The New York Botanical Garden: An Illustrated Chronicle of Plants and People

Ogden Tanner, Author, Adele Auchincloss, With Walker & Company $39.95 (190p) ISBN 978-0-8027-1141-0
``The urge to collect is universal; to the botanist it is essential.'' Here Tanner ( Gardening America ) and Auchincloss , a member of the New York Botanical Garden's board of managers, chronicle and celebrate the collector's urge that led to the founding and flourishing of the New York Botanical Garden in New York City's borough of the Bronx. Established in 1891 by ``a group of ladies and gentlemen'' smitten with the horticultural wonders of England, the NYBG cost less than a million dollars to launch, and now comprises an extensive sanctuary for daffodils, crab apples, magnolias, roses, tulip trees, waterfalls, gazebos, restaurants and much else. The authors tell its story with lively dispatch yet wise digressions to the devotees who have helped keep the Garden in green: Ghillian Prance, a Scottish ``veteran plant hunter'' who learned the secret nocturnal life of the Victoria Amazonica water lily; Elizabeth Cornelia Hall, aka ``Miss Information,'' who fielded botanical calls and questions on behalf of the NYBG from John Q. Public for several decades. Color photographs by Rokach show us gardens in winter, a blaze of sugar maples and a bevy of cloistered caladiums. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
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