When I seek inspiration for the beauty and utility of constructing a forthcoming window display, or building an iconic exhibition for a convention hall or crafting a distinctive retail environment — before I sketch my ideas and choose my colors, and well before I bring a concept to life, I walk among the most breathtaking displays of life, in an area of 250 acres of lush summertime greenery, autumnal greatness, wintertime plumage and springtime gorgeousness.
I visit the New York Botanical Garden.
I walk among friends, including my dear compatriot Marc Hachadourian, the Manager of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections and Curator of the Orchid Collection.
His knowledge is encyclopedic, his credibility (by way of his training at Cornell University) is impeccable and his enthusiasm is infectious.
He invites me to admire this refuge of tranquility and Victorian splendor.
I pause before the Stone Mill, and enjoy a moment of silence.
I enter the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, and weep (joyously) inside this temple of glass and Italian Renaissance style.
I leave this land, but I never depart it.
The images shine brightly — and the succulence perfumes the air, strongly — keeping me in that place forever.
I love it.