A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Straw Hats at NYBG

This seems to be my month for field trips. Today I made a flying visit to the New York Botanical Gardens with "M" and "A". We've noticed that everywhere we go we always seem to see ladies from the Red Hat Society. We decided that gardeners need a similar group so we have formed the "Straw Hat Society" for gardeners. The only requirement for membership is that you must be a gardener. We elected "M" as the Head Hatter (or Madhatter, as we affectionately call her) since she always leads the tours. The Straw Hat Society made its debut today. Unfortunately we were in such a rush to see as much as possible in a short time that we didn't have time to have a picture taken of our inaugural event.

There is a special display of glass sculpture by the artist Dale Chihuly in the conservatory and a few pieces outdoors in the gardens. We didn't have time to tour the conservatory today. Here are some of the outdoor pieces:

Rose Crystal Tower

The Sun

Rose Garden Fiori

The sculptures are incredibly beautiful but I felt that they were out of place in a naturalistic setting. Our first stop was the Home Gardening Center which contains display gardens of plant trials, fragrant plants, a cutting garden and a veggie garden, to name just a few.

The Trial Garden

This is the Fragrance Garden. I love the little gazebo.

This is rosemary!

The Cutting Garden from the outside.

The Cutting Garden inside

The Vegetable Garden is planted in raised beds. There is even a bed raised high enough to be comfortably used by a gardener in a wheelchair (not pictured).

Care to guess why this was my favorite garden? It's called the "Country Garden". It is a series of pools and streams planted with shade-loving plants.

Straw Hat Sighting!! Straw Hat Sighting!! Straw Hat Sighting!!

I was trying to get a photo of these reeds. If you enlarge it, you can see the Head Hatter on the right checking out the compost demo.

This was a lovely walk planted with annuals. Further along were these containers:

The Perennial Gardens were breathtaking. . .

There are a surprising number of trees considering this garden is in New York City. Here are two that caught my eye. The first is a pear tree. The fruit is about the size of my thumb.

The hotly debated topic among the Straw Hatters was, since this is New York City, would there be a partidge in the pear tree or a pigeon in the pear tree?

Don't you love the trunk(s) on this conifer? Unfortunately, the ID tag didn't come out well so I can't tell you what it is.

We hopped the tram to the Family Garden which has ethnic and children's gardens. Can you spot the caterpillar?

The Korean Garden even had a Korean Gardener!

The photo doesn't do her justice. She was extraordinarily kind to us. We were each given a gorgeous leek from this bed.

In another bed, there was rice growing in water-filled containers.

A whimsical raised bed

I loved these containers

This seemingly chaotic scene is actually veggie beds planted by children. Each bed is labelled with the child's name.

I'm considering a hyacinth bean tepee for my garden next year. Don't you just love it?

Just a friendly reminder!

Our last stop was the rose garden. It was HUGE!

Straw Hat Sighting!! Straw Hat Sighting!! Straw Hat Sighting!!

It wasn't easy prying OldRoses away from the roses!


At 11:11 AM, Blogger Sigrun said...

Thank you for such a lot of interesting photos again! It is a bit like going through!

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Beverly said...

Wonderful garden tour and great idea on the Straw Hat Society maybe I could be in the midwest chapter:)

At 5:08 PM, Blogger Xris said...

"There are a surprising number of trees considering this garden is in New York City."

One of the NYBG "gardens" is "The Forest": 50 acres of native woodland, including some virgin stands which have never been cut or farmed. It's a beautiful area, and the Bronx River runs right through it. It used to be called the Hemlock Forest, but wooly algid has decimated many of the old Hemlocks.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Wonderful pictures. Gorgeous gardens. Thanks for sharing them with us all.

I am ready to join that midwest chapter of the Straw Hat Society!

At 11:01 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Xris, we saw The Forest from the tram but didn't have time to explore it. Next I go, I would love to spend time there. In many ways it is more interesting than the gardens.

Beverly & Carol, how exciting that the Straw Hat Society is expanding. Maybe we should plan a convention!

At 12:28 AM, Anonymous M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...

I love taking garden tours with you. I'm just drooling over the sight of all those lovely flowers and green green green.

Do plant a hyacinth bean teepee. I did one for the kids awhile back and it was fun.

At 6:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice blogg and photos! I've marked it in my favorites to check back often.
Just new at blogging myself and can learn from you and others.
Thanks for sharing!

At 7:26 PM, Blogger Loretta said...

NY Gardens and plants always seem to be much more exotic and well tended, always lush, always gorgeous...nothing like LA botanical gardens! Thanks for the great pics!

At 10:16 PM, Anonymous Hanna in Cleveland said...

Fantastic photos!

I have to say though, that I have always loved the modern art, like those glass works, in the garden because I think they make a fun yin and yang, the natural and the unnatural playing off each other. It's like their differences make their very different beauties all the more apparent.

At 9:29 AM, Blogger crazygramma said...

Those are great pictures, I felt like I was on the tour with you. Thank you for sharing.

At 5:56 PM, Blogger UKBob said...

Imagine being a gardener in that place! I enjoyed the tour.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Kati said...

thanks for another great photo-tour!I felt like you that there was something about the glass art in the gardens, a tension. I was thinking how around here every rain storm knocks down branches and pictured all that glass breaking. But I loved the blue glass stuff, as I loved the blue pots before. I found the rice fascinating, loved the perennials, not keen on the annuals, and will plant a hyacinth bean tepee myself here next summer. So much to see, I'm still poring over the perennial photos.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Tabor said...

I have stopped by here when I can and I picked a really good day. I love the photo tour and will book mark for future reference. I have a pandanus hat homemade by a Pacific island friend that I sometimes use when I garden---can I join?

At 5:51 PM, Blogger Tabor said...

Oh, almost forgot, I did a hyacinth bean thing on my mailbox one year and it was most rewarding. The deep purple bean pods are so rewarding as you move into fall.

At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Judith said...

Straw hats off to the Straw Hat Society! I received a brochure in the snail mail box for the Chihuly at the garden exhibit. Thanks to you, I don't feel bad missing it. Love your garden tour report.

At 9:44 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Tabor, all gardeners are welcome to join!

At 1:07 AM, Blogger Rose said...

Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos. NYBG reminds me of The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC, another beautiful place to visit.

At 11:26 PM, Blogger Kerri said...

Thanks for this lovely tour with all the wonderful photos and descriptions. I'd love to visit these gardens. My husband and I have talked about it, but haven't done it yet. I'm sure we will one of these days, especially since our youngest daughter moved to NYC in July.
Have you seen the Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario? Truly outstanding!

At 9:09 PM, Blogger ~~ Melissa said...

Great photos! I think of love the children's veggie garden best of all.

At 3:44 AM, Blogger Marcellg said...

Its great to see the different styles and ways the garden is set out, I am just preparing my lawn for new turf in the spring.

At 4:56 AM, Blogger charles edwards said...

Great Photos I have just finished redesigning my garden and conservatory, the garden cushions were a complete pain ti locate, finding something that is weather proof and hardwearing that are confortable is not easy. This cannot be said for the plants I am choosing they are colorful, plentiful and will look astounding or thats what I am hoping.

At 5:51 AM, Anonymous Garden Seating said...

Fantastic pictures I love the sheer size of the place. How great it would be to have a garden similar to that but the work to keep it looking good would be frightening.


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