Summer dreams …. ~AR
Summer dreams …. ~AR
Staring-into-space, “dang but it feels good outside” GPOY. —MN
(Photo by our pal wundoroo.)
Summer at the New York Botanical Garden
I spent a couple of restorative hours wandering around the NYBG yesterday enjoying the tranquility and calm that the space and greenery provide.
I love the plantings along the Seasonal Walk and the Perennial and Herb gardens outside the Conservatory. Whoever designs these plantings has a wonderful eye for colour and texture.However, it was terribly humid, so an idea for a new permanent exhibition sprung into my mind: plants of the sub-Antarctic and sub-Arctic and at the end of the exhibit, an ice bar selling vodka & frozen cocktails. I know I’m biased, but I think this would be a real crowd-pleaser.
Seconding the motion. And in a perfect world, I’d bang a gavel and shout “MOTION PASSED.” An ice bar would miraculously appear, surrounded by frost-rimed trees and shrubs in an exhibition equal parts remote Taiga wilderness and deep Patagonian coastline. It would be good. —MN
A fern unrolling young fronds
We’re enjoying the lushness of summer before autumn comes knocking. I happen to be a fern fanatic, an affection easily managed when visiting the Azalea Garden or Native Plant Garden. But what’s your favorite summer green?
Harvesting in August
For our NYC locals, our Greenmarket at the NYBG is running until 3 p.m. today. We’ve got a DIY herbal soapmaking demo from 11 to 1, and a bruschetta-making booth using market tomatoes to miracle deliciousness into existence.
This pic is a pretty solid example of what you can expect (not seeing red bell peppers with our local farmers yet [we’ve got jalapenos!], but the tomatoes, beans, zucchini, cucumbers, and squash are spot on). You’ll also have to find room to stuff watermelons, cantaloupe, eggplant, tomatillos, corn, blueberries, pies, donut peaches, and as much fresh tomato juice as you can carry for your home bar. Because what’s summer without a Bloody Mary or three? —MN
What’s Beautiful Now?
We’re known for our plants, but the wildlife that calls them home is just as lively from season to season. And summer is about as far from the exception as you’ll find yourself. In the Native Plant Garden, the meadow’s tall, waving grasses and flower spikes are a food court for bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies, while turtles, frogs, and salamanders stake their claims in Twin Lakes and the Bronx River.
If you stand in the Forest and wait, you’ll hear shuffling critters as they go about their daily foraging, feathered or furred. — MN
What’s beautiful now?
Reds, pinks, purples, and everything in between. The hibiscus blooming in the Perennial Garden and Home Gardening Center are certainly the stand-outs—they’re as big as cereal bowls and impossible to overlook. Pink and purple astilbe balance them out. And alongside, you might run into the hybrid ‘Black Beauty’ lilies, which aren’t actually black by any stretch of the imagination, but we’re not about to throw a fit over the misnomer.
Speaking of misnomers, that puff of purple strings there is known as Liatris—cultivar ‘Kobold’. Depending on your understanding of the mythological creature, that can either refer to a friendly, gnome-like creature, or a mine-dwelling horror. But judging by the playful color and texture, I’m leaning toward the former as inspiration.
You’ll find the dainty pink crape myrtle flaunting what its got along the Ladies’ Border, right next door to the Perennial Garden. Of course, these are just a handful of lookers. Finding the rest on idle walks is half the fun. —MN
What’s beautiful now?
Green. Lush, inviting, refreshing, invigorating, I-wish-you-could-swim-in-a-color green. When it seems like the sun is two inches from New York City, and the temperature on the subway platform is vaulting right over the 100-degree mark, a breezy forest path cutting under the canopy is a lifesaver. —MN
There are still some tickets left for this Thursday’s (July 18) Wild Medicine Cocktail Evening, and seeing as New York is baking like a blueberry pie right now—well, there are worse things you could be doing with your night than downing icy mixed drinks and chilling for a Garden concert.
With the thermometer spiking, we’re moving on from the last event’s cucumber, mint and gin cocktails to Crème Yvette and tequila (or mezcal!) spiked with lime. Because, seriously, what better time than summer after dark for that fermented agave goodness?
A woman stands upon a Victoria water lily, part of the Nymphaeaceae plant family.
As I don’t see a trapeze swinging overhead, I’m wondering how she managed to get out there without falling in. Unless…she swam out, climbed onto the Victoria water lily pad, and hung out until she was dry enough for a photo. Serious dedication right there.
More on these pond monsters soon. And maybe more pictures of people hanging out on them (please don’t try this). —MN
We move into summer viewing the calendar through a kaleidoscope. Everywhere you look, the palette shifts. The hydrangeas nudge the Mosholu Gate toward a blue period, eponymous blooms train up the Daylily Walk like streaks of fire. In the Native Plant Garden, the wildflowers sit around like constellations.
The Rose Garden is still chugging along, and the Greenmarket's fruits and vegetables look uncannily like their still-life opposites. But my personal favorite, and something you'll see if you hop out to the Conservatory Courtyard while you’re here, is the start of the lotus blossoms. They’re the size of popcorn bowls. —MN
Another spectacular show from The New York Botanical Garden - The Italian Renaissance Garden. Beautiful and informative, it inspired me to pull out my copy of Jekka’s Complete Herb Book and read up on some of the plants featured in the exhibition.
The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden smelled delightful. Some of the roses were just past their peak and were a little waterlogged from the rain we had during the week, but overall the garden looked great and provided a romantic setting for a young couple’s engagement.
A Monday this warm deserves some easy-going color. —MN
So there are these flowers called roses … They’re kinda pretty … I mean, some people like them. They smell really good, or at least some of them do. Oh who am I kidding? Roses are awesome! And they’re looking amazing in the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden right now.
But the roses will be around all summer, if you want to spend some QT with another flower that brings out the obsessive nature in our visitors, you better get her right quick! The incredible peonies lining the road in front of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory are as perfect as I’ve ever seen them. So, if they’re your favorite, get here asap and bliss out with your favorite flower.
Other fantastic places where you should consider chilling out in this hot, hot heat include the Native Plant Garden which is looking like the world’s most lush prairie, the Azalea Garden which is gorgeous with share and ephemeral streams, and the Perennial Garden full of shady benches and shrubs full of hummingbirds.
Wild Medicine: Healing Plants Around the World in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory continues to delight visitors with a one-two punch of geeky knowledge and Renaissance beauty. Come visit us in the Bronx and beat the heat with an easy 20-minute Metro-North ride from Grand Central Terminal!
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
There’s no denying it, we love Victoria waterlilies and can’t wait for the balmy days of August and these botanical behemoths to return. But I wasn’t aware that our love was matched—and perhaps surpassed—by the Victorian populace. I can’t wait to dig into this new book documenting their discovery and the obsession surrounding them in Victorian England. ~AR
Summer in the city can be especially hot and sticky, because urban heat islands exacerbate the warm weather. Researchers at Berkeley Lab are testing materials that battle that effect, making pavements cooler and safer.
Get ready, summer is around the corner! Our 50-acre old growth Forest is an especially great place to beat the heat, for humans and animals alike. ~AR