November 22, 2013 – Des Moines, IA
DES MOINES, Iowa (November 22, 2013) –
The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden kicks off the holiday season in horticultural style this weekend with the opening of The Holiday Exhibition, a new tradition celebrating hundreds of amaryllis against the backdrop of the newly renovated conservatory. The exhibition reveals at the Botanical Garden’s sold-out Champagne and Chocolate gala on November 22, 6-8 p.m. and runs through January 5.
The Holiday Exhibition is one of two seasonal exhibitions throughout the year, in addition to regularly changing exhibits in the conservatory and the North Gallery. “The exhibition model gives us a compelling reason to invite people back to the Garden again and again,” says horticulture manager Kelly Norris. “Each of these programming opportunities spotlights an artistic concept through the interpretive medium of a garden.”
Beyond the conservatory, indoor horticulture teems throughout the building. The Gardeners Show House features a railroad garden, a first for the institution, built in collaboration with the Polk County Master Gardeners and the Central Iowa Garden Railroad Society. Amaryllis and paperwhites are on-sale in the Garden Shop, the newly opened retail space that’s fast becoming a go-to destination for gardening books, work by Iowa artists and designer jewelry.
In addition to dynamic horticulture, the Botanical Garden continues to host artists in the North Gallery that showcases work on botanical themes. Through January 10, Wisconsin-based photographer Mark Hirsch's work is featured in "That Tree.” Hirsch’s exhibit features 20 evocative images from his bookThat Tree, a yearlong photo journal documenting an ancient bur oak tree. Hirsch's book documents the chronology of the seasons and his personal journey through the lens of his iPhone. His book is for sale in the Garden Shop.
Armed with a new mission, the Botanical Garden is cultivating a robust future as it advocates for the cultural relevance of plants and gardens. The Botanical Garden reopened its doors to nearly 2,700 visitors on September 28 after a three-month construction closure. Construction continues on Phase I exterior gardens, scheduled to open late summer 2014. The $6.2 millionWe Are a Garden Nowcampaign marks the second phase of fundraising for the budding cultural institution. The campaign will raise money for the development of two additional gardens and expansion of the Botanical Garden’s curatorial and educational programs and its endowment.
On January 1, 2013 the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden launched a new beginning. After years of planning, a bold vision, generous community support and a new staff, the Botanical Garden assumed operatorship of a 34-year old conservatory and 14 acres of land bordering the Des Moines River. Armed with a mission of exploring, explaining and celebrating the world of plants, we are a garden now. The Botanical Garden is a 501(c)(3) privately governed, not-for-profit institution with ten years of operating support at $645,000 per year from the City of Des Moines, Des Moines Water Works and Bravo Greater Des Moines. In addition, the Phase II Endowment goal will grow the total endowment to $3.6 million.