book Reviews on February 10th, 2016 by Joyce Newman – Be the first to comment

Joyce H. Newman is an environmental journalist and teacher. She holds a Certificate in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden.


Photo: Shawn Linehan

Photo: Shawn Linehan

The Garden’s current exhibition, Wild Medicine in the Tropics, located in the warm rain forest and desert galleries of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at NYBG, is full of surprises about the healing power of medicinal plants and their importance for human health.

One of the biggest surprises is the fact that 25 percent of our prescription medicines—including many of today’s life-saving, well-known products—come from plant ingredients. The exhibition highlights dozens of plant species for their impact in promoting health or fighting disease.
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From the Casa Azul to the GreenSchool, Frida Inspires Students and Educators Alike

Posted in Children's Education on February 10th, 2016 by Plant Talk – 2 Comments

Patricia Caracappa is a Spanish Teacher at Howitt Middle School in Farmingdale.


CaracappaI am a teacher certified in both Art and Spanish who visited the FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life exhibition on three separate occasions. As I experienced the show in three different ways during a five month period, both with my students and on my own, each visit left me speechless. Here I hope to give voice to my special experiences at the Garden.

My students at Howitt Middle School first experienced the rich offerings of Children’s Education programs related to the exhibition when FRIDA KAHLO opened in May. During the Poetry for Every Season: Mexican Poetry Walk offered by the GreenSchool, my 7th grade Spanish students were challenged to find the connections between the lives of two significant contemporary Mexican artists: the painter Frida Kahlo and the poet Octavio Paz. Examining the thematic images in Kahlo’s artwork and comparing them to the written themes they identified in Paz’ poetry—in Spanish, too!—my students discovered for themselves the significance of the specific choices artists make to communicate ideas they care deeply about both visually and linguistically. This facilitated program revealed seamlessly the artists’ close observation and symbolic uses of plants, their Mexican nationalism, and their deep appreciation for the natural world.
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Morning Eye Candy: Ticking Off the Minutes

Posted in Photography on February 10th, 2016 by Matt Newman – 1 Comment

Flurries outside, sparks of burgundy and sunshine yellow inside. The Indian clock vine is creating elegant chandeliers in the Conservatory’s Aquatic House.

Indian clock vine

Indian clock vine (Thunbergia mysorensis) in the Haupt Conservatory – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Morning Eye Candy: Rise and Shine

Posted in Photography on February 9th, 2016 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

Is that you, spring? No? Oh, well, the snowdrops were only wondering. We’ll let them know that it’s still a month and change ’til the switch, though I think they’re committed at this point.

Snowdrops (Galanthus)

Snowdrops (Galanthus) along Tulip Tree Allée – Photo by Amy Weiss

Morning Eye Candy: Winter Red

Posted in Photography on February 8th, 2016 by Lansing Moore – Be the first to comment

The Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’ pops against the crisp blankets of fresh snow adorning the Garden.

-Ilex-verticillata-'Winter-Red'- home gardening center
In the Home Gardening Center – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

Morning Eye Candy: Witchy Business

Posted in Photography on February 8th, 2016 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

Witch-hazel is such a wonderful signifier in winter. It tells us that this season is not colorless, and in the same breath, that spring is not so far off the horizon as we think.

Hamamelis vernalis

Ozark witch-hazel (Hamamelis vernalis) in the Ross Conifer Arboretum – Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

This Weekend: Pristine Winter Days

Posted in Programs and Events on February 5th, 2016 by Matt Newman – Be the first to comment

The NYBG WeekendWith a fresh blanket of snow dusting our outdoor collections and a sunny weekend on the forecast, the next two days are a welcome opportunity to experience a classic winter outing—with all the warm days we’ve been having, it certainly took its time.

On the docket is our long-running Bird Walk with Debbie Becker, where you can join up with veteran birders and newbies alike to tour our 250 acres with binoculars in hand. With the leaves gone from the trees, and the blanket of white casting the wildlife of the Garden in high contrast, now is one of the best times of year to go out and find our feathered friends.

Now is also the perfect time to take part in one of our weekend tours. Whether you’re looking to explore the wintry trees of the outdoor collections or stay warm in the steamy rain forests of our Haupt Conservatory, NYBG’s expert guides have got you covered.

Check below for the full schedule!
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From the Library: The Manual of Interior Plantscaping

Posted in From the Library on February 4th, 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.


Manual of Interior PlantscapingThe Manual of Interior Plantscaping: A Guide to Design, Installation, and Maintenance is the newest book from Kathy Fediw and her first with Timber Press. Fediw has over 30 years of experience in the world of interior plantscaping, working as a consultant, author, and speaker. She is quite prolific, and has carved out a niche as a purveyor of information for those in the interior plantscaping business and those who are considering moving into the field.

In the preface for Manual, Fediw writes, “It is my hope that this book will be a bridge between the design community and the horticulture community, so we can all work together to make plants a part of our every day lives.” To this end, Manual promises to show readers how to design different types of interior plantscapes including atriums, indoor gardens, green walls, potted office plants, color bowls, dish gardens, and terrariums—in 296 pages, no less.
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