Photographer and delphinium breeder, Edward Steichen.
Yes, in addition to his groundbreaking career as a visual artist and museum professional, Steichen was also a renowned horticulturist. While he lived in France, the French Horticultural Society awarded him its gold medal in 1913, and he served as president of the American Delphinium Society from 1935 to 1939. In the early 1930s, after leaving his position as chief of photography for the Condé Nast publications—including Vogue and Vanity Fair—and more than 10 years before beginning his career as Director of the Department of Photography at MoMA, he retired to his Connecticut farm to raise flowers…read more.
Gorgeous Hydrangeas, New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx, NY #nybg (Taken with Instagram)
The latest headliners in the outdoor collections have to be the hydrangeas. Their cool colors stand out in the heat of the day, but really pop under overcast skies. Loving this horticulturist’s feed of gardens and architecture, both local and abroad. —MN
The Bronx Brewery partners with The New York Botanical Garden and Bronx community to form The Urban Hop Project
Raise a (virtual) glass with us in welcoming this sudsy delicious collaboration! ~AR
It takes preparation to create a masterpiece! Here, Marc Hachadourian takes you through the behind-the-scenes work taking place in our Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections. Each poppy and delphinium being cared for by our horticulturists will soon make its way to our Monet’s Garden exhibition, opening May 19.
“Cutting into the obdurate flesh practically takes a katana,” writes Michael Tortorello, regarding a once-renowned fruit that has since slid down the slippery slope of history’s forgetfulness. Few Americans have even seen a quince, much less tasted the fruit. And with perhaps good reason: it’s not easy to eat.
But despite its curmudgeonly reputation, there are those trying to restore the classic pome to its former relevance, even right here in New York. —MN
Dianne Crary got her start in gardening not through a potted plant from the hardware store, or an elementary school seed-soaking experiment, but from something a little more challenging: a neglected yard and a few meandering honey bees.
“The house that my parents purchased in the ’50s had a garden with great bones, but neither one was interested in gardening,” Dianne writes. “The beds were neglected and every now and then when the weeds were towering over everything, I would get inspired to pull them out …
“Decades later, beekeeping became a hobby and one rainy spring season the honey crop had a minty taste which came from the nectar of the basswood tree … This then made me notice what other plants the bees were visiting in order to incorporate bee friendly plants in the garden.”
Read on to see how Dianne found herself learning the ropes with the NYBG’s School of Professional Horticulture, coming to understand “the right plant in the right place.” And don’t forget: we have beekeeping classes of our own coming up shortly! —MN
#3. Gimme Shelter
Male euglossine bees collect fragrances from flowers. “The males with the most complex array of fragrances get all the ladies,” says Mirenda. But when the bees land on male Catasetum orchids, they also get a swift wallop on the head. “The flowers basically mug their pollinator by shooting really large pollinia at them when they touch a little trigger switch in the flower,” says Mirenda.
After being whacked, as a reaction, the bees retreat to shelter—in this case, to the Catasetum’s female flowers (above). The helmet-like flowers, found in Central America, actually resemble the nests that the bees build. There, while feeding on nectar, the bees deposit the pollen.
This reblog was originally snake-long, so I chopped it down. But I beseech you to click through to the full article and read up on some of this stuff—orchids can be downright dastardly. I beseech you. —MN
danceabletragedy: Rafflesia arnoldii
Rafflesia arnoldii is the world’s largest flower having a diameter of about one meter and weighing up to ten kilograms. It is a rare flower and not easily located. It grows only once a year and blooms for around five days. According to researches in discovery news, this flower that looks and smells like rotting flesh is related to flimsy flowers like violets, poinsettias and passionflowers. Hence it also called as “meat flower” or “corpse flower”.
The flower is pollinated by flies and carrion beetles attracted by its vile smell. It contains about 27 species and found in Indonesian rain forests of southeastern Asia and Philippines. Rafflesia is an official state flower of Indonesia, Surat Thani Province in Thailand and Sabah state in Malaysia.
Seymour Krelborn washes his hands of the whole thing.
With the warmth of spring comes new growth. It’s a basic concept. But how plants know to flower as soon as the seasons change hasn’t been as crystal clear until now.
U.K. researchers have come across a plant gene—designated PIF4—that actually activates or deactivates depending on the ambient temperature.
According to the scientists involved, this is just one of two possible ways a plant can determine when the time has come to give up winter dormancy: measuring day-length and measuring the temperature. And for the plants with an “active PIF4” pathway, success in the wild is proving easier to come by. For the other guys—those that rely solely on the length of the day—the game is getting away from them.
“In the past 100 years or so, many plants that have just used day-length have become locally extinct,” says Dr. Philip Wigge, co-author of the study. Meanwhile, the plants with internal thermometers are increasing their range. —MN
There’s not much that a fern has in common with a baseball pitcher. One sits docile among its fellows and releases spores; the other commands a hefty salary. The first has been around for millions of years; the other…sometimes chews tobacco. But as absurd as this comparison is, a recent understanding of a long-known structure in ferns is at least narrowing the gap between the two.
Known as the annulus, the reproductive feature is helping scientists understand the unique process of spore-based propagation. The structure is essentially a catapult—it snaps open, flinging spores out and away from the plant in a motion that takes only a few microseconds. It may not be a 100mph fast pitch hurtled into a catcher’s mitt, but it’s a little more proactive than waiting for the birds to do the work for you. —MN
In describing Takanori Aiba’s bonsai creations, be sure to strike “whimsical” off the list of effective adjectives. “Fantastical” and “miraculous” should be left by the wayside, as well. Few of these words seem to do his living miniatures proper justice.
With painstaking attention to detail and no small measure of creative recycling, Aiba’s buildings around bonsai (and bonsai around buildings) tend to remind me of the films of Hayao Miyazaki. I’m this close to a Howl’s Moving Castle comparison. —MN
The New York Times’ Learning Network blog uses a piece about Marc Hachadourian’s early introduction to horticulture via avocado seeds. Hachadourian is the Manager of the Garden’s Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections.
There’s virtually only one way to legally climb a tree in New York City: By taking one of NYBG’s recreational tree-climbing classes. The next class isn’t until the fall, but anyone pursuing a certificate in Horticulture at the Garden can participate in Introduction to Tree Climbing in June or July