Passionate Vision: Pleasure, Desire, Mystery and Power

In these lectures we will find pleasure in letters written about beloved gardens, be astonished by the madness in 17th century Holland known as “Tulipomania”, be mystified by the crop circles in southern England and be impressed by how gardens were used as instruments of state power in Renaissance and Early Modern England.

January – Writing the Garden: A Literary Conversation across Two Centuries

This virtual symposium brings together a diverse array of authors specializing in a delightful genre of garden literature. It is a lively gathering in which a great deal of important information and sound instruction is conveyed in an informal, engaging, and sometimes droll manner. Writers discussed are not professional landscape designers whose theories, ideas, and examples provide inspiration to garden makers, or horticulturists whose works form the practical gardener’s basic reference tools. Rather, they are the ones whose own gardens are in full view as they write in a conversational style that presumes a certain comradeship with the reader.

Elizabeth Barlow Rogers is the president of the Foundation for Landscape Studies. A resident of New York City since 1964, Rogers was the first person to hold the title of Central Park Administrator, and she was the founding president of the Central Park Conservancy. The co-author of Romantic Gardens: Nature, Art, and Landscape Design, Rogers has won numerous awards for her work as a writer and landscape preservationist.

February – Tulip: The Flower that Drove Men Mad

In 1635, a rare tulip bulb, the “Semper Augustus”, was worth more than the most expensive houses on the canals in the center of Amsterdam. Join us as we trace the migration of this humble flower from the Near East to Europe where it became a coveted and precious rarity. Tulip bulbs were traded as a commodity causing the phenomena known as “Tulipomania”.

Bonnie Joseph received a BA in History from College Misericordia, Dallas, PA in 1964 and a MA in Art History from Temple University in 1991.  She was an adjunct professor of Art History at Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, PA from 1992-2002. Bonnie has combined her academic background with her love of gardening and garden history to originate the Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s annual winter lecture series.

March – Crop Circles:  Mystery in the Making

Every summer in the Wiltshire countryside of England many beautiful designs appear in the wheat and barley crops puzzling and amazing farmers, visitors and crop circle researchers alike.  What are they?  Why are they appearing?  Who makes them?  How are they made?  Can they be called gardens?  Explore the mystery with Donna Bone as she shares images from her recent journey to learn more about the crop circle phenomenon.

Donna Bone is a landscape designer who, in 1995, co-founded Design with Nature, a Santa Fe based design/build landscape company.  Since its inception, she has been the creative director of the company, committed to providing clients with all of the benefits of high quality design and installation.  Her role as designer and project manager keeps her active in both the design studio and in the field.  Schooled in studio art and art history, with an MA in Renaissance Art History, she left a teaching career to pursue her passion for working with Nature.  Donna’s life-long interests in art, architecture, nature and travel all contribute to her inspired garden design.

April – Royalty Rampant:  Power on Display at Hampton Court Palace and its Gardens

The periods immediately prior to the reigns of Henry VIII and William III were times of monarchical insecurity and strife.  Where better to induce calm, confidence and co-operation with forcibly established power than in gardens and looking out on them?  LOOK what we have brought you: peace, prosperity and order.  It doesn’t even need to be SAID.

Michael Pulman was born and raised in an English family of gardeners and garden visitors.  He encountered his first botanical garden when at boarding school in Oxford.  He has a Ph.D. in English history from UC Berkeley, has conducted study tours involving gardens in England, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Italy, has visited gardens in France, Holland, Spain, Lebanon, Syria, Portugal (including Madeira), India, Australia and New Zealand, taught for a year in Florence, the eponymous City of Flowers and has visited Hampton Court too many times to count since age about twelve.  He lived there, in the Landmark Trust’s Georgian House, for a week in 1997.