Urban Gardening & Ecology

All About Bugs: Look Inside Summer Flowers and See Bees, Bee-Mimics, and Pollinators of All Kinds

Syrphid Fly

Honey bees and bumble bees are what most of us think of when we picture pollinators, but many other insects contribute to the dispersal of pollen. On one summer day, a single plant can attract paper wasps, mud daubers, hornets, horntails, flower flies, green bottle flies, and dozens of other species. Swarms of these

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Baby Birds at BBG

American Robin

Urban birds don’t have it easy, so it’s always nice to see signs that chicks are thriving at BBG. Enjoy these photos taken by visitor Ann Feldman and staff members Travis DeMello and Lee Patrick. A hungry robin in its nest in the Native Flora Garden in late June. Its mother was likely away hunting for earthworms and

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Weed of the Month: Fleabane

Fleabane

This month’s weed is a lovely common North American native: fleabane! You may have seen this pretty, daisy-like wildflower in fields, against buildings and fences, and along roadsides in spring and early summer. Several very similar-looking fleabane species are common in the New York City area—Erigeron philadelphicus,

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Weed of the Month: Shepherd’s Purse

Shepherd’s Purse

Vacant lots, fields, and tree beds around Brooklyn are filled with shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) right now. This prolific springtime weed has petite white flowers, and it's common name refers to the nearly heart-shaped seedpods that form on its long stalks. They resemble the little leather pouches

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Weed of the Month: Chickweed

Chickweed

Gardeners know it’s time to start preparing for spring planting when they see that chickweed has arrived! One of the first spring weeds, the bright green annual is a refreshing sight for my plant-starved eyes, especially after this year’s long winter. Growing in lush dense mats, cold-hardy chickweed (Stellaria media)

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Plant a Cherry Tree of Your Own

Prunus x yedoensis

As BBG's stunning cherry collection demonstrates, a wide variety of flowering cherry cultivars grow well in Brooklyn. Many also make great additions to a home garden or backyard—not only here but throughout USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9. Cherry trees come in a wide range of shapes, and there's even a "patio cherry,"

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