Autumn amble at New York Botanical Garden


After touring Wave Hill on October 11, my daughter and I took the train to the New York Botanical Garden. Although both NYBG and Wave Hill are located in the Bronx, mass transit between the two ate up some time, and we had tickets to a Broadway show that evening. We knew we wouldn’t be able to stay long enough to see all 250 acres and 50 gardens.


Rather than stress about it, we explored at random, taking paths that wound around enormous boulders fringed by Japanese forest grass and white anemones and into woods tinged yellow and orange.


The afternoon was overcast and chilly, but the morning rain had ended, and we saw more people here than we had at Wave Hill. From a nearby sports arena we heard an announcer’s voice, cheers, and air horns. The cool weather, turning leaves, and game noise reminded me of fall days in the Southeast, where I grew up.


All that we lacked was the smell of wood smoke in the air.


I’ve admired council rings since first encountering one at Chicago Botanic Garden’s Evening Island. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have one in a home garden, with a fire pit in the middle?


I loved this meadowy scene atop a boulder-strewn rise.


It was one of the prettiest areas we saw.


Grasses, garlic chives gone to seed, asters, and pink daisies combined in a tapestry of fall color.


In a lower part of the garden, a swale for collecting and funneling rainwater leads the eye to a mound of vertical boulders.


A closer look


Woodsy paths beckoned with leaves just starting to turn.


Chipmunks scurried here and there, collecting nuts for winter…


…and stopping to eat one or two.


Who could resist a path like this? Not us.


My daughter picked up a fallen leaf and made a hair ornament of it.


Nothing bought in a store could be as pretty.


Fallen leaves adorned the ground too.


On a bridge high above a creek we looked down on more golden trees.


We saw a few reds as well.


A lovely native plant garden with a large pond offered a boardwalk stroll…


…past woodland borders with plenty of fall color.


Ferns were still green then but probably not for long.


At the sunnier end, we noticed a swath of colorful pitcher plants in the mucky soil along the decking.


Aren’t they lovely?


I’m noticing pitcher plants everywhere these days, especially in container plantings. Are they the plant du jour, wresting the crown away from tillandsias?


From wet-loving plants to dry-loving, this garden has it all. Devil’s tongue (Opuntia humifusa) looks quite happy, even in New York (yes, it’s native), nestled amid heat-reflecting boulders.


This must be a birder’s paradise with so many food sources, including coneflowers and grasses gone to seed.


I wish I’d taken a few photos inside the gift shop, which was quite nice and very large as botanical garden gift shops go. An extensive gardening book section captivated me for a while, and imagine my delight when I saw that they carried my book, Lawn Gone! — and it was even displayed face out! I swear I didn’t turn it that way for the picture.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my garden visits from New York. For a look back at Wave Hill (1 of 2 posts), click here. And for my extensive write-up of the High Line (1 of 2 posts), click here.

All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Native plants and modern garden furnishings at Redenta’s Garden Arlington


Whew! I just got home from a whirlwind trip to New York City to visit public gardens, and does Austin ever feel blissfully small and non-crowded in comparison to Manhattan. The High Line was the highlight, and I’ll have pictures for you soon. But first I’ve been wanting to share my recent visit to Redenta’s Garden in Arlington, between Dallas and Fort Worth.


This is the second Redenta’s location I’ve visited. The first was Redenta’s smaller Dallas shop and urban nursery, which carries contemporary pots and accessories that reminded me somewhat of West Coast garden shops I’ve visited.


Both locations have a hip potting bar where you can plant up containers with succulents and cactus.


Fermob bistro sets and other colorful, contemporary garden seating can be found here as well.


I imagine tender succulents are tucked in the greenhouse in the winter, but on this October visit it was open to refreshing breezes.


In addition to contemporary style, Redenta’s is known for its native plant selection, and that’s what the suburban Arlington location really offers: room for more plants.


While Redenta’s isn’t as big as Austin’s Barton Springs Nursery, not to mention The Natural Gardener, it does have a nice selection of drought-tolerant beauties like hesperaloe with yellow bloom spikes as well as the standard coral-pink. I think I see some red ‘Brakelights’ in there too.


The yellow hesperaloe echoes the color of a classic motel chair sitting by a silver Airstream camper in the display yard. I could tell this area is usually a focal point of the grounds, with seating and pots on an urbanite (recycled concrete) patio, shaded by a striped awning. But we visited the day after a strong windstorm had hit the Dallas area, and the nursery was still picking up after the damaging winds.


Yucca rostrata shadows and a succulent “R” for Redenta’s add punch to this vignette.


At the other end of the yard, more seating is grouped around a metal-ring fire pit, surrounded by pots of agave, yucca, and prickly pear.


This is very “Austin,” don’t you think?


The Yucca rostrata were tempting, but how would I get one home? Instead I was drawn to the display of Hover Dishes on the front porch. I haven’t found these for sale anywhere in Austin (although I’ve ordered one directly from the Vancouver manufacturer, Pot Inc.), but Redenta’s had a great selection.


I selected the orange Dolga pot, and my DH gave it to me for my birthday, which just happened to be that day. Perfect timing for a visit, eh? I’m going to hold onto it over the winter and plant it up with succulents in the spring. Or maybe I’ll fill it with pumpkins and hang it right now!


Inside the shop, Redenta’s has more containers and garden accessories…


…including a selection of Steel Life containers, which are also hard to find at Austin nurseries.


Overall I like the Dallas Redenta’s better for their garden-shop offerings, but the Arlington location has a bigger plant selection and more outdoor furniture. Lucky Dallas-Forth Worth gardeners to be able to shop at both!

For a tour of the Dallas Redenta’s, click here.

All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Pumpkin extravaganza at the Dallas Arboretum


The Dallas Arboretum goes pumpkin crazy each fall.


Last Sunday we visited to see their over-the-top Pumpkin Village, in which a whopping 65,000 pumpkins, gourds, and squash are used to create play houses, line paths, and fill a pumpkin patch that would make Linus proud.


The pumpkin houses are fun for kids and adults alike.


Metal rings on the walls hold an assortment of pumpkins and squash.


More are piled around the doorways in artful displays.


Interiors are decorated with strings of tiny pumpkins along thatched ceilings and printed children’s stories on the walls.


As in in any proper village, the houses have unique designs. This one is all orange pumpkins.


Spray-painted jack ‘o lantern faces on some add a little spooky fun.


But not too spooky


This is a smart way to decorate pumpkins in the South, where those carved too soon collapse in on themselves in the heat.


This house is truly child-sized. Potato vine spills across the roof like a fairy tale beanstalk.


A fenced pumpkin patch guarded by friendly scarecrows contains pumpkins grouped by type — and there are so many varieties! Hand-lettered signs tell you what each type is called.


Boo!


Cinderella’s carriage, pulled by horses made of cornhusks and other natural materials (sorry, my pics didn’t come out), sits near a pumpkin patch filled with blue-painted and white pumpkins. I like how the sprawling sweet potato vines stand in for pumpkin vines.


Pumpkins also transform into sunflowers!


I think these are adorable.


Indian corn and tiny pumpkins are festively strung between trees.


How do they do it? Copper wire wraps the pumpkins and corn and secures them to a steel cable.


Stacked pumpkins, like Halloween totem poles, add structure to beds of colorful marigolds.


Orange marigolds echo the pumpkins’ shape and color.


A statuary cornucopia is surrounded by a real-life one.


Orange pumpkins beyond count line the paths.


White pumpkins take over by the Alex Camp House to match the white brick.


The front porch display features white pots filled with fall annuals and more pumpkins.


This is an unexpected and fun combination: golden shrimp plant and Persian shield, with more pumpkins along the walk.


I also love this vignette, though I don’t know what the plants are.


Just look at the size of those pumpkins!


Piles of pumpkins, squash, and gooseneck gourds adorn the entry garden.


The gift shop is getting in on the action too.


If you want to bask in the pumpkin glory, the Pumpkin Village will be on display until November 26. (I hated to see it so early, but they’re also already putting up the Christmas display, which opens November 16.) The Arboretum is offering early admission hours on weekends through the end of October: 8 a.m. for visitors and 7 a.m. for members. And if you’re a member of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, you’ll enjoy reciprocal free membership at the Dallas Arboretum!

Up next: Monarchs flutter into Dallas Arboretum on their fall migration

All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.