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A Garden Celebration
By Allison Hess
On September 10, 2014 a very special event took place at Star® Roses and Plants – the unveiling of a project that has been over a year in the making. Earlier in 2013, artists Greg and Tiana Leavitt were commissioned by Steve Hutton, President and CEO of Star® Roses and Plants, to design and create a sculpture that would help bring to life the demonstration garden at the company’s West Grove campus.
This demo garden is a perfect display of the exceptional breeding that Star® Roses and Plants has to offer. Some of the best varieties from Will Radler, Meilland International and our own in-house breeding division, NovaFlora® can be found within the garden. Industry favorites such as The Knock Out® Family of Roses and Drift® Groundcover Roses as well as Sunshine Daydream, Radler’s latest introduction Peachy Keen™ and the Veronica Moody Blues series take center stage.
Hutton wanted to find a way to ensure that this would be, in his words, a capital G Garden. For years, he had pined to have the work of Greg Leavitt on display somewhere in the garden. He was drawn to the innate sense of whimsy and exuberance Greg brought to each piece. Hutton approached Greg and his wife Tiana about some ideas he had for a sculpture. One of the prime directives given to the artists was to design a piece that would provide a sense of discovery through multiple viewings.
The final result was quite astonishing. At first glance, the sculpture entitled Macromergence appears to be a completely abstract piece. Upon deeper investigation, the visual symphony of plant reproduction comes to light. In the words of Tiana, the designer of the piece, the goal was “to represent the magical processes at the heart of germination, the sexuality of flowers and their beautiful reproductive structures. Making the invisible wonder of the micro world macro became the basis of the sculpture.”
Constructed of mild steel, copper and bronze, Macromergence weighs 6,000 pounds and is 15 feet tall and 38 feet in diameter. It took an entire year to engineer, create and install. Greg and his team spent four hours assembling the sculpture on site and returned in the weeks following to complete the installation.
With the sculpture finalized and the warm summer months coming to a close, what better way to unveil Macromergence than with a formal Garden Dedication Party? In the weeks leading up to the event, the garden itself was dramatically transformed thanks to the dedicated work of Michael Bowell and Simple of Create-A-Scene; a company that specializes in garden design, installation and development.
Friends and respected colleagues alike were invited to the dedication. The sun had just begun to set as guests arrived. Among attendance were two of the most respected rose minds in the business; Will Radler, creator of The Knock Out® Rose, and Alain Meilland, producer of countless notable varieties, as well as many other influential players in the horticulture industry.
Throughout the course of the evening, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served while guests were welcomed to explore the gardens.
The event included an impromptu performance by a group of local musicians, lead by Thom Holden and Tom DeShullo. Together they worked to incorporate the sculpture itself into an artful composition prepared especially for the occasion.
The spontaneous concert worked in perfect harmony with the whimsical air of Macromergence.
Click here to view the performance in its entirety.