Thursday, March 22, 2012

The volunteers and I were eating lunch at the GCA Circle today and who should appear but Barry Yinger

Barry is a famous horticulturist, and no, that's not an oxymoron. Hey, he's got a hosta named for him! I worked for Larry Lee in the early 1990's; Larry succeeded Barry as curator of the Asian Collections. Barry has held various prestigious positions as a horticulturist. He owned the extraordinary nursery Asiatica, now owns a nursery in Bangkok that produces, duh, tropicals. Before he was at the Arboretum, he was at another of my favorites, Brookside Gardens, in Maryland. He went on a number of collecting trips to Eastern Asia for both the National Arboretum and Brookside Gardens. I am privileged to grow many plants he collected.

One of the big things he did at the Arboretum, was design and oversee the installation of the Central Valley including the watercourse. I would have loved to have talked about the collection but didn't want to intrude. The visit was clearly casual, not official, but it was fun to meet him again. I remember distinctly being introduced in 1991 by Larry on the China Valley path. If things work out, I'd love to walk the collection with him someday, but if that doesn't happen, it was great to see him today.

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