Group of people standing in a garden on the grounds of the museum

2018 Gardener Sessions with Marta McDowell

Three seasons in the Museum gardens with Marta McDowell

Garden historian Marta McDowell is a familiar face to participants of the Museum’s annual Garden Days. The Emily Dickinson’s Gardens author will have an even bigger presence at the Museum throughout 2018 as our gardener-in-residence. Marta will lead five garden sessions this year, with a different theme for each session. Each session includes public talks and workshops, and volunteer gardening opportunities. Stay tuned for information on public programs and volunteer days in this series! 

The 2018 Gardener-in-Residence schedule:

May 4-7: “Into my garden come!”: Dickinson’s Landscape

Friday, May 4 Meet and Greet for Volunteers, 4:30-6PM
Saturday, May 5 Volunteer Day, 9AM-1PM
Sunday, May 6 Volunteer Day, 9AM-1PM
June 6-10: “Nature, the gentlest mother”: A Gardener’s Toolkit

June 8 Volunteer Day, 9AM-1PM
June 9 Volunteer Day, 9AM-1PM
August 4-8: “It takes a clover and one bee”: Pollinators, Weeds, and Meadows

August 6 Volunteer Day, 9AM-1PM
August 7 Volunteer Day, 9AM-1PM
September 28-October 2: “Fetch the acres in”: Harvests Past and Present

September 29 Volunteer Day, 9AM-1PM
September 30 Volunteer Day, 9AM-1PM
November 2-5: “The autumn poets sing”: End of Season Celebration

November 3 Volunteer Day, 9AM-1PM
November 4 Volunteer Day, 9AM-1PM

About Marta McDowell

Marta McDowell lives, writes and gardens in Chatham, New Jersey. She shares her garden with her husband, Kirke Bent, their crested cockatiel, Sydney, and assorted wildlife. Her garden writing has appeared in popular publications such as Woman’s Day, Country Gardening and The New York Times. Scholars and specialists have read her essays on American authors and their horticultural interests in the journals Hortus and Arnoldia.

Marta’s latest book, The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, tells the tale of the plants and places of the beloved author of the Little House series. Timber Press published All the Presidents’ Gardens, a book that relates the history of American gardening as seen through the White House grounds. It made The New York Times bestseller list and won an American Horticultural Society book award in 2017. Following the relationship between the pen and the trowel led Marta to children’s author/illustrator Beatrix Potter and poet Emily Dickinson. Timber Press published Marta’s book, Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life, in 2013. It won the Gold Award from the Garden Writers Association in August 2014 and is in its sixth printing. With artist Yolanda Fundora, Marta wrote A Garden Alphabetized (for your viewing pleasure) in 2008. Emily Dickinson’s Gardens was published by McGraw-Hill in 2005, and Marta is in the process of revising it for a full color edition from Timber Press due out in 2019.

If you visit the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts, you can stroll the grounds with a landscape audio tour that Marta scripted. She was an advisor for the New York Botanical Garden’s 2010 show, “Emily Dickinson’s Gardens: The Poetry of Flowers” and worked with Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lenhardt Library on a Beatrix Potter exhibit in 2016. In 2018, Marta will be the Gardener-in-Residence at the Emily Dickinson Museum.

Marta teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden where she has been twice awarded “Instructor of the Year.” A popular lecturer, she has been a featured speaker at locations ranging from the Chicago Botanic Garden to the Smithsonian Institution to the Beatrix Potter Society’s Linder Lecture at the Sloane Club in London.

Marta interned at Wave Hill, Frelinghuysen Arboretum, the Royal Horticultural Society’s Rosemoor in Devon, England and at the Chelsea Physic Garden. She worked as a horticulturist for five years at Reeves-Reed Arboretum. Marta is on the Board of the NJ Historical Garden Foundation at the Cross Estate in Bernardsville, NJ. She received the 2016 Annual Award from the Friends of Frelinghuysen Arboretum. Her garden is included in the Smithsonian’s Archive of American Gardens.

Posted in Past Events.