Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Horticultural Society of NY Hosts Elizabeth Barlow Rogers’ New Book Premiere: “Writing the Garden A Literary Conversation Across Two Centuries”

The Horticultural Society of New York (http://www.hsny.org) hosted Elizabeth Barlow Rogers’ latest book:  “Writing the Garden A Literary Conversation Across Two Centuries”

It was Leap Day – a rare calendar happening and a wonderful topper to the lucky-extra day-- another chance to celebrate the joy of gardening with the "Garden Lovers Tribe" who break away from digging and writing and designing gardens long enough to learn even more about the world of plants.

Elizabeth Barlow Rogers was the featured guest speaker.  She doesn’t really need an introduction. She is an award winning doyenne of literary gardening and horticultural architecture and art.  She is the editor of Sitelines newsletter and a library of books.  She is the president of the Foundation for Landscape Studies, a landscape designer, preservationist and writer—three of her books explore New York’s Central Park enriched because of her close association and work there in the great urban park-she was the first Central Park Administrator: http://www.elizabethbarlowrogers.com and http://blog.classicist.org

Rodgers is an almost elfin presence but with a commanding presence and pedigree.  It’s always a bit of a shame that it’s a challenge to hear her diminutive, almost whisper-like voice at a lecture.  And she reads the material  -- so that it’s more of well, a reading, rather than an energized lecture or talk.  But no matter, Rogers is engaging, has the acumen, experience and passion that legions of fans respect and are keen to learn from.   
Her research and curating garden writers who are passionate about the “philosophy, structure, and overall culture of gardens as in the plants they contained,” according to Rogers’ book   is extraordinary, top notch.  We need more of Rogers. Clone this woman!

Rodgers is a pioneer in advocating and emphasizing the culture in Horticulture – pointing the way to the crossroads of art and horticulture and history and literature. 
The book jacket cover, ‘The Garden in its Glory” is a luscious watercolor by artist Childe Hassam, admired for his New York City renderings that are an homage to Gotham.

Rodgers says she produced the book, “Writing the Garden: Books from the Collection of the New York Society Library based on the 2011 exhibition of rare books by garden writers co-curated by Rogers. 

Elizabeth Barlow Rogers signing my copy of Writing the Garden A Literary Conversation Across Two Centuries

The cohort of illustrious gardener writers featured in the book is a Who’s Who, Dream Team of garden writers.  I so love the way Rogers put forth the table of contents based on the lifestyle and passions of the garden writers, including Women in the Garden, Warriors in the Garden, Humorists in the Garden, and Spouses in the Garden.

Your library needs this book.  Order from Amazon:
Or call 1-800-344-4771 or email publisher at info@godine.com

Coming up at HSNY is Urban Gardening (3/16) http://thehort.org/programs_forums.html#uac2012
Keeping Ag in Urban Gardening -- featuring grand landscape design and horticulture gurus from Annie Novak, NYBG (www.nybg.org) and from Randalls Island -- all artists in their own domain: Phyllis Odessey http://www.phyllisodessey.com/ and EunYoung Sebazco http://silverflowerdesign.com/
You won't believe the amazing talent Odessey and Sebazco demonstrated in what surely is the City's first rice paddy.  
It's a fascinating story of edible gardening and urban magic:  http://ricepaddyrandalls.wordpress.com/
Not a surprise that the rice paddy garden captured the attention of no less a food icon than master chef, David Chang from Momofuku fame: http://www.momofuku.com/   

I will attend and cover the glamorous garden news.

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