Preserving America’s Exceptional Gardens
For those of you who are not aware I want to pass on some information about The Garden Conservancy. It is a wonderful program that finds Americas great gardens and makes sure they remain for future generations to enjoy. At the bottom of the description below you will find a link to their “open days” program that allows you access to these wonderful gardens. Have a look at the links to discover some of our hidden jewels and what is being done to preserve them.
Preservation Project Gardens
The Preservation Projects of the Garden Conservancy lie at the core of the organization’s mission to identify and preserve America’s exceptional gardens for the education and enjoyment of the public. The Preservation Projects Program brings structure and focus to the preservation of important and historically significant private gardens across the United States and the role they play in people’s lives. The Program applies sound preservation and conservation principles to the task and finds ways to transform these gardens into protected and well managed public entities. In partnership with individual garden owners as well as public and private organizations, this Conservancy Program provides the horticultural, technical, management, and financial expertise needed to sustain these fragile environments and ensure long-term stewardship of natural assets so essential to the aesthetic and cultural life of our communities.
Exceptional gardens most often begin as private affairs, the life work of passionate, dedicated, and remarkably talented gardeners. A select number of these are capable of flourishing for generations as public gardens, and it is the Conservancy’s role to facilitate their historic and aesthetic preservation as well as public visitation. The Conservancy’s Preservation Projects Program takes a leadership role in the transition of the American gardens in its diverse portfolio from private to non-profit ownership and management.
When an exceptional garden becomes a Preservation Project of the Garden Conservancy, the owners of the garden and the Conservancy embark on a rigorous process that involves the structuring of legal strategies and conservation easements to protect the property from development. Master plans for stabilization, preservation, interpretation, horticultural management, and public access are developed. New organizational and financial strategies are implemented to build sound governance and fiscal foundations. Often, interim management is required and the Conservancy takes a direct management role, assuming responsibility for managing the garden, hiring staff, administering programs as well as responsibility for the financial well being of the garden itself. The Conservancy provides support in areas such as bookkeeping, personnel management, fundraising, public visitation, planning, and promotion, and also extends its involvement and ongoing advisory services over time to ensure quality and stability.
Over the past 20 years, the Garden Conservancy has helped over 90 exceptional gardens in the United States survive and prosper. In addition, the Conservancy makes its expertise available to dozens of gardens each year through technical assistance, education, and a wide range of short term help and consulting services. Its internships expose a new generation of professionals to the diverse skills required to operate a public garden. The handbook, “Taking a Garden Public,” offers an overview of the issues and strategies involved in preserving and sustaining a garden and points to resources to aid local efforts.
Many of our partner gardens are open throughout the year, as well as, during The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program. To learn more about the Open Days program, click here.