The garden of the mind

With so many of life’s pleasures sealed off from us at the moment, they must live in our imaginations – and online. This Luddite says thank God for the computer – and for the New York Botanical Garden.

When I think of the garden, I think of all the wonderful times I have shared there with my late Aunt Mary and sister (and fellow Wagger) Gina Gouveia – orchid shows, antique furniture sales, Kiku (the chrysanthemum display) and special exhibits on artists ranging from Georgia O’Keeffe to Dale Chihuly. There’s something magical about having lunch at the garden and wandering among its blossoming trees and array of buttery daffodils and prayerful tulips in the early spring.

While NYBG’s gates may be closed temporarily, its virtual gates are wide open. NYBG at Home, its new content page, provides a way to stay connected to the Botanical Garden through its collections’ digital resources, creative educational programs and other online offerings here

As spring unfolds, NYBG at Home will showcase the brightness and color of the seasonal spectacle. Here’s its video of the first day of spring.

The site also provides convenient, one-click links to NYBG’s blogs; the digital collection of NYBG’s LuEsther T. Mertz Library; teacher resources; plant-based, kid-friendly recipes; ways to get involved in virtual research projects; and much more. 

I’m looking forward to spending time with Gina at NYBG’s upcoming show on Yayoi Kusama,  she of the polka dot pumpkins and infinity mirror installations. It isn’t scheduled to open until May 8, so we can hope. After all, as poet Emily Dickinson wrote:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –

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