Why Is the Native Flora Garden Pond Green?


“Gross! Ew! That water looks nasty!” I often hear comments like this from visitors when they first lay eyes on the pond in the Native Flora Garden. Many people assume that the green surface of the pond is due to algae, but the truth is more intriguing. The film you see on the pond now is actually made up of thousands

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All About Bugs: Dragonflies

Blue Dasher

As soon as other insects start buzzing through the air each spring, dragonflies emerge to hunt them down. After spending the winter underwater as nymphs and hunting small aquatic animals, throughout the spring and summer, these colorful predators come to the surface, molt, and become airborne. By this time of year, they are

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Weed of the Month: Chicory


On sunny summer mornings, chicory (Cichorium intybus) will dazzle you with its periwinkle-blue flowers, but by later in the day, its bright blooms will have vanished, leaving just the scraggly stems and leaves of this otherwise scrappy roadside plant. Add it to a vase of wildflowers, and you’ll see that when placed in

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Helping Our Metropolitan Monarchs

Milkweed and monarch butterfly

If you are lucky enough to see a monarch or fritillary flutter down Flatbush, it's easy to feel a carefree connection to nature. Yet, just as urban gardeners are learning just how dependent humans are on pollinators—moths, bees, birds, bats, and beetles, to name a few—we're discovering with alarm that their

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Be an Urban Soil Steward

Community Garden Alliance workshop

All of us depend on soil, but too few of us realize that it's a finite resource. Instead of conserving this precious substance, human practices too often degrade and erode soil—or completely cover it with concrete. Gardeners know that healthy soil, fed by compost and teeming with microbes, is alive, part of a healthy

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Photos Lead to Discovery of Unknown Leafhopper

Torrey's Muhly Colony

Fieldwork in the New Jersey Pine Barrens by BBG staff has led to the discovery of a previously unknown insect species, dubbed the Whitcomb leafhopper (Flexamia whitcombi). “A lot of people assume there are no new species to discover, or that any unknown ones are deep in undeveloped rainforest, but even here in North

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