People and Gardens

August 15, 2012

The Atlanta Botanical Garden announced Arthur 'Art' Fix as its new chief opperating office. 

Fix most recently served as Vice-President for Operations for Silverman Construction Program Management, where he was a member of its board of directors. At Silverman, Fix was responsible for the design, construction and management of numerous public and private projects, including the 2009 expansion of the Atlanta Botanical Garden as well as the expansion of Piedmont Park and its renovation of Greystone Aquatic Center, DeKalb Parks SPLOST Program, The Paideia School and numerous retail projects.

“Art’s professionalism and attention to detail, budget and schedule are remarkable, all skills we can use on our own team,” said Mary Pat Matheson, the Garden’s executive director. “His expertise in facilities, operations and project management will position us for a vibrant and growing future.”

Fix, who assumes the position August 6, joined Silverman in 2005 with more than 22 years’ experience as an architect, general contractor and real estate developer. Fix, who received his Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Architecture degrees from Auburn University, began his career with Giattina, Kirkwood & Partners Architects in Birmingham, AL, before joining the architectural firm of Cooper Carry in Atlanta. In 1999, he became project executive for Cork-Howard Construction and later worked for Place Properties real estate development firm, where he directed and managed project teams from conception through post-occupancy.

“The dual accomplishments in expanding the Garden as well as Piedmont Park while at Silverman allowed me to continue my passion, which parallels the core mission and vision of the Garden,” Fix said. “That in turn has introduced me to a tremendously dedicated and talented Garden staff.”


Bartram's Garden announced Maitreyi Roy as its new executive director. 

The John Bartram Association (JBA) today announced the appointment of Maitreyi Roy as executive director of the Association.

"Maitreyi Roy's significant accomplishments over her distinguished career with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), and with the City of Boston Parks & Recreation Department before that, made her the top candidate," said Steven Bessellieu, president of the John Bartram Association and chair of the Search Committee. "JBA is an organization with an historic past and a tremendous opportunity for the future. This year at Bartram's Garden, our education programs hosted over nine thousand public school students; opened a new segment of the Schuylkill River Trail; launched a new plant nursery; introduced the Green Room for a hands-on exploration of nature; and—in partnership with PHS, the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative of the University of Pennsylvania, and the City of Philadelphia's Parks and Recreation Department—established the Community Farm and Food Resource Center. Our continued success requires a passionate, mission-driven leader with innovative and creative thinking grounded in horticulture to guide our growth and development."

The Search Committee unanimously nominated Roy as JBA's new executive director. In this role, Roy's primary goal will be to advance JBA's mission to protect and enhance the National Historic Landmark Garden and House; advance the Bartram legacy of discovery, gardening, and art; and inspire audiences of all ages to care for the natural world. She commented: "Bartram's Garden is an iconic historic and cultural landscape of our city, and I am honored and excited to work in collaboration with the board, staff, leaders in government, and the civic and cultural community to advance the John Bartram legacy."

PHS President Drew Becher praised Roy for her nearly two decades of innovative leadership at the organization. "Bartram's Garden is acquiring an extraordinary executive. Maitreyi has guided many of our most important programs at PHS. We congratulate her on the new position, and we look forward to a deeper partnership with Bartram's in our shared goals for urban gardening and greening."

Prior to her appointment at JBA, Roy served nineteen years with PHS, most recently as senior vice president for programs and planning. She holds a BArch with distinction from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, India, as well as an MLA degree from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

The American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHA) certified horticulturist exam has gained recognition in horticultural communities across the nation. 

The American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) has partnered with prestigious horticultural facilities across the United States, including Longwood Gardens and Phipps Garden Center in Pennsylvania, Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden and Naples Botanical Garden in Florida, Huntington Botanical Garden and UC Davis Arboretum in California, and Missouri Botanical Garden in Missouri to offer horticultural practitioners an opportunity to sit for an exam to become ASHS Certified Horticulturists (ASHS-CH).

The ASHS Certified Horticulturist (CH) professional certification program is the national credential validating the knowledge and skills of working horticultural practitioners in the industry of horticulture.  The ASHS-CH designation is establishing industry-wide standards of excellence and providing the public, government, and industry with the means to identify individuals with a thorough knowledge of horticultural practices. They identify working horticulturists who adhere to a professional Code of Ethics, and encourage commitment to ongoing professional development through continuing education requirements.

As stated by Fred Davies, PhD, CPH, Regents Professor at Texas A&M University, ASHS CH Board Chair, and former President of ASHS, “An ASHS CH possesses the skills required to communicate with, educate, and provide knowledgeable advice to the public, customers, suppliers, peers, and management on professional topics related to their horticultural responsibilities.”

Carefully designed by a panel of industry experts for the horticultural practitioner, the ASHS-CH exam assesses seven major domains with a total of thirty-five competency areas, including landscape design maintenance; production of fruits, vegetables, turf and ornamental plants; shipping and handling of final product; propagation; monitoring and testing; diagnosing and managing plant problems; and business practices.

The CH program is not a substitute for locally run state nursery programs that would, for instance, test plant identification on a local level. The national CH program will enhance and assist other field-related and state-run certification programs by honoring CEUs from workshops and classes offered by locally run state educational programs and related organizations. It would also create greater public demand for certification that would help state programs that are currently having a difficult time.

The American Society for Horticultural Science is a cornerstone of research and education in horticulture and an agent for active promotion of horticultural science. Its mission is to advance the knowledge and application of horticultural science in all its forms.  ASHS supports science for specialty crops, global solutions for nutritious food sources and healthy, beautiful environments.

ASHS was founded in 1903 as an international scientific organization bringing together the diversity of horticultural research by facilitating communication through its scientific journals, annual conference, and other member programs.

ASHS Certified Horticulturist Exams are being offered throughout the United States and new examination sites are being established rapidly. Other locations scheduled to offer the ASHS-CH exam include the Farwest Tradeshow in Oregon, the American Horticultural Society in Virginia, Bloedel Reserve in Washington, Chicago Botanic Garden in Illinois, New York Botanical Garden in New York, and the Wyoming Groundskeepers and Growers Association Annual Conference in Wyoming.  Parties interested in more information about eligibility, exams, the program, or wanting to identify a Certified Horticulturist in their area should visit the ASHS website at, then choose “Certified Horticulturist” from our Fast Links.


The Montgomery Botanical Center received a National Award in Horticulture from ASHS. 

Montgomery received the HORTICULTURAL LANDMARK AWARD from the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) on August 4, 2012. The award recognizes some of Montgomery’s best strengths. Quoting from the ASHS:

“. . . general criteria for consideration include: permanence of site; proper documentation of the horticultural collection, including origins; an underlying scientific basis for collections; [and] monitoring and labeling of plants.”

This is a very big achievement for Montgomery – previous recipients of this honor are few, and include some of the most prominent botanic gardens – The New York Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Arnold Arboretum, for example.

In presenting the award, Dr. George Fitzpatrick, Chair of the ASHS Award Committee, highlighted Colonel Robert Montgomery’s record of significant philanthropy in support of plants, not only at MBC, but at NYBG and FTBG as well. ASHS Executive Director Dr. Michael Neff spoke to the recent contributions to plant science that are helped by MBC and its team, and ASHS Board Member Dr. Michael Arnold offered examples of MBC’s work to develop early-career horticulture professionals – including his own students.

The award refers to Montgomery’s origins, stating:

“A plant collection begun in 1932 and a botanic garden established in 1959,

renowned for a dedicated focus on these living treasures, and celebrating decades of commitment to research, conservation and education.”

MBC Executive Director Dr. Patrick Griffith made brief remarks to acknowledge Montgomery’s founders, board, staff, volunteers, colleagues, and supporters -- and singled out the visiting scientists from Canada, Scotland, and New York: "As evidence that we have an exceptional plant collection, note that they are all here in Miami, In August."


The North Carolina Arboretum received a gift from Wells Fargo to support adult education programming. 

The North Carolina Arboretum is proud to announce Wells Fargo as its newest Community Partner. A gift of $20,000 has been made in support of the Adult Education Program of the Arboretum.

The Arboretum provides outreach and engagement through adult and youth education, exhibition, and demonstration that promotes leadership in environmental sustainability awareness and increased science literacy among residents of western North Carolina and beyond. The educational programs developed over the 25 years since the Arboretum’s inception have served as a model for excellence in institutional outreach resulting in positive educational and economic outcomes.

As part of its corporate giving program, Wells Fargo seeks to create long-term economic growth and enhance the quality of life for residents of western North Carolina. The gift to support the Adult Education Program will provide learning opportunities for participants seeking to contribute to a more sustainable and beautiful community. More than 100 courses, symposia, and events are offered through the program each year. Topics span a broad range, from landscape, horticulture, and urban forestry to natural history, wellness, and fine art and craft.

“We are proud to partner with the Arboretum to support their Adult Education Program," said Robby Russell, Asheville Market President for Wells Fargo. "Through this community outreach program, we can create an even stronger community focused on sustainability and environmental stewardship. At Wells Fargo, we are committed to finding new ways to minimize our energy consumption, address climate change, use renewable sources, and inspire others to do the same so we can lower our impact on the planet.” 

George Briggs, Executive Director of The North Carolina Arboretum, spoke to the history between the Arboretum and Wells Fargo, as well as a shared vision for building a better community. “A number of achievements and amenities on the Arboretum campus have been made possible through our long-standing banking partnership with Wells Fargo. Their generous support as a Visionary Community Partner advances that positive relationship through supporting our education outreach designed to assist our audiences in growing as informed landscape and environmental stewards.”

Each year more than 370,000 visitors experience the Arboretum’s gardens, trails, exhibits, shows and expos, educational programs, demonstrations and lectures. The Arboretum’s ability to meet its mission and enrich the visitor experience is made possible by a community of support—from members, volunteers and staff to state and local funds, tribute gifts, grants, and community partners.

The North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC) announces two new collections. 

Denver Botanic Gardens Achieves NAPCC Recognition for its Alpines of the World Collection

Located at 5300 feet above sea level, Denver Botanic Gardens can successfully grow a wide range of alpine taxa. Its Alpines of the World Collection currently consists of 223 living taxa, with 41% of their accessions of known wild origin. A satellite garden west of Denver on Mt. Goliath at 11,500 feet altitude, includes all native alpines of wild provenance. These two sites complement that of Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vale at 8300 feet elevation which holds an NAPCC Alpines of Colorado Collection. Horticulture and research staff at Denver Botanic Gardens have expertise in  alpines, while the herbarium, library, and growing/storage facilities represent substantial and significant assets in support of the living collection. Curator Mike Kintgen conducted a survey of other North American institutions with alpine collections to compare holdings, determining that a limited number of taxa were being grown. Many accessions can be traced back to a relatively few primary sources, which underscores the importance of a coordinated strategy toward alpines conservation. Alpines have been identified as one of the most vulnerable flora where the impacts of climate change can bring isolated populations to extinction. The Alpine Collection at Denver Botanic Gardens is their second in NAPCC, preceded by the Multisite Oak Collection. 

Fern Collection Latest NAPCC Addition from University of California Botanical Garden

One of the world’s finest collections of ferns grown at University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley recently achieved NAPCC recognition. The collection currently encompasses 370 taxa, with 84% of wild known origin. They are grown throughout all of the biogeographic areas of the Garden, including Southern Africa, New World Desert, Asia, Mediterranean, California, Eastern North America, South America, Australasia, and Mexico and South America. Xerophytic, dry-growing ferns from around the world with an emphasis on New World Desert ferns are interpreted as part of an indoor Arid House display. A second prominent strength lies in holdings of California native ferns, which UCBG plans to expand. The collection serves as a teaching and international research resource, utilized by UC-Berkeley botanist Dr. Alan Smith, one of the leading academic authorities of ferns providing expertise in identification, systematics and taxonomy. The Fern Collection joins UCBG’s two other NAPCC collections of cycads and multisite oaks.


The Morris Arboretum's Horticulture Center wins the American Architecture Award. 

The new Horticulture Center at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, designed by Overland Partners|Architects, has received the American Architecture Award as one of the top new architectural projects in the United States. The design was selected from a record number of entries from the most important firms practicing across the globe. This year’s jury was organized by the Federation of Korean Architects. The Arboretum will be part of a traveling international exhibition, which will be displayed at "The City and the World" symposium in Istanbul, Turkey and at museums throughout Europe.

This new complex, which uncovered the Embedded Potential of the agrarian site and use has previously received the top honors for sustainable design, earning a LEED Platinum Certification by the United States Green Building Council. It is a Catalyst for Transformation for building energy and water performance at the University of Pennsylvania.

The American Architecture Awards are the highest and most prestigious awards program honoring new and cutting edge design. Organized annually by the Chicago Athenaeum, the program has become the most significant and comprehensive awards program in the United States honoring the best new building design produced by leading American architects, urban planners, and landscape architects

The Horticulture center, located on Morris Arboretum’s Bloomfield Farm, contains the maintenance and administrative functions for the Arboretum’s horticulture, education, maintenance, and facilities staff, providing important infrastructure for staff and equipment. The new buildings are located to preserve the surrounding open space and enhance the agricultural heritage of the site. The office building is made of natural materials, and the garages are designed to resemble farm structures. Sustainable and green design features at the Horticulture Center include green roofs on two of the garages. Multiple cisterns store excess rainwater for irrigation and lavatory use. Rain gardens, planted with native plant species, manage storm water. The landscaping features native trees, shrubs and meadow plantings. The center is powered without the use of any fossil fuels. A high-efficiency geothermal heating and cooling system, coupled with a high-performance building envelope, reduces energy use by over 40 percent. Solar panels and a solar water heater further reduce energy needs. Careful selection of carpets, paint and furniture creates a healthier work environment. More than 20 percent of the building materials used came from within a 500-mile radius, and recycled content makes up 20 percent by cost of the materials used. More than 75 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills. This exceptional project exemplifies Morris Arboretum’s continued commitment to sustainability. The Horticulture Center provides a wonderful opportunity to learn about sustainable practices and is an outstanding addition to the Morris Arboretum and the community.

The Horticulture Center was designed by architects from Overland Partners of San Antonio, TX, Muscoe Martin of Philadelphia’s M2 Architecture, and Andropogon Associates, Morris Arboretum’s Philadelphia-based landscape planners since 1977.  The contractor for the project was W.S. Cumby. The mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer was Bruce Brooks & Associates, and the site/civil engineers were Hunt Engineering.