Thursday, April 10, 2008

BBG - The Steinhardt Conservatory

Spring has finally sprung in upstate NY, and this week we've been blessed with 3 superb, sunny days of 60º (15ºC) temperatures! It's difficult to find words to describe the delight in having a few warm days, free of the biting winds that blew all through March, and being able to get out into the garden to do some clean-up work.

The reluctant snowdrops finally opened their dainty white buds on March 26th, and are putting on quite a show. And since April 5th we've also been treated to the bright faces of crocus blooms in purple, yellow and white.

One morning, about 2 weeks ago, we sighted dozens of robins in the yard, having a worm party on the lawn, and apparently finding plenty because they stayed for a couple of hours.

The warm weather and work have cut into my time on the computer, leaving me tired at night, but here, finally, are some of the photos taken at The Steinhardt Conservatory during our trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens in New York City on March 29th.

These first 7 photos were taken in the Desert Pavilion, with plants from the American Southwest, Mexico, and African deserts and scrublands.

I don't remember most of the names, so I'd be happy to have any input from those of you who might you southern gals down there in Austin perhaps, if you've recovered enough to visit after your Spring Fling :)

I've never really taken much notice of desert plants before, but this garden made quite an impression on me. I'd love to know the name of this lovely specimen (above).

Isn't this a neat cactus?

Another one with amazing flowers!

Here's an interesting group. Posted by Picasa
...with lovely contrasts. Posted by Picasa

So many fascinating cacti.....some round and prickly, some tall and fuzzy!

This Kalanchoe was happy in the desert.

Now we're in the tropical pavilion, with plants from the Amazon Basin, African rainforest, and tropical eastern Asia.

A gentle waterfall flowed from somewhere above into this peaceful setting, but it's hard to see in the foreground of this photo, unless you click to enlarge it.

The tropical blooms were flamboyant.....

Edit: Thanks to Trudi for naming this plant. It's Heliconia - 'Christmas'. Posted by Picasa


Edit: ( this one is Heliconia angusta -'Yellow Christmas')

..........and vibrantly colored!

There were plants with brilliantly patterned leaves.......

Edit: The plant pictured above is a Croton. Thanks to Isabelle for naming this one.

.....and some with huge leaves. Posted by Picasa

Here's just one of the many beautiful ferns, and more big leaves (philodendron perhaps?).

Now here we are in the Warm Temporate Pavilion with plants from central China, the Mediterranean, Australia, Asia, southern Africa, and the western U.S.

This one was my favorite, with so many unusual blooms that I'd never seen before. Do you see that yellow flowered shrub in the background?

Here it is up close. It belongs to the legume family, and has the most delicious scent.

I wish I could remember its name.

Edit: Old Roses visited the BBG on the Saturday after we did, and she very kindly took a picture of this plant's name tag and sent it to me. Many thanks Old Roses! It's Genista - Teline Canariensis - from the Canary Islands. Thanks to several people who named it as 'Broom'. It is, but not the Scotch Broom.

Wonderful colors everywhere!

The pink flower up close........another beauty.

Edit: This is Watsonia, a South African bulb. Again thanks to Trudi for naming it. Posted by Picasa

These petals were such an unusual color, they looked like they'd been dyed.
Edit: It's called Ixia, and is another South African bulb. Many thanks to Alice for naming this one.

A similar plant, but this one had lovely white blooms, with dark eyes. Posted by Picasa

Now we're on the upper level of the Conservatory where a Trail of Evolution traces the development of the natural world over three and a half billion years.

Bromeliads entered recorded history some 500 years ago.

I'm not sure about this one, but I think it may be another bromeliad.

Edit: Jeanette says this is indeed a bromeliad and she has one just like it. Thanks Jeanette!

There were just a few orchids in the Aquatic House, which features tropical water plants in freshwater pools and containers.

This one is rather spidery. Posted by Picasa

Pretty in pink.

And one last glorious pink.

I'd love to go back and spend a longer time in these fascinating glass houses where there's so much to absorb and learn. These wonderful collections are a work of art, and deserve to be studied at a leisurely pace. Posted by Picasa

The Bonzai Museum is also part of the Conservatory, but I'll show you that next time along with the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!


Barbee' said...[Reply]

What an interesting assortment of plants! Great photos as usual, Terri. It is so nice of you to bring all that back to share with us. I look forward to the next one, especially the Japanese garden.

John said...[Reply]


Great colors, even if you don't remember all the names.

Needled Mom said...[Reply]

The pictures, as usual, are just beautiful. One feels like they are right there with you on the tour.

My grandfather used to love visiting the desert in the spring when it was in bloom. The colors always seem so much brighter set against a bleak background.

I'm so glad that you finally got some warmer weather.

Apple said...[Reply]

It may have been a very long day but it seems you had a great time. I think my favorites were the outdoor blooms. My 2nd favorite the tropicals! I guess I'm ready to be outside and warm.

The last three days were absolutely wonderful even though every muscle now aches. It's sunny again today but chilly.

Susie said...[Reply]

Beautiful place to visit Kerri and your photos are delightful (as always!)
In SF there is a Steinhardt Aquarium
in Golden Gate Park.. It's an unusual name and I wonder if there is any connection?
We're having glorious sun here too and expected to be up in the 80's this weekend. Cleaning our fish pond is on our "to do" list! Doesn't that sound like fun??
Hope you enjoy your nice weather!
love and ((hugs))

Kylie said...[Reply]

Nice photos Mummy. Can't wait to see the Bonsai garden. It's really interesting to see the gardens through your camera. I found myself thinking, "where did she see that? I don't remember it!"

Lisa at Greenbow said...[Reply]

I just love the desert plants. So many won't grow in the cold that we have. Love seeing the tropical plants all abloom too. It is an exciting time of year. I too will look forward to the bonsai plants. I love the look of the plants. I think it amazing how they can grow so long in a single pot.

Cherdecor said...[Reply]

Your photos are quite a spectacular show of color, my friend! I love the uniqueness of the first flower and I like the cactus in the second picture. . . I love the design.

I am getting outside this week also now that the temps are a little warmer.Today is the nicest yet.

Thank you for posting all the lovely pictures. Have a wonderful day!

Cris said...[Reply]

Kerri, I thought you had come down here and had not told me! :-) This is home! I was thinking the yellow shrub looks like acacia, but I am not sure. What a lovely place you visited! Take care.

Annie in Austin said...[Reply]

I think you need someone further south than my zone 8, Kerri - and you make me wish the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens weren't so far away. What a gorgeous array of plants!

If I can make one guess it would be some kind of Laburnum/Golden Chain Tree for the Yellow-flowered beauty, a wild card that will no doubt be shot down pretty fast!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Trudi said...[Reply]

Kerri, wonderful pictures. You must have had a splendid time. I am sure you would have liked to transplant some into your garden.
I love cacti but my humid climate is not really well suited for them. It is nice to admire them in other gardens.The red and white plant is a Heliconia called christmas. The flower with the pink bells is a watsonia and grows from a bulb. It is great to see different plant habitats.

Moi said...[Reply]

i can imagine you and your heart smiling as you looked at these beautiful plants and flowers and clicked away to glory.....:)loved them, Kerri. i can never tire of the beauty you bring to us :)

kenju said...[Reply]

Beautiful photos!

Hillside Garden said...[Reply]

Wonderful, Kerri. A lot of plants I have never seen.

Whis you a nice weekend


Elzie said...[Reply]

So many lovely flowers yet again. The orchids are just great. I long to visit a garden myself LOL.
Hope you get a nice weekend.
Love Elzie

Nickie said...[Reply]

A wild guess for your yellow plant-- Scotch Broom?

david santos said...[Reply]

Hello, Kerri!
Really beautiful!
Have a nice weekend.

Layanee said...[Reply]

It is nice to get away and see other gardens and plants isn't it? It is always better to get home. Lovely photos and glad you had a good time.

Midlife Mom said...[Reply]

What a treat to open your post and see all the vibrant, beautiful flowers in bloom! Makes me even more anxious for things to warm up here so that I can do some planting! At this point I can only plan and think about it!

Sonia said...[Reply]

Wonderful photos as always, Kerri! I just love the desert plants.
I enjoyed so much seeing your gorgeous flowers!

Have a nice Sunday!

Barbara said...[Reply]

Your post gave me the idea as if I were travelling into another world. Strange and exotic, but interesting and beautiful. Thank you for sharing!
Enjoy your Spring at home and have a good time outside!

verobirdie said...[Reply]

Looking at those beautiful pictures, it was easy to have a beautiful weekend. Thank you Kerri!

Isabelle said...[Reply]

Great pictures, yes. The one above your comment about the coloured leaves is a croton.

Isn't spring fantastic after a long dark (in our case) winter?

Alice said...[Reply]

What fabulous photos, Kerri. It must have been such a delight to spend time there and photographing those beauties.

I wonder if the blue flower is the blue ixia? They are certainly the same colour and look stunning in any garden because of their unusual colour. I would love to get hold of a few bulbs.

Do you sometimes become awstruck at the sheer multitude and variety of flowers, leaves and plants in our world. The Master Gardener surely knows what he's at, doesn't he?

Thank you so much for sharing these fabulous plants.

Terri said...[Reply]

Beautiful! I hear Buffalo has a wonderful Botanical Garden. I will have to check that out soon.

Today, though I am driving down to the house in Stanley and dividing my rhubarb so I can plant some here. There's so little I can do, here, yet, that what little I can do I sure am gonna try!
Stay warm!

Sharon Kay said...[Reply]

All I can say is that you take the most beautiful pictures of flowers that I have seen. Just beautiful..

Sandy said...[Reply]

These were lovely pictures and so very interesting. The plants and flowers are so colorful and exotic. I bet the fragrance in there was magnificent.
Thank you for taking us along with you and I can't wait for the rest of the tour.

Artsy Etc. said...[Reply]

Such wonderful photos! I could almost smell their sweet fragrance. Yay!! Gardening time is here. Your's is the greenest thumb I know.

kate smudges said...[Reply]

The spidery Orchid caught my eye, Kerri. I love it. You saw an amazing array of plants at the BBG - I wish I had tagged along with you. The yellow-flowered shrub looks like a Gold Broom (Cytisus praecox) I doubt they would have Scotch Broom there since it is considered an invasive plant in many areas.

I'm looking forward to seeing the Bonsai collection. Glad to see that spring has finally arrived there. (we zoomed up to 80F today, but will return to seasonal temps tomorrow).

Reflection Through The Seasons said...[Reply]

Hello Dear Kerri.....

I was so pleased that you stopped by and left comments for me, its always a delight to hear from you. Like you, I have had my time diverted recently from the computer to the garden and then alas, I am so tired at the end of the day.

We manage a holiday home in the village...... it belongs to our friends who live in London, so house and garden work has increased twofold..... this is where we have our veggie plot, which I have been busy working on during these recent warm sunny days.

We are only a month away from our trip to US to see Betty and Edward...... Its all very exciting!

Thank you for taking us along to the BBG Steinhardt Conservatory..... what stunning pictures. Love - Marion

Jeanette said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri, Beautifull photo's. That yellow flower shrub is Scotch broom and is classed a noxious weed here.
OHH I love the orchids, and I have a Bromeliad like the one you are unsure of.and im in love with the Orchids..

judypatooote said...[Reply]

Beautiful, I can almost smell the air in the glass house....I love greenhouses and the smell of the got some great pictures....thanks for sharing...

Blackswamp_Girl said...[Reply]

Oh wow... I had missed this point, and am glad I found it now. I'm drooling over the flowers, Kerri--and that genista is gorgeous. I wonder if your philodendron is actually a colocasia/alocasia? (Elephant Ears.) There are bunches of large-leaf ones in the Plant Delights catalog...