Feb 25, 2012

THE TROPICAL GARDEN ...... in New York

It is February, unseasonably warm and scarily so. The cats in the garden are glad about it. Some annuals and other plants not usually hardy to this zone may survive the winter (along with plant pests, which is not a good thing). I should not complain since I generally do not like temperatures under 60 degrees unless I am outside doing fun winter activities with the boys, but this year I really miss the snow. It can transform a dreary day in the city into a magical arena, obscuring and highlighting structures,  create breath-taking monochromatic vistas and mesmerize us as it falls. I do not miss the icy sidewalks and melted snow that form deceptive pools around the intersections. But c'mon! This is February. Where is da snow?






I momentarily shrug off thoughts of global warming and make trips to the conservatory at the New York Botanical Gardens. There I am allowed to bask in the warmth of the tropical environments, worry-free. Those rooms with fluctuating temperatures, filled with lush foliage and exotic flowers are reminders that spring and summer would be far less special if we did not experience the cold and shorter days of winter, or look forward to cooler days when August heat is almost unbearable. Just as plants, insects and animals in North America need a certain temperature range to proliferate, so do tropical flora and fauna for their existence. It is the extremes and all that lie between that create the abundance of diversity that we enjoy today. Any sudden or gradual climate changes can be devastating to the balance necessary for survival of some species of animals and plants that depend on each other. May we continue to have access to the incredible variety and beauty that the earth has bestowed on us and increase our desire and awareness of the need to preserve our beautiful planet. These are photos  were taken at the conservatory. Let us hope that all these plants continue to flourish in their natural habitats around the world for eons to come and not only in controlled environments, like in New York, in February. Enjoy!












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