Not only is this the season for plenty of flowers, it’s also a time filled with baby birds.
QBG’s 39 acres makes it a wonderful place for many bird species to raise young with our abundant plants for shelter and nesting spots, food (both plants and insects), and water in a variety of places including the Biotope.
As you walk around QBG, your backyard or neighborhood, keep your eyes open for busy parents caring for their brood – it’s a treat to watch! But keep a few things in mind to help our feathered friends:
- Always maintain a distance from the nest so that young birds and their parents don’t feel threatened.
- Watch where you walk! As they get bigger, chicks can fall out of their nest and risk being stepped on.
- If you see a bird on the ground, try to locate the nest and gently return the chick to its home. Don’t worry – human scent will not scare away the parents. If you can’t find the nest, construct a substitute with a small container like a flower pot and line it with dry grass or leaves. Place the chick in the container and place it where you found the bird. Chances are the parents will continue to care for their youngster.
Filed under: Compost, family activities, Food, gardening | Tags: botanical gardens, public gardens, family activities, gardening, flowers, sustainability, compost, botanical, botanical garden, public garden, gardening tips, composting
There’s always something interesting happening at QBG’s Intergenerational Garden & Food Pantry Project. The QBG Blog needed a little break this morning, and headed out to visit with Maureen, the Project’s volunteer manager.
Seedlings were sprouting, bees were buzzing and so were the gardeners in this active space! So much to take in but we were particuarly impressed with the new vertical garden — a perfect example of reduce, reuse, recycle.
An old shipping pallet was turned on its side and Maureen created a fabric “envelope” with the remains of the Project’s lovely canopy that blew down during superstorm Sandy. The envelope edges were secured to the wood pallet and then filled with compost. Next, small slits will be cut into the fabric and planted with edible flowers.
We’ll keep readers updated on this creative new garden!
Despite a forecast of snow that didn’t materialize, nearly 40 people participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count at Queens Botanical Garden today.
It was chilly and cloudy but a great morning was had by all. Big thanks to everyone who participated! Our bird sightings have been entered in the GBBC database and will be used by scientists all over the world to track bird populations, locations and other important information to help make informed conservation decisions.
Here’s the final list for the day:
American Robin: 1
Blue Jay: 5
Canada Goose: 21
Carolina Wren: 1
European Starling: 12
Herring Gull: 15
House Sparrow: 5
Mourning Dove: 15
Northern Cardinal: 2
Northern Flicker: 1
Northern Mockingbird: 4
Rock Dove (Pigeon): 12
White-throated Sparrow: 2
It bears repeating: floods like those caused from Hurricane Sandy can impact both your garden and compost. Our friends from Green Thumb have great advice which we want to share with our readers:
Guidance For Gardeners Post Hurricane Sandy November 2012
Many gardens have been flooded and/or damaged by Hurricane Sandy. To contribute to the recovery effort all around NYC, GreenThumb, in consultation with the Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities Project Team, offers the following advice for gardens affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Do Not Eat Produce from Flooded Gardens
Many if not all of the flooded GreenThumb gardens are in Zone A. That includes all gardens/farms from Red Hook/Coney Island/ Greenpoint/Williamsburg in Brooklyn; from the Rockaways in Queens; and from the Lower East Side in Manhattan.
Below is a short overview of additional advice and recommendations:
- Flood waters can deposit germs (such as bacteria and viruses) on soil and garden vegetables
- Practice good hygiene (wear gloves, carefully wash hands, etc.) during and after working in the gardens.
- Wait 30-60 days before planting in areas that have been flooded.
- Soil testing is likely not needed, and results would likely be difficult to interpret, except in situations with visible chemical contamination (staining or sheen), significant sediment deposition or other unusual circumstances.
This advice closely follows the New York State Department of Health guidance for residents affected by flooding. The full guidance document is available at http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/weather/hurricane/faq/docs/faqs.pdf
Sections of that document pertaining to gardens include Pages 20-22 (“Flooded home gardens and crop fields”) and Page 31 (“Sediment on outdoor properties”).
For All Other GreenThumb Gardens/Farms (with no flooding)
All gardeners in other areas should evaluate their gardens for signs of flooding, and follow advice above if there is evidence of flooding. In the absence of evidence of flooding, no special precautions are necessary other than to take care when cleaning/removing fallen limbs and other debris from gardens.
Jen from the NYC Compost Project in Queens shared important information gardeners and composters should keep in mind:
If your plants have been touched by floodwaters, instead of putting them aside, you should throw them away, not compost them.
If you have finished compost and organic soil that has been in contact with floodwaters, it is not organic anymore. Anything that has been touched by
the floodwaters will be contaminated with chemicals and should not be used (see tweet from Governor Cuomo in this article).
There is more information about what to do when flood waters contaminate your food crops and soil on Pages 19 & 20 in the New York State Department of Health Disaster Recovery Information Bulletin. NOTE – this bulletin is not specific to Hurricane Sandy. Hurricane Sandy’s floodwaters may contain more chemicals and contaminants that in typical flood water.
Remember Governor Cuomo stated that flood waters can contain sewage and chemicals and that, “After a flood throw out any medicine or food that has had contact with flood waters.”
Filed under: Events, family activities, gardening | Tags: botanical, botanical garden, botanical gardens, childrens gardening, environment, family activities, gardening, New York, public garden, public gardens, Queens
Summertime, and the livin’ is certainly easy!
Late summer blooms are emerging all over QBG — from Joe-Pye Weed in Plants in Community, to Black-eyed Susans in the Perennial Garden — and everywhere in between. Check out the video on our website.
Besides pretty plants, activities abound! Stop by Sundays from 1 to 4pm for the Children’s Activity Table (sponsored by TD Bank) and be sure to bring family and friends to the next concert in the Music in the Garden series — a score of great pop tunes by the band Earth, plus snacks for sale. It’s happening Sunday, August 26 beginning at 5pm.
Visit our Calendar of Events web page for more fun times at QBG!
Filed under: Events, family activities, gardening, Nature, Queens | Tags: botanical, botanical garden, botanical gardens, environment, family activities, farmers market, flowers, gardening, New York, plants, public garden, public gardens, Queens, trees, vegetables
Summer is going by so fast! Somehow we even missed writing the “What to See and Do in June” post. But we’ll make up for it this month because there’s lots going on at QBG.
Flowers, flowers everywhere! Even thought it’s a bit warm, this is a wonderful time to enjoy those glorious summer blooms. The Perennial Garden is full of color (to the delight of our butterflies and bees), and the Floral Border is stunning in the late afternoon sun. Or maybe shade is just what you crave — find a nice spot in the Woodland Garden. The list of blooming flowers is very long — check out the details on our What’s in Bloom web page (and watch for the new design soon!).
Be sure to stop by on Fridays and stock up on fresh produce from the Farmer’s Market. We have two farms offering delectable tomatoes, crunchy green beans, and crisp cucumbers, just to name a few. And Tierra Farms offers tasty nut butters, nuts, and terrific organic coffee.
Great music is on the way July 14th with Radio Jarocho’s sound of traditional Mexican music and dance. To top it off, the great folks at Nixtamal will be selling food — enjoy a picnic! Get details on this concert and the full Music in the Garden Series on our website.
Plus, we’re continuing the popular Children’s Activity Table on Sundays from 1 to 4pm, thanks to the support of TD Bank (plus we’ll have the table set up on Saturday, July 28).
Come visit us soon!