Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Man Named Pearl

The Horticultural Society of New York recently hosted a special screening of the inspiring film,
A Man Named Pearl. This film tells the story of the self-taught topiary artist Pearl Fryar. It is an upbeat film with a message that speaks of respect for self and others, and shows how much one man can achieve with such a respect for humanity.*
"In a sea of pedantic, heavy-handed political documentaries, A Man Named Pearl offers both an effective social statement on race relations and human potential."
Bill Thompson
Charleston Post & Courier
We had a wonderful turn-out, and very positive feed back on what a powerful film this was.
The HSNY will be screening a new film every month, so make sure to contact us or check our website for what new, exciting film is showing.
*A Man Named Pearl, Tentmakers Entertainment.

Monday, February 9, 2009


The HSNY was lucky enough to host and evening with Ken Druse to celebrate the release of his new book, Planthropology. The audience of over 60 people was enthralled with the stories of plants and their importance to Ken's every day life. He enticed his guests with an illustrated presentation of the book, presented as a lovely stroll through the garden.

This was followed by a reception and book signing, providing a special opportunity to speak with the noted author and photographer. We would like to thank Ken for being so generous with his time and sharing with us this wonderful book.

In this photograph Ken has captured a stand of western American Lysichiton americanus, commonly known as skunk cabbage. The plant takes nearly three years to produce these magnificient yellow spathes, growing larger and more floriferous as it matures.

One of the hard-to-find pink Japanese snowball varities is Viburnum plicatum 'Kern's Pink' growing together with Cotinus foliage.

Check our website for the next lecture or presentation at The HSNY and join us!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Cranford Rose Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our window."
Dale Carnegie

I recently had the pleasure of taking a late winter tour of the Cranford Rose Garden, with its new curator, my dear friend Sarah Owens. Sarah has just taken over the helm at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's outstanding, 81 year old public rose garden. On a sunny February afternoon, we walked and discussed the many virtues of this temperamental but so highly revered plant we call the rose. Whether one desires a color, fragrance, beauty or longevity, there is a rose that suites almost every need.

From its beginning, somewhere around 470 B.C., the rose has been coveted for its size at one time, then its color and undoubtedly for its fragrance. This has changed throughout the centuries and seems to be continuing today.

What is captured here is a different type of beauty the rose possesses. This is the rose with out its inviting, deep green foliage, absent of its wonderful and intoxicating bloom. Instead, I would like you to notice the amazing architecture of the rose. The wide varieties of thorns and prickles, the spent flower heads, the unopened beauty of a late bud, and of course the prize of the late autumn rose - the hip.

I hope you enjoy this tour, and don't forget to visit the Cranford Rose Garden this spring along with all the wonderful gardens at The Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Sarah Owens inviting me into her magical rose garden.

A magnificent red rose bud, perfectly frozen, before it had a chance to unfurl.
Amazing colors and shapes of rose hips.

The medieval prickles of the Rosa sericea f. pteracantha.

The alien-like structures of the spent bloom.

The promise of spring, a new bud starting to swell.

Photos courtesy of Dodo Loechle