Garden of Helen Bodian
Sat, Jun 1, 2019
"My rock garden came about in 1995 when we had a big excavator around for the construction of a modern addition to our old farmhouse. With that machine, we dug into a slope alongside the new addition and moved in some very large, weathered, limestone rocks, arranging them to look as if they had always been there. Since then, so much has changed, including my relationship to this completely engrossing, ongoing project.
I am the daughter of a scientist and an artist, and gardening has always seemed a marvelous way to bring together those two sides of my upbringing and training. Rock gardening was particularly attractive, since it required much more attention to plant behavior, which fascinated me, while offering interesting design challenges, which many rock gardeners characteristically neglect. In my early enthusiasm, I traveled to a variety of alpine environments and lectured on the plant life of the Sino-Himalayas, belonged to seed exchanges, and for a short time presided over the Manhattan Chapter of the Rock Garden Society. But I eventually drifted in another direction, feeling the tug of my art background, because in the end (though I still love seeing and identifying plants in the wild), I am less interested in growing difficult specimens merely for the sake of horticultural triumph, and more interested in having a beautiful garden that would be a pleasure not only to gaze upon but also to work in. This approach is not the only unusual aspect here. My rock garden is intimate, closely backed by a dense hedgerow, creating a well-used courtyard linking the old and new parts of our house.
I’d like to share my discoveries with other gardeners to help them consider rock gardening, perhaps for the first time or perhaps in an entirely new way."
Helen Bodian is a photographer based in New York City and has published and exhibited in various venues. Previously, as an attorney, she specialized in civil and human rights law and worked at the Center for Human Rights at Columbia University. There, she focused on refugee and migration issues as well as children in armed conflict.
Advance registration is required and space is limited.
Garden of Helen Bodian
Address will be provided to registered guests only
Date and time
Saturday, June 1, 2019
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