AROUND TOWN: Gardens of Beatrix Potter and her bunnies come alive in Broadmoor Garden Club author event

By Linda Navarro Updated: April 25, 2018 at 2:26 pm • Published: April 25, 2018 0

Flopsy, Mospy, Cottontail and Peter rabbits hop about in the book illustrations of the real gardens of Beatrix Potter.

Delightfully vivacious author Marta McDowell has visited them all.

In one of the most deliciously fun annual community presentations by the Broadmoor Garden Club, McDowell shared "Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life, The Plants and Places that Inspired the Classic Children's Tales" on April 13 in the First United Methodist Church Theatre, preceded by a morning coffee.

Her opener was a traditional picture from one of the books with Peter Rabbit munching something from the garden. A carrot, of course? Not at all, said McDowell, pointing out how to tell it's a big radish.

All the gardeners in the packed audience were right in step as she showed illustration after illustration of the lovely Potter botanical art. These went with Potter's family history in England and Scotland and McDowell's visits to the family castles and gardens. McDowell discovered that when the first book came out in 1902, Beatrix Potter had never had a garden. How that changed, she learned.

More lively Potter discussions ensued as McDowell autographed her book for guests.

The author teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden and has multiple book awards.

Broadmoor Garden Club is an invitation-only nonprofit established by 30 women, local garden enthusiasts, in 1935. Among the founders were Julie Penrose, landscape architect Kathleen Marriage, rancher Ruth Banning Lewis and community leader Vesta Tutt.

The club became a member of the Garden Club of America in 1941. Each spring, a special free event is held for the community.

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