People and Gardens
The Arnold Arboretum appoints Iris Gestram as deputy director.
The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is pleased to announce that Iris Gestram has been appointed as the new deputy director. She will join the organization in May 2012. “We are thrilled to have Iris join our team,” said Arboretum Director William (Ned) Friedman. "Her combination of managerial skills and experience in public horticulture will be a great asset to the Arboretum, as we embark on the next exciting chapter of our history.”
Celebrating Alaska Public Gardens Day
Early May brings a special celebration anticipated by gardeners and gardening institutions across North America. National Public Gardens Day is set aside to highlight the importance of public gardens and the educational opportunities they provide. In Alaska, early May can bring winter’s last snowfall and gardeners wearing multiple layers while dreaming of plants yet to emerge. So what’s an Alaska public garden to do to share in the celebration? Celebrate a little later in the month with a special day better suited to its gardening season.
The Jensen-Olson Arboretum in Juneau, The Alaska Botanical Garden in Anchorage, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Georgeson Botanical Garden collaborated in 2011 and proposed an annual celebration to their legislative representatives. House Bill 18 was drafted to establish Alaska Public Gardens Day on the Saturday immediately preceding Memorial Day each year. The State Legislature passed the bill, and the Governor signed it into law. By passing House Bill 18, the Legislature recognized the role gardens play in promoting environmental stewardship, the economy, education, plant conservation, recreation, and research in Alaska. Alaska’s three public gardens look forward to the first official Alaska Public Gardens Day on May 26, 2012.
The Huntington's Historic Japanese Garden Reopens
The historic Japanese Garden at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is reopening Wednesday, April 11, 2012, celebrating its centennial after undergoing a comprehensive, year-long, $6.8 million renovation and improvement project. Among the new features in the nine-acre garden will be a ceremonial teahouse set within a new three-quarter-acre, traditionally landscaped tea garden.
The primary goals of the project have been to restore the garden’s historic core (preserving the Japanese House, improving water infrastructure, and repairing or replacing bridges) and to enhance it with the tea garden, a new waterfall, and increased accessibility.
“For researchers, students, and casual visitors alike, here is a visual feast as well as a cultural and historical icon beautifully restored,” says Steven S. Koblik, president of The Huntington.
Hershey Gardens Opens for Its 75th Anniversary Season
With the official kick-off to spring just behind it, the team at Hershey Gardens opened on Saturday, March 31 for the 75th anniversary season. One of Milton S. Hershey’s legacy assets, the original three-and-a-half-acre garden (originally called Hershey Rose Garden) opened to the public in 1937.
With an unseasonably warm winter almost over, visitors to the Gardens will see more blooms than they might typically expect to see at this time of year. A variety of daffodils, hyacinths, and early tulips are already in bloom; in addition to the Lenten Rose and several flowering trees. Operating hours during opening weekend are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Garden is open daily.
Missouri Botanical Garden Awarded $260,000 NEH Grant for Biodiversity Heritage Library
The grant is awarded from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for “The Art of Life,” an initiative to identify and describe natural history illustrations from the digitized books and journals in the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), available online at www.biodiversitylibrary.org. BHL technical staff at the Missouri Botanical Garden will develop software tools for the automated identification and description of visual resources contained within the more than 100,000 volumes and 38 million pages of core historic literature made publicly available through BHL digitization activities.