Chihuly’s amazing sculptures strike fantastic, other-worldly shapes in the New York Botanical Garden’s autumn landscape. Indeed, the leaves and foliage beginning to turn various shades of yellow, orange, pale-pink and tan provide an indelible background for Chihuly’s sculptures. The outdoor works especially shine mirage-like poses amongst the waterscapes, at nightfall and along the paths.
Whether you experience Chihuly in the daytime or prefer Chihuly Nights, his work amazes, startles, enthralls. Unfortunately, this upcoming week and weekend conclude the Chihuly exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden. So enamored of Chihuly amongst the trees and outdoor plantings and in front of the LuEsther Mertz Library, I rue saying goodbye. And I regret that I didn’t attend the exhibit more frequently.
Surely, I’ll long for Chihuly’s “Red Reeds on Logs, 2016,” “Sapphire Star,
2010,” and “Koda Studies” in the Native Plant Garden. When I visit to see the ripe fall foliage, I’ll look for Chihuly, unconsciously. For the sculptures have been integral to the Garden’s loveliness for me this spring, summer, and fall. But though I look, I will see a vacuum with no sculptures. The crews strike his works next week. All too soon this stunning, thrilling exhibit becomes a fabulous memory.
This weekend there were wall-to-wall crowds and beautiful weather. Tickets for the remaining Chihuly Nights are sold out. If you plan to see the exhibit during the week in the daytime, plan to visit earlier than usual. As often happens with exhibits at the Garden, people wake up too late to realize their diminishing chances. The finale has arrived. Thus, plan on wait times for parking if you drive. Go early. That way you can enjoy all of the Garden’s treasures this time of year.
When I went this past weekend, lines and lines of cars thronged the boulevard. And when I finally entered the park, no spots could be found until I followed Magnolia Way up the hill just before the Edible Garden. New Yorkers and out-of-towners walked the paths with their families and appeared to be enjoying every corner of the Garden’s acreage.
Because the weekend weather soothed with spectacular grace, no one wanted to be inside. Moreover, children practiced for Halloween parading in their costumes, enjoying different identities as princesses, pirates, witches and more.
And they had tremendous fun in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. They ran down the paths amongst the spooky-looking scarecrows and pumpkins. On a particularly winding path, I heard a child say to his brother, “The pumpkin scarecrows come alive at midnight.” Works for me.
Families sought and found enormous pumpkins, gourds, and squashes – it was also Giant Pumpkin Weekend, and families came to see these incredible natural wonders.
Kids and parents took pictures standing on them, climbing them, sitting on them, and standing next to them. Giant Pumpkin Weekend, arranged in collaboration with the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth, showed off the growers’ skills at nurturing the hugest (I know that’s not a word), most fantabulous (or that either) pumpkins. Each of these record-breakers from around the world weighed in at more than a ton.
How these pumpkins’ DNA allows them to expand boggles the mind. Importantly, growers come to share how this happens in the growing process during Q&As.
Recapping the record-breakers and their growers for 2017.
This year’s largest pumpkin traveled from Sumner, Washington, bringing with it the North American all-time record. Nurtured by Joel Holland, the “Great Pumpkin” weighed in at 2,363 pounds.
The second-largest pumpkin ever grown came from the United Kingdom, with that country’s all-time record of 2,269 pounds. Ian Paton and Stuart Paton grew this baby.
Finally, at the entrance of the Leon Levy Visitors Center you will find the
largest squash grown in the world this year. This all-time record-breaker grown by Joe Jutras hails from North Scituate, Rhode Island. It weighs in at 2,118 pounds.
If you missed this annual fun event the weekend of 21-22 October, don’t worry. The display continues through 31 October. And if you can’t make it this year, next year the Garden will be hosting amazing record-breaking specimens again. You know they will be even larger.
Another fun event at the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden involved costumes and goodies. Children dressed in costumes visited the Whole Foods Market® Trick-or-Treat Trail. Since Whole Foods offered the treats, you know they had to be nutritious and delicious. No candy corn could be found anywhere on those Whole Foods Market tables. Additionally, children could decorate a bag to collect their goodies, which included a “children’s sized” baby spider plant anxious to receive a new home.
One event I particularly enjoyed took place at the Clay Family Picnic Pavilions. Kids and parents came curious to see what creepy, spooky creatures of Halloween might crawl around, fly, or calm down to be petted. The live animal presentation revealed interesting reptiles from everywhere, perhaps even some backyards upstate or in the South.
In the photos below are the popular Wilma, a lizard who sustained the children petting her with peace and calm, and Skittles the milk snake who also was petted by the children and remained peaceful throughout. One can see the various creatures Saturdays and Sundays, 1 & 3 p.m. until 29 October.
The New York Botanical Garden contains a fabulous and beautiful world of treasures for everyone. If you can catch the Chihuly Exhibit during the day, you will be thrilled.