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Fort Ticonderoga appoints Dr. Leonard Perry as the New Horticulturist in Residence

Dr. Leonard Penny

Fort Ticonderoga is thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr. Leonard Perry, a horticulture professor who will be retiring from the University of Vermont in 2016, as the new Horticulturist in Residence for the King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga. In his 35 years of work with University of Vermont Extension, Dr. Perry has already collaborated on hosting several King’s Garden tours and gardening classes, bringing forth a wealth of knowledge and expertise. His new role will expand his collaboration in Fort Ticonderoga’s Annual Garden Symposium and many other hands-on classes and academic opportunities throughout the 2016 season.

“Fort Ticonderoga is extremely enthusiastic to welcome Dr. Perry to our team as our Horticulturalist in Residence,” said Beth Hill, President and CEO.  “Dr. Perry’s vast horticulture knowledge will greatly add to our talented horticulture team.  With his leadership we look forward to growing Fort Ticonderoga’s horticulture programs, outreach opportunities, and academic partnerships to greatly expand and highlight the King’s Garden’s layered story that spans centuries.”

“The King’s Garden differs from many historic gardens, in that it reflects layers of history over several centuries,” said Dr. Perry. “I look forward to bringing my 45 years of hands-on experience and knowledge of plants and horticultural practices to the team of the King’s Garden to help make it an even stronger part of the Fort Ticonderoga experience.”

Dr. Perry holds a Ph.D. in Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture from Cornell University, and plans to implement his combination of education and experience at the King’s Garden with new, innovative programming including Gardening Classes, Symposium, and Tours; and Consultation on plant maintenance, garden rotations, and layout. Dr. Perry will also assist with the annual garden planning, provide professional development opportunities, advise the EW Pell Graduate Fellow in Horticulture 2016, participate in Fort Ticonderoga’s annual Landscape Symposium, and write blogs and assist in providing content in garden related media posts.

About Fort Ticonderoga’s “King’s Garden” 

KG-Beaty-2Fort Ticonderoga has a long and layered horticulture history. The center of Fort Ticonderoga’s horticulture program today is the walled Colonial Revival King’s Garden which was designed in 1921 by leading landscape architect Marian Coffin.  The formal elements – a reflecting pool, manicured lawn and hedges, and brick walls and walkways – are softened by a profusion of annuals and perennials, carefully arranged by color and form.  Heirloom flowers and modern cultivars are used to recreate the historic planting scheme. Visitor favorites include the lavender border, towering hollyhocks, bearded irises, dinner plate dahlias and many types of phlox.

Outside of the nine-foot brick walls of the colonial revival King’s Garden, the Discovery Gardens include a children’s garden, military vegetable garden, native garden, cut flower garden, and early 20th century tenant farmer garden. The restored Lord and Burnham greenhouse, charming gazebo, sweeping lawns and shady picnic spots invite visitors to explore the landscape at one of America’s oldest gardens dating to the French occupation of the fort in the mid-18th century.

The King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga is open to visitors all season and offers several new garden-related programs for children and adults as well as daily tours. Guests will roll up their sleeves and dig into Fort Ticonderoga’s centuries of horticulture in the formal Colonial Revival garden and five additional plots in the Discovery Gardens. A new interactive Soldiers’ Gardening program welcomes visitors to help tend the gardens alongside soldiers as they grow rows of vital vegetables to supplement their period diet. Gardening: Then and Now will encourage visitors to sow and hoe with an early 20th-century interpreter portraying one of the Pell family’s personal gardeners, and learn how gardening supported the family throughout the era of reconstruction. The new Heritage Breeds program brings period cattle and chickens to the garrison grounds to truly enliven Fort Ticonderoga’s history.