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Scott Garden and Horticultural Medal and Award presented to Holly Shimizu

On October 18, Claire Sawyers (Director, Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College) and Paul Meyer, (Director Emeritus, Morris Arboretum) officially presented the 2020 Scott Medal and Award to Holly Shimizu. The lovely outdoor event included background information about the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, a bit about the history of the Award and Medal, and a gardening talk from Holly. Watch below:

The information below is from the Scott Arboretum website (see the original post here):

THE SCOTT MEDAL AND AWARD was established in 1929 to recognize individuals who, in the opinion of the selection committee, have made outstanding national contributions to the science and art of gardening. The 2020 award of the medal together with $15,000 is given as an acknowledgement of “. . . achievement of great merit, recognition of work in creating and developing a wider interest in gardening.”

THE SCOTT MEDAL, designed by American sculptor Walker Hancock, represents man cultivating the ground, lifting his arms high above him as if to call down inspiration to mingle with the water that pours from the vase. The water falls on two motifs, the tree peony and the iris. The reverse side shows the tree of life.

ARTHUR HOYT SCOTT (1873-1927), an 1895 graduate of Swarthmore College and a successful manufacturer, maintained throughout a busy life an abiding love of beautiful gardens. He was at one time treasurer of the American Peony Society, a founder and treasurer of the American Iris Society, and a breeder of irises and peonies. The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, through its educational programs and displays of plants, continues Arthur Hoyt Scott’s vision.

For over 40 years, she [Holly Shimizu] has written and preached the gospel of gardening and horticulture throughout the nation and, indeed, throughout the world. I cannot think of another person who has had a more positive impact, influencing both professional and novice gardeners alike … Holly is an extraordinary horticulturist who has devoted her entire career to sharing her love and knowledge of plants with the broadest possible public. She has had a profound impact on horticulture in the United States and beyond.” – Paul W. Meyer, 2018 Scott Medal recipient, F. Otto Haas Executive Director of the Morris Arboretum – retired.

Beyond introducing millions to the wonders of plants, Holly has also been a key innovator in modern American horticulture. After creating the national herb collection, Holly went to the U.S. Botanic Garden where she oversaw a cutting edge modernization of collection policies, physical structure, visitor services, and education that has become a model for institutions all over the world. … She is widely credited with the transformation of the U.S. Botanic Garden that led it from a four-year closure from 1997 to 2001 to being the most visited public garden in the country by 2012. Holly’s innovations in interpretation, sustainable horticulture, educational programming, and children’s gardening have influenced other public gardens nationally and internationally.” – Ari Novy, President and CEO of the San Diego Botanic Garden

In 2006, Ms. Shimizu forged a partnership between the U.S. Botanic Garden, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and the American Society of Landscape Architects to develop the Sustainable SITES Initiative. This program sets forth professional sustainability standards for landscape design and maintenance, similar to the LEED standards for architecture. …Holly worked with her partners to develop Landscapes for Life, a homeowner’s version of SITES designed to make sustainable gardening accessible to everyone.” – Stephen Ayers, Eleventh Architect of the Capitol.

..[As] host of the PBS Victory Garden program, she has contributed substantially to the spread of exciting, beautiful, and sound gardening widely through our nation and beyond.” – Peter H. Raven, 2009 Scott Medal recipient, President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

She believes that gardens can have a positive impact when created and maintained with awareness and sensitivity for the short- and long-term effects of the plant choices, products used, and surrounding environment. She is quite simply one of the best people I know in the garden world.” – Beth Tuttle, former President and CEO of the American Horticulture Society

Some of Holly Shimizu’s numerous awards include: Honorary Life Member Award from the American Public Gardens Association; Thomas Roland Medal for exceptional skill in horticulture from the Massachusetts Horticulture Society; Professional Award for Outstanding Public Garden Director from the American Horticultural Society; Leadership Award; Architect of the Capitol; and National Garden Clubs Award of Excellence.


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