The New York Botanical Garden
March 2012 Culture Spot
by Alyssa Grossman, 03/01/2012
The New York Botanical Garden has a history as lush as its 250 acres of stunning plant life. Founded in the late 19th century by two botanists seeking to bring the essence of England's Kew Gardens to New York, the urban escape quickly blossomed into a sprawling and colorful landscape. Today, the National Historic Landmark in the Bronx comprises 50 gardens and plant collections where something is always blooming, no matter the time of year.
To recognize the flourishing venue, NYC & Company has named The New York Botanical Garden its Culture Spot for March, and, in honor of this designation, visitors can buy one full-price ticket and get a second ticket of equal or lesser value for free all month long.
This offer comes just in time for the 10th-annual Orchid Show. The Orchid Show: Patrick Blanc's Vertical Gardens, open from March 3 through April 22 in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, features the French botanist's gravity-defying designs. Blanc has garnered international fame with more than 150 creations across 20 countries incorporated into museum exhibitions, fashion shows and cityscapes. For this show, a towering wall of exotic plant life, positioned in the Reflecting Pool, greets guests as they enter the conservatory. The exhibition's notable standouts include a 13-by-13-foot orchid "cube"—complete with doorways and windows—containing images and sketches by the artist, as well as a pathway covered in tropical plants and ferns. The Upland Tropical Rain Forest Gallery, meanwhile, displays miniature orchids, with some single plants containing thousands of flowers.
To complement The Orchid Show, special themed presentations will be offered garden-wide to give flower enthusiasts a more in-depth look at the beautiful blooms. On Saturdays from 6:30 or 7:30 to 8:30pm, Orchid Evenings serve up a complimentary cocktail with admission, plus dinner offers at restaurants on nearby Arthur Avenue. At 1 and 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays, the History & Mystery of Orchids presentation series provides an around-the-world look at the plant's 25,000-plus species. Those wishing to get even more hands-on can sign up for classes including an orchid photography workshop and a lesson in orchid arrangement.
Visitors can take in even more flora throughout the garden, including the 260-foot-long Ladies' Border, featuring plants foreign to New York vying for a chance to become staples at The New York Botanical Garden. History buffs should head to the Forest to explore Native American hunting trails and trees that were around during the American Revolution. For some wintertime inspiration, take a stroll among the Benenson Ornamental Conifers, with 400 varieties of evergreens spanning 15 acres. The New York Botanical Garden caters to both adults and children throughout the year with information sessions, audio tours and interactive nature explorations for the littlest green thumbs.
The savings on admission is valid March 1–31, 2012. To take advantage of this limited-time offer, present the discount coupon at the garden box office. Download the discount coupon via the link above; the coupon will also be available during the month of March at the Official NYC Information Centers in Midtown, Harlem and the Times Square Alliance and at the Official NYC Information Kiosks in Chinatown and at City Hall. The savings is subject to availability and may not be combined with any other offer, discount or promotion. Other restrictions may apply.
Learn more about The New York Botanical Garden. Annie Bergen, culture correspondent for nycgo.com, discusses The Orchid Show with Director of Exhibitions Karen Daubmann. Listen to the podcast, below, or download the MP3 here (by right-clicking the link and selecting "Save Link As...").