The Average Plant Nerd’s Unforgettable Weekend
On the weekend of September 16th, a group of 16 horticulture kids set out on a journey where many had not gone before. Where? If you guessed the Brooklyn and NYC Botanic Gardens, you my friend are right! For those who did not attend, this article will only scratch the surface of the diversity and magic exuded by the plant life found in these gardens, but may also help to generate interest in upcoming trips.
Upon entering the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens my fascination was drawn to the crisp perfection that seemed to linger in the air. Every plant was meticulously groomed, even those that would normally appear more free flowing. Although such shapes would obviously never appear in nature, the neat silhouettes were quite appealing to those who prefer a more wild garden. Winding paths found their way to separate gardens such as: the children’s garden, rose garden, and rock gardens.
The Brooklyn Garden molded glass into the landscape in a variety of ways while the NYC Garden was more natural and free flowing. A looming cylinder, spherical mass of curls, and a display of water-themed glass objects are just a few of the pieces exhibited in the Brooklyn Garden.
These pieces added an even greater element of modern appeal by using curious shapes to create more interest and diversity in the gardens. The NYC Garden incorporated everything wild and natural looking, and had a beautiful small pond dotted with ostentatious lilies. Everywhere, people were taking snap shots and admiring these works of art alongside the plants they were incorporated with. It is no wonder that everywhere a smile was quietly peeking out of a face like a ray of sun on a cloudy day.
I remember a teacher once said to my class that he hoped we would find a plant that absolutely inspired us. During this trip I found mine. The common name is Paperbark maple (Acer griseum), yet another maple right? Not quite. This tree is amazing. The color of the bark is of a reddish brown tone that contrasts nicely with the dark green leaves. It looks just like any other maple tree in form, but there is something so special about it that just grabs the eye. Whatever it is, I have become quite infatuated with it.
The few late flowers were both lovely and fragrant; attracting the attention of hundreds of bees. Never before have I seen so many little workers about bright heads of some of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen. This is where the element of magic comes into play. The fall display is gorgeous, and I can only imagine what the spring will bring. To say the least, I believe that I will be re-visiting these gardens in the future.
Inspiration comes from something that truly infatuates you, captures your imagination and takes you places. Both of the botanical gardens enthused me and I’m sure did the same to the other students. The trip to these gardens was definitely a success and will continue to be as long as we have plant nerds to rely on.
Kaitlin Howard 08