Our Global GardenAugust 15, 2012
At Longwood, we have established our very own definition of “a great garden of the world.” To us, greatness is defined by the ability to produce beautiful and timeless displays. But we also look beyond our own garden gates—to our relationship with international institutions—to help us define greatness. Many of the most important design, horticultural and educational contributions we have made would not have been achieved without our global partners.
Our beautiful horticultural displays are rooted in our plant exploration program—a program that has prompted Longwood staff to travel to over 50 countries and introduce over 130 cultivated plant varieties. Plants collected during these expeditions now compose Longwood’s globally recognized plant collection. Furthermore, many of the plants released from our research and development program are now well known and economically important, such as the New Guinea Impatiens. More recent global partnerships have resulted in our development and presentation of the rare Japanese Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum and Lilytopia, which was presented in partnership with the Dutch bulb industry.
According to Thomas Friedman,“the world is flat,” and all of us at Longwood have fully embraced our flat, globally connected world. We have been methodically evaluating, establishing, and defining meaningful relationships around the world. Recent new partnerships with the Fairy Lake Botanical Garden in Shenzhen, China and the National Parks Board of Singapore allow for the cooperative exchange of staff for professional development. We are excited to soon formalize our partnership with one of China’s newest public gardens, the Chenshan Botanical Garden in Shanghai. Our partnership with Chenshan will provide for the exchange of staff for professional development, support of educational programs, and scientific research.
Longwood has many other global partnerships not described here that we are grateful for, and we look forward to advancing our relationships with our partners. Our aim is that you, our guests and community, will reap the rewards through even better displays and programs. These relationships help all of us appreciate one another a bit better and acknowledge our shared responsibility in caring for our global garden.