The Centennial Annual Border Display

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    • Curator Cayleb Long surveys part of the bounty that will be planted in the Annual Border display honoring BBG's centennial.Curator Cayleb Long surveys part of the bounty that will be planted in the Annual Border display honoring BBG's centennial.
    • Water-based spray paint is used to outline where plants will be placed.Water-based spray paint is used to outline where plants will be placed.
    • Color-coded lines indicate what plants will go where in the Annual Border display.Color-coded lines indicate what plants will go where in the Annual Border display.
    • Plants are laid out and spaced on the colored lines for the Annual Border display.Plants are laid out and spaced on the colored lines for the Annual Border display.
    • Planting begins on the Annual Border.Planting begins on the Annual Border.
    • Annual BorderAnnual Border
    • A freshly planted and nearly complete bed in the Annual Border.A freshly planted and nearly complete bed in the Annual Border.
    • BBG horticulture interns work in the 90 degree heat to get plants in the ground for the Annual Border.BBG horticulture interns work in the 90 degree heat to get plants in the ground for the Annual Border.
    • A diamond shape being planted in the Annual Border.A diamond shape being planted in the Annual Border.
    • The last remnants of water-based spay paint are barely visible after 2 days of hard work planting the beds in the Annual Border.The last remnants of water-based spay paint are barely visible after 2 days of hard work planting the beds in the Annual Border.
    • BBG Garden guides gather to learn about the recently planted Annual Border display from curator Cayleb Long.BBG Garden guides gather to learn about the recently planted Annual Border display from curator Cayleb Long.
    • Curator Cayleb Long shows his design plan for the Annual Border display honoring BBG's Centennial.Curator Cayleb Long shows his design plan for the Annual Border display honoring BBG's Centennial.
    • Curator Cayleb Long stands over a Ricinus communis, commonly known as castor, and canna lilies.Curator Cayleb Long stands over a Ricinus communis, commonly known as castor, and canna lilies.
    • Curator Cayleb Long points out plants and designs of interest to BBG Garden Guides who will in turn inform visitors on tours.Curator Cayleb Long points out plants and designs of interest to BBG Garden Guides who will in turn inform visitors on tours.
    • Curator Cayleb Long points out plants and designs of interest to BBG Garden Guides who will in turn inform visitors on tours.Curator Cayleb Long points out plants and designs of interest to BBG Garden Guides who will in turn inform visitors on tours.
    • A ‘Blue Passion Flower’ (Passiflora caerulea) first Introduced in 1699, blooms in the Annual Border display.A ‘Blue Passion Flower’ (Passiflora caerulea) first Introduced in 1699, blooms in the Annual Border display.
    • Planting is complete and beginning to root in the Annual Border display.Planting is complete and beginning to root in the Annual Border display.
    • Impatiens repens adds gorgeous color to one bed in the Annual Border.Impatiens repens adds gorgeous color to one bed in the Annual Border.
    • Oxalis Triangularis grows in the Annual Border.Oxalis Triangularis grows in the Annual Border.
    • 1910-2010 in honor of BBG's centennial!1910-2010 in honor of BBG's centennial!

    In honor of BBG’s centennial, Cayleb Long, the curator of Lily Pool Terrace and Magnolia Plaza, developed a display for the Annual Border that is inspired by plants and design styles popular at the time of BBG’s inception in 1910.

    While giving a tour and talk to the Garden Guides this morning, Cayleb pointed out various plants of interest and explained how he researched, designed, and planted the border. Using vintage plant and seed catalogs, gardening publications from 1850 to 1909, and early BBG records, Cayleb gathered inspiration from carpet bedding designs, historic formal bedding schemes such as parterres and knot gardens, and the palette of heirloom species that were popular in the Victorian era.

    With those resources as a guide, Cayleb drew a plan for different bed displays and then used a water-based spray paint to lay down the shapes and lines that would be used to symmetrically plant his unique scheme.

    While grand, intricate annual ornamental plantings were often seen at large institutions and on private estates in the early 1900s, the first priority of working-class citizens with usable land would have been to grow food. For this reason, the centennial Annual Border includes food crops like beets, sage, basil, chile peppers, and kale as well as traditional ornamentals such as verbena, sweet alyssum, tuberose, castor bean, and canna. The border also maintains a connection to today’s modern garden with contemporary cultivars and varieties of heirloom annuals and tender perennials planted in several beds.

    For more information on BBG's centennial displays and events, visit BBG Celebrates 100 Years.


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