September 26, 2010 | Panayoti Kelaidis

Capacious east-west terrace in front of Orangerie

So I'm gone for a few weeks and I come back to a new office, a whole new greenhouse complex, a new Marnie's  Pavilion and fabulous plaza all planted, the Orangerie brimming with wonderful combinations of plants in elegant pots, the new Terrace off to the West overlooking the big waterlily pond and new Plant Select garden bristling with Salvia darcyi buzzing with hummingbirds...and a whole lot more (Children's Garden, Hort. offices, Hibiscus classroom, more bathrooms: yippee!). I feel I've been gone for twenty years--or more. Where is the  little provincial garden I first came to work at when the Development Department, the Marketing and Events Department, the Education Department, the Volunteer office and a whole lot more consisted of just Margaret Sykes Wallace? (And she did a bangup job too!). Where is that sleepy little Garden where we had free admission and there were fewer people visiting back then on a Saturday than we now get on a slow Monday morning? As I jostle the everyday crowds, nowadays, and try to dodge the incessantly clicking cameras as visitors try to capture each of the tens of thousands of wonderful views...I truly feel like Trip Van Winkle (and I confess...I LOVE it!)

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