Explore the Hudson Valley

Experience The Hudson Valley

Changing Places: Anne Raver in Conversation with GardenLarge’s Duncan Brine

  |   February 25, 2014  |  Comment

Seven years ago, Anne Raver interviewed Duncan Brine for her New York Times piece, “Vistas and Close-Ups, Staged by a Filmmaker” featuring his Hudson Valley garden. Since Anne’s discovery, the Brine Garden has been the subject of several books and magazines.

On March 1, as part of a symposium, Anne takes the hot seat as Duncan interviews her about her many years covering the garden “writ large”.  Anne will share her garden writer’s world from her early years as a storyteller at the farm dinner table in Maryland to honing her skills under deadline at Newsday and The New York Times. Anne will talk gardens and gardeners, including: how she selects her subjects, reports and writes the story, but also how she presents the personal stories of the gardeners she has met that illustrate issues in horticulture past, present, and future. Anne’s garden writing approach is personal and so will be Duncan and Anne’s conversation at the symposium.

Anne Raver, well known to gardening enthusiasts and professional landscapers, has written about gardening and the environment for almost 30 years.  As an award-winning columnist and feature writer for Newsday in the 1980s, and later the New York Times, she has explored the meaning of gardens from river farmers in the Amazon to urban pioneers of New York City.  She has kept a loyal following informed and inspired about the environment, from the effects of pesticides to the vagaries of climate change, often using her own gardens at her Maryland farm as the starting point.  A storyteller at heart, her love of travel, fueled by her curiosity, has taken her to little known people and places throughout the United States, South America, and England – to bring their stories to life on the page.  Anne has a master’s degree in creative writing and is a former Loeb Fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, but her greatest teachers have been the gardeners and farmers who have told her their stories.  Anne is the author of Deep in the Greena collection of her columns, published by Knopf, 1995.

At the symposium, Duncan and Anne will delve into various aspects of horticulture which have received Anne’s attention and journalistic treatment over the years. Duncan is a principal at GardenLarge, a landscape design and installation firm. He teaches naturalistic landscape design at the New York Botanical Gar­den; his method of “structured naturalism,” involves native plants and existing conditions. In the American Horticultural Society’s American Gardener magazine, Duncan wrote, “A naturalistic garden has a dual focus, like horticulture itself—it’s balanced between art and science.”

Also presenting at the symposium are Ed Bowen and Dawn Pettinelli. In his talk, Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, specialty nursery owner, Ed Bowen, will discuss mass-market plant selection criteria and the limitations the process imposes on gardeners and growers. Dawn Pettinelli, an educator at the University of Connecticut, presents Soil Sense: Let’s Stop Treating Our Soils Like Dirt – Our Lives Depend Upon It! Dawn will demonstrate various threats to healthy soil and helps gardeners respect and protect one of their most valuable assets.

The Mad Gardeners’ Symposium, titled Keeping Grounded: Life in the Garden, will take place
at the Housatonic Valley Regional High School, Falls Village, CT,
on Saturday, March 1, from 9 am to 3pm. (Snow Date: Sunday, March 2)

For registration go to www.madgardeners.org.

For more information on GardenLarge go to www.gardenlarge.com

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