Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum (FOLA) opened its 2016 membership year with a talk at the Wayne Public Library on, “Beatrix Potter’s Gardens” given by Marta McDowell, author of Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life. McDowell teaches landscape history and gardening at the New York Botanical Garden and Drew University. She has a special interest in the relationship between the pen and the trowel—authors who garden.
Beatrix Potter, the author of more than 20 books featuring Peter Rabbit and other charming animals, was born into a wealthy Victorian family. She began illustrating plants, flowers and animals at an early age. In 1902, she wrote and illustrated The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which launched her career as a children’s author. McDowell’s talk explored Potter’s botanical art, the flora and horticulture in her “little books” and Potter’s own gardens in England’s Lake District.
More than 40 people attended the program, which was planned as a special thank you to FOLA members, donors and the Master Gardeners of Passaic County, who have done so much to support the organization’s efforts to preserve and maintain Laurelwood Arboretum.