the Flower Show:
Joseph Redouté, Les Liliacées. Academy
of Natural Sciences. Click for enlargement and additional
for Books and Bulbs
or, Old Garden
'Dirt' and Where to Dig It
lecture by Elizabeth McLean
March 3, 1:00-2:00 ("Garden Writers' Day")
Philadelphia Flower Show
Pennsylvania Convention Center
(other March 3
lectures and demonstrations)
Digging for Books and Bulbs:
Plant-related Resources in PACSCL Member Collections
at the Philadelphia Flower Show for garden historian Elizabeth McLean's
lecture, "Digging for bulbs and books" -- a riveting story
of how she's mined the fabulous rare book and manuscript collections
of Philadelphia in search of information on gardens and the people
who created them. As McLean tells it in her own words:
want to find out about an historic garden, you had better be ready
to chase ephemeral will of the wisps, and to do some digging. Philadelphia
is rich in gardens -- and also rich in primary resources.Our libraries
can be treasures -- as can the librarians who know them.
drawings and maps come immediately to mind, but there are only two
known drawings of Philadelphia before the Revolution. Letters, old
bills, diaries are valuable. 'Recollections' are valuable too, but
are not always reliable. Dictionaries, both linguistic and botanical,
are essential in 'translating'" earlier terminology -- such
as pre-Linnaean names -- to those we use today. If we are fortunate,
herbarium specimens will tell us what a described plant really was.
Books of the time (especially if annotated by their owners) can
tell us what influenced decisions as to design and planting methods.
Archaeology, when used along with all the above, can provide 'proof.'"
'case histories,' representing different periods, will be discussed:
Pennsbury, Fairhill, Mount Pleasant and the Highlands (the latter
representing several periods.)"