The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants, an educational institution, and a scientific research organization. Founded in 1891 & now a National Historic Landmark, it is one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world. http://www.nybg.org/
Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leafs a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.
The leaves are mostly off the trees these days, which means they’re gathering on the grass, amongst the trees, or in the Bronx River. The absence of leaves gives the opportunity to enjoy the architecture of the Garden; to marvel at enormous trees and tiny seed pods. Increased leaf litter makes it easier to spot the birds and animals that make their homes in the Garden.
Of the five boroughs of New York City, the Bronx is arguably the greenest, with over 7,000 acres of parkland, which means around 25% of the borough’s land is set aside for recreation and relaxation.
And what’s more, 50-acres of that—our own Thain Family Forest—is the largest remaining remnant of the primeval forests which once covered the entirety of New York City before colonization. This un-cut, old growth woodland was once home to the Lenape Indians, and today is home to an assortment of native animals and plants and the scientists who study them.
So, I do hope that our guide to the flora and fauna of the Thain Family Forest has enticed you to come visit us. The easiest way to reach the Garden is by Metro-North Rail Road on the Harlem Line from Grand Central Terminal. It is an approximately 22-minute ride that lets you off at Botanical Garden Station, directly across from our entrance. We’re always happy to answer your questions, so feel free to drop us a line. The Forest is beautiful in all seasons, yes, even in winter! So don’t let cooler temperatures dissuade you. I hope to see you on the trails soon! ~AR
What’s beautiful now? Transitions. It’s a transformative time in the Garden. Fall is slowly making way for winter, as Tuesday’s first flurries attested to. The leaves are coming down, gardens are being put to bed, plants are being hauled inside, the roses are saying their last goodbyes.
Transitions are hard, in any walk of life, so it’s best to look on the bright side. Once the trees are bare and the beds are mulched, it’s time for the holidays! Lights, feasts, family, treats. It’s time to be cozy indoors, and sparkly out.
At the Garden we turn our focus to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and the wonderful miniature world of the Holiday Train Show. It doesn’t mean that the outside world isn’t still wonderful, it is. You just have to work a little harder to see the wonder. Conifers dressed in green, the silhouette of giant trees against the winter sky, these are joys in their own right, but a little more mutedly so.
This amazing image of people ice skating on the Twin Lakes in the 1910s comes to us from Charles Warren and the Facebook page Old Images of The Bronx. Unfortunately we can’t allow ice skating on Twin Lakes anymore (and honestly, I think it would be really hard anyway, I have yet to see them freeze over in my time at the Garden), but we do have plenty of other winter fun planned for the days ahead. Who’s ready for winter! I am! ~AR
Slope Point is at the southernmost point of the South Island of New Zealand. The air streams loop the ocean, unobstructed for 2000 miles, until they reach Slope Point causing incredibly strong winds. In fact, the winds are so strong and persistent here that they perpetually warp and twist the trees into these crooked, wind-swept shapes.
Slope Point is generally uninhabited, except for the herds of sheep that graze the land. There are no roads leading here, however backpackers regularly make the short 20-minute walk to see the fascinating tree formations that only Mother Nature could create. However there is no public access during the lambing season from September to November.
Forum of Granada by Federico Wulff Barreiro & Francisco del Corral. “In the area where the city edge of Granada merges with the agricultural landscape of its surroundings, the new Forum public space is developed. The project pretends to establish a dialogue from a contemporary perspective with the traditional agricultural landscape preserved from the new building construction. The visual relations with the Sierra Nevada mountain, the historical city, and the new cultural equipment developed in the area, defines the new landscape.”
midtown icons is where we honor the people and places that make midtown the cultural destination of new york city that it is today. we are proud to be a part of the modern midtown landscape.
who: frederick law olmsted—the original landscape architect, journalist, social critic, visionary and one stylish dude
chief contribution: olmsted and his partner, calvert vaux, were instrumental in the planning and development of central park, the first landscaped park in the u.s. olmsted’s conviction to create truly democratic “public spaces” that could be enjoyed by all people, was a relatively new conceit in 1858. it also contributed to the creation of over 35 parks and green spaces throughout the country including prospect park in brooklyn. olmsted’s vision for social reform through green space was to alleviate the pressures of industrialization and provide a bucolic reprieve for the city’s poorest, as well as a refuge from urban life for the wealthy. central park, like many of olmsted and vaux’s creations, is a space that continues to transform with the energy of the city and its people.
Olmsted’s legacy can be found all over New York, including our own Garden. But even if he weren’t the city’s preeminent landscape designer of the past century and a half, he’d still be a rad fashion icon. —MN
What’s beautiful now? If you ask our horticulturists they’ll say one thing: rain. It’s been a pretty dry spring, and while we have the ability to water deeply, there’s just nothing a plant loves more than an old fashioned rain storm. And like the adage says: May showers bring May flowers …. er, or something.
What’s still beautiful from last week? The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden has another bloom every day. On Tuesday it was Rosa nutkana. By this weekend there should be a handful more in bloom. The Azalea Garden just gets better with each passing day, and the Native Plant Garden is just awesome, the perfect place to celebrate your mom on Sunday.
The most stunning example (and true staff favorite) is Prunus pendula var. ascendens, one of the biggest and most beautiful cherries on our grounds. It is situated just above Wamsler Rock (the big outcropping you can see from the main Tram Stop near the Visitor Center), at the juncture of the Rock Garden and the soon-to-open Native Plant Garden.
The weather this spring is proving perfect for blossom longevity, so many of the plants that we reported as blooming last weekandthe week before are still looking gorgeous. For day-to-day updates on what we’re seeing around grounds, be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter where we post daily updates from our staff and visitors. Also, need help getting around? Our iPhone app can help out there. It’s free and available in the App Store. ~AR
What’s in bloom now at NYBG? Oh so much! The cherry blossoms are beginning, but for the moment they are eclipsed by the wonderful (and fragrant!) magnolias. Daffodils are popping up all over, Siberian squills are creating drifts in many of our gardens, and the azaleas are starting to provide a girly blush to the hillsides of the Azalea Garden.
The warmth of the last two days made many of our blooms pop, and now these more seasonal, cooler days will allow those blooms to hold on through the weekend. Combine what’s outside on our 150 acres with the spectacular Orchid Show in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, and I really can’t think of a single reason to not come for a visit! ~AR