I am a huge reader and love biographies. I just finished a very interesting book on Bunny Mellon. Born into privilege, Bunny was an American style icon, art collector, self-trained talented landscape designer and Best-Dressed List regular.
Bunny gained national acclaim for designing the White House Rose Garden after she was asked by her close friend President Kennedy. She was hesitant to accept his offer as she considered herself more of a gardener than a landscape architect.
The story of her life was fascinating and her lifestyle was the stuff of legend, but she was a connoisseur of almost everything. Before her death in 2014 at the age of 103, Bunny started the Oak Spring Garden Foundation dedicated to sharing the gifts and ideas of Rachel "Bunny" Mellon. Its mission is to support and inspire fresh thinking and bold action on the history and future of plants, including the art and culture of plants, gardens and landscapes.
During her life, Bunny had been a collector of rare books, manuscripts and art. The collection primarily includes works relating to horticulture, landscape design, botany, natural history and voyages of exploration.
She built a library on her Oak Spring property located in Upperville, Virginia, to house her collection. She produced four books which I just received for Christmas from my husband.
The Foundation is dedicated to sharing the gifts and ideas of Bunny Mellon. Its mission is to support and inspire fresh thinking and bold action on the history and future of plants, including the art and culture of plants, gardens and landscapes. Oak Spring Garden Foundation.
Public access to the Oak Spring Garden Library is by appointment only. I cannot wait to visit!
The first book, An Oak Spring Sylva was published in 1989. It is a selection of the rare books on trees in the Oak Spring Garden Library and was described by Sandra Raphael. The hard cover books are beautifully laid out and would be a great gift to anyone who loves the outdoors.
An Oak Spring Pomona was published in 1990. It is a selection of the rare books on fruit in the Oak Spring Garden Library and was also described by Sandra Raphael.
An Oak Spring Flora was published in 1997. It includes flower illustration from the fifteenth century to the present time and is also a selection of the rare books, manuscripts and works of art in the collection of Rachel "Bunny" Lambert Mellon. This book was described by Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi.
The last book, An Oak Spring Herbaria was published in 2009. It includes Herbs and Herbals from the Fourteenth to the Nineteenth Centuries: A selection of the rare books, manuscripts and works of art in the collection. This book was also described by Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi.
I have already spent many hours looking and reading these great gifts. They are full of insights, photos, paintings, poems and drawings. It will take many more hours to get through them and I look foward to every minute.