It's a pleasure to visit the native plant garden at NYBG in any season, but I am especially fond of the garden in the late summer, when everything has reached a state of beautifully overgrown intensity that overwhelms the senses. On a warm, lazy weekday afternoon, we were some of the only visitors, which made it all the easier to hear the abundant songs of the resident birds and insects, as well as the soft sounds of native grasses touched by the barest of breezes. The goldenrods (Solidago spp.) were in full flower, floating magically amidst drifts of purple lovegrass (Eragrostis spectabilis) and milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) going to seed. I especially loved the sprawling patches of our native cactus (Optunia humifusa).
Enormous clumps of Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium spp.) mingled with Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum spp.) with the beautifully textured palm sedge (Carex muskingumensis) in the foreground.
Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) pods about to release their silky seeds.
The most joyful, meadowy jumble of goldenrods. This part of the garden was the place most abuzz with pollinators. Native bees, flies, wasps and beetles all abound in a numbers and diversity rarely seen so near an urban center.
A fascinating array of pitcher plants (Sarracenia spp.) and wetland flora, including the delicately beautiful Tuberous Grasspink (Calopogon tuberosus).
The meadow above the pond as the light began to fade. Soft and lush and full of life.
You can find more information about the garden here, including an interactive map of plants. I hope you'll visit soon, if you can!