Sunday, March 25, 2018

Dining by Design DIFFA Tablescapes at the Architectural Digest Design Show

Benjamin Moore’s “Caliente” Dining by Design Tablescape

The Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) Dining by Design tablescapes are an over the top, giddy highlight of the annual Architectural Digest Show. While this is a fundraiser and a serious cause that deserves our continued support, t’s a key feature of the AD Show and shouldn’t be missed. If you love tablescapes and table designs and entertaining - this is the Architectural Digest Show you must see. 

Our press tour provided a sneak peek of the styled vignettes with a poignant AIDS message rendered in a tablescape design, with access to the designers who shared their inspiration and design elements.

Benjamin Moore. (I have these same Moroccan candles in a variety of gem tones!) The Caliente color was a radiant highlight of the “Night in Tangiers” tablescape theme.

The most romantic, dreamy tablescape was created by one of my favorites: Ralph Lauren Home. Their entry was inspired by Lauren’s Paris courtyard restaurant. The blue-hued vignette featured four different patterns to mix and match: new blue ticking, the brand’s new blue and white graphic Cote d'Azur plates that look crisp and inviting as a classic still life - especially with the blue and white hydrangea centerpiece. Lauren also introduced basket weave wine totes with blue and white linings. Loved the campaign table composition with the wine totes and accessories.

Crate & Barrel Tablescape design amplifies the brand’s iconic ampersand - and a clean, sophisticated, graphic look in the brand's endiuring Black and White color combo. Emerald green banquettes are available as a classic, custom-design, and all the other products are for purchase now.

The porcelain radial design at Florim4Architects who partnered with Studio TK/Teknion included a "timeless" and fabulous creative: a round dining pavilion featuring the brand’s porcelain tiles in shades of grey on a low table with seat puffs. The napkin rings are a stroke of genius -- watches! The timepieces amplify the time theme. All the tabletop items are Crate & Barrel.

One Kings Lane - a serene space inspired by a Moroccan theme with lots of layers and their outdoor rattan furniture.

The Sunbrella tablescape was warm and more formal tablescape, featuring their iconic sunset/sunrise turquoise and orange colors. Love the ranunculus floral centerpieces flanked by artful gallery busts by . The chairs were covered in embroidered names of famous artists.

This whimsical twist on a Vermeer Dutch master was elegant and sophisticated is from the Rottet Studio. Note the classic fruit and flower still life centerpiece. A mix of black and plum colors in lacquer and other finishes; grape wisteria accessorize the walls; Fendi Casi chairs are sublime.  And the twist on the "Girl with a Pearl" painting is hilarious - look close and you see she's wearing a plastic bag on her head! Love it.

Inspired by Spring is Luxe Magazine’s fantasy cocoon designed by Wesley Moore. From the floral chandelier to the Cowtan & Tout fabrics and layered china -- this is an inspired display.

Be sure to spend time at the DIFFA tablescape show for ideas and entertainment. In addition, you can bid on the silent auction items. It’s for a good cause.

And what could be more key to tablescapes than the actual table?  In a gesture of true "Table Manners" - Top Reveal's senior editor, Kate Evans, saw this post and reached out to tip me off to her curated list of top table furniture finds for the home.  Thanks for the Garden Glamour, love, Kate!  I like your style! And after perusing your list, I am hard-pressed to choose which one I like best; however I am taken with the Chevron, Vintage, and Classy Round designs.  Those looks called out to me.

Back to DIFFA. A portion of the proceeds from all ticket sales benefits Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA). To learn more about DIFFA, visit I did two years ago and while it was a nail-biter of a finale - and more than a bit over my budget (!) - I have never regretted the purchase and adore my peacock Lenox china service; the table settings are an enduring, delightful, and elegant design element to my own inspired tablescapes.

To purchase tickets, visit


DIFFA Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS raises awareness and grants funds to organizations that fight HIV/AIDS by providing treatment and direct-care services for people living with or impacted by the disease, offering preventative education programs targeted to populations at risk of infection, or supporting public policy initiatives. DIFFA is one of the largest funders of HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the U.S., mobilizing the immense resources and creativity of the design community. Since its founding in 1984, DIFFA has emerged from a grassroots organization into a national foundation based in New York City with chapters and community partners across the country that working together provided more than $42 million to hundreds of HIV/AIDS organizations nationwide. To learn more, visit

Friday, March 23, 2018

Architectural Digest AD Design Show 2018 Sneak Peek

Gaggenau Arftul Refrigerator Introduction at AD Design Show 

Architectural Digest
Magazine’s annual confab is truly one of the best presentations for home decor, design, and tablescapes and is a rare event that appeals to both the professional designers and the home enthusiast.

The press preview day provides us reporters & bloggers with a sneak peek so that we can give give you, our audience and subscribers, an experienced road map to deliver the best possible experience.

If you love designing your home; cannot stop watching HGTV or have a lifetime subscription to all the shelter magazines, including Architectural Digest, of course, as well as Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Garden Design, Dwell and subscribe to a plethora of design blogs, (hopefully, my Garden Glamour and She Knows), then this show is your happy place.

This weekend, the AD Show is open to the public. You can experience talks, lectures, one-on-ones with designers and makers from over 400 brands, and bask in the glory of creative home design -- interior -- and some exterior elements.

Get your tickets at the show or here

After touring the show, I feel there are two key Trends:.
  • Technology and Art
  • Form and Function
  • Lighting 
While there’s no doubt that that these trends have been spooning for some time, this year it seemed that love had truly blossomed.

What does that mean?

Overall, all the brands have Apps - either their own or their own that work in concert with Alexis and Nest to provide customized management and control. From Baldwin’s keyless entry and security to the kitchen manufacturer’s appliances -- start up your dishwasher on the way home or take your guests’ coffee preferences a la Starbucks to create a barista home experience.

Coffee stations were big on the trend list. Ahh, for us java lovers, this is just next to food porn.

An extraordinare example of art and technology is seen at Gaggenau who premiered refrigerators that were handle-less - opened with a touch of the hand. Magic? Perhaps.

The art element was astonishing. Gaggenau showed a refrigerator with surface art rendered by the Los Angeles large format artist,Rob Hill

Flanked by wine coolers on either side of the artful refrigerator with a particularly cool element: a pull out tray - set to serve up to guests!  I like it.

Gaggenau told us they’d work with any artist to apply the art to the refrigerator front. Your own art? Your children’s art project? A photo of your favorite nature spot or … The possibilities are endless, really and quite exciting.

I just adore this design element. So many options to customize and express your own design aesthetic.

Gaggenau also showed a deep, New York black classic, no handles refrigerator. After all, black is the new - well, black. Love this.

The Sous Vide appliance built-in Gaggenau showcased appeals to not only the classic (french) chef in all of us who adore that precise level of ingredients but also to the home culinary enthusiasts who prefer to prepare or have delivered portion control recipe packs. 
Booth 387, 393.

Thermador showcased their Masterpiece Collection that included their Freedom induction option, and using the same home app as their sister company Gaggenau, Home Connect, you can curate everything in the kitchen from content to cooktop to wine coolers to telling the ventilation hood system to turn on and coordinate with the cooktop.

TFT displays are ubiquitous.

Remote start option are the cool control.  Even in home door locks.  Baldwin Hardware - known for their hand-crafted door and cabinet hardware (we have a gorgeous Baldwin on our front door) showed their new line they created in collaboration with a California designer, Erinn V and her line of Hollywood Hills.

New technology in their other lines of prestige products include one-touch door open using an App.  Very nice feature. And good looking products to fit a variety of home designs.

The Thermador dishwashers feature star sapphire theater lights - but now, consumers tell Thermidor they want more of an entertainment dishwasher so more light colors are available on the App. Why not?
 Thermador's big refrigerator is in a kind of "camo!"

The dishwashers are now available are a faster drying element - generates heat (they acknowledge can’t dry plastic entirely - but hey - hopefully you’ve been weaned off of plastic by this point.) and their largest-ever glass capability - up to 24 glasses on the top and bottom.
Booth 387,393.

On the other end of the size spectrum, the company’s Bosche lineup featured products tailor made for smaller, city-sized kitchens. These kitchen suite home appliances can fit a metro apartment with a dishwasher and cooktop and refrigerator that appear big and sleek, with up to 30% more storage than previously available.
Booth 387, 393.

Lighting design innovations were led by a relatively new company, Kings Haven who prior to launching their own artisanal, family-fueled enterprise, have many year and projects as part of their historic and estate restoration pedigree. Now, they create custom lighting, accessories, and furniture. The company’s presentation and products and hospitality is all first-class.  

Be sure to check them out at Booth 714.
Lighting is everything in creating a dramatic home decor. Just ask any Hollywood or Broadway designer or actor.

I love the quality and hand-craftsmanship of Rangecraft - a Garden State stalwart who glamourize a cooktop hood like nobody does. There’s the Swarovski Crystal hood that is sigh-worthy. And their new clock hood and antique finishes that can be distressed to your desire. Nice custom design feature and service. Note: the company rightfully extols their craftsman and the five year apprenticeship training program.
And Rangecraft is now the official partner of the NY Jets.
Booth 485.

Also not to be missed is a favorite design artist: Dagmar Weinberg. I was smitten with Dagmar’s art the first time I encountered her transfixing, erotic and utterly unique photographs a few years’ ago. I’m now the proud owner of an original Dagmar cherry blossom art work. Sighhh… It’s so beautiful. You can view and buy Dagmar’s photography manipulated art as well as her new silk scarves. With quality top of mind, Dagmar did not just get any old anybody to craft her artful scarves. No. She researched and invested with the same artisans who do the Hermes and Vuitton scarves. Dagmar is offering a special show price - so be sure to take advantage and get your wearable art. It’s enduring and luxurious. Booth 417.

And Pennoyer & Newman -- just back from their Parisian triumph - are at the show again this year with a line of splendid handcrafted planters, containers, and sculpture that you can add to your garden art compositions. I use them as often as I can with my garden design clients - adding a sophisticated, timeless look. Plus, I just love that Virginia …

I will write more in a next post about the Diffa by Design showcase at the AD Show. The tablescapes are created by a number of artisans and brands to showcase “over the top” table art and dining environments - and to raise monies for AIDS awareness and to fund organizations that provide treatment and care services. Stay tuned for this - one of my most favorite elements of the AD Show.

Echo Design showcased their scarves, home decor bedding, as well as the professional lines of indoor and outdoor fabrics and wallpaper.  New for tablescapes is the collection of jewel-toned placements that are high quality basket weave with stitching. This will be great to use in a number of bold tablescape narratives.

Love these sunrise/sunset color fabric options at Echo.  Plus I got to meet and pose with the grande dame of Echo, Dorothy Roberts!  What an honor.

Now, as a garden designer, I'm not bullish on artificial "plant material."  However, I'm open-minded and can appreciate the need to use in certain applications. Think rooftops, too shady, and now with climate chaos: too much deer or too much salt water and well, the concept is ahem, growing on me.  I discovered New Growth Designs who are showing some very impressive faux plant looks.  I learned the company has been in business for more than 70 years, still does fresh flowers, and as the principle Ed Glenn told me, they were doing so well with their silk floral designs that many landscape architects and designers asked them to make garden products in the faux material.  The booth has topiaries, faux turf - a black and white with grass checkerboard (like one of my garden design clients has - except with real turf), and green "walls."   There is surely a place for these products.

It was a pleasure to meet Alex Puddy the British principle at his UK-based Architectural Heritage who's returned to the show after a seven-year hiatus.  And with a name like Puddy - he's just something out of Paddington Bear.  Nice learning about his artisanal process and dedication to quality products.  His planters are first-rate and so are his garden sculptures.  I love the look.  And so do the Rockefellers...

I'm also keen for the MADE suite of artisanal craftspeople and their unique design concepts.
New to me this year is a very creative new planter composition created by the architect principle, Drew at Prism Planters by the Principle.  The shiny corten steel planters are modular and can be customized to your garden site in three gem-like colors: bronze, silver, and well, black.  I love the bench.


Nourison at Booth 419 featured some very, very luxurious and glamorous rugs and pillows.
My favorite was the glittery malachite!  

And is there a place for this gold, stenciled, cowhide rug?

Just get to the show and see for yourself!

Such glamorous design. 
How adorabley-fashiony is this Smeg refrigerator with a Dolce & Gabbana look?!

You can walk the show, dine and shop and bask in all the decorative arts all weekend long.  Don't miss it. 


Some of the must see items as noted by the AD Show include:
The AD Apartment - presenting bold ideas and "sophisticated solutions for cosmopolitan design enthusiasts - with a contemporary loft vignette.

Designer Focus:  A clutch of designers come together in this new section to showcase four distinct interiors.  Here you can see how their creativity interprets the space. Plus you can meet the designers. 

Associative Design:   This was organized by the Portuguese Association of Wood and Furniture Industries (AIMMP) - another new installation.  Here the mix of "design, innovation, and technology" celebrates the artisanal craftspeople who create and make furniture, lighting, and objets d'art. 

Highlights and featured areas at the show include:

REFRESH: As one of the largest collections of kitchen, bath, luxury appliances, and premium building products in North America, this section features introductions from more than 75 companies. Attendees will discover new technologies and state-of-the-art designs in kitchen appliances and cabinetry, bath, decorative hardware, countertops, stone, tile surfaces, doors, and more. This year’s exhibitors include Artistic Tile, Aster Cucine, Cesar NY, DACOR, Jenn-Air, Miele, Porcelanosa, Rocky Mountain Hardware, Rohl, and Sub-Zero and Wolf to name a few.

FURNISH: An expanding assemblage of contemporary and classic furniture, lighting, carpets and rugs, decorative accessories, textiles, and art completes the offering. Attendees will find great design for residential settings from companies such as Atelier de Troupe, Benjamin Moore, Costantini, Hunter Douglas, KOKET, Perigold, The New Traditionalists, and Warp & Weft. The section touts an impressive mix of brands from Europe and Asia including Royal Botania, Sony Life Space UX, and Vaughan Designs.

MADE: The juried MADE section is a resource for handcrafted, often limited edition or one-of-a-kind furnishings, accessories, and art pieces. More than half of the 2018 exhibitors are new to the fair. This year’s lineup gathers emerging talent from across the country including local Made-in-New York pieces by Avram Rusu Studio, Birnam Wood Studio, Consort Design, and Slash Objects; California-based makers like Chris Earl, Coil and Drift, Michael Felix, Natan Moss, and Nate Cotterman; and international artisans such as Paul Emile Rioux and Simon Johns.

SHOPS: The show offers a retail boutique of décor, gifts, tabletop accessories, objets d’art, and more, available for immediate purchase from brands including Ariana Ost, Borough Furnace, Christophe Pourny, Hazel Village, KONZUK, Night Space, Richard Clarkson Studio LLC, and Rikumo.

The Dacor Stage: Presented by Dacor, the show’s new theater space will be a prime destination for those looking to further immerse themselves in the design world. Attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to hear from the world’s top design leaders on a variety of topics. Speakers include Aerin Lauder, Alexa Hampton, David Monn, Ellie Cullman, Genevieve Gorder, India Hicks, Jason Oliver Nixon & John Loecke, Jeffrey Bilhuber, and Victoria Hagan. The panel discussions and programming segments will take place throughout all four days of the show. In addition, Architectural Digest Editor in Chief, Amy Astley, will lead a keynote discussion on Saturday, March 24.

The programming will be complemented by a variety of in-booth events, including culinary demonstrations with chefs from around the world, book signings, product presentations, and more.

General Admission tickets Friday through Sunday are available for $30 online or $40 at the door. VIP Consumer Tickets on Thursday are available for $95. Admission is complimentary to the design trade with two forms of business credentials via online pre-registration. To purchase tickets, visit

Design This Look: How to Create an Elegant Garden-Green St. Patrick's Tablescape - with a Nod to Irish Ladies in Literature

Where to begin when setting out to design a green-themed, St. Patrick’s Day styled Tablescape?

Put on your emerald earrings and bracelet, of course!

Then, plan your tablescape outline. For me, this design was not to be a major presentation. After all, I wasn’t planning a dinner party or brunch for guests. It was for Bill and me.

It was to be a kind of transition from the more elaborate Lunar New Year & Valentine’s Day Ladies Who Lunch composition I created in early February (that post soon to follow) and to a full-on Spring and Easter tablescape.

In terms of a St. Patrick’s Day Tablescape, I wanted to pursue a design that was relatively cost-conscious. I challenged myself to get many of the elements from the grocery store or the second-time around shop in the small town where our country house is - versus shopping the emporium on Broadway, the floral district here in Gotham, or the internet, as I usually do.

I already knew I wanted to create a glamorous look that emphasized the Emerald Isle’s artful heritage (rather than all that green-beer, leprechaun-goofy insults to a culture that gave us great gardens, a patrimony of enduring, artisanal decor and design, and of course, world-class literature.

It was to be a natural. Irish tell stories like nobody else (except maybe for US Southerners, but in the end, even they claim it’s an Irish storytelling tradition). And tablescapes tell stories.
I just needed to create a narrative that would honor the Irish culture…

So here I had my outline or concept for this tablescape design.

And while (hopefully) most know many of the great Irish writers, I was willing to bet that very few would know of Ireland’s cohort of great female writers. I wanted to get some of their books to use as a prop or design element but more importantly to use as a conversation starter.

I started by researching the writers.

You can have your Brian Friel, Yeats, Shaw, Beckett, James Joyce, and the irrepressible Oscar Wilde, but this year, celebrating the Irish, I turned to those overlooked in the pantheon of world-class Irish writers.
Here's what I found:

Eavan Boland is an Irish poet.
Works Written: Object lessons, Three Irish Poets, After Every War +more
Birthplace: Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Edna O'Brien is a writer.
Works Written: The Country Girls, Oh! Calcutta!, Girl with Green Eyes +more
Birthplace: Tuamgraney, Republic of Ireland

Marina Carr is an Irish playwright. Born in Tullamore, County Offaly, Carr grew up in a household filled with literature.
Works Written: By the Bog of Cats, The Mai, On Raftery's Hill Birthplace: County Offaly, Birthplace: Republic of Ireland

Patricia Lynch was an Irish author of children's literature and a journalist. She was the author of some 48 novels and 200 short stories. She is best known for blending Irish rural life and fantasy as in The Turf-Cutter's Donkey

Elizabeth Bowen was an Anglo-Irish novelist and short story writer.
Works Written: The Heat of the Day, The Last September, Eva Trout and more
Birthplace: Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Now, to implement the literal "look book" or "book look!"

I thought I’d get paperbacks of the literature to stack on the table. However, despite a number of online searches and phone calls to local bookstores, no books were to be found. Sigh.
The library yielded one book by a contemporary Irish female writer: The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright. I took it.

Next, on to the grocery store to buy the flowers: baby’s breath and light green carnations to create a fresh green and crisp white look. I was already the lucky recipient of an oxalis, four-leaf clover plant that my Mother, Virginia gifted me. I had a sparkly green pot that worked perfectly in size and decor to hold the plant. This would be the centerpiece.

At the grocery store I was also looking for the gold coin candies to create a pot of gold but had to settle for gold-wrapped chocolates. I added real dollar coins to the gold, spray-painted “pot” to the final look and it worked. 
Pot of Gold and Special Spuds elevate the Irish Tablescape
What else in the green realm? Fresh, green, Granny Smith apples, of course! And kiwi fruit. With some edible orchids as a color and taste contrast.

Later, it was a treat to eat the green kiwi with the edible orchids and mandarin oranges.
Edible orchid and Green Kiwi 
I also got some pretty potatoes to use in the design as a kind of twist on a Irish trope. By “honoring” the spuds in a cut glass candy dish, it too worked - not only in good looks but as a conversation piece, which is a key reason for creating a compelling tablescape in the first place.

Next stop was the local second time around shop. Here, there are items that are a kind of curiosity shop discoveries that I can repurpose.
Rows and stacks of curious things just waiting 

And the staff is something out of Harry Potter!

I found green glass plates. But not a matched set of six or even four. When all seemed lost, I decided I’d just mix and match the two different styled plates. 

I found some pretty, inexpensive lace, doilies that would work for a mix-matched nod to the art of Irish linens.

I found a female bust I thought would be a delightful part of the female writer narrative. Yes! I was on a roll.
I sprang for a green glass vase. Can’t have too many flower showpieces, right?

It was time to head home and assemble the tablescape story.

I asked Alexa to play traditional Irish music as a mood influencer and made another pot of coffee to enjoy some Irish Coffee made with Baileys Irish Cream. Hey, tablescaping should be fun.

At the same time, I looked around my home “inventory” and dipped into the clutch of table setting items for sure, as well as looked around at other things - both decorative and performance - that I re-purposed. That's fun, too. (And you can kinda' purge at the same time!)

I love our antique dining table and try not to tablecloth it. And here, for the “wearin’ of the green,” I left more of the deep wood to shine out because the brown wood contrast with the elements of glass and green would be quietly dramatic. Further, I wasn’t setting the table for a full dinner party.

The flowers were placed in the clear glass place setting mini vases, grouped in a kind of holy trinity on each side of the table to balance off the centerpiece. The vases looked nice with the baby’s breath as halo to the green carnations. 

As an aside, I use carnations frequently - they last a long time, smell wonderful, are available in a variety of colors that play well with all kinds of decor from sophisticated to casual.
I put out some of our lace embroidered linen cocktail napkins to accessorize the look.  Overall, I prefer the “substance” of a linen napkin. Yes, they can be more work but this is entertaining - you want the best for you and your loved ones. Plus, you can readily wash them, saving the planet from all that one-time-use paper.  And the linens last for generations...

My green, silver and enamel demitasse cups - that look almost like jewelry - along with the gemstone spoons called out to me to join the party. Perfect!

As were the Waterford crystal glasses. If you don’t know, the crystal manufacturer is named after the city of Waterford in Ireland.

The piece de resistance? I had just received the crown music boxes that I’d ordered the first week of February -- that’s another story entirely! 

But they are gorgeous: little crosses on top, solid silver in appearance, dotted with “diamonds” - very regal and a perfect visual to help tell a story about Ireland and Irish knights and fairy tales and stories. Best of all, the music boxes open, where I can surprise my guests with a delicious amuse bouche when they pull back the top!

I saw our silver after-dinner cups that look like they were taken from a table at Camelot - and voila! They complemented the crowns like a Celtic cross!

I pulled two green candles that have a stenciled pattern on the glass. These beauties amplified the oxalis green centerpiece.

I went to our home library and pulled a few garden books that featured “green” in the title and that were written by women. I especially was drawn to my garden writer friend, Anne Raver. More conversation starters...

I liked the composition. The female bust highlighted the books at the head of the table. The green-leaf neck band that my niece Marissa made worked as a kind of "garden" at her base.
Bill liked the look too, and after walking around the table, he then suggested that “she” needed a necklace. 
The man has taste when it comes to jewelry. (Did you see my new Eternity ring?!) 
I scooted up to my jewelry boxes and found a Little LimeⓇ hydrangea-colored green sparkly necklace.
It is a perfect Finishing Touch. Along with that Irish Whisky from Jameson. Wink, wink. The pedigree and the green bottle is a fun design touch.

The table is inviting and pretty -- it’s a delight to just look at. It tells a great story. And it welcomes you and guests.
Enjoy the video walk-around (sorry about the tilting at the end.  But you'll get the idea and look)  

You can create a thoughtful, sophisticated, whimsical tablescape like this. The creative design doesn’t take a lot of time and uses cost-conscious grocery-store bought flowers, candy, vegetables, and fruit - along with repurposing items from your home. And it’s fun.
Entertaining should always delight you - and your guests.  And if you can't bring yourself to create such a composition - contact me.  It would be my great pleasure to work with you via Facetime or email to tell your own story and to create your own tablescape fantasy.

Slánte! -- “To your Health” in Gaelic.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Metro Hort Group Elects New President: Charles M. Yurgalevitch, Ph.D

Charles M. Yurgalevitch, Newly Elected Metro Hort President 
Recently, Metro Hort Group Inc, the Mid-Atlantic association of horticulture professionals elected Charles M. Yurgalevitch, Ph.D. as its new president to lead the organization for a three-year term, the first such tenure in its history. Previously, Yurgalevitch served as Secretary on the Metro Hort Board Member since 2004.
By all counts, Yurgalevitch is the seventh president since the group was founded.

The brainchild of three professional horticulturists in 1986, Metro Hort launched its first meeting of “charter members” and established its Planning Board in 1987.

Soon to follow its incorporation as a 501 (c) in 1988, the Metro Hort Guest speaker series launched - and still held at winter meetings along with the seasonal field trips to all variety of horticultural venues including private gardens, parks, zoos, cemeteries, botanical gardens and nurseries. Workshops began in 1993 taught “by professionals, for professionals” on topics ranging from garden photography to rooftop gardening, pruning, CAD technology, and more. The signature horticultural trade show and symposium, Plant-O-Rama was launched in 1997.

During a recent interview, Yurgalevitch talked about his vision and upcoming agenda for Metro Hort moving forward.

In a macro sense, he is looking to lend Metro Hort’s expertise to help shape a community-wide agenda to influence greener, healthier, environmental attitudes and behaviours. “We can further establish Metro Hort’s leadership and its advocacy for sustainable practices in business and government,” Yurgalevitch explained. “We have a unique platform to affect a determined path to a plant-based, sustainable way of life, especially in a world that is increasingly urban. Plants and horticulture touch every vital element of our lives from food to water resources, pollution management, to architecture and art -- to the very air we breath,” he continued.

In turn, this outlook will increasingly appeal to the next generation - upcoming green professionals who seek to be vital members of Metro Hort.

Yurgalevitch has been a pioneer in leading younger, green industry professionals from his position as Director of the School of Professional Horticulture at The New York Botanical Garden and as the creator of the now annual, Green Industry Intern Field Day - affectionately referred to as “Hortie Hoopla.”

“We see burgeoning activists in our ranks who want to make changes in the way we interact with our parks and gardens, how we grow and harvest our food, how we safeguard our shores and wetlands and preserve the flora and fauna for future generations, especially in a world of climate chaos and science skeptics,” he added.

With a determined effort to develop “Plant Ambassadors,” Yurgalevitch will seek to challenge Metro Hort’s members and solicit new members with exciting, trailblazing programs and updated processes.

Membership goals also include an effort to revise, revamp, and refresh the organization’s web site and social media practices, including more visuals and video to engage its members and the wider, public community.

Already, the group has added a Local Events Calendar where anyone - members as well as non-members - can post horticultural events of interest, gratis.

The networking and educational talks and workshops and field trips will continue its tradition of excellence with the added objective of highlighting topics of import and interest - meaning those issues that are salient to today’s diverse and fast-moving culture, including aquaponics, technology in horticulture and design, plant propagation and care especially given today’s increasing dramatic climate swings, and visits to innovative and enterprising hort-based initiatives and businesses that are sure to spark learning and collaboration.

The group’s website provides its background description:

Metro Hort Group, Inc. is an association of horticulture professionals practicing in the New York City and tri-state region. Members are active in the worlds of public and private horticulture; we are landscape architects, designers, arborists, growers, educators, contractors, garden writers and every specialty in between. We create and deliver a greener New York. The professional sponsor meetings, lectures, workshops and field trips geared to common interests, with a focus on education, networking and socializing.

Metro Hort members gather to share ideas, information and employment opportunities. Each member receives a detailed listing in our online membership directory, an invaluable resource for horticulture professionals. Membership in Metro Hort Group offers the opportunity to stay connected in these challenging economic times.

To learn more about becoming a member of the Metro Hort Group, visit the membership page.