September 2022 Newsletter

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Garden Conser ncy News va

Healing Gardens, from Eden to Chicago

The Crown Sky Garden at Chicago’s Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital defies traditional ideas of what a garden is. The 5,000 square-foot interior space occupies an 11th-floor outcropping of a 23-story building in the middle of a major city. The expanse of glass walls and ceiling are irrefutably architectural, all geometry and structure, with views out towards the city’s urban fabric. Bold undulating colored resin interior walls create pathways and divide the space into distinct zones that seem more

like outdoor plaza than indoor garden. One section of the wall is covered in “choreographed” interactive LED lights which create images of flowing water, bringing even more color and movement into the plan. Recorded forest sounds are piped in through hidden speakers, and a breeze is maintained by large ceiling fans which also filter sunlight, creating dappled shadows across the floor. All of this manufactured environment is brought alive with imported natural elements. Tall clusters of bamboo fill the raised planters, creating a meandering indoor grove.

Water runs through the stone-filled planters, infusing the space with the sound and smell of a natural stream. Enormous logs provide seating and offer organic tactile surfaces. The combination of natural elements with manufactured surfaces make for a designed experience that is transcendent. It is also highly intentional.

Landscape Architect Mikyoung Kim ( devised the space in 2012, adding it to her growing list of innovative and exceptional projects. The Crown Sky Garden is, before all else, a space intended to speed recovery continued on page 3.

The Crown Sky Garden at Chicago’s Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Mikyoung Kim. Photo: George Heinrich

Each of us knows how the last two years have affected us personally. We have lost loved ones, become isolated, and for many of us the world has become smaller. Amid these challenging and lonely times however, many of us were fortunate to be reawakened to and reminded of the role that gardens can and should play in our lives.

One of the ways in which my eyes were opened to this evolving reality began when I found myself briefly in a beautiful new hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York. I was delighted to discover several new gardens as part of the Hospital Campus. Although all members of the Garden Conservancy would certainly already be aware of the healthful and restorative aspects of gardens and gardening, this suggested something new to me. No longer just decorative plantings to soften the edges of parking lots, the green spaces I encountered were clearly integral to the design of these healthcare centers. More importantly, they were clearly considered as part of the healing process, and not only for patients, but for staff and families as well.

To put this in context I asked design historian Matthew Bird to take a look at how gardens and ideas of wellness have evolved together over the centuries. I’m confident you will enjoy his brief but in-depth history lesson in our feature story. We will continue to discuss this growing aspect of landscape architecture and garden design in future issues of our newsletter.

We are thrilled to announce the recipients of our 2022 Garden Conservancy grants. I hope you will be inspired as you read about these organizations that are changing people’s lives through gardening. Many, many thanks to the committee members who volunteered their time and helped make this happen.

Our Suzanne and Frederic Rheinstein Garden Documentation Project continues with an exciting new effort to tell the stories of Harlem Renaissance Poet Anne Spencer, whose house and garden exist in Lynchburg, VA, and are lovingly cared for to this day as a living testimony to her talents as artist, gardener, and advocatet.

And don’t forget that our Open Days and other public programs (both virtual and in-person) continue into the fall! Visit our website for more information.

Correction on page 4 of the April 2022 Newsletter

Thanks to Polly Laffitte, we were made aware of a misspelling of the name of the landscape designer who worked for Innocenti & Webb and with client Betty Montgomery of Campobello, SC. He was George Betsill. Mr. Betsill was born and died in South Carolina, received his degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia and was a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Thank you Polly for catching this typo!


OF DIRECTORS Courtnay S. Daniels Chair

Robert M. Balentine Vice Chair

James Brayton Hall President and CEO

Susan Payson Burke Secretary

Sharon J. Pryse Treasurer

Benjamin F. Lenhardt, Jr. Chair Emeritus

Mary-Randolph Ballinger

Shelley Belling Allison K. Bourke

Barbara Whitney Carr J. Barclay Collins II Elizabeth Everdell

Lionel Goldfrank III Susan Zises Green Suzanne Kayne Frederick A. Landman Elizabeth Locke Joseph J. Marek

Jean-Paul L. Montupet

Stephen Orr

Suzanne Rheinstein

Katie Ridder

Ann Copeland Rose Jorge A. Sánchez Howard G. Seitz

Christopher Spitzmiller Patricia A. Steffan Dana Scott Westring


Linda Allard

Douglas H. Banker Josephine B. Bush F. Colin Cabot Page Dickey Edward N. Dane Dorothy H. Gardner Thomas B. Hunter III Posy L. Krehbiel Dr. Richard W. Lighty

Susan Lowry Joseph F. McCann Evelyn M. McGee Chapin Nolen Barbara Paul Robinson Deborah G. Royce Susan Stone Nancy Thomas Rodman Ward, Jr. Louise A. Wrinkle

The Garden Conservancy

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Garrison, NY 10524 845.424.6500

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Letter from the President and CEO
Kim Dickey sculpture at Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s David H. Koch Center for Cancer

for children, and to function as an interactive sanctuary for the benefit of children and their families as well as doctors and hospital staff. It is one of an increasing number of therapeutic landscapes exploring the relationship between health and nature. This exploration has a long and rich history.

The Garden Conservancy was founded to support and enhance the belief that our quality of life is improved by direct and active contact with gardens. Gardens are laboratories for exploring, developing, and augmenting that relationship. In his 1912 essay The Gospel of Nature, American nature writer John Burroughs said, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more.” The past few years helped (even forced) many people to appreciate these restorative powers of the land (any land, wild, tamed, manufactured, simulated) as we fought off the isolation and detachment that COVID introduced into our lives. There was a clear divide in lockdown experience between those of us with yards, gardens, access to wilderness, or even just a balcony container garden, and those of us forced to remain inside. Gatherings in already-established gardens or around newly made makeshift backyard fire pits helped maintain a sense of normalcy. Connecting with the outdoors on a country walk or in an urban park helped remind us of both the longer view and slower cycles that power nature. In short, anyone with access to a garden found their lives enhanced, and their emotional state soothed during the

pandemic. It is no surprise that Garden Conservancy membership increased significantly as people looked for ways to offset the headline doom-scrolling and Netflix binge-watching of our COVIDlockdown year.

The health benefits of gardens are understood by anyone who has one or regularly visits one. It is an obvious next step to provide access to gardens for anyone in distress, physical or emotional. But in today’s world of decisions driven by an economic bottom line, lavishing construction resources on anything that can’t be tabulated in a spreadsheet is a tough sell. Gardens need maintenance in perpetuity, making their inclusion in any building plan an obvious funding complication. As scholarship and science continue to identify the measurable relationship between access to gardens and recovery time for patients, the dollar value is becoming clearer, and garden design as a regular part of health maintenance can now fight for its column in a financial spreadsheet. However new this deliberation may be as a financial consideration, it is hardly new as a practice. “Health” gardens of one sort or another have been around as long as we have, providing medicinal tools, spiritual pathways, community anchors, and other necessary means to get us through the complications of life. The concept is not new and has not changed. But the science, values, and the expectations we attach to our healing gardens have undergone many shifts over time.

It Began in Paradise

“Eden” could be considered the earliest design for a healing garden, intended to enhance our physical and spiritual wellbeing. But Eden is hardly alone as a model for linking terrestrial and spiritual paradise. The word paradise itself is foundational to ideas about design, coming from the Old Iranian pairi (around) and diz (wall). Paradise is, literally, a walled garden. Other faiths and cultures have their own Paradise Gardens working as starting points for later ideas about designed landscapes. The most influential of these is the Chahar Bagh, the ancient Persian four gardens of Paradise described in the Quran. Chahar Bagh means four sections, and the quadrants of a chahar bagh are separated by axial crossshaped waterways and paths, meeting in the center at a square pool or fountain. (The best remembered today is the Mughal era Taj Mahal in Agra.) The ordered beauty and irrefutable calm of a classic chahar bagh mask the health benefits it was cleverly designed to support. Spiritually, water was considered a divine gift, providing knowledge and life; the water basins and connecting channels help attach the garden to the divine. The central fountain marks a connection point to the axis mundi, the divine linkage between sky and earth, with water and the four compass points of the quadrants marking our human layer on this divine axis. The water features in a chahar bagh are bold statements of the power of the heavens stopping to inhabit a holy space here on Earth. A garden owner,

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The Crown Sky Garden at Chicago’s Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Mikyoung Kim. Photo: George Heinrich

its visitors, and the people maintaining the space all enjoy a closer relationship to the divine through the intentionality of this design logic. But the water features also serve more mundane functions. Water flows through the garden (usually with tremendous effort, at great distance) and under the temple or palace, evaporating and cooling as it travels; fountains allow evaporation, and bordering plantings help prevent it, creating a large-scale air conditioning system that serves the grounds and the buildings.

Western medicine has cared little for matters of the spirit, focusing instead on the practical, evidence-based science of healing. But doctoring was, for a very long time, linked with faith. Healing the spirit was the same thing as healing the body. Today we dismiss this approach, presuming that it merely filled in where ignorance of science, biology, and germ theory prevented a “better” pathway to health. It is easy to forget how recent this bias is, and how likely it may be labeled just as flawed when considered in the future. Examining the history of therapeutic gardens requires also considering the shifting nature of what we consider good health, and how we divide the physical and the spiritual. The Latin phrase medicus curat, natura sanat (the physician cures while nature heals) has been used to justify this divide, but it is worth considering how symbiotic the dueling job descriptions can actually be.

Healing cults of ancient Greece were established to cure the wounded, but also to

honor Asklepios, the God of medicine. The sixth-century BC Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus in Peloponnesus is known today for its surviving theater and colonnade. The site was originally far larger, including temples, baths, a racecourse, hospital buildings, and extensive healing gardens and orchards. Clearly, healing required much more than merely attending to a wound or relieving an illness. This intentional combination of built environment with natural landscape and planned gardens paralleled Greek ideas about the interdependence of mental and physical health. There was no point maintaining physical health if the spirit was not being nurtured, and if the Gods were not being honored.

With the rise of Christianity, the concept of the paradise garden, with its walls and quadrants, was layered onto this Greek healing garden, creating what we now recognize as the monastery garden. Monastic gardens developed through the Middle Ages to better suit the functional requirements of remote communal Medieval living; monasteries needed to be self-sufficient, growing their own food and providing for their own health. Higher literacy rates in the clergy and the localized production of written texts in cloisters centralized knowledge about healing, herbs, and medicine production. Monasteries became the medieval equivalent of bio-medical think tanks. They also provided compelling written records relating to healing gardens. The Plan of Saint Gall, created around 830 AD, shows a proposed monastic compound, including

labels and lists delineating the function of each garden area and the plants required, giving us a rare glimpse into actual, real-life practice. The area including the infirmary cloister, physician’s house, and medicinal garden (Hortus medicus) is clearly identified. Additional nearby spaces with orchards and pleasure gardens allowed patients plenty of access to the outdoors and different levels of active engagement with nature. In the early 12th century, French abbott Bernard of Clairvaux (official Doctor of the Church who later became Saint Bernard) wrote about his own Cistercian monastery: “Within this enclosure many and various trees prolific with every sort of fruit make a veritable grove which, lying next to the cells of those who are ill, lightens with no little solace the infirmities of the brethren…”

As monasteries lost their influence through the 15th century and were forcibly dismantled in the 16th century, civic and local church hospitals stepped in to assume care of the sick. This dramatically changed the focus of healthcare, removing it from centuries of developed herbal and medicinal expertise and increasing the reliance on faith for healing.

During the Renaissance, pleasure gardens were marvels of planning, created for viewing, strolling, and entertaining, and full of surprising elements like fountains and grottoes. Gone were the bounding walls and quadrangles, giving way to asymmetry and expansive views. Plants were chosen not for any functional use but for the colors of their flowers and their scent.

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Members of the Society of Fellows visited the Chelsea Physic Garden in Chelsea, London, during the Garden History Master Class tour of London and Kent, England, in June 2022. Padua Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico di Padova) with the Basilica of Saint Anthony, 1545, A. Tosini and G Agostini

But there was an equally dramatic transformation going on with herbal and medicinal gardens. Increasingly since the late Middle Ages, universities were training doctors. University gardens developed to support this education; along with the renewed interest in science came a determination to conquer the mysteries of the natural world. Increasing global trade led to the migration of plant specimens from distant locations, and university medicinal plant gardens worked to collect as many species from as many distant cultures and traditions as possible. The most important of these was the Padua Botanical Garden which benefitted from the concentration of trade passing through nearby Venice. It continues today with just enough of its original DNA to illustrate the hybrid of monastic healing garden and Renaissance pleasure garden it offered, still walled, to protect the valuable contents, and still highly ordered with clear geometry controlling the plan, but with a more relaxed and meandering attachment to the gardens surrounding it.

Science Takes on Nature

This split between gardens that gave pleasure to the senses, and gardens that produced medicine predicted a seismic shift in how we began to think about healing. The scientific advances of the Enlightenment valued reason, evidence, empirical data, and a better understanding of cause and effect. This marks the end of the peaceful coexistence of physical and spiritual health. But it also marks the flowering of the golden age of the Physic Garden. Physic gardens are a natural extension of the Medieval monastic garden, with the added energy of scientific discovery and rational analysis. They also perfectly suited developing imperial activities; as European countries explored and conquered ever farther from home seeking spices, precious materials, and lucrative trading opportunities, they were wellpositioned also to bring home an increasingly useful range of medicinal plants. Botany as we still know it was established in 16th-century physic gardens.

London’s Chelsea Physic Garden exists still in its original site, allowing us a rare opportunity to appreciate a classic apothecary garden, the pinnacle of healing gardens. The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries established the garden in 1673 in Chelsea (now part of London), on four acres next to the River Thames, to

grow medicinal plants. Sir Hans Sloane trained there and, once established and successful, went on to purchase the land it was on in 1712, helping to guarantee its stability at the time, and its unlikely survival into our world today. Sloane was able to do so through his numerous achievements. As a pioneering doctor, he practiced smallpox inoculation, eventually becoming President of the College of Physicians and President of the Royal Society. As a businessman he imported quinine to Britain from Peru and Jamaica for the treatment of malaria (as well as thousands of plant specimens for the Garden). He also married into ownership of both a successful Jamaican sugar plantation and the tradition of farming it with enslaved workers. He used the significant wealth this plantation provided to collect the more than 70,000 objects which, upon his death, became the founding collection for the British Museum.

As hospitals developed through the 18th century, our understanding of illness and disease did not advance much. Miasma theory encouraged doctors to perpetuate beliefs from the Middle Ages linking smells and vapors to contamination. Another approach advocated a binary treatment plan of alcohol or opium. A doctor maintaining a survival rate of 50% for surgery patients was considered exceptional. However lacking in sophistication medical practice was at the time, hospitals developed as planned architectural types, including the surrounding grounds in the design. Hospitals were now independent of religious faith, and there was a related change in how the landscape complemented the architecture. Gone were medicinal and herb gardens. 18th-century hospital gardens created park settings for patients to look at and walk through, and buildings that maximized air flow and daylight. The pavilion plan which originated in France,

assembled long narrow buildings in a U shape around a courtyard, with windows on both sides to allow cross-ventilation. Some buildings had designated airing courts where patients could enjoy fresh air or exercise without venturing all the way out of the hospital complex. The curative powers of nature were recognized, but they were not specifically related to or reliant on plants or gardens. Fresh air and open space were the priority. In the late 18th century, Christian Cay Lorenz, a German theorist and academic working in Denmark, wrote about the relationship between patient and landscape: “The garden should be directly connected to the hospital, or even more so, surround it. Because a view from the window into blooming and happy scenes will invigorate the patient… [and] encourages patients to take a walk… The plantings, therefore, should wind along dry paths, which offer benches and chairs…The spaces between could have beautiful lawns and colorful flower beds… Noisy brooks could run through flowery fields… A hospital garden should have everything to enjoy nature and to promote a healthy life.”

William Tuke, the Quaker founder of an innovative 1796 mental institution in

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The Physic Garden, Chelsea: a plan view. Engraving by John Haynes, 1751. Wellcome Collection

Yorkshire, England, believed that plastering the shaved heads of patients with dried Spanish flies might help them. But, he also championed the importance of compassion for and benevolence towards the mentally ill, which was unusual at the time. He introduced farm and garden work as occupational therapy for patients. These ideas (the liberties, not the plasters) travelled to Quaker communities in the United States and became the model for later mental hospitals, influencing ideas about hospitals and wellness in general. The Friends Asylum (or, more fully, the Friends Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason) opened in Philadelphia in 1813, becoming the first psychiatric hospital in the United States. Instead of merely locking up the mentally ill, founder Thomas Scattergood (whose work seems to have realized the promise of his name) provided private rooms with windows, liberty to walk the institution’s grounds, and active work in the farm and kitchen garden. The advances in institution design for mental health continued with the work of Dr. Thomas Kirkbridge who, in the 1850s specified guidelines which were widely influential. He determined that asylums needed one-half acre per patient, with a minimum of 50 acres of gardens and pleasure grounds where patients could participate in gardening and farming. By 1900, twenty-eight states had facilities built according to Kirkbridge’s plan. It is interesting to note that mental illness provided these opportunities to recognize the restorative power of gardening. We understood that mental health is affected by encounter with the natural world but were not able or willing to understand that physical health might be similarly enhanced.

Hospitals Get Designed

Perhaps the most remembered hospital reformer is Florence Nightingale. Although working before germ theory was fully developed, her work as a nurse during the Crimean War helped her see, empirically, that better health was achieved through improved hygiene. The frequent hand washing, fresh air, and functioning sewers she introduced to the hospital compound at Scutari in 1855 dramatically improved conditions and recovery for British soldiers. The shocking statistics that ten times as many deaths were caused by disease (dysentery, typhus, cholera) than from war wounds helped her appreciate the importance of a sanitary environment. After the war, her work to introduce trained nursing into professional medicine transformed hospitals, offering education and new career paths for women. Her extensive and influential writings about the requirements for improved healing are full of observations about air, light, and nature, and influenced hospital architecture. In her 1863 Notes on Hospitals she wrote: “I have seen, in fevers (and felt, when I was a fever patient myself), the most acute suffering produced from the patient (in a hut) not being able to see out of window, and the knots in the wood being the only view. I shall never forget the rapture of fever patients over a bunch of bright-coloured flowers. I remember (in my own case) a nosegay of wildflowers being sent me, and from that moment recovery becoming

more rapid. People say the effect is only on the mind. It is no such thing. The effect is on the body, too. Little as we know about the way in which we are affected by form, by colour, and light, we do know this, that they have an actual physical effect.” These are fighting words! And they helped introduce a new level of attention in hospitals to windows, fresh air, and natural light. But this era was also the beginning of the next major shift in the role of science in healing.

Towards the end of the 19th century, through the combined work of many, including John Snow, Louis Pasteur, Robert Koch, and Joseph Lister, germ theory finally triumphed over older ideas about how disease was spread. Identifying the microorganisms that make us sick allowed us to focus on avoiding and eliminating them. How nature could help us recover seemed as outdated as believing that bad air made us sick in the first place. Antiseptics were augmented by new antibiotics in the 1890s, allowing hospitals to rethink how they housed patients. If windows and fresh air and views were not a scientifically necessary part of medicine, hospitals could adapt

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The Warrior and Family Support Center in San Antonio, TX. Photo: Brian Bainnson

accordingly. Wider buildings with multiple service corridors prioritized efficiency over ambiance. Air conditioning and elevators allowed hospitals to turn from narrow arranged pavilions into enormous high-rise monoliths. Patients could be wheeled from their remote windowless room to wherever the doctor spent his day. Nurses tended to patient transportation as much as they did to patient health. As the 20th century progressed, parking lots took over where landscaped gardens had been. Hospitals had achieved maximum antiseptic functioning, but in so doing also arrived at maximum antiseptic aesthetics. This is largely still our reality today, with many hospitals including plantings only at the entrance, a “front porch” garden. However, the mid-1980s saw the beginnings of a major rethinking of what many saw as the “hospital-asoffice-building” sensibility.

Healing Gardens Arrive in the Spotlight

All academic papers and books discussing the relationship between hospitals and gardens reference the work of American psychologist Robert Ulrich. He is the origin point for today’s explosion of exciting new hospital gardens. In 1984 he published View Through a Window May Influence Recovery from Surgery in Science magazine, a study concluding that gallbladder surgery patients with a view from their room of trees and animals recovered faster and left the hospital sooner than those with a view of a brick wall. He went on to study and write about measurable data linking access to nature and recovery, encouraging hospitals to more intentionally provide access to gardens. Ulrich determined three levels of physical interaction with a hospital

garden. Gardens can provide active physical rehabilitation: improving walking, sitting, and standing, and in some cases actually gardening (horticultural therapy). Gardens can offer less active participation: sitting on a bench, listening to and smelling nature, interacting with other people. Finally, gardens can provide passive participation when they are seen from inside the hospital, through a window. These categories have stayed central to thinking about today’s healing gardens. By 1999 there were many more hospitals with added gardens, allowing Ulrich to assess the progress. He criticized the still-limited advances, pointing out that hospitals which had incorporated gardens did so for the benefit of marketing efforts, not patient health. He identified stress as the most central inhibitor to healing (and to being a productive worker), so reducing stress affects all recovery. He pointed out the additional benefits to existing staff, as well as the hiring advantages in a competitive employment market. Most importantly, he delineated the many studies made since his earlier work and the increasing amount of data, evidence-based, to help justify the added cost of including gardens at hospitals. Without this development period and the growing data accumulated through studies, the healthcare industry would not have evolved as it has to support all of the innovation visible in today’s hospital gardens.

The late 1990s saw a tremendous output of writing (and also data) about hospital gardens. By 1999 there were three books specifically written to advance the cause: The Healing Landscape: Therapeutic Outdoor Environments (Tyson), Restorative Gardens: The Healing Landscape (Gerlach-Spriggs,

Kaufman, Warner), and Healing Gardens:

Therapeutic Benefits and Design Recommendations (Cooper Marcus, Barnes). The online Therapeutic Landscapes Database was launched in 1999 “to offer information and resources to landscape designers about evidence-based design for improving health through healing gardens and restorative landscapes.” It continues today as the Therapeutic Landscapes Network (https:// and offers invaluable resources for designers, reading suggestions, histories, a thorough index of gardens in healthcare facilities, and directory of designers. The site stresses the importance (and explains the methodologies) of evidence-based design (EBD). These tools make it possible for the industry and business of healthcare to calculate the possible savings realized by speedier recovery times, finally making garden design in hospitals more than an academic reality.

Hospital Gardens in Practice

Examining a variety of recent projects establishing hospital gardens helps to illustrate some of the considerations involved and presents some designs and designers advancing hospital garden practice into its next phase of evolution.

Hospitals servicing veterans, being more focused on rehabilitation than many other facilities, have traditionally been more innovative in using their grounds. Someone learning to use a wheelchair will gain better mobility skills with a garden that includes a degree of challenge to mimic real-world obstacles. Ramps, curbs, and design changes in materials, textures, and elevation offer interesting opportunities to a designer, without making the garden too challenging

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Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital green roof. Photo: LiveRoof Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Chicago. Photo: Jeremy Ohmes

for the walking visitor. Someone learning to walk with crutches, a walker, or even an artificial limb, can do so more successfully in a garden that offers support rails or carefully located retaining walls. Quatrefoil in Portland, OR (landscape architect Brian Bainnson and architectural designer Linda Oster (, turned these challenges into features with their design for The Warrior and Family Support Center in San Antonio, TX, in 2008. The paved courtyard blends indoor and outdoor space in a way that makes moving between the two seamless. The adjacent park offers a convenient destination attached to the facility by meandering pathways both paved and gravel, straight and curved. Lawns, flower beds, and water features offer a variety of experiences, textures, colors, and views. Remote seating areas and the multiple covered structures offer reachable destinations, with raised planters and hardscaping lending support and rest if needed. The design allows for both active and passive use of the spaces in smart and attractive ways.

Many recent healing gardens have been added to existing buildings. The limitations on design inserted into an existing footprint, and imposed on an existing rooftop, are significant. At the same time, roof terraces are often under-utilized existing spaces, making it easier for a hospital not able to take on larger interventions to experiment. These rooftop gardens are also frequently already in the sightlines of existing patient rooms and come with expansive views outwards. In 2003, Douglas Hills Associates in Evanston, IL, added a 10,000 square-foot rooftop garden to Chicago’s

already existing Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital. The garden includes walkways, raised flower beds, abundant seating, panoramic views of the Chicago skyline, a flowing riverscape, and room for patients to engage in active horticultural therapy. Because the building was originally designed to support more weight if an additional floor was needed later, it was an ideal candidate for a large rooftop garden.

Green roofs are an increasingly utilized way to add garden space to both existing and new buildings. The 2012 Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital building, includes a 6,000 square-foot green roof, designed by Hargreaves Associates (Cambridge, MA) and engineered by LiveRoof ( Alternating plantings create geometric patterning which is punctured by skylights and ventilation shafts, creating a modern-day parterre and sculpture garden all in one. Green roofs are especially useful in transforming areas of existing buildings that are inaccessible, creating viewing gardens oriented to be experienced from inside the building. Green roof technology allows the added benefit of cooling a building, reducing stormwater runoff, and helping buildings achieve LEED certification. A green roof can add between 13 and 35 pounds per square foot, depending on depth of soil and size of plantings. For existing buildings, this presents logistical and structural challenges, but new construction can easily plan for this additional weight.

Interior gardens are another option for connecting patients with nature, but they present a host of problems. Maximizing the use of a lot, especially in urban settings

where land value affects building density, often means sacrificing an external courtyard, making it difficult to get light into the heart of a building. Interior gardens then need to be on the periphery of the building, claiming valuable window space. Ratcliff, an architectural firm in Emeryville, CA (, turned this challenge into a visually arresting triumph. Ratcliff’s 2011 redesign of the John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, CA, features multiple landscaped roof gardens. But the real surprise is the insertion of a rock and bamboo garden, surrounded by a ring of water, at the bottom of a large circular light well. The well delivers light from a ceiling dome to the floors it pierces and terminates at the bottom in a glasswalled enclosure, allowing visitors to gaze in and up. The rock garden is extraordinary, offering a welcome contrast to the hallway it penetrates, and offering a delightful, contemplative, ordered calm.

Landscape architects Mahan Rykiel Associates in Baltimore, MD (, have completed multiple projects in healthcare facilities and consider therapeutic gardens a core part of their practice. They are especially successful at creating gardens that satisfy active use and passive viewing in a balanced way. The 2010 Mary Catherine Bunting Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, MD, features three rooftop gardens which each address the needs of their adjacent unit, but also function as one unified design. The eighth-floor maternity ward garden is the largest, with fountain, sculpture, trellis, walkways, and extensive seating. It is a garden meant to offer space

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Light well at John Muir Medical Center Walnut Creek Campus, Ratcliff (architect). Photo by Doug Salin The Mary Catherine Bunting Center at Mercy Medical Center, Mahan Rykiel Associates. Patrick Ross Photography

for families and visitors. The ninth-floor intensive-care garden is smaller, offering a more secluded, private, contemplative space. The 10th-floor garden is an inaccessible garden for passive viewing. When seen together, the gardens relate to each other visually and spatially, creating playful three-dimensional interlocking geometry enhanced by the intentional textures and volumes the plantings offer. Rykiel’s Upper Chesapeake Cancer Center in Bel Air, MD, was created as part of the cancer center, but is surrounded by other buildings in the medical complex, making its presence as a passive garden all the more important. The garden is dense with options for a visitor. Pathways and plantings offer spaces for activity and socializing; private seating areas and small water features offer room for contemplation and rest. A labyrinth presents a challenge for visitors, and offers an exciting visual statement calling out to anyone viewing the garden, inviting them to find their way back outside.

Today’s hospital gardens increasingly include sculptural installations, combining fine art with plantings in ways that can be as amusing as they can be inspiring. Sculptures give gardens a year-round stability as the plants change with the seasons. Beechwood Metalworks in Burlington, NC (, created a rooftop landscape of brightly painted metal trees and animals for the Cook Children’s Hospital Cardiology Unit in Fort Worth, TX. The rooftop is transformed into an interactive play area that feels and satisfies like a living garden, but also survives the ransacking play of children in

a place where “keep off the grass” design would work against the function of the garden. Mikyoung Kim, designer of the Crown Sky Garden in Chicago, has created a range of cast bronze animals to enliven the plantings in her new Boston Children’s Hospital plans, which include multiple ground-level and rooftop areas. The thrill of searching for rabbits hiding among the grasses will certainly delight children. Sculptor Kim Dickey ( created an entire collection of monumental ceramic pieces recently installed at the newly built David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City. Although the sculpture garden is perched on the East River, with glorious views north and south, and the garden contains extensive plantings, benches, and walkways, it is the sculpture that gives logic and focus to the terrace. Dickey created monumental geometric shapes encrusted with small, green-glazed terracotta quatrefoils, giving the abstract shapes the visual feel and texture of topiary. These large sculptures divide the long terrace into zones and help locate a series of concrete animal sculptures which, although white, are alive with the textures of various foliage, creating a playful take on topiary animals.

Body and Spirit, United at Last?

These few examples of recent work adding gardens to healing spaces don’t come close to illustrating all of our era’s ideas and efforts for investigating the interconnectedness of the mind and body. But they do highlight how far we have come in our willingness to take on that investigation in an

active, meaningful way. That garden design has moved beyond being merely entrancearea decoration, beyond being a rare addition sponsored only by an enlightened donor, and beyond the indignity of fighting for a voice in the budgeting and planning conversations is significant progress. The history of healing gardens parallels the development (or, more accurately, just the shifting) of ideas about how we define and care for our health. In ancient times we understood that our mind and body were connected, and healing required caring for both. We just didn’t have a very useful or complete grasp of the science involved in the care of the body. As we began to better understand our physical health, we lost interest in simultaneously caring for our spirit. All of the activity in contemporary therapeutic garden design is a welcome signal that we are beginning to rebalance the relationship and get better at tending to both the physical and the spiritual. The quantities of studies, articles, and books, and all of the data they present, are now available not only for justifying the inclusion of a garden in a healthcare facility, but for doing so through evidence-based design in ways that are no longer experimental. We have all of the science and logic our era demands before it will undertake a leap of faith. With any luck, we might at long last be positioned to achieve the right combination of caring for body and spirit that we have been working on for so many centuries.

Matthew Bird is a designer and design historian who teaches Industrial Design at Rhode Island School of Design.

Garden Conservancy News I September 2022 I 9
Upper Chesapeake Cancer Center, Mahan Rykiel Associates. Beechwood Metalworks, Cook Children’s Hospital Cardiology Unit

Construction Drawings Mark the Next Phase in Blithewood Garden Restoration

The excitement is growing and anticipation is building around the new construction drawings for the restoration of Blithewood Garden’s hardscape elements. Blithewood—an Italianate, Beaux-Arts garden designed by Francis Hoppin in 1903—is one of the few complete Hudson River estate gardens remaining from its era. We recently announced that the proposal of New York Citybased firms Jan Hird Pokorny Associates (JHPA) and Integrated Conservation Resources, Inc. (ICR) was selected to create construction drawings for this project. Time is of the essence. Recent Garden Conservancy staff visits to Blithewood Garden, on the Bard College campus in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, show the continuing deterioration of the hardscaped elements. The spalling plaster patches are spreading quickly, and the columns on the summer house are crumbling and they must be held up by temporary posts. The distinctive terracotta elements are so damaged by the freeze-thaw cycle, vegetative intrusion, and crazing of the glaze coating that complete replacement is

recommended in most cases. While the beauty of the garden and natural elements is undeniable and does wonderful job of distracting from these factors, the urgent need for rehabilitation is indisputable.

Kurt Hirschberg, Associate Partner at JHPA, shares his view on the rehabilitation: “The juxtaposition of materials and textures within the garden is an important element in the overall visitor experience at Blithewood Garden. Over time, as repairs have been performed and materials have failed, the original intent of the space has become compromised. Our approach entails careful analysis of the original design intent and faithful replication of the details as Francis Hoppin envisioned. It is our philosophy that this is a restoration not only of the physical details but a restoration of the space and the visitor experience.”

To get involved and learn more about the garden, visit: To support the rehabilitation of Blithewood Garden, please visit

Announcing the recipients of the 2022 Garden Conservancy Grant Program

Through the Garden Conservancy Grant Program, we award grants ranging from $5,000 - $10,000 to nonprofit organizations and small public gardens across the nation making a significant impact in their communities through garden-based programming, with a focus on diverse populations.

This year, we are pleased to award grants to the following 15 organizations selected with input from our 2022 Grant Program Advisory Committee. We are delighted to support their valuable work in their communities across the country.

Read more about our grants program by visiting

Our next grant application cycle will be announced in early 2023. See page 11 to learn more about the 2022 Grant Program Advisory Committee.

Evanston Grows Evanston, IL

Fort Mason Community Garden San Francisco, CA

Garden By The Bay Edgmere, NY

Garden Time Providence, RI (recipient of the Page Dickey Grant for American Gardens)

The Green Scheme Washington, DC

GreenSpacesLA Los Angeles, CA

Groundwork Bridgeport Bridgeport, CT

Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden Seatac, WA

Lake Wilderness Arboretum Foundation Maple Valley, WA Land to Learn Beacon, NY

OSS Project Bronx, NY Resilient Roots West Barnstable, MA

Sidestreams Cincinnati, OH

Terra BIRDS Flagstaff, AZ

Wyck Association Philadelphia, PA

10 I Garden Conservancy News I September 2022
Grant recipient The Green Scheme in Washington, DC


Preserving a Poet’s Legacy

We could not have asked for a more perfect spring week. A warm breeze and eyepopping Spanish Beauty roses set against the iconic robin’s egg blue trellis welcomed us into the sanctuary garden created by Harlem Renaissance poet and Civil Rights advocate, Anne Spencer. Her home at 1313 Pierce Street in Lynchburg, VA, is in the heart of the state and nationally recognized Pierce Street Renaissance Historic District.

It is not unusual for a historic house to survive while its garden falls by the wayside. The Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum represents an exception. This spring, the Garden Conservancy visited this special site to document its historic home and garden and remarkable legacy.

We filmed among some of Anne Spencer’s original plantings to capture the authenticity of the garden. The fragrances and explosion of color from the lush plantings underscored the experiential nature of a visit here. Exuding serenity, it was as if we would encounter Anne herself tending to the garden while we meandered through this refuge comprised of roses, the stone writing cottage, Edankraal, built by her beloved husband, Edward, a series of arbors, and a pond with a statue, “Prince Ebo”, gifted to her by W.E.B DuBois.

Ms. Shaun Spencer-Hester—museum and garden curator, executive director, and granddaughter of Anne Spencer—was our

wonderful host. We conducted a series of interviews, including garden preservationists and cultural landscape experts Peggy Cornett, Curator of Plants at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, and Jane Baber White, the lead designer of the initial garden restoration.

Other experts shared their perspectives about the significance of Anne Spencer and her garden, including Dr. Rueben Rainey, co-founder of the University of Virginia School of Architecture’s Center for Design and Health and co-author of Half my World: The Garden of Anne Spencer, A History and Guide; Dr. Noelle Morrissette, Program Director of African American and African Diaspora Studies at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and author of the forthcoming book, Anne Spencer Between Worlds; and Molly Schwartzburg, curator of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia.

With a bit of serendipity, we met Dr. Treney Tweedy, community leader and former mayor of Lynchburg, as she was preparing to film the garden for a promotional piece for Lynchburg’s designated James River Arts and Culture District. Nurturing relationships with her local community was very important to Anne Spencer; we are grateful to have had the opportunity to engage a diversity of perspectives, underscoring this historic and ongoing connection between the local and

greater communities and Anne Spencer.

Filming continues this fall at the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, and at the University of Virgina Special Archives, which maintains Anne Spencer’s poetry collection. This project, supported by the Conservancy’s Suzanne and Frederic Rheinstein Fund for Garden Documentation, will highlight the garden’s significance to our American heritage and chronicle its evolution from a home and intimate gathering space to a nationally important cultural landscape.

Camille Butrus Mountain Brook, AL Society of Fellows member; community philanthropist

Page Dickey Falls Village, CT

Celebrated garden author, Garden Conservancy Director Emeritus

Kona A. Gray Fort Lauderdale, FL Principal, EDSA

Susan Zises Green New York, NY

Renowned interior designer, Garden Conservancy Board of Directors

Lawana Holland-Moore Washington, D.C. Program Officer, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Wambui Ippolito Staten Island, NY Horticulturist and designer; founder of BIPOC Hort Group

Jennifer Jewel Chico, CA

Award-winning podcast host (Cultivating Place) and author

Abra Lee Atlanta, GA

Founder, Conquer the Soil; 2020 Longwood Fellow

Joseph Marek

Santa Monica, CA Landscape Architect , Garden Conservancy Board of Directors

Shaun Spencer-Hester Lynchburg, VA

Executive Director and Curator, Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum

Jabari Taylor, ASLA Brooklyn, NY Landscape Architect

Lynde B. Uihlein

Port Washington, WI

Founder of The Brico Fund; owner of Afterglow Farm

Garden Conservancy News I September 2022 I 11
Thank you to our 2022 Grant Program Advisory Committee!

Yew Dell Botanical Garden Launches

This year has been a busy one for Yew Dell Botanical Garden in Crestwood, KY. It marks 20 years since the property was saved from development, and plans to turn it into a botanical garden began to take shape.

The 34-acre farmland was transformed into an Arts-and-Crafts style garden by nurseryman and master craftsman Theodore Klein in 1947. The many garden spaces across the property display the diversity of the plants that Klein grew for propagation and pleasure, including more than 60 new variations that he introduced to cultivation. As a novel change to the landscape industry at the time, he showcased to the public how plants could be used in a landscape, helping home gardeners make informed decisions. In addition, Klein created various stone structures throughout the property, such as the famed stone castle built in 1959 as his family’s pool house.

Soon after Klein’s death in 1998, there was pressure to develop the site for commercial use. However, a Friend’s

Castle Gardens Capital Campaign

group was formed and was able to preserve and purchase the property. In 2004, the garden opened to the public. In the early 2000s, the Garden Conservancy helped the garden to prepare a successful nomination report for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and assisted in the creation of a stabilization plan to guide the preservation of the landscape. Klein’s creation and the stewards who have maintained his legacy have made Yew Dell a highly acclaimed and recognized institution in the region.

Celebrations in honor of its second decade of dazzling guests are in full swing, and this spring Yew Dell Botanical Garden officially launched their sixth capital campaign. Five successful campaigns have restored and rehabilitated the grounds, and now they will be exclusively focusing on the gardens. In their news release, Executive Director Dr. Paul Cappiello explains, “we’re ready to give the gardens the same treatment with stunning new gardens that will further our mission—to

spark a passion for plants and gardens through accessible science and inspiring beauty!”

New educational opportunities, water features, and what is sure to be a stunning collection of new gardens—which will be fully accessible to visitors—will be created during this process. The design is being led by the Seattle, WA firm Land Morphology, whose founding partner, Richard Hartlage grew up in Crestwood and knew Klein, giving a unique and intimate perspective to the project.

The re-imagined and transformed horticultural spaces will include the recreation of the Klein family swimming pool, to be used as a water feature and display for water plants, and demonstration rain gardens. Additionally, funds raised through the campaign will be used to hire a full-time horticulturist to maintain and manage the gardens. To follow their progress or to donate to the project, visit

12 I Garden Conservancy News I September 2022

Public Programs and Education

Cultivating Public Program Partnerships

The Department of Public Programs and Education reflects on its growing roster of institutional partnerships and why that’s been good news for programming in 2022. Sometimes, you just can’t do it alone. With its national reach, the Garden Conservancy has a long history of partnering with a variety of other organizations, not only to advance the Garden Conservancy’s mission to preserve, share, and celebrate America’s gardens, but also to support and raise awareness of their complementary work. These ties are showcased more than ever by the Department of Public Programs and Education’s current offerings, and we’re delighted to present opportunities from a wide cross section of American gardening today.

Beginning as a regional initiative in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey in 1995, the Open Days Program quickly went national thanks to partnerships. Wonderfully, we still count several of those original institutions as partners more than a quarter of a century later! Our best Open Days partners are those that that bring local expertise and passionate volunteers.

A star in this regard is Behind the Garden Gate, in Charleston, SC, a perennial favorite occasion in our garden visiting program. A staple in our spring lineup since 2014, the program has been shepherded by the Garden Conservancy’s Chairman Emeritus Ben Lenhardt and presented in partnership with the Charleston Horticultural Society. Behind the Garden Gate not only provides a rare opportunity to visit the

Holy City’s finest private gardens, but also supports the Horticultural Society’s extensive educational outreach to enrich the lives of Charlestonians and visitors to the city alike, and we’re proud of our ongoing partnership with this venerable organization.

Further north, a recently formalized garden partnership has quickly become an institution in Wisconsin. While gardens in the state have been participating in Open Days for many years, we launched a partnership with the Milwaukee Art Museum Garden Club (MAMGC) in 2021 to coordinate visits to extraordinary private gardens in the Milwaukee Area. The MAMGC, established in 1921, is the oldest and largest garden club in Wisconsin. As a supporting organization for the Milwaukee Art Museum, this Open Days partnership supports programming, conservation, and acquisitions for the museum. This year, we’re thrilled to offer an exceptional roster of Open Days gardens in the Cream City, in addition to Digging Deeper and Garden Masters programs that demonstrate that gardening is itself an art.

An increasingly fertile area for partnership are organizations focused on tackling the twin crises of biodiversity and climate change. Take, for example, our relationship with the Perfect Earth Project and its founder, the landscape architect Edwina von Gal. Edwina has been a longtime supporter of Open Days, opening her East Hampton, NY garden, Marshouse, since our inaugural year in 1995. The Perfect Earth

Project is helping to affect change in the landscaping industry, raising consciousness about the dangers of synthetic lawn and garden chemicals to humans, animals, and the environment. It also encourages and educates homeowners and professionals about natural, PRFECT (toxin-free) techniques that provide beautiful and safe results. It was only natural that we partnered with Edwina to conceive and develop our Nature-Friendly Gardens initiative, bringing crucial ecological considerations to the Open Days program. The 2022 Open Days Directory highlighted this initiative, marking gardens that committed to, in Edwina’s words, “not only bring[ing] great pleasure to their owners and visitors but also share[ing] their bounty with as many other forms of life as possible.” Gardens with this designation bear the much-loved nibbled leaf icon in their garden listing. Look for this badge of honor in the 2023 Open Days Directory —and even more from this growing community in 2023!

We also proudly partner with historic organizations, looking to build connections between garden traditions past and present. A renewed friendship in this regard, the Trustees of Reservations in Massachusetts, is also one of the oldest land conservation groups in the world. Founded in 1891, the Trustees maintains a number of historic properties, some 27,000 acres of land, and even served as a model for the celebrated National Trust for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Why then is this partnership just taking off? While the Trustees is indeed old, even ancient by American standards, it’s by no means blind to the new cultural zeitgeist surrounding gardens and

Garden Conservancy News I September 2022 I 13
Edwina von Gal at her home garden, Marshouse, in East Hampton, New York. Christine Ashburn Photography The Kings Garden at Fort Ticonderoga, New York. Photo by Fort Ticonderoga

Public Programs and Education

horticulture. The Trustees has undergone a remarkable interpretive pivot in recent years, transforming itself from an institution known for its historic houses to one known for its historic gardens.

Hosting the final stop of our 2022 National Speaker Series with Troy Scott Smith, the Trustees of the Reservations have blossomed into an anchor of the Open Days program in Massachusetts. We inaugurate this partnership on September 4 with a Free-For-Members Open Day event at two of the Trustees’ properties—the Sedgewick Garden at Long Hill in Beverly and the Stevens-Coolidge House & Garden in North Andover. The capstone of this partnership will be a Digging Deeper appropriately titled “Long Hill Garden: Marrying the Past to the Present,” hosted by Joann Vieira, Trustees Director of Horticulture. We’re proud to partner with the Trustees as they evolve their horticultural focus and to be on the lookout for more co-sponsored programs across Massachusetts in the future.

Partnerships are also a terrific opportunity to highlight the Garden Conservancy’s preservation work. One of our earliest preservation projects, the King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga, has been partnering with the Garden Conservancy since 1992, which the Conservancy has assisted with its documentation, preservation, and restoration during our tenure together. The museum recently reopened its founders house and gardens after an extensive restoration project, continuing the important work jump-started by

our founder Frank Cabot nearly three decades ago. The King’s Garden is a rich and multilayered place with contributions from many early 20th- century in landscape architects including Marian Cruger Coffin and architect Sir Alfred Blossom in addition to sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington. With our long-intertwined histories, we’re pleased to highlight Fort Ti’s recent restoration work with our August 26 event. This in-depth program will feature an intimate tour of the house and grounds offered by Fort Ticonderoga experts Ann Hazelrigg (Horticulturalist-in-Residence), Stuart Lilie (Vice President of Public History), and Dr. Matthew Keagle (Curator) to show the many facets that contributed to the reconstruction of this remarkable garden.

Alongside preservation, partnerships are a great way to highlight the Garden Conservancy’s advocacy work. Beginning in 2019, we enthusiastically supported the Morgan Library & Museum’s proposal for a new garden in New York City, helping to secure approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Since its completion earlier this year, we’ve been partnering with the Morgan on a full season of programming to highlight the new garden, including an Open Day on June 17 and a lecture by designer Todd LongstaffeGowan on September 26. In his lecture, Todd will explore how the financier J. P. Morgan had always intended to have a garden outside his handsome library, for which he may have even engaged Beatrix Farrand for a time, as well as purchased antiquities for the space.

Todd included several of those antiquities in his design, along with improved lighting and new signage in conjunction with an extensive exterior restoration of the 1906 landmark.

Also in the lineup this fall are two Digging Deeper partners, one on each coast, one relatively new

and the other even more ancient than the Trustees. On the West Coast we’re delighted to offer a special tour of Apricot Lane Farms in Moorpark, CA September 23 , the subject of the hit documentary The Biggest Little Farm (shortlisted for an Academy Award). Attendees of the “The Biggest Little Tour” will see firsthand the pioneering organic processes that has elevated Apricot Lane Farms into a model for the future of vegetable gardening worldwide. Back on the East Coast, the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, is offering a Digging Deeper, “The Arnold Arboretum by Design” September 24 , about their newest landscape projects, from elevated boardwalks to refined entrances, and how each project is predicated on a history of great design in the public realm.

We have also extended our preservation and philanthropic work into grant giving, awarding grants to small public gardens and nonprofit organizations making a significant impact in their communities. The Department of Public Programs and Education is thrilled to have before us a new pool of potential partners, and this fall we’re very excited to offer the first program in collaboration with one of our grant recipients. This Garden Master Series event, scheduled for September 10, is entitled “Reimagining and Redefining the Urban Garden” and was designed around the grantee Garden by the Bay, a community garden in Edgemere, NY. The Garden by the Bay received a $10,000 award from the Conservancy towards the completion of a project that incorporates and upcycles full-scale architectural mockups into the garden landscape. The first structure, donated by a condominium developer, has found a permanent home in the garden and been repurposed as a greenhouse, storage facility, and community center. This organization works at the intersection of sustainability and creativity and provides an exciting pilot for New York City’s 500 other community gardens. This Garden Masters event will serve both as the formal opening of the structure and will also support further fundraising opportunities to allow the garden to continue their important work.

Our growing family of partners means a growing menu of programs for the public, underscores our history of preservation and advocacy work, and will help chart the evolution of America’s gardening traditions.

14 I Garden Conservancy News I September 2022
The garden at Apricot Lane Farms

The Garden Conservancy is pleased to announce our ongoing cultural partnership with the San Francisco Fall Show. Now celebrating its 40th year and new affiliation with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Show is the longest running art, antiques, and design fair on the West Coast, renowned and respected across the globe and an integral part of the San Francisco Bay Area’s art and design communities.

The Garden Conservancy is delighted to host a benefit luncheon at this year’s Show honoring friends of the Conservancy Michael Boodro — host of The Chairish Podcast and former Editorin-Chief of Elle Décor and Martha Stewart Living, among many other prestigious positions within the editorial and design world — and Suzanne Rheinstein —

internationally renowned interior designer, best-selling author, and Garden Conservancy board member.

Our Garden Conservancy luncheon will take place at noon on Friday, October 14, at Fort Mason’s Festival Pavilion. Guests will be treated to a panel discussion with Michael and Suzanne directly following the luncheon.

Proceeds from this event will support the Garden Conservancy’s national preservation work — specifically, in part, a grant to aid the restoration of Black Point Historic Gardens at Fort Mason, often referred to as the “sister garden” of Alcatraz. Originally created in the 1850s, Black Point Historic Gardens became neglected, untended, and fenced off for 65 years until the Gold Gate National Parks Conservancy

began restoration in 2018. In 2021, the gardens opened to the public for the first time in the site’s history. The Garden Conservancy is pleased to support and publicize this important local preservation effort.

Susan Bechtel

Shelley Belling Allison Caccoma

Elizabeth Everdell

Kaye Heafey

Suzanne Kayne

Katie and Steven Merrill

Mary Read Suzanne Tucker

Bunny Williams

Garden Conservancy News I September 2022 I 15
Thank you to our honorary luncheon committee!
To become a sponsor of this event or to purchase tickets, please contact Sarah Parker at
Black Point Historic Gardens Photo: Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy



A special thank you to the Open Days garden hosts who generously welcomed members for our Free-For-Member days.

Garden of Bunny Williams

Falls Village, CT

Bunny Williams & John Rosselli

April 30

Clove Brook Farm Millbrook, NY

Christopher Spitzmiller & Anthony Bellomo

May 7

The Mountsier Garden Nutley, NJ

Silas Mountsier & Graeme Hardie

June 4

Dragon’s Lair—

The Demianew Garden

Bainbridge Island, WA

Suzann & Paul Demianew

June 5

Rockland Farm Canaan, NY

Ian & Madeline Hooper

July 24

In Situ

Redding, CT

Michael Marocco

August 27

The Stevens-Coolidge Garden North Andover, MA

The Trustees of the Reservations

September 4

Long Hill Beverly, MA

The Trustees of the Reservations

September 4

Ruth Bancroft Garden Walnut Creek, CA

The Ruth Bancroft Garden

September 7

The Gardens at Clock Barn Carlisle, MA

Michael & Maureen Ruettgers September 17

Become a member and connect with a national community that shares your interests and passion for gardens. Your membership will advance the meaningful work of the Garden Conservancy and the vital activities that support our mission to preserve, share, and celebrate America’s gardens and gardening traditions.

Thanks to the support of our members, we can present hundreds of educational programs across the country each year that offer opportunities to learn, interact, and inspire one another. Member support also assists us in the restoration and safeguarding of our most important cultural landscapes through our preservation and documentation work.

Our online credits system offers members the flexibility to use their complimentary credits for Open Days admissions or Virtual Talk registrations. By joining now, you can participate in our fall and winter programs at the member price and will be one of the first to receive a complimentary member copy of our Open Days Directory when it ships in February 2023 (our 2022 directory sold out)!

Memberships start at $50 and include a full year of exclusive member benefits!

Learn more and join us by visiting membership or call 845.424.6500, M-F, 9-5 ET.

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Dragon’s Lair — The Demianew Garden in Bainbridge Island, WA Clove Brook Farm—the garden of Christopher Spitzmiller & Anthony Bellomo Free-For-Members day on May 7. Photo: Brian Jones
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