Students at the Ambler School for Women move plants from a truck in 1954. PHOTO COURTESY OF BAR HARBOR GARDEN CLUB

‘Blooms to bloomers’ at Garland Farm


BAR HARBOR — Landscape historian and museum educator Valencia Libby will discuss the history of horticulture schools for women on Thursday, September 12 at 1 p.m. at Garland Farm.

A small but significant number of schools during the Progressive Era sought to educate women to earn a livelihood in horticulture. They were international in context, often privately funded, and typically established by women in leadership positions. Although there were many such institutions throughout Europe, most closed before or after World War II.

However, one school, the Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women, founded by Jane Bowne Haines in 1910 was an astounding success, and had a longevity that led to its incorporation into Temple University in 1958.

“Well-illustrated with period photography this lecture opens a window on a women’s movement little recognized today,” organizers said.

Libby lives in Blue Hill. She retired from Temple University in Philadelphia as an associate professor of landscape architecture and horticulture. She received the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Landscape History in 2004 to teach in Portugal.

She currently serves as a design consultant to several historical collections and is writing a book about Lord and Schryver, two women landscape architects who lived in Salem, Ore.

This presentation is one of the monthly programs offered by the Bar Harbor Garden Club and will be followed by a tour of the Garland Farm Gardens. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m. and refreshments will be served.

This meeting is open to the public, but non-members are asked to reserve a seat at [email protected] or call 244-1116.

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