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Entries in New York Botanical Garden (3)


New York Botanical Garden Greenmarket

For the past several seasons, I’ve wanted to visit the New York Botanical Garden Greenmarket.   I’m happy to report that I finally went! Every Wednesday throughout the summer and fall, the country comes to the city, offering New Yorkers access to phenomenally fresh food, at a great price.  

The market features vendors from New York’s Hudson Valley region, and offers an array of seasonal produce, and home-made baked goods too.  It was such an easy and convenient way to shop local, with the added bonus of being surrounded by beautiful fall foliage.

Located at the base of the Tulip Tree Allee by the Mosholu Gate, there was a huge variety of colorful produce on display, as well as fresh herbs.  The abundance of radishes, mixed greens, squashes, ripe tomatoes, and just-harvested apples was overwhelming.  There were also pears, cranberry beans, eggplants, cauliflower, corn, cabbage, kale, and even bok choy.  The list was quite endless.

In addition to buying vegetables, there was a not-so-slight detour over to the Bread Alone booth.  Bread Alone sells organic baked goods, and I had a wonderfully rich chocolate chip scone. Equally scrumptious was the baked apple pie which had the perfect balance of tart and sweet.

The complete list of vendors included:

  • Bread Alone Bakery, Boiceville, NY – Bread Alone Bakery currently bakes both organic whole grain breads and all natural, hand made pastries in its main bakery.
  • Gajeski Produce: They offered vegetables from their 125-acre produce farm on the North Fork of Long Island, Riverhead, NY.
  • The Little Bake Shop, Valley Cottage, NY – offered fresh baked goods, including a variety of gluten-free products.
  • Migliorelli Farm, Tivoli, NY – a family-run fruit and vegetable farm located in Northern Dutchess County in the Hudson Valley Region of New York. 
  • Perez Farm, Goshen, NY – fresh produce and herbs
  • Red Jacket Orchard, Geneva, NY – Located in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York State along the rolling hills of Seneca Lake, Red Jacket was originally planted in 1917.  Today, the orchard and juice company is managed by the second and third generation of the Nicholson family. apples, pears, and cider


Greenmarket is one of the largest and most successful open-air farmers market in the country, and since 1976 has been working to promote regional agriculture, preserve farmland, and ensure a continuing supply of fresh, local produce for all New Yorkers. To learn more about GrowNYC’s Greenmarket, gardening, recycling, and education programs, visit Grow NYC.  The New York Botanical Garden Greenmarket will be open every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. until November 29.


Lillian and Amy Goldman Stone Mill 

The entrance to the Stone Mill. The building's schist fieldstone facade was recently cleaned, and the asphalt roof was replaced with cedar shingles.

Over the weekend I visited the newly dedicated Lillian and Amy Goldman Stone Mill at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in the Bronx, New York.  I remember the site distinctly, from my childhood, when it was known as the Old Snuff Mill.  Whenever I had a school fieldtrip, the class always had lunch there on the stone terrace, when it was in use as NYBG’s café.

 Saturday's Stone Mill open house attracted many people to the stone terrace by the Bronx River.

The Stone Mill was a tobacco factory, built in 1840 by the Lorillard family on their massive estate, which today is part of the NYBG.   Interestingly, one of the family members, Pierre Lorillard IV with William Waldorf Astor, also developed Tuxedo Park, New York. It was built as an exclusive Blue Blood society resort community in Orange County with Gilded Age mansions designed by well-known architects including Bruce Price, Carrere and Hastings, McKim, Mead and White, and Warren and Wetmore.

According to Andrew Dolkart in the book, Guide to New York City Landmarks, this is “one of the rare surviving examples of early industrial architecture in the city, this fieldstone and brick mill, used the water power of the Bronx River to grind tobacco into snuff.”  It was used until 1870, when the company moved to Jersey City, New Jersey.  New York City bought the 661 acres estate in 1884, and the NYBG was granted 140 acres in 1915.  The building was designated a New York City Landmark in 1966, and a National Landmark in 1976.

The 170-year-old building recently underwent an $11 million restoration, and was open to the public on Saturday and Sunday. The New York Landmarks Conservancy gave tours of the newly refurbished building.  There was live music, refreshments, and specialized tram and walking tours to highlight some other Lorillard properties that remain in use, including two other 19th century buildings within a 100-acre district, along the Bronx River. 

 New hillside plantings adjacent to the stone bridge over the Bronx River.

The Stone Mill's restoration maintains the mid-19th-century industrial character on the exterior while, in the three-floor interior, equips it with modern building systems creating a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified structure that meets the Silver standard. Integral to the project, an intricate landscape design and restoration plan for the adjacent hillside involves treating storm water runoff into the Bronx River and utilizes native species in the extensive plantings.


One of the rooms that will be used for special events.   Extensive research and some trial-and-error produced a 12-over-12 double-hung window—interior trim of poplar, sashes of Western pine, and exterior trim of Spanish cedar—handcrafted using custom-made knives and following a template made for each window opening. The paint color for the trim was chosen to match a color typical of the mid-19th-century industrial buildings. [NYBG]

Since 2007, the site has primarily been used for weddings and other social gatherings.  It also has office space for the horticulture curatorial staff.  The Stone Mill will have another open house and tours on September 18 and 19.  The building is not normally open to the visiting public. For more information visit: New York Botanical Garden.


Kiku at New York Botanical Garden

Kengai (Cascade) inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory
After a successful three-year run, Kiku: In the Japanese Autumn Garden, recently closed at the New York Botanical Garden. More than 5,000 meticulously cultivated chrysanthemums, a traditional Japanese art form, and garden plants, were on display, one of the largest ever outside of Japan.

Kengai (Cascade): This technique features small-flowered chrysanthemums that are more typical of the wild varieties. They are trained to conform to boat-shaped frameworks that cascade downward like waterfalls for lengths of up to six-and-a-half feet. The result is a burst of hundreds of tightly clustered blooms.

Rows of Ogiku-styled blossomsOgiku (Single Stem): These plants feature single-stems that can reach up to six feet tall, with one perfect bloom balanced on top. Each chrysanthemum pot is buried horizontally and the plant stem is bent, precisely arranged in diagonal lines that decrease in height from the back to the front of the bed. The plants are then arranged in color patterns resembling traditional reins called tazuna-ue (horse bridle).


Autumn Stone and Kiku Garden:  In Japan, gardens composed of stones set in raked sand are called karesansui. Abstract and sculptural, they symbolize the larger natural landscape. This Autumn Stone and Kiku Garden Is based on the karesansui style, but uses mases of chrysanthemums (kiku) and river pebbles in place of raked sand. Designed by Mark Peter Keane, the garden evokes the mountains of Japan in autumn. The red orange, and yellow kiku suggest fiery fall foliage flowing down mountain peaks, which are represented by the larger stones.

Ozukuri (Thousand Bloom): In this highly complex technique, a single chrysanthemum is trained to produce hundreds of simultaneous blossoms in a massive, dome-shaped array. Ozukuri are planted in specially-built wooden containers called sekidai.

Photos: Deena B. Parham for Urbanbydesignonline

Text: Deena B. Parham with notes from the New York Botanical Garden