Friday, April 16, 2010

Seeing the Light

What kind of light do your plants get?
Not all kinds of shade are created equal. Understanding the difference in the kind of light your garden receives will make your plants very happy.

Degrees of Shade
Full shade, also known as deep shade, generally falls under the canopy of a tree or under the eaves of a building. The sky is largely blocked, and plants get only indirect light. Few garden plants tolerate full shade.

Partial Shade means full sun for part of the day and shade for part of the day. Timing alters the effects of partial shade. If the sun comes in the middle of the day, when sunlight is most intense, plants that prefer shade may struggle.

Dappled Shade, also called filtered shade, is a mix of sun and shade that occurs when sunlight passes between leaves or through an arbor or overhead lattice. Many plants that like full sun or full shade will also grow in dappled shade.

The plants themselves are the best measure to tell you if they need more or less light. Look for burned foliage, underwhelming growth or flowering, or a plant leaning toward the light. Being aware of the particular kinds of shade in your garden will help you achieve more success for your efforts.

Steve Aitken, Fine Gardening (

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Noguchi Museum - Second Sundays

Noguchi Museum Sculpture Garden

On Sunday April 11th, I was invited to give a lecture and tour of the Noguchi Museum Sculpture Garden in Long Island City. It was a beautiful day, perfect for strolling in the garden. After a brief lecture on the basic principles and designs of Japanese gardens and how they may have affected Noguchi's design process, I led a guided tour of the sculpture garden. We had an enthusiastic crowd of over 40 people who came to enjoy spring in the garden and reflect upon the uniqueness of this space amongst other urban sculpture gardens.

Here are some photos from the tour...

For more information on our programs visit us at

Friday, April 2, 2010

Arbor Day April 30, 2010


Hey green people, think trees! Go for a walk in the park and see what’s blooming – well, everything at once this year: redbud, cherry, magnolia, dogwood...

And duck inside The Hort Library too. We’ve got what it takes to get you ruminating and cultivating. Here are just a few selections on trees from our deeply rooted collections:

A Countryman’s Woods by Hal Borland

Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs by Michael A. Dirr

A Field Guide to Imaginary Trees by Joe Bulgatz

The Forest in Folklore and Mythology by Alexander Porteous

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Great Flowering Landscape Trees by Vincent A. Simeone

New York City Trees: A Field Guide to the Metropolitan Area by Edward Sibley Barnard

The Power of Trees by Michael Perlman

The Tree Book for Kids and Their Grown-Ups by Gina Ingoglia

The Tree Care Primer by Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Katherine Powis, Librarian