Today’s news:

Botanical Garden to hold tony annual Rose Ball

The Queens Botanical Garden, a 39-acre greenspace of horticultural showmanship in Flushing, was expected to hold its annual Rose Ball Thursday, honoring the executive vice president of HSBC Bank for the institution’s work and participation with the garden.

This is the second year that the Queens Botanical Garden is holding the gala ball inside the garden, under a tent on the Great Lawn. The Rose Ball, which is to begin at 7 p.m., is a pricey affair attended mostly by people in the corporate and business world, who pay $250 a ticket. Among the businesses are Consolidated Edison, Chase Manhattan Banks, J.P. Morgan and KeySpan Energy.

Borough President Claire Shulman was to attend the event and present David Kotheimer, the executive vice president of HSBC Bank, with an award. But because of her son’s recent death, it was unclear whether she would in fact attend, said Margaret Tockarshewsky, a spokeswoman for the Queens Botanical Garden.

This year, 244 people had purchased tickets, Tockarshewsky said, the proceeds of which will support programs sponsored by the garden as well as support its day-to-day operation.

One project that is almost finished, she said, is the construction of a steel picket fence, around the perimeter of the 39-acre park. The fence, which costs $3.1 million and is being funded by the City Council and the mayor’s office, is designed with bronze plant medallions, and the gate to the main entrance will be shaped like a tree.

The other project, the $11 million construction of a new administration complex, has recently moved out of the conceptual phase, Tockarshewsky said. Funded chiefly by the borough president’s office, the complex will include an administration building, a public reception area, a maintenance building and a new parking lot, said Jennifer Ward, the staff landscape architect. The complex will take up nearly 10 acres of the 39-acre garden.

Both projects fall under a master plan that has been drawn up for the garden, which is to be reviewed again this fall. In all, Ward said, depending on funding, it could take up to 10 years for the entire master plan to be seen through completion.

Reach reporter Chris Fuchs by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.

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