Posts Tagged ‘New York Botanical Garden’

Dicentra eximia 'alba'

Dicentra eximia 'alba'

Native Range: Eastern North America

USDA Hardiness: 3-9

Height: 12″-18″

Growing Conditions: Part shade; moist, rich soils

Who ever heard of a Bleeding Heart blooming from spring into October?  Dicentra eximia ‘alba’ is one of the few woodland wildflowers with such a long bloom time.  We recently fell for its long-blooming delicate dangling white flowers when we planted it for a Native Garden at the New York Botanical Garden.  Its lush, fern-like foliage interplants easily with native woodland sedges and ferns and makes it a wonderfully versatile plant.  We have also recently paired it with Phlox subulata ‘Emerald Blue’ in the shady interior courtyard of a mixed-use building near the National Cathedral here in Washington, DC.

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Amsonia tabernaemontana 'Blue Ice'

Amsonia tabernaemontana 'Blue Ice'

Native Range: Eastern North America

USDA Hardiness: 5-9

Height: 12″-24″

Growing Conditions: Part shade; moist soils

Though best known for its dense clouds of vivid blue flowers in the early spring, this woodland native has proved a beautiful plant throughout the growing season in several of Oehme, van Sweden’s recent projects. Its blue-tinged, finely textured foliage and compact habit make it an excellent companion for woodland sedges and ferns. It also glows an eye-catching golden gold in the autumn landscape.

We planted it this spring with Carex appalachicain the new Native Garden at the New York Botanical Garden and are already impressed by its large blue-green sweeps through the dry woodland.

Amsonia tabernaemontana 'Blue Ice'

Eastern Bluestar in bloom

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On November 5, OvS Principal Sheila Brady spoke on “Distilling the Essence of Native Landscapes” at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. Sheila’s talk was part of the Conservatory’s Native Plant and Sustainability Conference, an annual event celebrating native plants and sustainable landscape management.

Sheila’s presentation focused on Oehme, van Sweden’s work on the New Native Plant Garden at the New York Botanical Garden. In a significant departure from the habitat-based model that has shaped many previous native gardens, the approach to the New Native Plant Garden distilled the visual essence of the region’s native landscapes without replicating them. Sheila highlighted the diversity of native plants that were included in the garden, and the selection and enhancement of patterns from nature.

Joining Sheila as presenters at the Conference were Patrick Cullina, Vice President of Horticulture and Park Operations for the High Line elevated park in New York City; Dr. Linda Johnson, Professor of Plant Sciences, Ecology and Native Plant Communities at Chatham University; and Dr. Carol Mapes, Professor and Chair of the Biology Department at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

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The LongHouse Reserve Garden Committee awarded Oehme, van Sweden & Associates the 2011 LongHouse Landscape Award on Saturday, September 17th at LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton, NY. The award, given for the first time ever to a firm or group, celebrates the “powerful changes that OvS has consistently and continuously brought to the American landscape for the past five decades.” Prior recipients of the award include landscape architect Dan Kiley, American gardener and horticulturist Frank Cabot, and the founder of the Central Park Conservancy, Elizabeth Barlow Rogers.

OvS Team

L-R: Eric Groft, Wolfgang Oehme, Sheila Brady, Jack Lenor Larsen & Lisa Delplace

Following tours of private gardens in East Hampton, a dinner at the home of Alex and Carole Rosenberg in Water Mill and a luncheon at LongHouse, OvS Principals Sheila Brady, Lisa Delplace, Eric Groft and Founding Partner Wolfgang Oehme accepted the award on behalf of the entire OvS team.

Eric Groft

OvS Principal Eric Groft

As part of the afternoon’s events, guests enjoyed a panel discussion between Oehme, van Sweden clients Kris Jarantoski, Executive Vice President and Director of the Chicago Botanic Garden and Todd Forrest, Vice President for Horticulture and Living Collections at the New York Botanical Garden. The panel was moderated by Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, President of the Foundation for Landscape Studies, and previous winner of the LongHouse Landscape Award.


L-R: Kris Jarantoski, Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, and Todd Forrest

LongHouse Reserve exemplifies living with art in all forms. It’s collections, gardens, sculpture and programs reflect world cultures and inspire a creative life.

LongHouse brings together art and nature, and aesthetics and spirit, with a strong conviction that the arts are central to living wholly and creatively. Dedicated to quality and integrity, LongHouse programs encourage a broad concept of learning.

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The annual conference of the American Public Gardens Association took place June 21 – 24, 2011 in Philadelphia, PA. While attending the conference, Oehme, van Sweden Principals Lisa Delplace and Sheila Brady were panelists at a seminar focusing on SITES, the Sustainable Sites Initiative. The idea behind SITES is to create voluntary, national guidelines for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices.

Some of the first groups to whole-heartedly embrace and test the ideas of SITES were public gardens – the arboreta, conservatories and botanic gardens of the world. Two of OvS’ current projects, the New York Botanical Garden’s New Native Garden and The Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden, are Pilot Projects of the initiative and were a topics of discussion among the seminar panelists.

In addition to Lisa and Sheila, Melanie Sifton of Humber Arboretum, James Ward from the North Carolina Botanical Garden, Stephanie DeStefano of American University and Kelly Ogrodnik from the Phipps Conservatory discussed how they work with nature to ensure built gardens mimic natural systems at NYBG and gardens worldwide.

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The New York Botanical Garden commemorated its 120th anniversary with the grand opening of the New Azalea Garden on May 7 and 8 with a festive ceremonial ribbon-cutting and preview of the New Azalea Garden. The 11-acre Garden features extensive perennial collections designed collaboratively by NYBG and Oehme, van Sweden & Associates and landscape architecture by Towers│Golde, LLC.

The first tour of the garden!

This premier collection of the world’s azalea species features 300 varieties of azalea, rhododendron and diverse companion plantings which are woven together in this restoration of the original garden.  The display offers a venue to enjoy, learn about and be inspired by the beauty and diversity of these ornamental shrubs and perennials in a mature woodland environment. 

L to R: Jane Cooke, Sheila Brady, Todd Forrest, and Barbara Slifka

The design team of Todd Forrest and Frank Genese of NYBG, Shavaun Towers of Towers│Golde, LLC and OvS’ Principal-in-Charge Sheila Brady, were honored at the festive ceremonial ribbon-cutting and preview of the New Azalea Garden. Distinguished guests were treated to the garden’s dedication, performances by the Greenwich Academy Madrigal Singers and tours of the New Azalea Garden.

Eric Groft and Barbara Slifka

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Nantucket MoorsI was recently on Nantucket installing a beautiful hillside garden overlooking Polpis Harbor in Quaise. The hillside is planted with waves of native grasses and the garden features a lower, private enclosed garden with classic Nantucket privet hedges aligned with colorful perennial boarders.

I also had fun visiting former clients in Squam and was delighted to see this mature OvS garden planted nearly ten years ago, a wonderful example of how our gardens thrive in the Nantucket landscape. Alot of the credit goes to our clients, who are so engaged with their garden. They have added wonderful new areas including an elegant barn beautifully sited in open native fields and a walled-in fruit orchard.

Nantucket MoorsWhile on Island, I also enjoyed a walk off Polpis road through the “Moors” as they are called locally. These special land preserves protected by the Nantucket Conservation Foundation and are filled with rare and endangered plants as well as beautiful windswept costal heathlands, diverse grasslands, cranberry bogs, and ground covers like huckleberry, low bush blueberry, and beach plumb.

Nantucket MoorsWalking towards Gibbs Pond was magical and absorbing … grassland walking paths lead to narrow scrub oak woodland paths that are filled with a ground plane of ferns, and wonderful narrow paths encircle the pond with quiet views across the pond textured with rushes.

The pond ,wetlands and plant communities were capturing my attention as we are in the final stages of design for the Native Plant Garden at the New York Botatical Garden. The garden features a re-circulating central water feature with innovative water retention, wetlands that will filter and cleanse the pond, and an entire spectrum of plants that grow in conditions from wet sun to dry shade, upland forest to dry meadows.

It was such an enjoyable visit to Nantucket and I look forward to returning soon!

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