Floral fans can enjoy a triumphant bust of color before winter turns the world gray with today's deal: a $10 admission ticket to the New York Botanical Garden and its 26 game-changing gardens, including access to the special exhibit Kiku in the Japanese Autumn Garden. This exhibit expires the same day your Groupon does—November 15—and this will be the third and final year that the NYBG features it.
Kiku is Japanese for chrysanthemum, and you still have a handful of days to see four traditional 'mum styles in all their autumnal brilliance: shino-tsukuri (driving rain), ozukuri (thousand bloom), ogiku (single-stem), and kengai (cascade). When surrounded by glowing scarlet Japanese maples, Japanese black pines, and golden bamboo, these kiku evoke the meticulously designed landscape gardens of Kyoto, while undulating masses of ferns and perennials echo the elegant complexity of classical Japanese topography. Amid this sea of scarlet, electric orange, pink, yellow, and white, you'll come across exquisitely handcrafted uwaya pavilions housing kiku carefully trained to grow into amazing sculptures. A few of these flowers have also been trained to slice a man into two symmetrical halves with just their stamen, so don't touch; just look, smell, and ponder the mono no aware (sadness of things) as you savor the fleeting beauty of the season.
Beyond the kiku, you won't find many plants in flower at this time of year beyond giant reeds and Thunberg's allium. So while you'll need to come back in a few months to see NYBG's famous rose garden and orchids, you can still spend hours exploring perennial gardens, such as the Jane Watson Irwin perennial garden, the Everett Children's Adventure Garden, and the Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum. With 250 acres to gambol in, there's always something worth frolicking among at the New York Botanical Garden.
- Went there to see the orchid display, which was nothing short of spectacular!...children's area...is a must, even if you don't have kids and the rock garden. Can't wait to go back in June when the rose garden is in bloom. – Kitsaattheshore, TripAdvisor
- This the super bowl of gardens [sic]. The best of everything, don't miss it on any trip to NYC – bill_guthrie, Citysearch
- My friend and I visit at least a handful of botanical gardens each year, and the New York botanical garden is one of the largest and most impressive. Gorgeous garden: beautiful landscape and an exquisite greenhouse with plants from all over the world. – nuio, TripAdvisor
A Rose By Any Other Name
While most of the plants on display at NYBG are in the fascinating-to-beautiful spectrum, some plants, such as Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree, need a little extra love. That’s why Groupon’s Botanical Taxonomists have been tirelessly working to come up with new, more flattering names for some traditionally reviled flora.
- The Prickled Venom Blaster is now known as Security Vines
- The Scorpion-Concealing Assassin’s Lily is now known as The Hug-a-bug
- The Panamanian Pet-Devourer is now known as Puppiesbane
- The Mongolian Stench Belcher is now known as The Tushblossom
- The Common Red Rose is now known as The Countdown-Timer-to-Heartbreak
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The New York Botanical Garden
As husband-and-wife botanists Nathaniel Lord Britton and Elizabeth Gertrude Knight Britton explored the majestic Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Elizabeth asked a question that would bloom into something huge.
"Why couldn't we have something like this in New York?"
When the couple returned, they threw themselves into exploring that idea. In 1891, the state set aside land for the project, and private financiers including Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and J. Pierpont Morgan matched the city's financial commitments. In 1896, Nathaniel Lord Britton became The New York Botanical Garden's first director.
Today, the garden's mission is to be "an advocate for the plant kingdom," aiming to lead the charge to document every species of plant and fungus on the planet. Varied terrains unfurl across its 250 acres, including rolling hills, waterfalls, and 50 acres of the forest that once blanketed New York City. All told, there are more than a million plants within 50 gardens and plant collections.
Visitors can learn how to manage their own plants at the Home Gardening Center, which opened in 2005, then enter the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory—a New York City landmark that was unveiled in 1902 as the country's largest Victorian-style glass house. Rotating exhibitions and family events give visitors a reason to come back every season, and there are plenty of hands-on activities for kids, such as digging in the dirt until they reach hot magma in the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden.