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  • Jennifer Jewell


Photo of a therapeutic landscape designed by the Fockele Garden Company on the cover of Therapeutic Landscapes, by Clare Copper Marcus and Naomi A. Sachs. Wiley Press 2014.



Elizabeth Lawrence was one of the grand dames of American horticulture in the 1900s. She was not only an avid gardener, but the first trained and licensed woman landscape architect out of the landscape architecture program at University of North Carolina, Raleigh. She designed, gardened and experimented with planting zones enthusiastically in her Charlotte, North Carolina home and garden from the late 1940s through the mid 1980s. She remains one of the stars in the firmament in our American Horticultural heritage – her southern garden and her globally resonant garden writing remain vibrant 75 years after the publication of her first book, "A Southern Garden".

For those of us who may need a refresher, Elizabeth Lawrence, born in 1904, was the first woman to graduate from the landscape architecture program at North Carolina State University. She made remarkable and lasting contributions to horticulture in the American South by maintaining her personal garden as a laboratory and through her prolific writing. Lawrence’s writing – in books, articles, columns and correspondence – was personal, poetic and full of plant and garden information.

2017 marks important anniversaries of a large number of Lawrence’s written work, including the 75th anniversary of what is perhaps the most well known of her books: "A Southern Garden," originally published in 1942. Her second manuscript, "The Little Bulbs," was published in 1957.

"“This is the gate of my garden. I invite you to enter in; not only into my garden, but into the world of gardens — a world as old as the history of man, and as new as the latest contribution of science; a world of mystery, adventure and romance; a world of poetry and philosophy; a world of beauty; and a world of work.”— Elizabeth Lawrence

Perhaps most importantly, she shared her experiences and knowledge widely through her beautiful and plentiful garden writing in books, articles and correspondence with other gardeners and horticulturists around the globe.

In honor of this notable woman in American Gardening, the Elizabeth Lawrence House & Garden are dedicating their biennial Fall Symposium to celebrating these milestones on October 18th and 19th in the garden. The event will feature regional and national garden and Elizabeth Lawrence experts.

This week on Cultivating Place we're joined by Andrea Sprott, Garden Curator since 2010 of the Elizabeth Lawrence House and Garden, part of the Wing Haven Foundation, in Charlotte, NC to hear more about the garden, the biennial garden symposium on October 18 and 19 "Inspiring the Unexpected" -a celebration of the garden, Elizabeth Lawrence and her legacy.

Join us!

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