FROM THE CURATOR
It?s been a long hot summer and both the roses and Volunteers are a bit sunburned around the edges. It has been a surprisingly busy summer, what with the Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory for Botanical Science nearly ready for its grand public opening on October 7th, the construction in the Chinese Garden, and all the activity around The Huntington Art Gallery.
If you have not taken a look at The Huntington Botanical website lately you should take a few minutes to check out a new page in the Rose Garden section. We have only recently uploaded a new page of Rose links. The idea behind this is to share with our web visitors some of the fantastic rose related resources available on the worldwide web. For example if a visitor is looking to locate a local southern California rose society there is now a direct link to the American Rose Society?s listing of rose clubs in our area. Or if someone is looking for information on the rose gardens of England, they can click on the link for the Royal National Rose Society with links to most of the important rose collections in the UK. Opening the link to the World Federation of Rose Societies will pull a visitor into the international rose world in a blink.
Amazingly, the Huntington?s website has become in just a few short months a major educational outreach for the Botanical Gardens and the Rose Garden in particular. First we started posting our Subrosa newsletter on the site and now The Jumping Cholla, the newsletter for the Desert Garden is also hosted on the site. We have, for the first time, a section of the site dedicated to the Plant Sale and the free Second Thursday Lecture Series that provides visitors up-to-date information on programs and sales.
Each garden with scheduled programs will soon have its own Events page. Our hope is that our Volunteers will both utilize and mention the website to visitors who may have a question or are looking for specific information that might be listed on the site.
Another invaluable addition to the Botanical site is Judi Danner?s slide show ?What?s In Bloom,? from the monthly Docent/Volunteer meeting. Judi and her husband Bry scanned all her June program slides into computer files so that our webmistress, Priscilla Wardlow, could start to build a library of each program. As we move through a calendar year this resource will be an invaluable tool for our Volunteers and visitors who are hungry for more information on the gardens and photographs of the plants in bloom. Each individual photograph will enlarge with a click of your mouse and each page has a link to a map of The Huntington to help visitors find the locations. Judi?s 'What?s In Bloom? has only been available on the website for a little over a month and it is already responsible for nearly 90% of the bandwidth used each month!
This past August I was invited to attend a garden party in the Rose Garden honoring Ruth Shannon. Ruth, a long time supporter and patron of The Huntington Rose Garden, was retiring from The Huntington Board of Trustees. In fact it was Ruth and her husband Ed who endowed the position of Rose Curator a few years back. A number of toasts were offered to Ruth and her successful tour of duty as one of the five Huntington Trustees. Although leaving the Board, Ruth is far from retiring and promises to stay active in The Huntington family and has, in fact, agreed to co-chair the new fundraising campaign. Anyone who has ever met Ruth knows she is anything but retiring in life. We can expect her to continue an active leadership role at The Huntington well into the future.
Clair Martin, Ruth B. and E.L. Shannon Curator of the Rose and Perennial Gardens
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