Historical Society launches new horticulture exhibition series

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With the warm summer months approaching, the Bordentown Historical Society recently launched its newest exhibition series to celebrate the people who influenced the area’s  renowned horticulture and landscaping.

For the society’s spring and summer exhibit titled, “How Does Your Garden Grow,” residents will have the opportunity to learn about multiple historical individuals’ hand in contributing their passion of horticulture and landscaping styles made famous today around the world and Bordentown. The exhibit will feature the history and works of Joseph Bonaparte, Harris Hammond, Edmund Sturtevant, Franklin Carr and Charles David Walker.

Whether it’s Walker’s renowned peony gardens at Hilltop Park or Bonaparte’s formal gardens at the Bordentown Bluffs in Point Breeze, the historical society’s officials said that these figures’ talents in  horticulture will all be featured in this exhibition series.

Officials also said that Hammond’s boxwood hedges were the longest in the country during the 1920s as well as the creation of his Chinese rock garden swimming pool, which is allegedly the most unique garden in Bordentown today as well as Sturtevant’s first aquatics nursery in Bordentown, and Carr’s efforts in the growing of the hybrid iris have resulted in 12 international awards. His irises can also be found in Buckingham Palace and the Vatican.

The exhibition series display showcase will be featured in the Friends Meeting House on Farnsworth Avenue on June 1 and July 20 from noon to 4 p.m. The museum will also be open on June 15 and August 17 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The exhibit is being led by historical society co-president, Doug Kiovsky, who felt the group’s efforts to explore new themes for their exhibits as well as syncing them up with the season can attract various audiences to their building along Farnsworth Avenue.

“We have rotating exhibits like this to peak people’s interests,” Kiovsky said. “We knew about some of the people in Bordentown who were creative in the development of the horticulture and landscaping style and themes here.”

Not only did the historical society have knowledge and presentations they wanted to showcase on these particular individuals, but they wanted to reach out to small businesses in the community as well to feature the Bordentown people: especially its youth.

Artwork from the youths will feature floral and natural scenes to be displayed over the summer at the Friends Meeting House exhibit in association with Bordentown’s Leaping Dog Art Studio.

“We decided to do this particular horticulture theme right because we have an annual garden tour to incorporate into that, and now with the opening of the Leaping Dog Arts Studio earlier last year to feature children’s artwork to fit in with theme of landscapes and flowers,” Kiovsky said.

The historical society’s program presentations in association with its theme will be held on June 15; June 22; July 6; July 13; August 3 and August 17. The June 22 program is the annual “History in Bloom Garden Tour,” which is chaired by Patti Reaney and Ricky Ellis. The cost for the tour is $20 per person.

The historical society said that all other programs are free although the June 15 program will be a guided walking tour of Fernbrook Farm at 142 Bordentown-Georgetown Road by owner Brian Kuser, which will be a suggested donation.

Upcoming events for the exhibition series are scheduled as follows:

– June 1: Friends Meetinghouse Museum exhibit hours. Noon – 4 p.m.

– June 15: Tour of Fernbrook Farm with Brian Kuser. 10 a.m. – noon.

– July 6: Presentation on Butterfly Gardens with Bobbie Herbs at the Friends Meeting House. Begins at 1 p.m.

– July 13: Presentation on Native Plants with Bobbie Herbs at the Divine Word Gym Meeting Room. Begins at 1 p.m.

– July 20: Friends Meetinghouse Museum exhibit hours: Noon – 4 p.m.

– (Tentative date to be confirmed) August 3 Presentation on Louis and Adolphe Mailliard at the Divine Word Gym Meeting Room. 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

– August 17: Nature tour of Point Breeze with Pat Coleman. Meet up at Divine Word parking lot. 10 a.m. – noon.

People with any questions on events or event info are asked to contact Doug Kiovsky via email at  georgesilverfox@aol.com.