Dear Readers, Friends, and HSNY Supporters,
I am sorry to say that this post is not one of my lengthy responses to a horticulture related email. Instead I must do just the opposite and let you know that at the end of this week I am going to be leaving The Horticultural Society of New York and handing over the reins of the HSNY blog.
Since creating this blog for HSNY in March of 2007 I have received so many wonderful emails from horticultural enthusiasts all over the world. I am extremely thankful to have had this opportunity to share with you my knowledge and experience so that you might be able to better your life with horticulture. I have gotten to know men and women as far away as the Philippines and Rwanda. I have been challenged and learned new plants and species I never knew existed before. As of this morning the blog has been visited well over 38,000 times, and that has me awed beyond words. It has been fun, gratifying, and one of the best parts of my workday for the last year and a half.
Thank you all for your queries, your positive feedback and constructive criticism, and your support of HSNY as a citywide, nationwide, and international horticultural resource. I will miss very much hearing from you all and getting my daily dose of challenging questions.
I want to thank you in advance for continuing to support HSNY. The other day I was walking from a meeting and ran into a woman at a small garden shop up in Harlem. She saw the homemade HSNY patch on my messenger bag and introduced herself. She was a graduate of the horticultural/vocational training program HSNY has on Riker's Island, working to reduce the recidivism rate for offenders by introducing them to horticulture and horticultural careers. Karmelita and I sat out back of her work under the shade and she told me about HSNY changing her life and giving her focus and goals at a time when she felt all too beaten down. She talked about how the greenhouse didn't pay as well as working in the mess hall but that she felt like being outside would do her soul well. She excelled in the greenhouse on Riker's. She was released and joined the HSNY GreenTeam where we put her to work and helped her with job placement. Now she is managing a small garden shop and thanks HSNY with the most gracious heart for helping to turn her life around. We laughed about how once you get the horticultural bug you can't easily shake it. She confirmed to me that there is no doubt in her mind; she will be involved with horticulture for the rest of her life and never let it go. She got me choked up the same way I am getting choked up now writing about that scene. Her success story was so beautiful and powerful, I couldn't get myself to tell her that I had just accepted a new job and would be leaving the HSNY family. It might go unnoticed by some, but The Horticultural Society does turn peoples lives around, from Riker's to the Upper East Side, from New York to the other side of the globe. Again, continue to support this organization. The coworkers I am saying goodbye to each do the work of two or three people but they can not do it alone. Stay tuned to hsny.org as we get ready to launch our new website. Come to upcoming HSNY events and show your support. Become a member of HSNY. Make a donation to our resources and outreach programs. Every little bit makes a huge difference in the lives of people that need it most.
We are still finalizing who my successor will be, so if there is a slight delay getting back to your email queries we apologize and want you to know someone will be with you shortly. It has been my great pleasure to share with you some of my knowledge and experiences. Thank you all so much for helping to make this blog a success.
I wish you happy planting, joyful discovery, and all the best for wonderful seasons to follow.
Take good care.