In February I’m usually in the Exhibits office at Denver Botanic Gardens putting together the interpretive messages that will appear in signage and audio tours in the busy season ahead. This year, I’m lucky enough to spend a week in Pasadena at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens doing a workshop on plant-based interactive exhibition design. Funded by an IMLS grant, the gracious team at the Huntington is walking (more like running!) us through the process it used to create its conservatory exhibition, Plants Are Up to Something. The exhibition invites visitors to take a closer look at live plants, often using tools and techniques of scientists.
In the coming year, I’ll be working with horticulture staff to create three small interactive exhibits in the Gardens on various topics. My favorite experiences of gardening and plant biology have always been hands-on activities, from planting, watering, and weeding to microscopy, dissections, and DNA extraction. I’m hoping some visitors to the Gardens will get to know plants in a whole new way.