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Entries in NYBG (23)


Taco Truck

There's a taco truck parked outside of the back door of my office at NYBG. Probably part of the new Frida Kahlo exhibit. New addition to the somewhat pedestrian back-door environment of the Harding Lab. [NOTE: Wonder how many other tropical ecologists have a taco truck parked outside of their office]? 


Other Week: Day 8

Original Post: My Office
Date: April 28, 2009 at 9:14 AM
Nothing more than a slow spin in my office chair with a video camera. Look for the Burmese mala, the Sonic Youth photo, my orange NYBG cap, the old header for "thus i have seen", and the postcard of the Tibetan flag. Sorry about the mess. [NOTE: Music is by Amiina]. 

In The Tunnel

The tropical montane forest and desert houses in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at The New York Botanical Garden are connected by an underground tunnel. The Garden has recently installed large light panels presenting the work of six scientists in this space. My work is displayed in one of these (shown rather obliquely above). [NOTE: That's Dr. Michael J. Balick, Vice President of Botanical Science and Director of the Institute of Economic Botany (where I work) taking a picture].


Orchid Show 2013

It's that time of the year again (see Orchids, Orchids, and More Orchids and Walls of Orchids). The New York Botanical Garden  has just opened it's 11th annual orchid show. This year the show was designed by Fran Coelho, NYBG Vice President for Glasshouses and Exhibitions, and it shows. The designer clearly knows the space and her plants.

Of the thousands of species of orchids on display, my favorite has to be the Paphiopedilum, or lady slipper orchid, shown below. The pink signage that accompanies the specimen explains: "The shoe-shaped lip of Paphiopedilum earned this orchid its name, derived from the Greek Paphos, an Aegean island with a temple dedicated to Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, and pedilon (sandal). Legend has it that one day Aphrodite lost her golden slipper. When a mortal found it, the slipper was transformed into an exquisite orchid". This is a wonderful show and well worth a visit to NYBG. 



The trucks and cranes and workers and cables are all here - in the drizzling rain - to start setting up the Manolo Valdés sculptures (see Recent Arrivals) at NYBG. This is going to be great. [NOTE: The image above greeted me as I walked to my office this morning].


Recent Arrivals

Seven towering sculptures by Manolo Valdés were recently deposited in the Watson parking lot at The New York Botanical Garden. Part of a show that opens on September 22. The pieces were designed in the artist's studio in Manhattan, made in a Madrid foundry, shipped to Baltimore, and then carried by truck to the Bronx. Nice to have sculpture back in the Garden (see Moore at the Garden), and I am very much looking forward to spending some time with these pieces. [NOTE: Go here for more about the artist and the upcoming show at NYBG].


Walls of Orchids

Went to the Conservatory before it opened last Saturday and had a delightful walk through the 2012 Orchid Show at NYBG. This year, the show features the vertical gardens or "walls" of French botanist and artist, Patrick Blanc. Vertical surfaces covered with a proliferation of orchids, ferns, epiphytes; splashes of color amidst a carpet of green; thousands and thousands of some of the most beautiful, evocative, and evolutionarily-advanced flowers you can imagine. Really gorgeous.

That said, the subtlety and wonder afforded by the careful study of single orchid is somehow lost for me when these amazing flowers are presented in such large numbers.  I mean, really, check out the incomparable reproductive structure shown below. How much more sensual could a pollinator-attracting device get? [NOTE: The Orchid Show continues at The New York Botanical Garden until April 22]. 


Botanical Action

My office at The New York Botanical Garden looks out on the back of the Garden Cafe. I noticed the image above yesterday and thought, "Hey, that's what I do - Botanical Action". But then I realized that it was just the Cafe dumpster, labelled "Botanical" for the site and serviced by the Action waste management company. Perception decidedly more interesting than the reality.


Fall Fog

Fall happens - even in a Botanical Garden. Especially beautiful with a dense blanket of fog. Shown below is the magical landscape that greeted me this morning. Like walking in a dream.   



An exquisite collection of chrysanthemum art is on display in the NYBG Conservatory as part of the Fall Flowers of Japan show. Many beautiful examples of ozukuri, or thousand bloom plants, a single individual containing hundreds of carefully positioned blossoms (like the white one shown in the background of the image). Show closes on October 30.