Items from the Beatrix Farrand herbarium exhibition IMAGES COURTESY OF BEATRIX FARRAND SOCIETY

Herbarium exhibition open

BAR HARBOR — The Beatrix Farrand Society’s herbarium exhibition can be viewed at Garland Farm, 475 Bay View Drive, on Thursdays through Sept. 28, from 1-5 p.m. It also can be seen on days of Garland Farm programs.

The herbarium exhibition celebrates the plants of three Mount Desert Island gardens: Reef Point Gardens, Beatrix Farrand’s family home, dismantled in 1955; Asticou Azalea Garden, established in the late 1950s; and Garland Farm, Farrand’s last home, from 1955-1959.

All of the plants displayed in the exhibition were planted at Reef Point under Farrand’s direction. Her herbarium of 900-plus vouchers, created in 1949-1954, confirms that these plants actually were planted there. When Reef Point was dismantled in 1955, the herbarium was sent to the University of California, Berkeley, where it is now part of the university and Jepson Herbaria. The images in this exhibition were scanned and printed from that collection.

Living specimens of all of the plants shown in this year’s exhibition can be seen at Garland Farm and Asticou Azalea Garden. Some of the plants currently found in both gardens are known to have been transplanted from Reef Point; these are noted in the exhibition’s handouts.

Asticou Azalea Garden was created in the late 1950s, when hundreds of azaleas and rhododendrons were moved from Reef Point to form the core collection of the new garden. Excellent records document that 92 plants shown in the exhibition were at Asticou in 1958.

Garland Farm was a well-established farm at the time Farrand moved there in 1955. She added the Terrace Garden and other plantings around the house by transplanting some of her favorite plants from Reef Point and purchasing other favorite plants.

The Reef Point Herbarium was created as a study tool for landscape design students. Each voucher displays a map that shows where the plant grew in Reef Point Gardens. From these maps, one can learn which plants Farrand chose, how she combined plants into plantings and how she juxtaposed colors, forms and textures.


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