I sent ferdjax a note after I saw this excellent series of photographs of a gingko tree, hoping fervently that he had taken these shots at the Garden. Alas, he had not. But, there is a happy ending, because they were taken at the Cloisters, and I love the Cloisters, too. So, in the end everyone wins. ~AR
The Times takes a look at the implications of this unseasonably warm winter. Above, VP For Horticulture and Living Collections smells the heavenly Dawn viburnum which has burst into bloom several weeks early on the Ladies’ Border at the Garden.
light sensor (Arduino or otherwise) + Max/MSP (or equivalent, Ld or cSound would work too) + the hardware setup you see + clever programming to translate the light and dark of the wood into interesting MIDI signals + a nice MIDI synthesizer to produce the piano sounds = what you see; that’s why it’s in the dark!
What does “Arduino + light sensor” mean? Mr. Ascher was kind enough to include this video clip with his answer.
Some days I love my job so much. Thank you Mia and James! ~ AR
The New York Botanical Garden is going on a field trip. Or, rather, its scientists are. In a partnership with the Taft School in Watertown, CT, the finest botanical minds in the northeast will come forward to present a lecture series of epic proportions. And the subject matter could scarcely be more significant.
As the Nathaniel Lord Britton Curator of Botany at the NYBG, Dr. Scott A. Mori’s credentials are solid. Excursions into the world’s rainforests have made him an expert of a different breed, a scientist whose wealth of knowledge comes not only from the laboratory, but from the field. In the first of six lectures scheduled at Taft, “The Role of the Rainforest in Maintaining Life on Earth” minces no words in headline or content.
“The diversity of plants and animals is very tightly woven and a fragile composition. Most people don’t understand the complexity of diversity. If a certain flower is bat pollinated, for example, it will not produce seed without its pollinator, although it might live on. There’s an elusive sense that all is well.”
Join Dr. Mori and others on February 29 for a presentation made available not only for Taft students, but the public as well. The free lecture begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Laube Auditorium of the Hulbert Taft, Jr. Library, on the Taft School campus. Click through for more details, and stay tuned for future lectures to come.
What could possibly make Manhattanites more excited than to know that they’re the proud keepers of an endangered plant? Really, this one is stumping me.
The New York Flora Association reports that a rediscovered sedge known as Carex aggregata has been uncovered in a few locations around New York, including a colony in Inwood Park at the northern tip of Manhattan Island. It has the distinction of being the only known endangered or threatened plant species to exist there.
Congratulations, uptowners! I suppose it’s not as exciting as winning the lottery, but maybe it’s something you can bring up during a particularly awkward lull in conversation at the water cooler. —MN
My family and I just recently move to NYC from Australia and enjoyed the beautiful gardens of NYBG so much that we became members. I learned that on this Tumblr I maybe able to get information on gardening etc.
My question is: We live in Weschester County, and I am attempting to manage my garden myself, as opposed to hiring gardeners. Our area occasionally gets flooded which causes our lawn to be “less than presentable”. Any key tips to managing a beautiful lawn for the DIY gardener? Any comments would be helpful. Given that this winter has been mild is it a good time to start restoring the lawn? Any suggestions of seed, food, timing and watering schedules from garden experts would be grateful.
Hello, welcome to New York, and thank you for being a Member! Your question is really excellent, so we posed it to the Garden’s Plant Information Specialists. Here’s what they have to say:
Your question requires several answers: To begin with let’s discuss a few lawn care basics. A great lawn requires knowing the pH and texture of your soil, as well as its organic and chemical breakdown. In Westchester County, many soils are on the acidic side, with a pH slightly below neutral. To determine the composition of your soils have a soil test done by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester.
Grass grows best in loamy soil, so depending on what your soil test finds, you may want to amend your soil with some organic matter, such as compost. A 1-2 inch layer can be raked into the soil in early spring and early fall. In addition, you may be advised to add fertilizer (try to use organic products if you can). A good idea is to use corn gluten since it feeds grass while keeping down weed growth at the same time.
As far as watering is concerned, the average lawn requires about 1-1 1/2 inches of rain per week during the growing season (April through September). So when your yard isn’t being flooded with rain you may have to water it. Aim for about three-times per week for 30 minutes to achieve the desired absorption depth of 6-8 inches.
Lawn problems can occur when correct cultural requirement are not followed. You can determine if your lawn needs thatching when it feels spongy while walking on it (which it sounds like might be happening with your lawn). If your lawn is small in size, a manual thatch machine will work well, if it is large, you might want to rent a mechanical thatching machine, or call in the professionals.
Other good practices to keep in mind include aerating your lawn and cutting grass following the one-third rule: Always cut away only one third of the grass height in a mowing. Also, you should occasionally leave your grass clippings on the lawn—raking them evenly throughout the area—to add organic matter.
NYBG Plant Information Specialists
Well, there you have it James! It sounds like you have your work cut out for you. Our Home Gardening Center (both online and at the Garden) is a great resource with plenty more helpful tips. Please let us know how you fare. ~ AR
Two-fold happiness from gardening? Sure, why not? Researchers have found that a particular bacteria found in dirt may actually boost feelings of “emotional health, vitality, and general cognitive function.” For people who already get their smiles out of greenthumbing it through the yard, having yet another healthy justification for digging in the soil is the proverbial icing on the metaphorical cake. —MN