Blooms and Blaze in the Cold and Rain

Rose Garden at NY Botanical Garden
Rose Garden still in bloom at the NY Botanical Garden.

We had the whole botanical garden to ourselves recently.  It was cold, rainy, windy and super grey.  Who wanted to be outside that day? We Did! We walked through the native forest which was still quite green, then along Magnolia Way. And we saw no one. Not even a hare.

I was shocked to see roses still in bloom in the Rose Garden!  We went straight there. And I forgot how cold my fingers were. The rose garden had that look of smudged lipstick and messy hair.  Rose petals were strewn about the pavement…petals withered and blooms missing while some still going strong.  I like this look.

A sweet contrast to the Kiku exhibit which has just opened.  I’m not one for my blooms in rank and file formation.  But the Japanese maple trees are ablaze.

Bonsai trees at Kiku Exhibit, NY Botanical Garden.
Bonsai trees in the Japanese Autumn Garden at the NY Botanical Garden.
Kiku Exhibit at the NY Botanical Garden
Japanese Autumn Garden at the NY Botanical Garden.
Kiku Exhibit at the NY Botanical Garden
Kiku (chrysanthemum) in rank and file formation at the Japanese Autumn Garden.

*
Tell a friend, or two, about this post

Finally Spring Sightings…

each year spring arrives later and later…
And not with much conviction…Is it still a season?
Last spring I missed the magnolia blossoms
and the daffodils entirely at the New York Botanical Garden.
This year I didn’t.
The magnolias were splendid and lush.
The cherry blossoms are next and even a few lilac buds gave our noses a heady preview.

Sexy Slippers

Slipper Orchid, {Paphiopedilum}, at the NY Botanical Garden Gift Shop.
Sexy Slipper Orchid, {Paphiopedilum}, at the NY Botanical Garden Gift Shop.

Let’s be honest.
Orchids are unabashedly sexy.
Glistening, hairy, succulent, juicy, spotty, warty…it is all there.

Slipper Orchids are my favorite.
Paphiopedilum.
Paphos, is a city on the Aegean Island of Cyprus and the mythical birthplace of, who else? Aphrodite.
The Goddess of Love herself. A temple was built there in her honor for all manner of celebrations.
Pedilon is Greek for sandal.
“The Orchid Show” book explains it thusly:
“The legend is that Aphrodite lost her golden slipper. When a mortal found it and tried to touch it, the slipper was transformed into an exquisite golden orchid.”
{So much better than Cinderella.}

The slipper, of course, is not what I see at first.
My attraction is entirely subliminal.
One woman standing next to me kept reaching up to caress the proboscis like petal — the labellum.
You’re not supposed to touch.
I laughed and she said, “I just can’t stop.”

When I got home and looked at my photos on the computer screen — all big and enlarged — I gasped, Is that what I saw?
A veiny, hairy, deep burgundy pouch, umm, slipper…right there on the shelf of the NY Botanical Garden Gift Shop.
And it was brimming with water.
I know because, I had touched the slipper pouch. I could not resist.

I was tempted to bring one home with me.
I was further tempted when I learned that they are perfectly suited in the hands of an orchid newbie and that the flowers can last two to three months…
Ahh, but the price tag gave me pause.
85 bucks.
Pause.
We’re in the midst of economic turmoil for crying out loud…
Subway & bus fares are going up to $2.50.
Just walk away… just walk away.

*
Paphiopedilum {paf-ee-oh-PED-i-lum} at the New York Botanical Garden Orchid Show through April 12th. Of course, the show features plenty of other orchid varieties, but not as sexy as the Paphs.

nybg_orchid_show_slipper_orchids

NYBG Slipper Orchid in the gift shop.
Marianne's Phrygian Cap?

Slipper Orchids at the NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show.

Slipper Orchids at the NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show.

The slipper likeness is very apparent in the orchid on the left.
The slipper likeness is very apparent in the orchid on the left.

Slipper Orchid at the NY Botanical Garden Orchid Show.


NYBG Slipper Orchid in the gift shop.

*
Tell a friend, or two, about this post…

Wish You Were Here…Postcards From The Bronx

Boating in Pelham Bay.
Boating in Pelham Bay. (I've done this.)

Lover's Lane in Bronx Park vintage postcard.
Lover's Lane in Bronx Park. It reads: Dear Eva! Thank you very much for the postal. Best Regards from Roger Olsen (I believe it says "postal", and not "pastel", which would be more romantic.)

New York Botanical Garden vintage postcard.
New York Botanical Garden. The women at left are walking along what is now called "Ladies' Border". The NYBG describes this area as "Southern beauties thriving in the North." And that's on the garden website.

Poe Cottage and Park.
Poe Cottage and Park. Former home of Edgar Allan Poe.

Van Cortlandt House.
Van Cortlandt House, which still stands in Van Cortlandt Park.

Orchard Beach Pavillion.
Orchard Beach Pavilion.

Camping at Pelham Bay Park.
Pelham Bay Park Campsite. It reads: Am camping here for a few weeks having the time of my life. Lou

This last one is my personal favorite!

All postcards on view in the entrance hallway of The Valentine-Varian House in The Bronx.

*
Tell a friend, or two, about this post…