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Blog Posts

Beatrix Farrand: An Ecological Designer

OSGF

Known as one of America's greatest landscape designers, Beatrix Farrand is often acknowledged as a creator of aesthetic beauty. Beyond this, though, she was an innovative and responsive designer who achieved what many landscape architects aspire to today – a perfect marriage of art and science.

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Dorothea Eliza Smith: Resilient Botanical Illustrator

OSGF

Within the collections of rare botanical texts and seldom seen manuscripts housed at the Oak Spring Garden Foundation is a beautiful work by a largely unknown artist, Dorothea Eliza Smith. Her “Fruits of the Lima Market” – a collection of watercolors that she completed between 1850 and 1853 – stand out as an exemplary creation made even more impressive by her relative obscurity and the sparse details of her life.

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Dave the Potter and His Historic Ceramics

OSGF

One hundred years ago, in 1919, a ceramic pot was donated to the Charleston Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, bearing the name “Dave” and a short inscription. The story behind the pot, and the man who made it, is remarkable.

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Great Possessions

OSGF

Today, January 11th, is Aldo Leopold’s birthday. 2019 also marks the 70th anniversary of A Sand County Almanac, Leopold’s seminal work on environmental ethics.

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Celebrate the Outdoors

OSGF

Over the river and through the wood, Christmas trees, boughs of holly. There is much to love about nature and the outdoors during the holiday season. If you are looking to create a new tradition, here are a couple nature-themed holiday ideas!

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Mountains

OSGF

December 11th is reserved by the United Nations General Assembly as International Mountain Day. This annual observance gives voice to mountain-specific issues and draws attention to neglected mountain areas and communities. The 2018 theme for International Mountain Day is #MountainsMatter.

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Giving Tuesday

OSGF

If Thanksgiving is a day of gratitude for what we have, the days immediately following it seem to be a frenzy for obtaining more. The feverish consumerism fueled by Black Friday and Cyber Monday was given an more generous alternative in 2012 with the beginning of Giving Tuesday: a day to support and encourage charitable giving for the benefit of others.

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Repton Revealed: The Art of Landscape Gardening

OSGF

The Oak Spring Garden Library is the proud home of four of Humphry Repton’s (1752-1818) “Red Books,” significant and rare works in the history of landscape design. To celebrate the bicentennial of Repton’s death, the Garden Museum in London recently opened an exhibition, “Repton Revealed: The Art of Landscape Gardening.”

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Healing the Wounds of War

OSGF

Gardens are places of peace and reflection, and as we celebrate Veterans Day, Remembrance Day and Armistice Day, we can reflect on how plants have helped us heal in the dark times of war. Sometimes this healing is symbolic, and sometimes it is literal.

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Preservation and Activation

OSGF

Rachel Lambert “Bunny” Mellon left an indelible mark in the hearts of many through her work in horticulture and philanthropy. Given the significance of her legacy, we often get asked how the Oak Spring Garden Foundation (OSGF) is working to preserve her home and estate.

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Oak Spring Garden Foundation awards two early-career fellowships

OSGF

The Oak Spring Garden Foundation (OSGF) has awarded two newly established early-career fellowships of $10,000 each, named in honor of Rachel “Bunny” Lambert Mellon’s children, Eliza Moore and Stacy Lloyd III. The two awards were established with generous support from the Gerard B. Lambert Foundation.  

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New Work in Historic Places

OSGF

Bunny and Paul Mellon’s passion for art and the environment is evident in their lifelong philanthropic support of these two fields. We are continuing this legacy through a new Artists in Residence (AiR) program that we have been piloting this summer.

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An Oak Spring Herbaria

OSGF

An Oak Spring Herbaria, Bunny Mellon’s last catalog of the Oak Spring Library collection, is now available to view and study online!

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Garden to Table

OSGF

This summer has been a busy one, with a growing number of guests visiting the Oak Spring Garden Foundation for conferences, internships, and other programs. To help feed these guests, we are putting more focus on the utilization of our gardens’ produce in our kitchen.

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Summer Activity

OSGF

This summer has been our busiest season yet, hosting and working with groups that cover a wide array of subjects. These gatherings are proving the value of intimate and focused meetings in Oak Spring's supportive setting – we are seeing concrete outcomes and the beginnings of projects that will continue years into the future.

Read here for a taste of some of these meetings and the ongoing efforts that they represent. 

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