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  • Kevin Simons

So, what do they do (horticulturally) in the most urban setting in the world?

Earlier this month, I flew to NYC to join Jeff for a long weekend in the city and celebrate another trip around the sun. As is usually the case when I go to New York, I get Friday to myself to explore and wander the city. This year I decided to take a good close look at what New Yorkers do with their urban landscape in the summer - what color they are using, etc.

NYC had a very cold, wet spring, and most of the summer color had just been planted that week; I did see a couple beds where the planting was just being finished. For the most part I thought the work they did was nice - nothing spectacular, but pleasant enough and (very importantly) they used plant materials that can stand up to the rigors of city living. I really liked the way they put small fences and edges around the tree basins, which is very helpful in keeping dogs off the flowers and away from the tree trunks (where their urine accumulates and kills trees), I was delighted to see Crotons used (a Hawaiian plant grown for beautiful, tropical foliage). It gets warm enough and humid enough in NYC for them to thrive during the summer (not true in cool, foggy SF). The hanging baskets were uninspired, in my opinion, but I was happy to see living roofs starting to show up in unexpected places.

The biggest surprise of the entire trip was the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx (about a 1 hour subway ride from mid-town). This was without a question the most beautiful botanical garden I've ever visited - and I almost always visit the local botanical gardens whenever I travel. Who knew there was an old growth forest with a river running through it (the Bronx river) in the middle of NYC? This is an attraction in NYC that shouldn't be missed (unlike Times Square - you can skip that and not miss a thing).

Link to the photos .

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