The Friday Morning Lecture Series presents:

"Gardens by Design: in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden"
presented by Oliver Chamberlain
Friday, May 10, 2013 at 10 a.m.
in the Library's McCarthy Meeting Room

Harold Caparn was the designer of beautiful gardens at the famed Brooklyn Botanic Garden for over thirty years. As an independent landscape architect, he worked in close cooperation with the Olmsted Brothers. While they designed the overall plan for the Garden beginning in 1910, Caparn designed the individual gardens starting in the next year. Drawing on plans and photographs from his recently published book, Landscapes and Writings of Harold Caparn, author Oliver Chamberlain will present background information on the gardens and some of the design problems solved by Caparn. He will look closely at the Cranford Rose Garden, the Magnolia Plaza, the Osborne Garden and the Water Lily Gardens. Some of Caparn’s design ideas, from his writings and landscapes, may be applied to your own gardens.

Oliver Chamberlain was for ten years Executive Director of the Center for the Arts at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His interest in gardens began as a child on the Lessing J. Rosenwald estate in Jenkintown, PA, where his father was estate gardener. The family next moved to the Jersey Shore where his father established a retail and wholesale florist business. Oliver learned the business working in the field and in the shop.

Oliver later earned graduate degrees from American University (D.C.), Brandeis University and New England Conservatory. This was followed by 18 years of teaching and administration at Bowling Green (OH) State University before coming to UMass Lowell.
He has designed his own property in Chelmsford drawing on ideas of Caparn. His background in gardens, music and historical research have been useful in writing the book on Caparn, an amateur musician as well as landscape architect.


Osborne Garden, north entrance, Brooklyn Botanic Garden. This garden and the Tully rose garden seen in the Biography of Harold Caparn will be discussed and pictured in the talk.
Photo by Oliver Chamberlain.

Some online resources:
“Biography of Harold Caparn,”
This webpage gives an overall view of Caparn's training and family and some of his works that will be discussed.

Gardens in The Brooklyn Botanic Garden. (go to Discover, Gardens & Collections)
Cranford Rose Garden
Magnolia Plaza
Osborne Garden
Water Lily Gardens