African Garden + plants

The Dinner Party

I just had to accept Veg Plotting's challenge of hosting a dinner party on my blog. The guidelines are to invite 3 to5 guests, each with an interest in gardening or nature. The guests can be from the past, present or future, a celebrity or a gardening buddy. Here is my list.

Guest #1 is Ernest "Chinese" Wilson, the renowned British plant hunter and director of the Arnold Arboretum. He would be such an interesting guest with his stories of plant hunting, how he tracked down the elusive Dove Tree (Davidia involucrata) in the midst of the Boxer Rebellion in China, and how he acquired his "lily limp."

Guest #2 is Beatrix Farrand, the only female founding member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. She designed the famous gardens at Dumbarton Oaks (among many others), and was influenced by Fredrick Law Olmstead, Gertrude Jekyll and William Robinson, with whom she corresponded. She introduced the concept of garden rooms, and was an early proponent of native plants. She was also the niece of the author Edith Wharton, for whom she designed a garden.

Guest #3 is Katharine S. White, writer and editor of the New Yorker magazine. She was married to author E.B. White. I imagine she must have been a witty and engaging conversationalist. She was also a very opinionated gardener, as revealed in her weekly column, "Onward and Upward in the Garden" and in her letters to fellow gardener, Elizabeth Lawrence.

Guest #4 is Dr. Michael Dirr, former professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia, because he's "The Man" in the world of woody plants and is responsible for many plant introductions. He literally wrote the book on hardy trees and shrubs. If he is anything like his books, he will also be a very entertaining guest, and he sounds like he's a genuinely nice guy.

Guest #5 is my mom.

my mom and her mom at Vizcaya, in Florida, circa 1979

Not only is she an avid gardener, she's also a perfect guest, a great conversationalist, and the perfect hostess. She also loves parties and get togethers of all sorts, and she's lots of fun. In addition, I know she'll bring something absolutely fantastic for dessert. (Did I mention she's a great cook, too?)

To see who is on everyone else's guest list, use google.

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The Dinner Party + plants