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Program Overview

OSGF’s goal is to inspire and facilitate scholarship, public dialogue and consequential action related to plants, gardens, and landscapes. Our activities and programs are structured to meet these goals in a variety areas that leverage Bunny Mellon’s legacy, including her gardens, Library, home, and 700 acres of land.

Supporting Emerging Leaders


Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi, the art historian, author, and friend of Rachel Lambert Mellon, once described her friend’s interests as, “balanced impartially between the two poles of the garden and the book, the reality of nature and the distillation of nature in the work of artists and botanists.” As such, our programming supports emerging leaders that are involved in both theory and practice, in the Oak Spring Garden Library and in our gardens.

We offer individual fellowships, internships, and residencies that support emerging leaders in the world of plants. Visit our Opportunities page to see what fellowships and internships for which we are currently recruiting. Find out more about how we are supporting emerging artists, researchers, and writers on our Fellowships & Residencies page.

Oak Spring Convenings

The Oak Spring estate and historic facilities provide retreat-style workshops, conferences, and symposia for scholars and practitioners that are forwarding meaningful plant-related work.

Participants gather in historic buildings spread around the Oak Spring property. The Basket House, our most popular convening space, is nestled in the formal garden and is still home to dozens of Bunny Mellon’s artisan-crafted basket collection, which hangs from the ceiling. Paul Mellon’s newly renovated Rokeby Stables and Broodmare Barn now provide guest accommodations and meeting space that pay homage to Paul Mellon’s award-winning thoroughbred racehorses.

We are now accepting proposals for conferences, workshops and short courses from institutions that are forwarding work or study related to OSGF’s programming. Click here to learn more.

Outreach & Communications

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As part of our mission to support and inspire fresh thinking and bold action around plants, we support plant-related research and communications. In addition to communicating our own garden and landscape Stories, we also support research and communications through partnerships.

For example, we support timely environmental journalism, including Yale e360, who have led original investigations and reported on topics that are critical to the environment and related to our mission.

Our communications support has also influenced film. For example, we’ve supported environmental and garden-related screenings through the American Conservation Film Festival and DC Environmental Film Festival. In supporting the 2019 film “Beatrix Farrand’s American Landscapes” we have been able to grow our Library collection with Beatrix Farrand-related archives.

Find out more about our Library to see how we are sharing the art and culture of plants, gardens, and landscapes through in-person research, online digitization, publications, and exhibits.

Explore More

To learn more about our activities, visit: