Fruits and Flowers of Winter

An exhibition drawn from the collections of
The LuEsther T. Mertz Library

Curated by

Susan Fraser
Marie Long
Stephen Sinon

On view November 15-February 16, 2002

Gardener, if you listen, listen well:
Plant for your winter pleasure, when the months dishearten;
Plant to find a fragile note touched from the brittle violin of frost.

Vita Sackville-West
The Garden

Fruits and Flowers of Winter features items drawn from the Mertz Library’s rare books, folios, archival materials, manuscripts, and original artwork, exploring the pageantry of winter’s beauty.

In 1712, Joseph Addison, an English essayist wrote in his a daily paper, The Spectator, an article introducing the concept of the all-green winter garden whose “trees only as never cast their leaves.” Addison contrived a winter garden saying, “there is something unspeakably cheerful in a spot of ground which is cover’d with trees that smile amidst all the rigour of winter, and give us a view of the most gay season . . .”

The exhibition features more than 60 splendid works of botanical illustration that brighten and illuminate the season. Seventeenth-century items illustrate advances in hothouse construction, enabling the growth of fruits and flowers indoors in winter. Exotic plants collected for local and foreign trade during this period of exploration enriched the collections of botanical gardens and private horticulturists. A rare post revolutionary era New York City plantsman’s account ledger provides a glimpse of the number of exotic ornamentals from Europe and Asia, recently brought into the trade, and being kept the winter for a fee.
The Story of Winter Citrus & Orangeries Hothouses&Greenhouses  Winter in Early New York City

Contriving A Winter Garden Walking  in a Winter Garden Florists and Nurseries