Tag: Gardens and Gardening

How Much Would You Pay for a Houseplant?

MIAMI — They came armed with totes, trash bags, empty strollers and collapsible nylon wagons. They came with wish lists and whispers of their “unicorns,” whose Latin names sounded like incantations: adansonii, patriciae, obliqua. Some of them traveled by airplane to get here. Others, in moving trucks. Because one does not walk into the 42nd […]

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Let’s Wage a War on Loneliness

LONDON — We humans make a lonely crowd, and it’s killing us. Social isolation is more lethal than smoking 15 cigarettes a day, or than obesity, according to research published by Julianne Holt-Lunstad of Brigham Young University. Since obesity is associated in the United States with 300,000 to 600,000 deaths a year, the implication is […]

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The Wreaths for the Marathon Winners Come From My Grandmother’s Backyard

Jane Muhrcke tends to walk slowly and carefully these days. Wearing a hard-plastic medical boot on one foot, she has a common injury for runners, a stress fracture on her second metatarsal. But she has never run a mile. She has, however, been devoted, in her own unique way, to the New York City Marathon […]

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The Parks That Made the Man Who Made Central Park

When Frederick Law Olmsted stepped off a ship in Liverpool in 1850, he was a gentleman farmer on Staten Island and intellectual, eager to embark on a walking tour of England. When he left, he had the makings of perhaps the greatest American landscape architect of all time. Several years later, he would take an […]

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How a Rooftop Meadow of Bees and Butterflies Shows N.Y.C.’s Future

Tall grasses glow in the afternoon sunlight. The last bees and butterflies of the season hover over goldenrod and asters. Silver orbs that look like alien spacecrafts shimmer nearby. The wild-looking meadow is not in a rural outpost, but sandwiched between a sewage plant — the orbs are the tanks — and a parking lot […]

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It’s One of Autumn’s Best Scents, but Not Everyone Smells It

Sugar, red and Japanese Maples: You can drive up and down America’s east coast to enjoy their fiery pyrotechnic shows each fall. Along the way, you may want to hop out of the car, take a deep breath and hope you catch a whiff of the katsura tree’s sweet scent. “I can barely smell it, […]

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Veggie-First Eating, and Thinking

Veggie Mijas is a collective of over 300 nonbinary, female-identifying people and women of color in 12 chapters across the United States, and the group — originally founded by Amy Quichiz and Mariah Bermeo — facilitates community building through vegan potlucks, cleaning up community gardens and hosting youth seminars to teach children about the importance […]

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How Linda Goode Bryant, Social Activist, Spends Her Sundays

Linda Goode Bryant likes to get things done. A self-described workaholic, the filmmaker, former art gallery owner and president of the nonprofit Active Citizen Project seems to dive into projects with two feet and not look back. Take JAM, or Just Above Midtown, the former art gallery on West 57th Street (and later, in TriBeCa). […]

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The Secret Jailhouse Garden of Rikers Island

Set incongruously in the middle of Rikers Island’s post-apocalyptic landscape of low-slung jail blocks and razor wire is a lush garden, teeming with birds and butterflies, that seems to have been teleported down from some happier planet. “That’s my baby,” said Mike Cruz, a stocky young man who is serving time at Rikers. He was […]

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Three Billion Canaries in the Coal Mine

NASHVILLE — During the nearly quarter-century that my family has lived in this house, the changes in our neighborhood have become increasingly apparent: fewer trees and wildflowers, fewer bees and butterflies and grasshoppers, fewer tree frogs and songbirds. The vast majority of Tennessee is still rural, and for years I told myself that such changes […]

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The Honest Beauty of Wild Grasses

SAY THE WORD “grass” and you picture not a lone blade but a mass undulation. It is for all practical purposes uncountable, a tease of the infinite. More than 10,000 species compose Poaceae, the family of grass, and together they cover around 40 percent of the earth’s lands (outside of Greenland and Antarctica). Traders and […]

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How to Cook a Meal (Almost) Entirely Out of Flowers

How do you create a flower-centric restaurant that doesn’t feel like a bridal shower? If you’re Alessandra and Mario De Benedetti, you ask your good friend, the artist and writer Leanne Shapton, to paint your walls with a geometric watercolor mural, and you ask Elizabeth Roberts, the architect known for her light-filled, thoughtfully reworked Brooklyn […]

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In Montauk, a Garden Runs Delightfully Amok

THE GRASS THAT blankets the only sizable expanse of lawn in Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch’s two-acre Montauk garden is about a hand’s width high and grows in lush whorls, like the coat of an English cocker spaniel. Standefer and Alesch — who in 2002 founded the New York-based design studio Roman and Williams (perhaps […]

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Urban-Farming Camps Have Kids Asking, Where’s the Healthy Food?

Standing between two buildings on 127th Street, a group of campers on the cusp of adolescence mulled over a change in schedule. Normally, they would spend the morning planting and gardening as part of Harlem Grown, a youth development nonprofit that uses gardening and cooking to teach and empower children in Harlem. But on this […]

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This Carnivorous Plant Invaded New York. That May Be Its Only Hope.

BIG POND, N.Y. — Across their kayaks, the three men passed the green shoot back and forth. Occasionally, one of them would cradle it in one palm and bring a hand lens to it with the other, inspecting the carnivorous plant that was their bounty. By day’s end, the group — Seth Cunningham and Michael […]

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A Whimsical Provincetown Home, Where Everything Is a Treasure

John Derian’s second home in Provincetown, Mass. — built for a local sea captain in 1789 and purchased by Derian, the interior designer and home goods retailer, in 2007 — can resemble, at times, a particularly thoughtful cabinet of curiosities. A 19th-century flower drying rack from Denmark now displays Derian’s shirts and jackets; silvery, lightly […]

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Roberto Burle Marx and His Leafy Vision of the Tropics

This Friday in Rio de Janeiro is the shortest day of the year, the start of a winter that, by New York standards at least, gets only a little bit nippy. Here, though, the hot days have arrived, and up in the Bronx, the sun-starved among us have all summer to immerse ourselves in a […]

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These Animal Migrations Are Huge — and Invisible

Ladybugs briefly took over the news cycle. Meteorologists at the National Weather Service were looking over radar images in California on the night of June 4 when they spotted what looked like a wide swath of rain. But there were no clouds. The meteorologists contacted an amateur weather-spotter directly under the mysterious disturbance. He wasn’t […]

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