Monday, February 22, 2010

Horticultural Therapy Partnership Forum

Friday, March 12, 2010 — 9:45am to 2:00pm

The Horticultural Society of New York
and the Horticultural Therapy Partnership invite you to come explore the use of horticulture to promote emotional and physical well-being. Join us to discuss the application of horticultural therapy to food production at urban farms, community gardens, correction and alternative-to-correction programs, and care facilities. We look forward to your attendance at what promises to be an informative and inspiring conference.

The Horticultural Therapy Partnership was formed in 2007 to advance the use and practice of horticulture for human health, learning, and development. The Partnership consists of therapists, clinicians, teachers, gardeners, and community advocates who work primarily with constituents living in the urban environment. Each year we meet to discuss our experiences, and to hear those of others. The Horticultural Therapy Partnership's goal is to develop best practices, and to create a network that allows for the easy exchange of ideas and knowledge. The forum is open to everyone. Register online today!


9:45 am – Meet and Greet

10:15 am – Introduction

George Pisegna, Director of Horticulture, HSNY

10:30 am – Speakers
  • Horticultural Therapy at the Rikers Island
    Hilda Krus, HTR, Director of GreenHouse, HSNY
  • Horticultural Therapy for People Living with HIV/AIDS
    Liza Watkins, Bailey Holt House
    Sandra Power, Horticultural Therapy Institute
11:30 am – Lunch Buffet

12:00 pm – Panel Presentations


Ronnit Bendavid-Val, Director of Citywide Horticulture,
NYC Department of Parks & Recreation

  • Urban Farming, Farm Stands & Markets
    Jane Hodge, City Farms Manager, Just Food
    Rev. Robert Jackson, Co-founder, Brooklyn Rescue Mission
  • Horticulture Across Generations
    Arthur Sheppard, Goddard Riverside
  • Partnering Medical & Social Research
    Anne Wiesen, Co-founder and Executive Director of Meristem
    Naomi Sachs, Founder & Director of Therapeutic Landscapes Network
  • Physical Therapy and Gardening
    Karen Washington, Physical Therapist, President of NYC Community Gardens Coalition, Co-Founder of La Familia Verde Gardens Coalition
1:00 pm – Panel Q & A

1:30 pm – Summing-Up

The Horticultural Therapy Partnership is generously funded by:
• The Education Foundation of America
• Ittleson Foundation
• van Ameringen Foundation, Inc.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Botany Photo of the Day

What a magnificent orchid to share with our viewers.....

Plant Family: Orchidaceae
Scientific Name and Author: Angraecum sesquipedale, Thouars
Name Location: cultivated in Saint Peter, Minnesota, USA

Thank you to Brian aka aeranthes@Flickr for sharing the photograph today (original image via BPotD Flickr Pool). The following illustration is by John Nugent Fitch, and is now a public domain work after having been originally published in the 1882-1897 publication, The Orchid Album

Angraecum sesquipedale has a bevy of common names, including Star of Bethlehem orchid, comet orchid and Darwin's orchid.

The most amazing feature of this orchid is the over 11 inch long nectary and the insect that pollinates it. Commonly called the Darwin Hawk Moth, Xanthopan morganii praedicta, has an extremely long proboscis that reaqches the last inch of the nectary of this orchid where the sweet nectar is hidden. The moth is attracted to the orchid intense fragrance and the white color of its labellum that is well visible at night.

Xanthopan morganii praedicta, Darwin Hawk moth, pollinating the Angraecum sesquipedale

To view the full article visit the Botany Photo of the Day website

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hudson Valley Seed Library

It's time to think about the garden!

The Horticulture Society of New York is very pleased to announce we now carry seeds from the Hudson Valley Seed Library. We are currently the only Manhattan resource for these open-air pollinated, heirlooms seeds. Ken Greene and Doug Muller have been working diligently to bring seeds that are proven successful for our area to the gardeners of the greater New York region. Learn more about their operation which is located in the picturesque Hudson Valley.

The Hudson Valley Seed Library strives to do two things:

  1. to create an accessible and affordable source of regionally-adapted seeds that is maintained by a community of caring gardeners; and,
  2. to create gift-quality seed packs featuring works designed by New York artists in order to celebrate the beauty of heirloom gardening.

In 2010, we will be offering over twenty-five varieties of locally grown seed. Most of our varieties are rooted in the history and soils of New York or are chosen because they do well here. Every year we plan on growing additional varieties on the Seed Library farm and contracting with organic and certified naturally grown farmers in the Hudson Valley and upstate New York to grow even more varieties. Our membership program provides a way for backyard gardeners to make a vital contribution to this effort. By 2014, we aim to be 100% New York grown.

Who are the people behind the Seed Library? The farm and business are run by partners Ken Greene (on right in photo) and Doug Muller (on left). Our friend Linda-Brook Guenther of Back to Basics helps us regulary with seed-packing, organizing, order processing, and farm work. We are often helped by other folks, including Nancy Campbell Muller, Aileah Kvashay, Jacinta Bunnell, Carrie Schapker, Michael Asbill, Peg Lotvin, and lots of other good people in the Hudson Valley.

Our Library Packs contain seed that was grown by member farmers and gardeners. For 2010, the majority of the seeds were grown here at our own farm in Accord, New York. In coming seasons we hope to offer seeds grown by a network of participating farmers in the Hudson Valley and upstate New York, each of whom contributes one or two varieties of heirloom seed to the library.

Our Garden Packs contain seed that was obtained from wholesale seed suppliers. Over the next several years we hope to dramatically decrease our reliance on these suppliers in favor of local growers.

Our Art Packs are each designed by a different artist from the greater New York region (this includes upstate New York, the Hudson Valley, the City, Northern New Jersey, and Connecticut). Each pack celebrates the beauty inherent in heirloom gardening. Click here to see all the art packs and to learn more.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How Sweet It Is!

Maya-Mediterranean chocolate rice pudding

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, on Tuesday evening, February 9th about 35 people attended a marvelous presentation in the library by culinary historian Maricel E. Presilla on the history of chocolate and the many varieties of cacao beans produced around the world today. We were treated to chocolate samples from Bali, Vietnam, Ghana, Dominican Republic, Peru, Venezuela, and Trinidad. We learned to distinguish the subtle flavors inherent in each: citrus, banana, dried fruit, nuts, and even floral hints of lavender and rose.

Maricel owns a restaurant in Hoboken and just this week opened a chocolate shop there. She is president of a Latin American food research and marketing company that specializes in the sale of premium cacao beans from Latin America. She explained that she had to revise her book The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History of Cacao with Recipes because there are so many rapid changes in the world of cacao production.

The extraordinary evening ended with spicy hot chocolate and servings of the most delicious shrimp polenta – yes, with a bit of chocolate in the sauce. The good news if you missed it, Maricel promises to return to The Hort soon!

Article by Katherine Powis

Friday, February 5, 2010

Jimmy Mirikitani at the Hort

The Cats of Mirikitani

As part of our Green Screen Film Series, The Hort recently screened The Cats of Mirikitani. The film was presented in conjunction with our current exhibition, Hiroshi Sunairi’s Leur Existence – Tree Project. The subject of the documentary, Jimmy Mirikitani, was escorted by the film's director, Linda Hattendorf on a visit to the HSNY to see the exhibition.

Since 2005, Sunairi has been collecting seeds from hibaku trees (those that survived the atomic bomb) in Hiroshima and has distributed them to nearly 400 participants in 23 countries. The Tree Project exhibition features a selection of these plants, which have been donated by the participants, as well as photographic and written documentation of the process.

Hiroshi, a native of Hiroshima, introduced Jimmy to the Tree Project and guided him around the exhibition. Jimmy enjoyed the exhibition and spoke of his memories of being in Hiroshima during the war. We were given a very special treat when Jimmy sat down and began drawing his now famous cats and presented it to Hiroshi. It now hangs as part of the show.

Visit the film's website:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ground Hog Day

Punxsutawney Phil predicts six more weeks of winter. Okay so that’s not great news for gardeners, but readers won’t mind, will we? Here to sustain, encourage and inspire you are six new books in the library:

The American Meadow Garden: Creating a Natural Alternative to the Traditional Lawn by John Greenlee. Timber, 2009
Thinking of weaning yourself from the sod this year? Check out the possibilities…

The Complete Chile Pepper Book: A Gardener’s Guide to Choosing, Growing, Preserving, and Cooking by Dave DeWitt and Paul W. Bosland.
This will warm you up and get you cooking too!

Looking Closely Around The Pond by Frank Serafini. Kids Can, 2010
The absolute favorite among our botany students aged 5 to 8 years.

Power of Gardens by Nancy Goslee Power. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2009.
California dreaming anyone?

The Sibley Guide to Trees written and illustrated by David Allen Sibley.
Sibley, bird illustrator extraordinaire, tackles trees beautifully just in time to prepare you for a springtime stroll through the park.

Succulent Container Gardens by Debra Lee Baldwin. Timber, 2010
So many times we get asked about the beautiful and unusual succulents growing here at The Hort.

Booklist from Katherine Powis, Librarian