- Brooklyn Botanic Garden

What’s Happening to These Leaves?

Thermotropism in Rhododendrons

On cold winter days, you may notice the leaves of rhododendrons and some other broad-leaf evergreens curling up around the edges. But this doesn’t mean the plants are wilting—wilting is a response to a lack of water. Rather, rhododendron leaves curl in response to cold temperatures, a reaction that is called a

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Birds of Brooklyn: Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

What do the wolf, the beaver, and the yellow-bellied sapsucker have in common? Each is a keystone species, that is, a species that by its actions may affect a whole community. In many cases, other species greatly depend upon their actions for food, shelter, and habitat. As a predator, the wolf keeps certain animal

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Is a Potted Christmas Tree a Good Idea?

Potted Christmas Trees

Around this time of year, city sidewalks are packed with Christmas tree options, including potted spruces and other evergreens. At first glance, a live potted tree seems like the most sustainable solution for anyone with the garden space to accommodate a conifer. The only trouble is that the holiday season doesn’t

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From the Street…Tough Natives for Tender Tree Beds

Butterfly weed

Brilliant orange butterfly weed, cheery black-eyed Susans, and frilly coralbells are native New Yorkers strong enough to survive—and even thrive—in the challenging environment of a city tree bed. The first job of any tree bed is to provide a home for an oxygen-producing street tree. As such it should be clean, well

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Gardening Resilience

GreenSpace Rain Garden

A pioneering community garden is taking root in Gowanus. Twenty years ago, GreenSpace on Fourth was a dream: A group of neighbors wanted to transform a parcel of city-owned land on Fourth Avenue between Sackett and Union into an oasis of urban resiliency. At last—with the support of the DEP, Community Board 6, GreenThumb,

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Bridging a Year with GreenBridge

Mark Fisher

As I write this, I am entering my second growing season as director of GreenBridge. What better time to reflect on the ways in which this year has been a season of growth for me? For most of my career, I’ve had the good fortune of working at BBG in various capacities: gardener, teacher, and administrator. And for nearly

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