The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants, an educational institution, and a scientific research organization. Founded in 1891 and now recognized as a National Historic Landmark, it is one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world. http://www.nybg.org/
I thought to myself, “I’ve got this great article on region-appropriate native landscaping that I should share on Tumblr!” But then I thought, “It’s only Tuesday. Coconut palms are the heroes the readers need.”
Tomorrow: inspiration for alternative lawns in a time of environmental uncertainty. Today: cubicle escapism. —MN
On Tuesday, a bonsai tree boldly went where no bonsai tree has gone before.
Azuma Makoto, a 38-year-old artist based in Tokyo, launched two botanical arrangements into orbit: “Shiki 1,” a Japanese white pine bonsai tree suspended from a metal frame, and an untitled arrangement of orchids, lilies, hydrangeas, and irises.
Pair this with that time Anamanaguchi sent a slice of pizza into space and the past couple of years have been good for orbital art. After being launched from the site of Burning Man in Nevada, the botanical rigs traveled to about 90,000 feet before descending back to Earth, where they were found around five miles from the launch site. —MN
Have the various space agencies ever left plants suspended in the vacuum for extended periods of time, and if so, any ideas of the physical impact on the remains?
This weekend, make an arrangement of something. A cut flower arrangement for your dining room table; a doodle of all the backyard bugs you can see in an hour; a Things Organized Neatly-style selection of the things in your hiking pack; a garden row of soon-to-be-edible seedlings. Set aside some time to make a thing. —MN
Flower Beards are the latest invasive species identified by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. These rapidly spreading weeds choke the native ecosystem, decimate the pollinator population, and cause massive irritation. Please ask your local barber or nursery for further tips on curbing the spread of Flower Beards. This has been a Public Service Announcement from NYBG. ~LM
The hottest time of year is made a bit cooler by the lotus and water lily blossoms in our reflecting pools. Here are some gorgeous shots of Nelumbo nucifera (or sacred lotus) and Nymphaea ‘Clyde Ikins’, a water lily—before you check the captions, can you tell which is which? ~LM
It’s not really summer ‘til the Nymphaea flowers pop up. Way up. You’ll find the likes of ‘Denver’ (this one right here), ‘Clyde Ikins’, and ‘Moon Dance’ water lily cultivars poking their heads above the waterline in our Conservatory pools, with more to follow in a flurry of whites, yellows, purples, and pinks.
"Every year, we try and improve our cultivars. When I started, we would have four or five days of really good courts. We’re now getting to maybe day 10 or 11, so we’re almost grabbing an extra week. Ultimately we would like to get through the whole fortnight that way, but whether that’s possible I don’t know. You find that the grass technology improves but the players are getting bigger and stronger so it kind of balances.
While the World Cup is all anybody is talking about, another beloved athletic championship is also underway: Wimbledon. The Telegraph has an interesting interview with the head groundsman, Neil Stubley, who occupies just one of the many fascinating but lesser-known horticultural professions. Any professional sport that requires turf has a similar specialist. A life in the world of plants can take you some unexpected places. ~LM
There’s something especially beautiful and eerie (if not slightly depressing) about abandoned greenhouses. This slice of botanical history in nearby Yonkers, NY is an interesting read with some arresting images. Of course, it makes me grateful that we take such scrupulous care of our historic structures here at NYBG, and of course our own Conservatory is aging much more gracefully. ~LM
theeternalnewb said: I loved that post about the bitters. I'm partway through memorizing The Drunken Botanist at this point simply due to how FASCINATING this all is.
So good! We actually had Amy Stewart speaking here a couple of weeks ago. She was taking part in our Weird, Wild, & Wonderful botanical discussion and booksigning alongside Elizabeth Gilbert. And she just so happened to supply a couple of the recipes we used for the evening’s cocktail bar.
I find even those least inclined to enjoy botany can at least appreciate the fact that all of our nightcaps come from some sort of plant. “They give us oxygen and alcohol” is a good open and shut response to anyone rolling eyes at the study of vegetation. —MN
P.S. – If any of you out there haven’t picked up The Drunken Botanist, it comes highly recommended from all corners of the plant world.
Great Yellow Gentian, Gentiana lutea. Lots of uses- most importantly, for Angostura bitters.
As is the way with just about any alcoholic product over a century old (yes, I’m generalizing, stay your Tumblr swords), it’s said that you can count on one hand the number of people who know the exact recipe for Angostura bitters. But actual angostura bark (Angostura trifoliata) isn’t—nor has it ever been—one of the ingredients.
Gentiana lutea is indeed one of them, however, owing to its amarogentin content. This glycoside is one of the most bitter substances known, so it figures we’d challenge ourselves by plugging it into our favorite cocktail flavoring. —MN