Friday, April 24, 2015

New York Botanical Garden Antique Garden Furniture Fair Preview Party & Collectors' Plant Sale

Last night I had the delightful pleasure of attending the The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) Preview Party for its annual garden ornament show,  Antique Garden Furniture Fair: Antiques for the Garden and the Garden Room.

While the weather whistled February, the calendar is adamantly demanding it is spring.  
For those "Doubting Thomas'" the pretty pink cherry blossom trees accessorizing the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory like strands of pink pearls, left no doubt.

Breezing past the too-chilly terrace area and cocktail bar, we were warmly greeting by the Garden's President, Gregory Long -- who was chatting with the doyenne of domestic bliss, Martha Stewart.  Martha looked all creamy in her toasted caramel jacket and said a hello before setting off to buy her plants.  

A Martha fern selection

NYBG President Gregory Long showcases Plant Collections

Inside the tented Garden Furniture Fair, the guests were aflutter snatching up the gorgeous plants that filled the first room.  NYBG provided a three-page/double-sided plant list for the Collector's Plant Sale.  A horticulturist's dream… In fact, the plants were all sold -- within 30 minutes!  While it didn't look like sales day at Macy's - it's much too elegant an affair - one had to be quick as a bunny to get your plants on!
SoPH student, Jared, helps carry out Sold plants with EunYoung Sebazco

Speaking of bunnies, decorator Bunny Williams was front and center, signing copies of her just released book, On Garden Style - an update on her 1998 book.  Williams was resplendent in her robin-egg blue fashion - that accented the equally stylish piece of "couture" garden art shimmering behind her like a bit of a royal crown.  
I learned from Bunny that her team borrowed the Garden Pavilion from a bit of garden royalty: Barbara Israel the Queen of all things garden-antiques. 
Bunny Williams

Barbara explained the provenance of the the Garden Pavilion.  She bought it in Chicago - and it most likely arrived in the Windy City by way of England, according to her research.  
Barbara Israel
It is a towering 14 feet and seven feet in diameter - so it had to be "squirted" into the NYBG Fair tent on its side and then raised up by a hand-cranked gantry.  
We agreed that in its "cover look" beauty it will be sure to attract a buyer who will find the one-of-a-kind whimsical Garden Pavilion irresistible.  And who can write a check $65,000. 

In general, there was an abundance of gorgeous iron collectible furniture and accessories, along with garden statues and fountains.   

All of the treasures are unique -- you just know there's a story to go along with each one;  part of the charm of owning an antique that just oozes quality and provenance.  

You will have the opportunity to peruse and buy from today, April 24, through Sunday, April 26, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day to get your plants and antiques from NYBG's 23rd annual garden ornament show.

Debuting at the Preview is the Garden's first foray into paint colors!  The NYBG Shop in the Garden dug  into its rich archives - as they did for the Oscar de la Renta Collection -- to unearth (sorry - too rich!) lustrous, natural garden colors for the home, as produced for NYBG by their branding partner, Prestige. Garden Glamour readers stay tuned: more about all this brand extension initiatives and products to come. Very exciting! 

According to NYBG, this is the country’s original, largest, and most important venue for authentic garden antiques features more than 30 leading exhibitors offering their finest pieces for sale, displaying centuries of classic design inspiration gathered from across the United States and Europe. The Fair is a must for leading collectors and designers as well as buyers seeking professional advice. Named the “Best in America” by the experts and long held as the most renowned stage for authentic garden antiques and rarities, the annual Fair showcases fascinating antique furnishings and objects, an expansive collection of ornament, decorative art, and timeless furniture for the home and garden. 

All proceeds directly support the work of the curators and gardeners who are responsible for making The New York Botanical Garden one of the most important horticultural showplaces in the world.

"New this year, the Show features a Young Collectors’ Evening on Saturday, April 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. Up-and-coming designers and those with an eye for style can sip a complimentary cocktail, get expert advice from the antique dealers, and enjoy an exclusive tour by the Show Director. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Stephen STARR Events. Special Event tickets are required."

Admission to the Antique Garden Furniture Fair on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is included with the All-Garden Pass. Experts will be on-hand to answer questions on current decorating styles daily. They will also discuss trends in the appreciation and acquisition of garden ornament as well as assist buyers looking for the perfect piece to complement a garden, landscape, or interior.

Here you can browse and buy unique items of the highest quality and provenance, including fountains, sundials, statues, bird baths, gates, garden benches, antique wicker, urns and planters, botanical prints, and architectural ornament. Additionally, there will be exhibitors offering an array of interesting ways to bring the outdoors inside by creating garden rooms in your home.

Located at the entrance to the Antique Garden Furniture Fair, a Garden Room features a Specialty Plant Sale with an extensive selection of unusual, colorful plants representing some of horticulture’s finest growers. A variety of shrubs and trees, including Japanese maples, Itoh peonies and other perennials, as well as annuals and herbs will be available. Here, refreshments will be available for purchase, and an afternoon tea service will be hosted, accompanied by live music performed by classically trained artists.

The Antique Garden Furniture Fair takes place in a tent amid the flowering trees, plants, and shrubs outside the landmark Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Please visit our Web site for information about the All-Garden Pass, which includes access to the Fair, Botanical Garden grounds, Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, and Tram Tour. Advance tickets are available online at

Preview Party People

It was good to see the always dashing, John Danzer - Munder Skiles.

Cutest handbag ever for a garden party!

Me and author & editor friend: Stephen Orr

Garden Specialist Renny Reynolds & Virginia Newman, Pennoyer & Newman 

2015 Exhibitor Listing

American Garage                                                        Los Angeles, Calif. (
Antediluvian                                                    Lake Placid, N.Y. (
Arader Galleries                                                   New York, N.Y. & Philadelphia, Pa. (
Balsamo                                                                        New York, N.Y. & Pine Plains, N.Y. (
David Bell Antiques                                            Washington, D.C. (
Blithewold Home                                                            Mount Kisco, N.Y. (
Joan Bogart                                                        Oceanside, N.Y. (
Brennan & Mouilleseaux                                      Northfield, Conn. (
Cherry Gallery                                                    Damariscotta, Maine (
Cottage & Camp                                                 Philadelphia, Pa. (
Scott Estepp Gallery                                            Cincinnati, Ohio (
Fine Antique Prints                                             Wayne, Pa. (
Finnegan Gallery                                                 Chicago, Ill. (
Firehouse Antiques                                              Galena, Md. (
Fleur                                                                 Mount Kisco, N.Y. (
Hamptons Antique Galleries                                  Stamford, Conn. (
Jeffrey Henkel                                                      Pennington, N.J.
Barbara Israel Garden Antiques                               Katonah, N.Y. (
Greg K. Kramer & Co.                                         Robesonia, Pa. (
Judith and James Milne At Home Antiques              New York, N.Y. & Kingston, N.Y. (
Aileen Minor                                                      Centreville, Md. (
More & More Antiques                                        New York, N.Y. (
Pagoda Red                                                        Chicago, Ill. (
Francis J. Purcell Inc.                                           Philadelphia, Pa. (
The Red Horse Antiques                                       Bridgewater, Vt. (
Schorr & Dobinsky                                              Bridgehampton, N.Y. (
Shop in the Garden                                              Bronx, N.Y. (
Linda & Howard Stein                                         Solebury, Pa. (
The Sugarplum                                                   Wilmot, N.H. 
Village Braider Antiques                                       Plymouth, Mass. (
Bob Withington Antiques                                     York, Maine (