Over the course of the summer of 2007, the Longwood Graduate Fellows enjoyed the wonderful opportunity to visit and learn about six exceptional gardens in four diverse regional locations. Ranging from the urban oasis that is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to the enchanting suburban pleasure grounds of Chanticleer, from the awe-inspiring proportions of the specimen trees at the Tyler Arboretum to the delightful variety of public gardens in Morris County, New Jersey, each garden visited afforded a memorable experience to those involved. Attending these trips, were first year Fellows Jackie Bergquist, Dan Burcham, Matthew Quirey, and Barnabas Seyler, as well as the Program Director, Dr. Robert Lyons.
During these trips, the staff at every trip locale graciously welcomed the Longwood Fellows and shared with them the mission, function, and spirit of their respective gardens. Each location yielded new insights into the management of public gardens and generated excitement around nearly every turn. From sheer amazement at the amount of programming supported by a rather modest budget to the endless creativity and remarkable results produced by a relatively small staff, every venue for these summer field trips helped to enhance our perspectives, engendering a lasting impression that will no doubt have an enduring influence on our future careers.
For each location, one Fellow acted as the group journalist while another served as the day’s photographer. These positions helped the Fellows to observe the function and aesthetics of each garden on a deeper level. The narratives to follow provide only a cursory account of our adventures, but we believe the modicum of adventure entailed will inspire the reader to likewise seek out and visit these incredible destinations.