Author Archives: Quill Teal-Sullivan

2013 Annual Symposium Coming Soon – Shifting Landscapes: Cultivating Connections with a Broader Community

Here at the LGP, the onset of spring is marked not only by fragrant witchhazels and dancing snowdrops, but the culmination of one of our yearly crowning projects – the Annual Longwood Graduate Symposium.

2013 Annual Symposium

2013 Annual Symposium

On March 15th, 2013, nine months of brainstorming and planning will blossom in one day of engaging lectures and discussion centered on the theme of the public garden’s relevancy within the ever-changing social landscape.  While perhaps a timeless topic, in the past several years it has surfaced at the forefront of discussion in the field of public gardens and cultural institutions at large.  We hope that this symposium will encourage further thought and dialogue on how each public garden or cultural institution might continue to proactively think about how they can best meet existing and new audiences on common ground.

The daylong program will feature a slate of speakers with diverse experiences from within and outside the field of public horticulture, including Asimina Vergou (BGCI London), MaryLynn Mack (Desert Botanical Garden), Kathleen Socolofsky (UC Davis Arboretum), Louise Chawla (University of Colorado), and keynote speaker Gregory Rodriguez (Zocalo Public Square).

 

Speaker Highlight: Gregory Rodriguez

Gregory Rodriguez

Gregory Rodriguez

Traveling from Los Angeles, California, Gregory Rodriguez will be featured as this year’s Parvis Family Endowment Keynote Speaker.  Rodriguez is the founding director of the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University, and currently serves as Executive Director of Zocalo Public Square, a non-profit Ideas Exchange utilizing journalism and live events as a medium to “foster healthier, more cohesive communities by tackling important contemporary questions in an accessible, non-partisan, and broad-minded spirit”.   Currently an op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Rodriguez has written extensively for prominent publications including the New York TimesNewsweekTimeThe Wall Street Journal, and The Economist. His book, Mongrels, Bastards, Orphans and Vagabonds: Mexican Immigration and the Future of Race, was listed among the Washington Post’s  “Best Books of 2007”, and won him an invitation as a guest on The Colbert Report in 2008.

Register online to reserve your place at this year’s symposium. Places in the “Special Sessions” tours and workshop fill on a first-come-first-serve basis, so sign up soon to get your first choice! For those who are not able to attend in person, we are offering an online webcast option.

We hope to see you there!

 

 

Airlie Gardens

August 24, 2012 – Airlie Gardens, NC
(written by Quill Teal-Sullivan, photographs by Wonsoon Park)

The final stop on our North American Experience was Airlie Gardens, a lovely display garden nestled amongst fresh water ponds and ancient live oaks at the edge of Wilmington, North Carolina. Airlie has a long history of public visitation, having first opened its doors to public tours over 100 years ago as the private estate of the Pembroke Jones family. In 1999, Airlie officially became a public garden when the owners partnered with the Coastal Land Trust and sold the 67-acre garden to New Hanover County.

Visitor Center at the Airlie Gardens

Our host for the day was former Longwood employee Jim McDaniel, who serves as the Director of Parks, Gardens, and Senior Resources for New Hanover County. When Jim was hired ten years ago, Airlie was on the brink of collapse after a brutal period of financial hardship under prior leadership. Over cups of strong Wilmington coffee, we listened to Jim recount the trials and triumphs of fighting for Airlie’s survival, and the victory of bringing the garden to full financial sustainability.

Director Jim McDaniel

Jim and his dedicated staff have integrated contemporary new gardens, facilities, and programs into a garden that drips with Southern history and magic.  One new addition to the garden is the Minnie Evan’s Bottle Chapel, dedicated to the popular African American folk artist who served as Airlie’s gatekeeper when it was a private estate. The Bottle Chapel is constructed of concrete and salvaged glass bottles, evoking the colors of sea glass and the spirit of a stained-glass window. A shrine composed of Aunt Jemima syrup bottles inside the Chapel is a tribute to Minnie’s devotion to the church, and a mark of the artist’s clever use of the materials.

Dr. Lyons taking photos of the Minnie Evan’s Bottle Chapel

Yet another new addition to the garden is a large butterfly house that was constructed using a prefabricated metal gazebo-like structure, enhanced according to USDA butterfly house standards, including mesh siding and roofing just right for domestic butterflies. The entire project from start to finish (including plantings), cost $200K, a figure that Jim estimated as being far less than many comparable butterfly houses on the market.

Butterfly House

But the crown jewel of the Airlie Gardens is far from new. The Airlie Oak, a 468-year-old live oak (Quercus virginiana) took our breath away. Its branches twist and turn towards the sky, festooned with Spanish moss as though hundreds of bearded old elves are swinging up-side-down from every limb. The Airlie Oak is North Carolina’s State Champion, making its neighboring oaks that are from 200 to 300 years of age, look juvenile. This ancient oak is insured for $1 million.

live oak (Quercus virginiana)

Our tour ended with a visit to the entry gate, surrounded by plantings designed by Longwood Graduate alumnus Rodney Eason. Then off we went to a fish-fried dinner along the sandy beaches of Cape Fear. And alas, this brings our North American Experience to an end. We have visited a diverse mix of gardens, each unique in its mission and approach serving its audience, collections, and greater community. Goodbye North Carolina, and thank you for your hospitality.

Beautiful walkway

LGP Symposium One Month Away

The Longwood Graduate Symposium, The Panda and the Public Garden: Reimaging our Conservation Message, is less than one month away, and we are busy as bees pulling together the last details of what will be a most enjoyable symposium experience – true to the Longwood tradition.

This year's graphics designed by Wonsoon, Sara, and Felicia

 

 

The Guest Relations Committee is dedicated to creating a pleasant and accommodating guest experience for our symposium registrants, so that you may enjoy the lecture sessions to the fullest.  This includes organizing a delicious menu for the day, prepared by Longwood’s in-house catering services.   Coffee and baked goods will be available when registration opens at 8 am – just in case you do not have time to grab breakfast at home.  A lunch buffet will be offered at mid-day, followed by a lovely spread of sweet treats and Longwood’s famous pretzel twists at the afternoon break.  Refreshments will be offered after the final lecture, so please stay for lemonade and a chat with the speakers and guests.

 

Podium decorated with flowers.

 

In keeping with the Longwood Graduate Program’s commitment to sustainability, the Guest Relations Committee has made an effort to reduce waste and use of non-recyclable materials.  Your registration packet has been cleverly designed by Fellow Nate Tschaenn to be in a booklet format printed on FSC paper.  The booklet approach will reduce the amount of paper needed to produce the packet compared to previous years. Compostable cutlery and dishware will be used for food service and later sent through Longwood’s composting system.

Ballroom during 2010 Symposium.

If you have not yet registered, please do so soon!  Click here to be directed to our quick and easy online registration system.

And if you are traveling from afar and need a place to stay, the Guest Relations Committee has arranged for discounted rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn Kennett Square for registrants.  Please book by February 16th to reserve your room.  Click here to be directed to the special reservation page.

For more information regarding the symposium, please visit our official website or contact us at longwoodsymposium@udel.edu.

 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Quill Teal-Sullivan and the Guest Relations Committee

 

 

Gardens by the Bay & HortPark

January 11, 2012 – Gardens by the Bay & HortPark, Singapore
(written by Quill Teal-Sullivan, photographs by Wonsoon Park and Sara Levin)

The past two days have been full to the brim with visits to many of Singapore’s beautiful parks and urban green spaces. Tuesday morning started at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore’s newest and largest garden project sitting on one-hundred and one hectares encircling Marina Bay.  We were greeted by Chris Dalzell, a former Longwood international intern who recently moved from South Africa to act as the garden’s Assistant Director of Garden Operations.  Chris and his colleagues toured us around the site, which will be completed for an official public opening in June of this year. Gardens by the Bay features two large conservatories – one that will create a cool-dry Mediterranean climate, and the other a cool-moist mountain climate.

Flower Dome of the Gardens by the Bay

We were able to tour the Flower Dome, freshly planted with remarkable specimens imported from around the world.  Most notable were the enormous baobabs planted on a cantilevered overlook, and the gnarled one-thousand-year old olive trees just in from southern Spain.  Another highlight of the gardens were the eighteen “super trees” gracefully arching overhead, clad with epiphytes and climbers.  The “super trees” are one of the spectacularly clever aspects of the garden design, acting as a venting system for the glasshouses, water catchment mechanism, solar energy receptor, as well as an aesthetic wonder.

Super Tree

After a lunch of various local delights, we met with Dan Burcham (our host with the most and LGP alumn), and his colleagues at the National Parks Board (NParks) to tour four exceptional urban greening sites. As part of Singapore’s vision of “the city in a garden”, NParks offers financial assistance to green the exterior of existing buildings.  Three of the sites we visited were vertical green walls each designed by a different firm with a unique system and design philosophy.  The end of a long and most stimulating day of garden touring culminated in a trip to the top of Marina Bay Sands Sky Park to decompress and admire the city from above.

Green wall at the F1 race track

On Wednesday we traveled to HortPark, a display garden within the NParks system that features small-scale garden exhibits aimed to inspire Singaporean residents to include gardens and horticulture in their home life.  HortPark partners with local landscape companies that rent small plots to display their design, acting as publicity for the company and inspiration for the visitors.  As Abby says, “it is the perfect collaboration between government, industry, and community”.

Vegetable Garden at HortPark

Silver Garden at HortPark

HortPark sits within the Southern Ridges region, a chain of parks, gardens and natural areas linked with ‘park connectors’.  Two knowledgeable NParks staff, Wilson and Eric, led us on an excursion through a few of the natural areas. This included a jungle accessed by a 9 km canopy bridge, home to a delinquent gang of macaque monkeys, as well as a most beautiful wooden bridge with views to the sea and the city.

Dillenia suffriticosa

The evening was capped with a barbeque accompanied by the senior staff of NParks at the Outwardbound Singapore headquarters.  We ate satay and fresh fruit in the evening heat, feeling so grateful for the generosity of our Singaporean hosts and, the incredible opportunity we have as Longwood students to experience the ‘city in a garden’.

Canopy walkway at southern ridges

Henderson Waves