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Spring is here, and there’s no better place to celebrate it than at The Shops at Columbus Circle, which is teaming up with The New York Botanical Garden to bring the best of the season to New Yorkers. The Shops at Columbus Circle is a prime location to enjoy the blossoms of Central Park, the return of the fountains, and the finest in spring fashion and dining, like the limited-edition scent collection inspired by wild plants and flowers at Jo Malone London. Set on 250 verdant acres in the northern reaches of the city, The New York Botanical Garden is a living museum and a National Historic Landmark.

On April 27, these two legendary institutions will co-host “Potting Up Basil with The New York Botanical Garden” at The Shops at Columbus Circle. This free public event will give New Yorkers and visitors a chance to plant a basil seedling in an eco-friendly, biodegradable pot during an interactive workshop with instructors from The New York Botanical Garden. Guests will also be invited to enjoy Spring Edit offers and take part in a “Spend and Get Promotion,” receiving two tickets to The New York Botanical Garden when they spend $150 or more. In addition, from April 8 to May 7, The Shops at Columbus Circle will be showcasing an installation inspired by the herbs and flavors of The New York Botanical Garden and the Edible Academy.

We caught up with Toby Adams, who is the Gregory Long Director of the Edible Academy, The New York Botanical Garden, to get his tips on flowers and more.

Tell us about your role at The New York Botanical Garden.

I lead a team in planning and implementing garden-based education at The New York Botanical Garden’s Edible Academy, our new year-round campus dedicated to growing plants, cooking with plants, and teaching people about the plants that nourish us. Our participants and visitors roll up their sleeves to help plant and tend the garden and along the way learn organic gardening techniques, how to prepare healthy and tasty recipes, and how to be mindful stewards of Earth.

Why do you think botanicals have been making their way into fashion, food, and even cocktails?

Plants inspire us and are the source of many of the clothes, foods, and drinks we need and enjoy. It’s about time they got credit! Recognizing this with bold prints of favorite plants on our clothes or incorporating plants as the primary focus of a dish or a drink elevates these remarkable organisms to the visibility they deserve.

What’s on the horizon at the Edible Academy?

Visit our new campus to learn about the plants that nourish and sustain us. Our Summer Solstice Weekend, June 22-23, 2019, and our Totally Tomatoes Weekend, August 10-11, 2019, are particularly fun opportunities to exercise your green thumbs and learn creative and delicious ways to prepare plant-forward recipes.

To sign up for “Potting Up Basil with The New York Botanical Garden,” being held from 1 to 3 p.m. on April 27, please register at Eventbrite.

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