11.17.2008

Field Trip: New York Botanical Garden



I don't get out that much, but I made every effort to make a late season visit to the New York Botanical Garden. The always inspiring gardens there are full of ideas and are a great place to discover new plants and combinations that celebrate the season, whatever that season might be. They had some outstanding fall displays, which I thought were worth sharing. The photo at top looks out upon a section of their main perennial garden through a stand of late, late-blooming tatarian aster (Aster tataricus), and shows the value of structure--the two obelisks really add interest to the scene, which is further enhanced by the many evergreens and fall-colored trees and shrubs, each adding their own dollop of shape and color.


I especially like this dramatic, late season combination: 'Strawberry Fields' globe amaranth (Gomphrena 'Strawberry Fields'), thread leaf blue star (Amsonia hubrichtii) in its autumnal glory, and blue spruce (Picea pungens).


The seeds heads of this fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) add textural pizzaz to the blades of Crocosmia (I think), and mystery cushion mum (Dendranthemum) (ditto), and the cool red tropical thingy (of that much, I'm sure).


This 'Fiona's Sunrise' poet's jasmine (Jasminum officinale 'Fiona's Sunrise') glows against the pumpkin hues flowers of black-eyed Susan 'Cappuccino' (Rudbeckia hirta 'Cappuccino') and the purplish wands of Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha).


The spectral shapes of these mountain laurel (Kalmia spp.) seem like harbingers of the coming winter's stark simplicity. Below, a sampler of other enjoyable sights at NYBG.



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12 comments:

Amy said...

Your photos are all so lovely. That combination of red amarinth and blue spruce is amazing! The closest public garden I could visit is an eight hour drive south to Vancouver so I always enjoy seeing photos when others get to visit these wonderful places.

Aerie-el said...

Wonderful photos! There are so many incredible gardens to see, and this is one of them on my list. Someday!

Jana said...

Very happy that your blog exists!

Gail said...

It's a beautiful garden and your photos are spectacular. Botanical gardens are inspiring and I always leave with ideas!

I wouldn't have thought of pairing the bluestar with the globe amaranth but they do look great together. The threadleaf amsonia is one of my favorite fall plants...The spring flowers are unimpressive (to me) but the fall show is what it's all about!

By the way...I noticed a photo of yours in the Fine Gardening tear out calendar! Very nice.

gail

Philip Bewley said...

Just spectacular photos.
The gardens you have shown are very inspiring. I love the plant combinations, and the twisting trunks.
Philip

Pam/Digging said...

What great combinations you captured, especially that red amaranth & blue spruce. I really wanted to visit this summer when my family was in NYC, but we ran out of time. I had to console myself with Chanticleer. ;-)

Steve Silk said...

Amy--Eight hours is a haul for sure. I've been to the UBC Bot garden, and some other spoits around town. If your spot is half as nice as Vancouver, I envy you. Enjoy some armchair travel in the meantime-I've got more places to visit. Thanks for coming along.

Steve Silk said...

Thanks Aerie-el Don't forget to include Wave Hill on that list, it's only a few minutes from NYBG.

Steve Silk said...

Hi Jana--And I'm happy you visit it! Come back!

Steve Silk said...

Hey Gail-I agree most Bot Gardens are insipiring, a few though are too much like bug collections, I like to see interesting, unexpected plants in creatice combinations. I love the threadleaf too, but as the NYBG pic shows, it really sings when it's got the right partners.

Steve Silk said...

Thanks Philip--To me, great plant combinations are the core of the gardener's art. Any gardener can put plants in the ground and make them live, it's what you do with them that counts.

Steve Silk said...

Pobrecito Pam! Hard to imagine a fate worse than a day at Chanticleer. It's only my favorite East Coast public garden. BTW, thanks so much for your tour of Peckerwood, that's on my gardens-to-see-before-I-die list. I got lots of mail-order stuff from them when I was on a big Agave kick. Love those exquisitely sculptural forms!