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Cornell Plantations receives grant to expand interpretation in the Botanical Garden

Published: 
40 weeks 2 days ago
What makes a winter garden beautiful? How did rhododendrons and azaleas from China make their way into Cornell’s backyard?  Why is a north-facing slope ideal for growing conifers? Besides love, what did the rose symbolize in ancient mythologies?  Answers to these questions and other fascinating stories can now be told by Cornell Plantations thanks to the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust which granted Plantations $20,000 to develop interpretive signs and books for our Botanical Garden. Over the course of the next year, we will be adding six new interpretive signs around the Botanical Garden, and six new interpretive booklets in Plantations’ Young Flower Garden.

The proposed project will allow for the installation of an introductory panel in almost all garden areas within the botanical garden and to develop interpretive books for one garden.  The purpose of the introductory signs is to introduce visitors to the main idea behind the creation of each garden, orient them to what they can explore, and share fascinating stories behind the plants found in each garden.  The interpretive booklets being developed showcase flowers found in the Young Flower Garden and how they have been depicted in art and literature throughout the world and the cultural importance of the plants.  Additionally, the new booklets are ADA compliant and weather resistant.

“Having a sign at the entrance of each garden is a way to ‘greet’ visitors and share with them what is unique about the garden and what they can experience in the garden.” says Sarah Fiorello, interpretation coordinator for Cornell Plantations.  “These funds will help Cornell Plantations complete the final set of interpretive priorities from our 2009 Interpretive Master Plan and we are thrilled that Stanley Smith granted us this award.”  

The gardens located in the Botanical Garden which are slated for interpretive upgrades are Conifer Slope, the Mullestein Family Winter Garden, Comstock Knoll, and the Young Flower Garden.

The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust was created in 1970 by May Smith, in honor of her late husband. The Trust supports education and research in ornamental horticulture, primarily in North and South America. Grants up to $20,000 are typically made to botanical gardens, arboreta, and universities.