People and Gardens

June 2014


Annemarie Nagle joins the APGA team!

Annemarie Nagle recently joined the Sentinel Plant Network (SPN) team as its new part-time Program Assistant.  She comes to SPN from Purdue University, where she worked as Forest Pest Outreach Coordinator, educating homeowners, green industry professionals, and students about invasive tree pests.  In addition to a BS in biology from UNC Chapel Hill, Annemarie holds a master’s degree in plant pathology from The Ohio State University, where she researched host tree resistance to sudden oak death.

In her free time, Annemarie enjoys all things outdoors, including gardening, hiking, and adventure travel.  You’re more likely to catch her on a bicycle than in a car, and she has enjoyed long-distance cycle tours in New Zealand and across the southern U.S.  Annemarie recently returned to her home state of North Carolina, and resides in Durham with her partner Rob and their Betta fish Vaughner. 


Welcome Annemarie!



Student project puts roots down

Justin Kondrat’s independent project at Cornell University ended up including the community through plants. A display of more than 50,000 golden daffodils, white narcissus, and purple hyacinth flowers spelling out the word “ROOTED” in 10-foot letters turned heads this spring below Cornell’s bell tower. The color of the flowers brightened up students’ finals period, and because of solar-powered lights woven in among the bulbs, the letters shined brightly during the night. 

According to Justin, “I hope this installation inspires various communities to never give up on their dreams when times get tough.”

Read the Cornell Chronicle article and watch the video here:


(Pictured: Justin Kondrat, Photo Credit: Jason Koski/University Photography)






Idaho Botanical Garden announces new Executive Director

The Idaho Botanical Garden Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Wiersema as Executive Director. Wiersema was selected following a nationwide search and brings with her leadership experience in both the corporate and nonprofit arenas. She has established a record of achievement in leadership with local, regional, and national charitable organizations.

Wiersema’s passion can be seen as she talks about the Idaho Botanical Garden. “To me, the Garden represents an ever-changing, ever-growing community resource that is much more than ‘just a garden’, says Wiersema. “The Garden reflects the seasons of our lives as a place to celebrate, and cultivate learning; a place to stimulate our mind and senses.”

Read more about Wiersema’s involvement with Idaho Botanical Garden:



New York Botanic Garden in ABC News

ABC News recently highlighted the New York Botanic Garden’s current exhibit, "Groundbreakers: Great American gardens in the 20th century and the women who designed them.”

"Groundbreakers" explores the work of garden designers Marian Coffin, Beatrix Farrand and Ellen Shipman, and garden photographers Jessie Tarbox Beals, Mattie Edwards Hewitt, and Frances Benjamin Johnston.

"These women were the leading lights in their fields. And in a broader cultural sense, the work they did helped elevate the quality of life for many people across America through these landscapes and their photos and writing," said Todd Forrest, the Botanical Garden's vice president of Horticulture and Living Collections.

Read more about the exhibit here






Mary Phipps awarded the Garden Club of America Distinguished Service Medal

On May 9th, 2014, Mary Stone Phipps was awarded the Garden Club of America Distinguished Service Medal. This medal, for distinguished service in the field of horticulture, was presented to Mrs. Phipps in recognition of her stewardship of Old Westbury Gardens over many years.

Mrs. Phipps served on the Board of Old Westbury Gardens since 1959, was President from 1978 to 1994, Chairman from 1994 to 2012, and is presently Chairman Emeritus. Her sensitive and vigilant stewardship has been a key element in preserving and maintaining one of this country’s most significant examples of a public garden that has never lost its original contours of horticultural excellence. 

Read more about Mary’s contributions to the Gardens here