Monday, December 22, 2008


Kids of all ages love evergreens. With sunlight scarce and ground water frozen, most plants simply cannot produce their own food. Plants that cannot survive in these conditions usually drop their leaves in the winter. Tough evergreens however, gradually shed and replace leaves all year round—they are never completely leafless. Because of this, evergreens take center stage in our stark landscape of winter.

Long before the holidays were celebrated, evergreens were treasured - even worshipped - by ancient peoples. Pagan druids and Celts of France and Britain viewed forest evergreens as special symbols of hope, in the dark, cold winter. From them, we have inherited the holly and mistletoe as symbols of eternal life and the branch of evergreens over the door to keep evil spirits at bay.

Fourth graders in HSNY’s Apple Seed Program at CS 154 (on West 127th St) took a close look at branches of Eastern White Pine, Fraser Fir, Juniper and Holly. Comparing leaf adaptations and structure, they found needles in bundles of 5, scale-like leaves and waxy, thorny leaves. As a unique challenge, our students created these amazing works of art without using any hues of the color green.

Emmanuel Olagbaiye

Adetoyosia Tewologun

Adrian Mendoza

Hannah Darensbourg

Article by Pamela Ito
To learn more about, volunteer with or support the efforts of Apple Seed, please feel free to contact Pamela Ito, Director of Children’s Education:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mums the word

All the rage...

Two astonishing photographs, circa 1910, were recently donated to the HSNY Library by the grandson of a former board member. John Canning (1874-1940), horticulturist and superintendent of the White Plains estate of Adolph Lewisohn, also a board member, won a series of prizes for extraordinary bush chysanthemums. For many years HSNY’s Annual Autumn Exibition was held at the American Museum of Natural History. These chysanthemums were exhibited in the foyer of the Museum.

From the HSNY archives this rapt description of the 31st Annual Autumn Exhibition:
Over 65,000 people swarmed through the doors of the American Museum of Natural History during the four-day exhibit.. Despite weather hazards and the recent hurricane, the quantity and variety of plant material equaled, if not surpassed, that of other years. Chrysanthemums, Orchids, Roses, Gourds, vegetables, and a plentiful supply of miscellaneous flowers were displayed.”

Mums the word… Guess what was in the foyer? This chrysanthemum chair which took first prize for standards, or plants trained in intriguing forms.

Article by Katherine Powis, HSNY Librarian

Thursday, December 11, 2008


The Horticultural Society of New York presents


Darren Almond, Carol Bove, Julia Margaret Cameron, Ian Campbell, Peter Coffin, Sharon Core Ann Craven, Tacita Dean, William Eggleston, Roe Ethridge, Jane Freilicher, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Amy Granat, Zach Harris, Susannah Hewlett, Katie Holten, Ellsworth Kelly, Jude Miller, John O, Dennis Oppenheim, Edgar Orlaineta, Giuseppe Penone, Pipilotti Rist, Gino Saccone, Jim Sams, Hiraki Sawa, Roman Signer, James Welling, Carol Woodin, Francesca Woodman

December 10, 2008 - January 23, 2009
Opening Reception:
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 6:00 to 8:30pm

IMPLANT REDUX will feature two evenings of film screenings at HSNY on January 13th and 20th featuring the plant and landscape inspired 16mm films of Stan Brakhage, Bruce Conner, Ellie Epp, Hollis Frampton, Peter Hutton, Carolyn Kaylor, Rose Lowder, Heather Phillipson, Carolee Schneemann, and Deborah Stratman amongst others.

Curated by Jodie Vicenta Jacobson

IMPLANT REDUX is an offshoot of IMPLANT, originally on view at The UBS Art Gallery from August to October 2008. The installation of this exhibition at The Horticultural Society of New York recontexualizes the concepts inspired by Michael Pollan's book The Botany of Desire put forth in the original exhibition, reimagining the works on view in an absorbing environment defined by plant life

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas cactus?

The HSNY would like to thank Joel & Sheila Chriss of Manhattan for the generous donation of their 7 foot euphorbia. It seems that Joel purchased the Euphorbia trigona, also known as the African milk tree, 10 years ago and it has now outgrown its space. Not knowing what to do, the Chriss' called the HSNY and asked if we could come and get the euphorbia and give it a new home.

That is exactly what we did! Here are some photos of the euphorbia in its new space, the reading room at the HSNY.

Thank you again, Joel & Sheila.