The is a sight to see no matter what time of year it is. The 100+-year-old National Historic Landmark?s museum of botanicals has interest and events listed for each season: spring, summer, fall, and winter. I had the rare opportunity to visit the garden in the fifth season. Traditional Chinese Medicine has identified late summer or a warm fall as the 5th season, a time for grounding, balancing, and renewal; where negative forces are released and new energy is born. It is a time for appreciating and respecting the earth and I?m grateful that I was able to take part by touring the NYBG.
Weather and climate play an integral role in gardens, and so with New York having a cooler-than-average summer and then soaring temperatures at the end of September, the gardens didn?t look like fall gardens. The pumpkins had ripened and were on display, but the perennials were blooming as if they were enjoying a mid-summer?s day.
There are many collections and gardens throughout the site, but there were a few that were particularly interesting in the 5th season: the perennial garden, the conservatory, the Children?s Adventure Garden, and the Chihuly glass art sculptures displayed throughout.
From April through the end of October 2017, artist Dale Chihuly has a collection of whimsical glass sculptures integrated around the garden. I?m very familiar with Chihuly glass art, living so close to Seattle where the permanent has had a large influence on artists in the area.
Despite my familiarity, I was still taken with the soaring sculptures, organic forms, and brilliant colors of his work.
Even more so, the diversity of the pieces showed different ways to integrate the art with the gardens. The artwork appeared inside the conservatory as well to adorn the lush tropicals and flowing fountains.
The conservatory was also home to a number of carnivorous plants and a desert garden that is not to be missed. It was a stark contrast to the glowing glass and flowing flowers.
Outside, the perennial gardens have both formal and wilder plantings.
The gardens are set up in a series of rooms.
These collections of museum-quality botanicals were a sight to see, but it was at the Children?s Adventure Garden that I was able to find my ground. I took so many photos in this garden that I?ll write about it separately, but for now, I?ll share just a few of the more refined displays like this set of fall containers,
and a loaded beautyberry (Callicarpa) in front of a bright blue arbor.
Now, it is time to say goodbye to the 5th season and look toward the fall as it gets cooler and we look to closing down the garden for the year. I?m grateful to have had the experience of visiting the New York Botanical Garden at this unique time of year.
The balance of life and change in a season that doesn?t always happen was a precious opportunity for me to reflect on what has been and what comes next.
I?m not going to gush about New York City, but only because I?m holding myself back. I love nature and green trees and singing birds, so the big city didn?t appeal to me all that much. I?ve visited many large cities and I always find myself wishing I was on the porch of a farmhouse. Then, last week, I spent just three days in NYC and I?ve come home renewed, inspired, and excited about the future gardens and plants hold in urban spaces.
A few months ago, I was invited to attend the Stylemaker event in Brooklyn. I was invited last year as well, but I got terribly sick a few hours before my flight and had to cancel. It was horrible lying in bed following the #bhgstylemaker hashtag and seeing all that I was missing. Thankfully, the BHG team didn?t hold it against me and they invited me back again this year. And there was no way I would miss it a second time.
The event was held at the brand-new . Outdoors there were three vertical gardens made with recycled wood and plants ?For You,? ?For Nature,? and ?For Us.?
I walked into the lobby to see a huge living wall and a lounge packed with plants.
Immediately, I felt at home.
The hotel was adorned both indoors and out with plants everywhere. Ferns, moss, and tropical plants indoors; trees, herbs, and grasses outside. My room had a small mossy display beside the sink that was home to a green lacewing. Having a as a pet made me forget all about my bugs at home!
The rooftop was a sight. The views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and city line were breathtaking.
The bar was set up like a garden patio, full of plants and string lights to set the mood.
Enough about the hotel, I was there for something even better, the BHG Stylemaker event!
September is Stylemaker month at Better Homes & Gardens and you will see the whole issue is dedicated to interesting and stylish people doing beautiful things out there in the world. I learned so much from the editorial team?s presentations throughout the day, and had plenty of time to meet some of the other attendees during breaks and cocktails.
There were talks on styling, branding, and trends. We styled some avocado toast (well, the food bloggers styled the toast while I for some fresh herbs like the resourceful gardener I am). We baked a cake. And we learned how to finger knit from Etsy superstar . These activities were fun exercises that surrounded some sophisticated editorial training and brand workshops. I have styled and baked and knit before, but in this case, I walked away excited for the possibilities of how I can further develop what is being created here on Garden Therapy.
I was honored and thrilled to be one of the four gardeners who were invited to the event, along with Amanda Thomsen from the hilarious as well as Ryan and Chantal of the Westcoast cool and the upcoming book, How to Window Box. I can definitely see that there is a focus on including more gardening content on the pages.
I was given the opportunity to pitch a story idea to the editors which they seemed to really love (hooray!) and I also had a screen test for some upcoming video projects. I tried not to think about the screen test too much so I wouldn?t get nervous. Thankfully, there were cocktails waiting for me right afterward.
I met some new friends who I had a lot in common with (you know who you are!) and some that I admire for their differences. I?m in awe of the behind-the-scenes brilliance of Better Homes & Gardens and the welcoming, creative, and talented women and men behind the scenes. I toured the New York Botanical Garden and walked the High Line?both of which I have plenty of photos of to share with you in upcoming posts.
And I fell in love with New York City. I would say more but I promised not to gush.
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