November 11, 2013

I found this little book at a used book/gift store while visiting family upstate a few weekends ago. It was one in a series of guidebooks focused on plants and birds sitting in a bin, and the only one written by an NYBG staffer, T.H. Everett.

Everett was a world renowned horticulturist, writer, and educator. His influence within this realm is magnified by the number of his students and colleagues who went on to have influential careers in their own right. At NYBG, the beautiful Rock Garden, which was designed and implemented under Everett’s watchful eye, is named in his honor. Everett is also associated with two of the New York-area’s other great gardens, the beautifully renovated Wave Hill, which he helped lobby to save, and the currently under renovation Untermeyer Gardens, where he held his first horticulture position in the United States.

These pages are just a fraction of the 50 or so in this slim book, perfectly sized for carrying in one’s pocket. What fascinates me is how many of these plants were already in danger of disappearing in 1945 (yes I did the math to convert MCMXLV to Arabic numerals. Thank you liberal arts degree!). While you can find many of them in our newly reopened Native Plant Garden, I am afraid some of them are exceedingly rare at this time, a state of affairs that would probably just have spurred Everett to further action! ~AR

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