1 Our tour began with this lovely view past the new Lilac Collection to the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden. The New York Botanical Garden is just a stunning place to visit any time year. http://www.nybg.org
2 We drove by these Chinese tree peonies woven into the Maple Collection - they also overlook the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden.
3 Heres's a closeup of a gorgeous Chinese tree peony in full flower. This one opens pink and then fades to a soft white. I can't wait until the tree peonies bloom at my Bedford, New York farm.
4 This is the newly opened Lilac Collection in full bloom - I wish you could smell through the blog - it smells so fragrant.
5 The Nolen Greenhouses hold the NYBG's tropical collections, and provide a location for growing its exhibition plants. Nearly an acre under glass, the 43-thousand square foot space is the most sophisticated behind-the-scenes facility of its kind at any botanical garden in the United States.
6 This is a Sciadopitys verticillata 'Cynthia Waxman' located in the Benenson Ornamental Conifers area. This Japanese Umbrella Pine forms a perfect, gorgeous and dense upright cone - it looks like the perfect living Christmas tree.
7 The flowering quince and colorful Japanese Maple were hard to miss - such beautiful splashes of color.
8 This is part of the new Judy and Michael Steinhardt Maple Collection. It features a collection of Itoh peonies. Itoh, or intersectional, peonies are crosses between herbaceous and tree peonies. They are long lived, their blooms are large and the foliage is similar to that of the tree peony. Their stems die back in fall and must be cut back just like the herbaceous peonies.
9 Here is another collection of Chinese tree peonies - also part of the Maple Collection.
10 We also drove past the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden - it is used for lots of children's programming where children learn how to grow vegetables and how to eat them.
11 The Lilian and Amy Goldman Stone Mill was built in 1840 by the Lorillard family to grind tobacco into snuff. Now it is used for parties and other events. The native garden surrounding it was designed by Darrel Morrison. It includes yellow Packera aurea and blue Phlox divaricata. The water on the left is the Bronx River, which flows past the historic landmark.
12 Here's another view of the Lillian and Amy Goldman Stone Mill. In the foreground - a dwarf bayberry hedge, Myrica pennsylvanica 'Bobzam'. It is so well-maintained - it gets pruned twice a year to keep it tight.
13 I loved seeing this stately sycamore standing sentry at the school group entrance. The sycamore tree is the symbol of my Cantitoe Corners farm.
14 It was hard to leave this part of the road - the vistas were absolutely breathtaking. Crabapples to the right, and cherries to the left, underplanted with swaths of daffodils - all in full bloom.
15 This is what the NYBG calls Daffodil Hill - a glorious mix of yellow and white.
16 More Kwanzan cherries and daffodils on Daffodil Hill. The Kwanzan cherry is the most popular cultivar of all the double flowering cherries, thanks to its stunning pink blossoms, and upright, vase-shaped form. While it has a limited lifespan, the beauty of this tree makes it well worth planting.
17 Another look at the pink Kwanzan cherries that line the road in Daffodil Hill.
18 These is the Donald J. Bruckman Crabapple Collection, with more daffodils. Crabapples are any of the wild species of apple tree, genus Malus, which typically yield small, bitter fruit two-inches in diameter and smaller.
19 This is another side of Daffodil Hill and the Donald J. Bruckman Crabapple Collection. In honor of this year's 125th Anniversary, the NYBG is planting one million daffodils.
20 Here is the Azalea Garden meadow - a matrix of Carex, Deschampsia and Seslerias, mixed with bulbs and perennials in this one sunny spot within an otherwise shaded garden.
21 The Azalea slope is coming in to bloom - how pretty. I just love azaleas, and always look forward to seeing the plentiful pink azalea blooms at my farm.
22 Ancient oaks, sweet gums and tulip trees provide a high shade canopy that's perfect for azaleas.
23 Here, drifts of rich color blend across azalea slope.
24 And here's another colorful mix of azaleas.
25 Also in the Azalea Garden - a walkway lined with hellebores, hostas, astilbes and epimediums.
26 We passed a water feature and boardwalk in the Native Plant Garden, dotted with white dogwoods. The small white flowers on the bottom right are Primula meadia, a species of flowering plant in the family Primulaceae, native to North America, and found in the American South, as well as the Upper Midwest, Kansas, New York, Pennsylvania and the Canadian province of Manitoba.
27 A stand of wonderful tanyosho pines, Pinus densiflora 'Umbraculifera'
28 And, a very, very old Pinus wallichiana tree, a coniferous evergreen native to the Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindu Kush mountains, from eastern Afghanistan east across northern Pakistan and India to Yunnan in southwest China.
29 The Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden is filled with a vast palette of textures, flowers and foliage. Each of the four themed rooms contains plants selected for their color or seasonality.
30 Here is a graceful white dogwood amid the pines of the Ross Conifer Arboretum - the gardens are so amazing. Tomorrow, I will share photos from the New York Botanical Garden's 25th Anniversary Antique Garden Furniture Fair and Collectors' Plant Sale.